The Secrets to Drawing – Drawing From Photos

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How to draw from photos

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"The Secrets to Drawing" is the most complete online drawing video course available for learning how to draw.  Drawing is a skill that is learned and developed and this video course is designed to give you the knowledge that you need to draw better almost immediately! The course includes 28 modules and 26 ebooks.

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Description: How to draw realistic drawings from photographs. Concepts covered include cropping photos, editing photos, creating a grid, drawing with the aid of the the grid.

Suggested Materials: Image manipulation software, drawing paper, soft graphite pencil, eraser, photo reference

Resources: Gorilla photo, Adobe Photoshop free trial->Try Creative Suite 6 Free!, GIMP (GNU image manipulation program)

Next Video: The Secrets to Drawing - Composition

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Comments

The Secrets to Drawing – Drawing From Photos — 32 Comments

  1. I like the integration of digital technology and fine art in your classes. I am sure I am going to be learning something new. Thank you.

  2. No matter how I file and copy this photo it comes out to dark to see the darkest areas on the right shadowed side so I lose the detail I need to really see what is in each grid square Any suggestions? I don’t have my computer in the same room as my drawing board area so I can’t just use the computer screen
    photo which is very clear and highly detailed. The problem might be my printer’s capacity to print.

  3. The grid technique is something new to me. It seems like something that does take patience but is very rewarding as well. Looks like I will have to try this!

  4. Wonderful classes, thank you.
    What is the catch to getting the grid to print on the image? All the image and grid adjustments worked well, but cannot get the grid to print. Using OSX 10.6.8 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 (2008); same difficulty with GIMP. Thank you.

  5. I spent 3 years in art school and I have learned so much in these few days of watching your videos. In school, my professors focused on the idea of conceptual art and creating a series of art based on an enduring idea. Often times this seems to create a block for me because I have no idea where to start and its overwhelming. I wanted to ask if you used this enduring idea and how you approach it if you do? Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Candis,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m not familiar with an “enduring idea”, but it sounds a lot like a theme. My opinion is that art doesn’t have to fit into a category. In other words, requiring you to have an “enduring idea” doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I think that you should just keep creating and let your voice and message emerge on its own time.

  6. Hi matt,
    you teach about how i could use photoshop and make those 3×3 box easily. thank you.
    i use macbook. there is no photoshop. (I miss the Microsoft computer now).
    For these simple line work. what kind of free apps would be helpful? Or, instead i should purchase some kind of specific app?
    ah…. by the way, what kind of affordable or free beginner artwork apps you think is great?
    thank you.
    april

    • Photoshop is definitely available for the Mac, there’s no question about that, it’s always been available on the Mac since the very first version. However, unless you’re going to get into extensive commercial image production either through digital art or photography, it’s much more than you need especially given that is not free.

      On a Mac, you can download the GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) to get a lot of the same features and not pay for it. If you want a commercial option, then the rather fantastic Affinity Photo application (available in the Mac App Store) is a great choice and one that I would recommend to Photographers looking to break free of the Adobe world.

      Failing all of that… Many word processors can get you there too. For a Mac, using Pages (which is free from Apple), you can drop in the image on a blank document and adjust the size. Then using the editing tools, move the saturation slider to -100% to make it grayscale. Finally use the ruler and guidelines to draw your grid with the line tool.

  7. Hi, Matt, This is Ophelia from China. Thanks for the video. I am just wondering about the technique you use for the background there. You say you use small circles? The effect is nice and neat but we dont really see the small circles. no direct lines or cross hatching there? Do you use cirlcles instead of direct lines so as to vary from the fur texture(lines)?

    • Hi Ophelia,

      You may not see the actual lines that are created by drawing small circles. It’s really more about applying the material using a circular motion to eradicate any visible lines.

  8. Like Mary Anne, I cannot get the grid to print on the picture I am using. I am using photoshop, and I looked up on their help, and the only thing I could find on grids says that the grid is non printable. Any suggestions?

  9. This is just the motivation I needed. I downloaded GIMP and I am drawing my first grid drawing (since majoring in art in college) from one of my husband’s photos. I am so glad I found this website. Thank you!

  10. Hi I am really enjoying your videos, so far I haven’t tried to do any drawing but I have downloaded the ebooks and when I start drawing will go through the videos again. Your drawing today was amazing. I have used a grid before so do know the benefits of it.

  11. Hi Matt, the next video in this series module 13 “creating successful compositions” does not have the module header bar and the click to view option. I am viewing on my iPad and don’t normally have any problems. I will try shortly on my PCs and see if this happens there too.

  12. Regarding the Photoshop grid….. In Windows, instead of “Photoshop.. Preferences .. Guides, grids, & Slice”, try, “EDIT.. Preferences… guide/grid” to get to the screen where you can make the grid size and color choices.

  13. This is great practice. Initially I really procrastinated this. Then I learned the grid in Photoshop. More recently I transferred design to paper. Then I procrastinated. Then I began to do the value work. After an hour, I began to study tutorials on drawing fur. Watched your video many, many times. FINALLY, I began to isolate each address on grid and draw it. I struggled to stay away from spontaneously working other areas but finally I isolated the particular square and covered the rest on both reference & drawing paper. That did not allow me to shift to another area spontaneously because now I couldn’t see it!! Kept thinking “trust the grid” as I worked it, square by square. WOW. That was a very good learning experience. My spontaneity can feel artistically inspired, but I can see that it takes me away from the consistency and deliberate effort that this practice requires to learn value & texture, & form in graphite drawing. I really procrastinated this and now find I learned a lot and am feeling more successful. Great subject for this.

  14. Oh my gosh! This is awesome! I first learned to draw using the grid method and always use it for my portrait drawings…but thought it was bad and that if I used the grid then I wasn’t a very good artist and should learn to draw without it. Thank you Matt! You have no idea how elated you have made me with this video. You are such a great artist and I am so glad I found The Virtual Instructor.

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