1. Start small! Start with an item and draw it every day until you are confident. When you first do a full picture start with a small canvas so you do not feel overwhelmed.
2. Break your piece down into individual sections, this will also help you “see” what you are drawing instead of what you think you should see.
3. Realism is like a puzzle made up of small abstract shapes. Train your eye to look for those shapes.
4. Do not be afraid to push your values! High contrast usually makes for a more interesting image!!
5. When starting out, if you struggle with color, work in black and white to get a feel for detail and values. You can always glaze later if you want to.
6. When working in color, use a view finder if you are having trouble figuring out what color you are trying to recreate. Take a white piece of paper, punch a hole in it and put it up to your reference, this will help you to identify the color more easily.
7. Speaking of identifying color, shadows are never just black!
8. Experiment with your chosen medium a bit before jumping into a realism piece, practice blending and layering, watch tutorials, read about your medium etc.
9. Do not be afraid to ruin it!! We all have times when we are not happy with a piece, it’s part of being an artist, do not let that fear ruin your desire to push your own boundaries!
10. Realism takes time! Both to develop the skill and when creating each individual piece. Be patient with yourself!