How to Draw a Realistic Person?

How to Draw a Realistic Person?
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Whether it be creative vandals on the streets, luxurious framed sketches of great artists mounted on the walls of your office, or even the cute doodles on various pieces of paper of your kids at home, we see tons of sketches on a daily basis. You may seem busy all the time, and the rush of how everything goes may prevent you from taking time to appreciate these masterpieces, but sometimes, you can’t help but wonder how to draw a realistic person?

Well, whether you like to learn how to draw people, animals, things, or sceneries, you will need time and practice. And to be able to reach the next level and produce quality results, you need to be consistent in your desire to improve your skills in art.

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Good thing there are available drawing video tutorials, books, and other resources that can guide you all throughout your learning process. Whether you want to use digital drawing tools or stick to the old, classic pen and paper, you should focus on your set goal and make sure to create rules to follow so that you can track your improvement.

How to Draw a Realistic Person?

Whether it be for a portrait or just for the sake of practicing your drawing skills, drawing a person can be one of the most challenging art practices because there are lots of details to pay attention to. And drawing a realistic person is taking that to the next level.

Before you start your piece, make sure to choose and familiarize yourself with your subject first. If there is no specific person as your subject, then come up with an avatar of what you want to draw. Decide whether you will draw a man, a woman, a little boy, or a little girl, so you can construct a way or style that you want to use to complete the task.

Things to Consider When Drawing

Here are some remarkable tips and techniques that you can consider to produce a realistic and quality outcome.

  • Make sure to have a direct light source

Before you start your piece, make sure to prepare your space and prioritize a stable and direct light source. If you have a picture or object to replicate, then you have to have good lighting for it as well as your workspace. You should make sure there are no shadows, and there is a good contrast, so it is easier for you to follow the details.

  • Draw the parts that first intersect the border

Make little marks along the edges of the paper, so you can have a guide where to start drawing the different body parts of the subject, allowing you to estimate how small or how big should the shapes look like. This way, you can also be assured that your drawing will be in place and that you will not run out of space in the end.

  • Work on each edge and then move inwards

After marking the edges, you can now start to draw by working on each edge then moving inwards little by little. You would normally start on the head part, focusing on the shape of the head and the face before you do the facial features one after the other. This is the part where you focus on the outlines first rather than the details and the smaller parts.

  • Always look back and forth

Do not let your eyes rest in one place for too long. Make sure to purposely move your eyes from your subject and then to your paper as often as possible. This will allow you to be constantly guided by what you are supposed to draw and to prevent your eyes from getting too overwhelmed and lose focus.

  • Erase when you notice something wrong

You are allowed to make mistakes, and the good thing is, you are also allowed to fix them. If you noticed something wrong early on, then fix it right away because you sure will see the same problem on your outcome, and it will be too much work to repeat everything once you are done. So, get it right and make changes as early as possible.

  • Shade from darkest to lightest

Once you are done with your drawing, start shading the darkest shadows first then onto the lighter areas and then the lightest. Make sure to imagine and identify the areas with reflected light and leave them lighter so it can look realistic. Successful shading is an important part that will help your piece look realistic.

  • Take a break

When you are almost finished, step away for a while and take a breather. Completing a piece of art can be time- and energy-consuming and a few minutes of rest can make a big difference. Usually, after being away from your workspace, you will see a couple more mistakes that you have overlooked while you were too focused the entire time. By then, you should still be able to make your final touches and adjustments.


After the discussion above about how to draw a realistic person, you should now have a guide on how you can kickstart your drawing journey and how you can produce your desired outcomes.

When it comes to art and representation, there is no blanket rule to ace your work. You have to develop the desire and dedication to do the work and to overcome the challenges that come with it. Once you know your goal and you have the fire to complete the task, there should not be any problem. You just have to trust yourself that you can do what you want to do.

It is never too late to learn something new and to improve on a skill if you long to become better. If you just started your journey in the art of drawing, then do not feel too pressured. Start with the basics and increase your goal after each success. Do not feel bad if you do not exactly replicate the subject but challenge yourself to keep on trying new techniques until the time comes that the outcomes look more realistic than ever.

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