Observational drawing is exactly what it sounds like: drawing via observation. By simply observing at the subject and drawing what is accessible to the eye, the art student gains solid perceptual aids and hand-eye coordination, as well as removing faulty biases about the appearance of objects.
Look at the objects
Failing to look at what you are drawing is one of the most fundamental errors an Artist can make.The only way to record shape, proportion and detail accurately is to look at the source of information. Human memory does not suffice. Forms, shadows and details are hard enough to replicate when they are right there in front of you; if you have to make them up, they appear even less convincing. In order to produce an outstanding observational drawing, you must observe: your eyes must continually dance from the piece of paper to the object and back again. Not just once or twice, but constantly.
Catch real objects and draw from it
Artist always draw from real life objects as they are provided with a wealth of visual information…changing light conditions; rich textures; views of the subject from alternate angles; as well as information from other sense…smells and noise from the surroundings etc.
Use flash in portrait photography
Using flash photography crushes the features giving nothing to work with. When the person is facing you, it is very firm to see the modelling of the face as the perspective vanishes behind their head and add a cheesy snapshot smile and you make life very hard. Have the person turning slightly to one side so you can model their face with natural lighting to give good skin tones and a natural expression to show their real personality.
DRAWING PETS FROM HUMAN EYE LEVEL
When you take a photograph standing up then its like you are looking down at your pet. They have to look up and you end up with their head seeming much heavier than their body and a rather odd appearance on their face. Have someone divert them so they aren’t staring down the lens and squat down so the camera is at their head level and you’ll get a much better reference photo.