Understanding Observational Drawing

Posted on : Mar 26, 2019

Observational drawing is exactly what it sounds like: drawing via observation. By simply looking at the subject and drawing what is presented to the eye, the artist gains solid perceptual skills and hand-eye coordination, as well as eliminating flawed preconceptions about the appearance of objects.

Beyond reality

3D Artist should try to sketch beyond the reality of the moment and should try to jumble with the truth a bit to give an extra impression on your work. A3D artist starts first with his or her eye and then only moves on to the imaginative aspect of it. That is what becoming an observational artist is all about.

Specific physical traits

One can get inspiration for observational drawings from any source like mundane objects of our daily lives; also observe minute details while drawing like curved nose, hairstyles, tattoos, fashion accessories and try to create them on canvas while painting human character

Shades and their impact

It is time to look at 3D objects in terms of how light plays on them and how the shadows are formed. This is an crucial aspect of the observational artist that one need to develop. A small change in body language can change the whole attitude of the character for E.G big and broad eyes can give impact as angry as the character

Understand the importance of outline:

Not just the detail of an 3D object but the way it is outlined is also of extremely importance and artists have to learn to give devotion to it. It is a matter of the mind recording impressions with the eye and the hand reproducing it.

Nature of light

Observational art ideas should ideally kick start with black and white and then proceed further to colors. But no matter whether you are working with colors or in monochrome or just black and white,artist should understand importance of shades and lights

Tension and relaxation

As observational artist try to have perfect balance between tension and relaxation which is the one of the things that brings life into the form. Artist should know how to balance between tension and relaxation as they draw many images but if their body is in tension then the output of their artwork will always comes out to be stiff and rigid


Acting is all about communicating emotions, not only body language. At any given point, the human form is involved in ‘acting out’, or communicating emotion. For e.g. if a human character is in anger then his neck muscles will stretch out .Thus artist should always observe others facial expressions for their sketch and can easily trace out on canvas