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Many beginners try too hard to outline everything. A successful drawing contains indications and information within the shapes of lines, tones, and textures. Well-drawn information often comes from withi the subtleties of tones rather than from an outline. In this method we will create a free-hand tonal portrait sketch from a reference photograph. The use of a stylus is recommended for hand-drawing digitally.
The grid technique is a traditional way of reproducing an image used by artists for centuries. The basic principle consists of dividing a surface image into equal parts and working on each part as a whole. A divided part is smaller and easier to see and tackle. The grid technique is also very helpful to create the initial sketch of the iportant parts of a composition and for reproducing an image at a different scale. We will use a Photoshop grid as an overlay on both the reference photo and the drawing surface itself. The grid on both will help position the various elements of the portrait more accurately.
Drawing on a gray background with very realistic Photoshop brushes will allow us to keep all our options open for adding darker or lighter tones. We will start from a midtone surface and digitally use the natural media feel of centuries-old drawing tools. Photoshop offers many wonderful ways to re-create this traditional drawing method. New York artist, illustrator, and author Moira Fain turned this photo portrait into a digital hand-drawing using this method.