“Can you give tips for how to draw realistically?”
Realism is a tricky thing in art. I think when people use that word “realistic,” what they tend to be referring to is a high level of detail. But really you can get the feel of realism with relatively few marks if they’re properly placed. And detail can also become a distraction, especially for a beginning artist. You can get so focused working on specific little areas of the drawing that you lose sense of the bigger picture. I’ve think we’ve all seen this kind of like amateur portraiture which has this great degree of detail maybe, but the likeness of the subject has been lost.
In high school, I copied this photo of John Lennon once, (see below) the same photo that I’m sure many, many generations of high school kids drew before me, and will continue to draw until the end of time. I was really proud of the drawing, and it had every little strand of hair rendered, and the reflection in his glasses and everything, but it just didn’t look like him. There was something off.
That’s because a good drawing is really about relationships, more than anything. A drawing teacher once told me “Big shapes, then little shapes.” That’s the sort of mantra that I repeat to myself over and over again when I’m drawing from life. “Big shapes, then little shapes.”
You want to start with the broad gesture of the thing and get that right. And then focus in on the smaller details. Even when you’re working on the smaller details, you want to be constantly cross referencing the way one detail ends up with the other, and the way they work together with the whole. As much as you can, you want to keep moving your eye around the page as you draw and bring every aspect up at the same time as much as you possibly can. This is a really tricky thing to do, and it’s more of something that you build as a habit, so obviously the real cliche of this is that “practice makes perfect.”