Realistic Drawing Made Easy using Ancient Greek Sculptures | Lily V | Skillshare

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Realistic Drawing Made Easy using Ancient Greek Sculptures

teacher avatar Lily V, Artist/Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Before Drawing: What you need to know

    • 3. Measuring Our Drawing

    • 4. Hues VS Values

    • 5. Adding Values to our Drawing

    • 6. Adding Details to Our Drawing

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About This Class

In this course you will learn how to Draw Realistically using Ancient Greek Statues. By the end of this course you will have learned:

  • How to measure your drawing from reference
  • The difference between Hues and Values
  • How to apply Values in your drawing 
  • How to focus on applying details 

At the end of each lesson you will be asked to do a project in order for you to practice what you have learned and be able to apply it in your drawing. You are NOT expected to have produced a perfect drawing, but learn and practice what has been taught in this course and most importantly to have fun!

Make sure to share your progress of each assignment with me and the other students and use the attached resources for the assignments. 

If you have any questions make sure to leave them in the 'Discussions' Tab. 

Example of Reference Models from:

  • Art Models Anastasia005: Figure Drawing Pose Reference -Douglas Johnson (Book)

Music provided by 


Meet Your Teacher

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Lily V



Hello, I'm Lily V, an artist/illustrator/concept artist based in Athens Greece. I have experience in the Arts for more than a decade, with training in Fine Arts, Printmaking, Illustration and Concept Art. 

I did my Ba(Hons) in Contemporary Art practice at Robert Gordon University , upon my graduation I was selected to take part in the FloatArt competition held at Bargehouse in London.

After that I volunteered as an illustrator for WILDABOUT online magazine and currently I finished an Advanced Diploma Course in Concept Art at CGSpectrum. 

Now I work as a freelance Illustrator and Concept artist. 


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1. Introduction: Hi there. Welcome to how to draw realistically using ancient Greek statues. I'm your instructor, Lily B, and I'll be helping you and guiding you throughout this course. What comes to your mind when you think about realistic drawing? Perhaps you think about amazing drawings. I look almost like photographs. Or you think about how hard it would achieve this kinda drawings and that you would never be able to master them. While I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. When someone begins our journey, it seems like the hardest thing in the world to achieve those kinda drawings and to achieve that kind of level. And some people even say that it's just a natural-born talent. And you will never be able to do those kinda drawings without practice. Drawing realistically needs a couple of things. First, and he's an understanding of specific concepts and techniques. And second of all, it just needs practice like anything else, no magic here. So why should you learn how to jot with me? I have more than a decade experience with the arts. Before I went to the UK to study contemporary art practice, I attended an academy in Greece where we had to learn how to draw realistically by using ancient Greek statues, just like we're going to do today. So instead of coming all the way to Greece, learn how to draw realistically, I'm going to go ahead and do it right here in Skillshare. I will explain to you in a few simple steps that concepts of realistic drawing. And I will show you the application of these concepts as well. So grab whatever medium you want. It could be traditional or digital. I'll be using visuals, so I'll be working on Photoshop. I would recommend to use charcoal or pencil in order to practice these applications that we're going to learn today. And you'll also need an eraser and a kneaded eraser if you're going to use charcoal or pencil. So let's get drawing. 2. Before Drawing: What you need to know: Before drawing or before starting to draw, we need to understand some basic concepts. First, we need to understand measurements and how to measure what we see. Too realistic drawing is done by using reference. That reference can be a photo or more ideally, it can be from life itself, for example, an art model or still lie. So like cups and screws and stuff or your dogs or whatever. And we take measurements. We first start with a focal point. For example, if we're drawing a figure, we can make a quick outline of the head, like a quick circle. And then we can say that the body is eight times the head, or seven times ahead, like here in Ancient Greece, Classical Art and contrapposto, the figures generally followed measurements that were considered, they feel beauty standards of the time. So contrapposto is an Italian term that means counterpoints, and describes the human figure standing with most of his weight on one foot so that its shoulders and the arms twist off axis from the hips and legs And the axial plane. So the statue though to photos from Polykleitos is for example, seven times the size of its head. So we're going to use this logic to make our measurements one joint realistically. So we can first outline the head like a quick little circle. And then we can something like a pencil or a drawing needle. And with that, we can measure how many times ahead it is. 3. Measuring Our Drawing: So let's start measuring our subject matter. Since I don't own this image, you'll have to go on Google and research ancient Greek statues and find an image that you like to use as reference. Grab your reference photo, grabbed the medium that you want to use, which can be anything like charcoal, pencil, or even visual like I'm doing here. And let's start measuring. So here you can see a photo of gray Alexander literals taken by Fred Jang naughty at about 1920 to 1930 at the buttocks when Museum in Rome. So let's break it down and steps. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to draw a very simple shape. And to position my drawing where we'll be in the canvas. Very simple drawing, just like this. Keep it simple. So now let's render the shape just a little bit to fix it and make it a little bit more closer to what we can see. So to make the proportions a little bit closer to what we can see, the next step is going to be to actually start measuring. So usually what I like to do with faces is I like to draw the nose. So just like how big I think the noses and use that as my focal point for measuring, or at least my beginning focal point for measuring. So I'm going to draw how long I think the noses and I will use this for reference to see how long the faces and how wide the faces. So depending how big we draw the no savy, that will determine also how the guard face is going to be. So make sure the nose is not too big and then your image will be too big and it will not fit in the canvas. So we're going to use the same way we measured before, like I showed you, but I'll show you again here as well. And we're going to use how big the noses and break the face into parts. So how many parts the nose is the head like this? The head is about 3.5 times. And those, and then the third part, you can see where the strands of hair split. So now we're going to measure how, why the faces, and we're going to use the end of the nose to make sure we're using the correct position when measuring across the face, like I marked in red. So the face is also 3.5 times wide. So it's 3.5 times as wide and Verna half times long. So here you can see that the nose is not in the middle of the measurements, but that's okay. What we're going to do is we're going to use our pencil again. And we're going up, play some measurements with our pencil and just move the marks where we think the noses in the middle of the face, where it is in the current physician. And now we have the basic proportions of the head. And that's what we're going to continue doing until we have all the proportions of the face. We don't have to stick with the same focal point, the nose. We can use different focal points while drawing and you can change your focal coins so you don't have to use only one focal point when doing your measurements. So continue the measurements until you reach your drawing to about something that looks like this. And I look forward to seeing your progress. 4. Hues VS Values: Now let's talk about Hughes versus values. I hue is a basic color, something like blue, red, green, yellow, et cetera. Value is how much brightness or darkness exists. For example, a red shirt has one Hugh long color, red, but the color changes in value. So how much light or dark it is depending on the time of day or what light source. So what rumor in so depending on their room, there is different light, et cetera. So here I've made a scale of 14 different values of the color grey. So usually you'll see a scale of ten different values. But I use for team just to give you a sense of how many values can exist. You can have many more values. But we're just gonna go here with 14. So what I want you to do is I want you to make a scale of ten different values of the color grey. So just to be clear, white and black are not actually colours are only representations of light and dark, but we're just gonna call them colors here to make it easier. So now that we've made the scale, I've applied these values on a metal ball and a leather balm. So the metal ball has one color, gray. But because of the light source, it alters the color. And in some parts it looks darker and in some parts of it looks lighter. So I don't want you to do two different balls, right? I only want you to do a metal ball and I've provided a reference image. And I want you to do a join of the metal ball using the different values that you've already created in order. So we can practice before we actually go into the drawing and working on the values. And this lesson series, we're not going to work with Hughes that much because we're working with a gray scale image or a gray scale drawing. It is beneficial for you to know this for a future lesson series and also in your own artwork if you wanna work with color, et cetera. Even though we're not going to work with it, I just want to make sure that I'm clear about what a hue is and what a value is. So I'm going to show you an example here. So I'm using my own metal ball that I've drawn. And I'm gonna pick the color red that I'm showing here. And then by using a brush and Photoshop that's called overlay. I'm just going to put that red all over the ball. And you'll see that even though I'm using one color. So one hue, that value of that color changes because the value of the gray-scale that I've made is different as well. And now I'm just going to use the color picker to show you that even though we used one color, there are different values of that color in the ball. So I'm just gonna pick like for just to show you the example. So now that I've showed you the difference between Hume and values, make sure to do the exercises that I told you. And I look forward to seeing what you come up with. And the next video we're going to move on to actually working on the values of our own drawing. 5. Adding Values to our Drawing: So now let's add our values to our drawing. In the beginning, it might seem overwhelming to know where and what values to put in our drawing. A very simple trick that I learned when I was in the academy was to squint my eyes in order to create a blurry vision while looking at my subject. That way, I can see the values in very simple shape forms. So here I started marking with red and green the different shapes that show different values. So I use red for the dark ones and green for the little bit lighter ones, but there's still dark as well. It is best to start with a darker colors, white spots for the lightest value. So here you can see that I'm marking most, not all, but most of the shapes of the different values and then I apply them to the drawing. Another note is that the outline that we've done, it's not going to be an actual outline. When we see things in real life, they don't actually am. Outlines unless we're doing comic drawings are stylized illustrations, but realistic drawing. We don't use outlines because people, animals, objects don't have outlines. So we're just using these lines that we've done before for the measurements, but we are going to cover those lines when we add our values. So what I want you to do now is I want you to look at your subject, squint your eyes, and try to see the different shapes of the values. If it makes it easier for you, you can first mark very lightly with your pencil or charcoal the places where you're going to put the darker, the darkness values, then you can mark the lighter values. Again, there are dark, but just a little bit lighter than the darkest. Remember, we're only doing a very simplistic shape of each value. We're not rendering at this point to make the shapes exactly like we see in our subject. So now I'm going to the lighter values. I used. Pink for the mid gray values, light blue for the lighter values, and orange for the lightest values that are almost white. And then I apply that to my drawing. This is where you would use your kneaded eraser. You can use your kneaded eraser to pat on spots or you've done darker than you should. And by padding it on that spot, it will remove some of the pencil or charcoal without actually erasing it completely. If you want to erase something completely, you just use a normal eraser. If you just want to take a little bit of color off, then you can use the kneaded eraser. So we're gonna do first the big shapes. And then we're going to start moving in to more detailed shapes. So for this lesson, I want you to, first of all, squint your eyes, look at your subjects and make out the different shapes and the different values. You can put a scale on top of your drawing or you can use your scale is reference. And start from the darkest values like I did, and then go towards a lighter, lighter and lighter and lightest. Use your kneaded eraser to take off color from where you need to and also do the same thing to your background. Don't forget your background. So now you will see a giant time-lapse of me doing exactly this and working in this way until I've reached a more detailed drawing. And then the next lesson we're gonna focus on working with even more on details. I look forward senior progress. 6. Adding Details to Our Drawing: So now we've reached the final stage of our drawing, adding the final details. So we're just gonna do the same exact thing. Adding details seems very hard for beginner artists especially. But basically we're just using exactly the same technique concept. The only differences we're doing it at a smaller scale. So now we're going to add the shaped values like we did before, but we're going to do them in smaller sizes. So we're going to focus more on each point of the picture. And we're gonna find the smaller shape values in order to add the details. The hardest thing about adding details is patients. If you need to take a break at some point, don't be afraid to take a break. Put down your pencil, go have a coffee or a glass of water, and then come back to your drawing. For me. It took me two days to do this drawing to reach a level it did and it could still use more work. Don't expect with your first try to make a perfect drawing. The purpose of the Cezzane is not for you to have the perfect drawing at the end, but for you to learn the tools in order to practice and then be able to draw the way you want to draw. Remember what I said in the intro, the way to be able to draw realistically as knowledge and practice. So that's what you need to do. Now you have the knowledge. So all you need to do is practice. And if you're getting too overwhelmed with all the details of the drawing, what you can do is you can make a simple grid about six boxes and focus on H box and look at the details and do exactly like we did in the video before. So now you can wash the time-lapse of me working on the details if that will help you and I really look forward seeing your final drawings. If you have any questions, please let me know. Okay. Well, yes. Facebook's offering. Ok. Ok. Why? Right.