Tutorial What is important to paint realistic?

If you want to paint something realistic, what's important and what is less important

1 Form
2 Tone
3 Texture
4 Color

1 Form 

Without the correct form you cannot have a realistic painting.
You can have an abstract painting, but that is not in the scope of this tutorial.
Form is the base on which a painting is created. Without a solid base a house will collapse. Without the right form, you will struggle with the painting.
So if you set up a painting, set up the form first.

Linedrawing cat

For Example A cat
The big forms need to be established at this point
You might want to just make the silhouette of the objects you want to paint.
Big details on an object is something you could also add.
You don't need to get every little form on the canvas in this stage.
Don't go overboard on the details, painting shouldn't be paint by numbers :)


2 Tone: Light/dark

With a black and white TV you have enough visual information to watch most TV programs.
A B/W photograph is good enough to indentify someone.

Leg form only
The form of an leg and foot, can look very strange without the tones to define the shape further.Tone only
You don't have to use black for a monochrome base, in fact I almost never use it.
My favorite color to make the tonal layer is Burnt Umber:)
During work on tone you could put all the details in that you want to include

3 Texture

Texture is the refinement of area's of a similair tone or color.
Let's take for example grass. if you paint a green area as grass or you make some effort to define the grass elements makes a lot of difference.

Non textured grass.
The green area without texture is a bit boring.
With the texture the area looks a lot more interesting.

4 Color

Color, everyone likes color. Most people start with painting because of color.
Mixing the right color is hard and requires some knowledge and lot's of experience with mixing.
Knowledge comes from books, a teacher or an internet page.
The most important thing to rememberis  One red is not the same as another red.
Two reds can be very different colors.
Carmine and Cadmium Red are both called reds.

Carmine/Cadmium red comparison

But look at those colors, what is the difference?
Cadmium Red has an orange component, while Carmine has a distinct purple component.

Red is just an example. take a look at a good colorwheel.
Every color has lots of different variations.

You can learn the bascis from books and tutorials but you don't get experience from reading.
Experience is just learning it by doing it. Without doing it you will never learn it.


If you have some experience with colormixing then:
Color and Tone can be established at the same time.
Color and texture could also be worked on the same time.

The list is in order of importance, not in order you have to make a painting.
However establishing form first is recommended for beginners


Happy painting!