Draw the pictures and study the information in the following books. You will learn how to draw anything and learn the fundamentals of drawing. Buy books at Amazon website.
1. You Can Draw In 30 Days by Mark Kistler
2. Mark Kistler's Draw Squad
3. Lifelike Drawing With Lee Hammond
4. Drawing For Dummies by Brenda Hoddinott
LEARN LIGHT AND SHADE:
In order to draw/paint something realistic you must understand how the subject is lighted:
1. Side Lighting
2. Three Quarter/Conventional Lighting
3. Frontal/Front Lighting
4. Top/Overhead Lighting
5. Back/Rear/Rim Lighting
6. Diffused Lighting
7. Stage Lighting.
As you observe how the light falls on the object, your next step is to draw/paint it. The 7 lighting arrangements mentioned above are shaded in 7 different ways on an object using 5 values. In order to make something look realistic, you must use a variety of values from light to dark. Read the book Light, Shade, & Shadow by E.L. Koller for a thorough explanation of light and shade.
Learn to draw/paint the 5 values on an object.
The book, Cast Drawing Using The Sight-Size Approach by Darren R. Rousar uses these 5 terms for the values:
5. Reflected Light.
The book, Lifelike Drawing With Lee Hammond uses these 5 terms for the values:
1. Cast Shadow
2. Shadow Edge
4. Reflected Light
5. Full Light
In order to draw/paint something realistic, you must learn perspective, which is the illusion of depth and dimension on a flat surface. Things look different when viewed from various positions, which is called one point perspective, two point perspective, three point perspective, or foreshortening. If you learn to draw/paint things as it really appears to the eye when looking at it, then your object will be in correct perspective. Read the book, Perspective by William F. Powell.
Graphite Pencils come in the following pencil grades:
9B 8B 7B 6B 5B 4B 3B 2B B HB F H 2H 3H 4H 5H 6H 7H 8H 9H
Reading left to right (9B to 9H), the color range goes from dark to light. The B pencils are dark. The H pencils are light. 9B is the darkest color (black), HB is the middle color (medium grey), 9H is the lightest color (light grey).
Reading left to right (9B to 9H), also shows how soft or hard the graphite is. The B pencils are soft graphite. The H pencils are hard graphite. 9B is the softest and it smudges very easily, HB is in the middle, 9H is the hardest which doesn't smudge at all.
Not all pencil brands are made the same. The color and the hardness/softness of the graphite may vary, so decide which pencil brand you will use and stick with that brand to learn the pencil properties of that particular brand.
Check out "The Color Wheel Company" website and search for the product called the "Gray Scale And Value Finder" chart. This chart will help you learn how to draw the ten colors that will need to be made with your graphite pencils.
The best drawing surface to buy are surfaces that are labeled "archival" or "artist grade" or "professional grade" because they will last a very long time. You can also look for surfaces that are labeled with these words: acid-free, ph-neutral, lignin free, 100% cotton rag, 100% cotton, artist quality, fine quality, high quality, premium quality, professional quality. If you use "student grade" or "scholastic" surfaces your surface will deteriorate alot quicker and possibly turn yellow because these surfaces are made from lower quality materials.
Bristol Board (hot press/smooth or cold press/textured) is excellent for a finished graphite pencil drawing (not for sketches). Try Strathmore 500 Bristol Board which is archival.
An art fixative will protect your drawings (pencil, charcoal, pastel) from smudging. Be sure to read the label and look for the words "matte" or "gloss". Decide if you want your drawings to have a matte finish or gloss finish. If the fixative is labeled "workable" it still allows you to use your drawing medium over the fixative after spraying it. A workable fixative is not permanent, so you will have to spray a final finish coat (permanent fixative) on your drawing or immediately frame it under glass.
Permanent Fixatives: Grumbacher Final Fixative, Lascaux Fine Art Fixative, Prismacolor Fixative
Workable Fixatives: Blue Label Workable Fixatif, Grumbacher Workable Fixative, Krylon #1306 Workable Fixative, Winsor & Newton Workable Fixative
Tortillons or Paper Stumps are spiral wound cones of paper. They help you blend the graphite on the paper for a smooth looking drawing.
Kneaded Eraser or Kneadable Eraser resembles modeling clay. This eraser gently removes the graphite without ruining the surface of the paper. To use it, just dab the eraser on and off the paper using quick movements.