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It still stuns me though that this is pencil and paper tho. I practice every lunch period just drawing hands and I can't even perceive of myself being this good. Did you draw this from your mind? Or did you have a frame of reference?
I always use references. It's very difficult to make things up, but not impossible. There's just too many details that memory alone will overlook. Unless you have amazing perspective and proportions. I'm in between, I have very good use of perspective and proportions, and can make up things to a point. But for 100% accuracy, I need some form of reference. From a photo, or still life.
Drawing hands for example, if you practice doing observation drawing from your own hand. It's most likely going to need less reference over time. But even so, you should always use a reference, even if you think you don't.
My journey with drawing has grown to a very high level, but I'm always improving from the last drawing. The more you do the better you get. Even I had troubles at the beginning, it's not limited to gifted people. In my opinion there's no such thing as being naturally gifted. As long as it's your passion to draw, then keep going! It's not impossible.
Thank you. I wouldn't say it's flawless, I guess it's my perfectionist nature. With this drawing, I was experimenting with different things. No drawing is perfect regardless, as there is always room to improve upon your last drawing. So I'm still incredibly happy with the drawing.
Mamma mia, that's a realistic likeness of Babbo Natale (Father Christmas' Italian name)! So lifelike, I thought it was a photo! Thanks for sharing: this is quality work! (On the other hand, it's making me long for winter...)
Stay well, everyone.