top of page

Basics of Observational Drawing

Basics of Observational Drawing
Techniques to Understand Texture, Space, Structure


Drawing is similar to talking. You may find it difficult to have a deep and meaningful conversation with someone you met for the first time. Once you know their tastes and personality, it will be easier to open up to each other.

Likewise, when you are drawing something, observing it closely and understanding it will help you create a more faithful reproduction.

It's important to observe what you are drawing, not only from a distance but also up close. Touching it may be helpful too. Changing the viewing angle and trying to analyze an object's structure will also give you important hints on how to sketch it.


This book will teach you various techniques to observe objects correctly and improve your drawings. You will start with a simple apple, then draw still-life objects you may find around you, progressively brushing up your sketching skills.



Chapter 1: Observing an apple
Starting from an apple, you will master observational skills that will help you draw other fruits and vegetables.


Chapter 2: Observing and drawing paper
You will draw different paper types and get comfortable with pencils and other drawing tools, then move on to understand the characteristics of industrial objects.


Chapter 3: Drawing a beautiful chrysanthemum
A chrysanthemum can be drawn with the same techniques you used for an apple. Let's find beautiful patterns in different flowers and plants.


Chapter 4: Observing a turban shell to understand the human body
Surprising as it may sound, analyzing the structure of a turban shell can help understand the shape of the human body, as they have some details in common.


Chapter 5: Observing and drawing your loved ones

You will start with sketching the hands, then draw portraits from photos to understand how to recreate someone's facial expressions and personality.


    ■ by Hideto Yagi, edited by Tsubura Kadomaru

    ■ 257 x 190 mm / 160pages

    ■ Published in October 2023

    ■ ISBN: 9784798633190

    ■ Japanese title: 観察デッサンの基本 質感、空間、構造をとらえるテクニック

    Buy on Amazon Japan


    World rights available


    Hideto Yagi is an art director and artist. After graduating from the Graphic Design Department of Tama Art University in 2001, he received many awards (JAGDA, New York ADC, Adfest, Cannes Lions Design, etc.),  for his graphic design work, which includes 3D paper art, pencil drawing, painting, and more. Personal exhibitions of his work are held in both Japan and the US, and over 34 of his pieces are now owned by companies and private collectors. He founded his own company, Hands Inc., in 2018. He works closely with his clients to create the best advertising design and, as an artist, he strives to create art with a message.

    Tsubura Kadomaru has always loved drawing and sketching, and in middle and high school was the head of the school's art club. She protected the club, that had become a manga study group and Gundam get-together, and its members, raising creators who now work in the game and anime industry. She studied oil painting in the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Tokyo University of the Arts at a time when film studies and contemporary art were thriving. She has authored, edited, and conceived dozens of drawing manuals.

bottom of page