Seeing people draw people, animals or objects seems like they must have a photographic memory. Blizzard Animator Lana Bachynski from Tea Time Animation knows that this is not always true. Following these simple steps, you can teach yourself to draw absolutely anything from memory.
Using any creative software, such as Photoshop, open the image and create a new layer on top of it. You can make it semi-transparent by adjusting the opacity. Choose a drawing brush and trace the outlines of your image. Really focus on each and every line and the proportions. Every once in a while, hide the original photo and look at your drawing. Sometimes the first lines won’t look like the object at all and even seem wrong. As you build up, the resemblance will grow. Trace your image until you have reached a satisfactory result.
Turn off that traced layer and shrink your original image so you have enough room around it. Create a new layer with a big canvas and now reference the original photo. Look at the small original, and draw a copy next to it. Compare proportions and relations as you see them, not as you think you know them. This step will be a bit more difficult, but as you have already traced the original, it will be much easier than if you had started off with this step.
Turn off the reference drawing and create a new layer. With your original photo still visible, draw the subject from a different angle. Turn the subject in your mind, and draw it from this other perspective. This will teach you to keep the proportions, but challenge your imagination to abstract. Don’t try to find a new photo, use the original one as your source. You can practice this several times, each one with a different perspective.
Now you can turn off your original photo. As you have it drawn several times now, you hands and eyes will remember this exercise. Now you can draw solely from your memory. Enjoy!