Merrill offers up some of this best tips for making your works of art more realistic. There's three very important strategies for improving your the lifelike quality of your drawings and paintings, and in this video, he demonstrates them for you.
Tip one is to eliminate lines whenever it is possible. The second rule is to notice the edges. All edges are not the same. Some are soft and some are hard, and you have to really look to notice the tones and the hardness of the edges. If there is an overarching theme to all three of these points, it is tones. This video teaches you how to smudge pencil lines and blend tones. It's a good tutorial for those of you who want to build your knowledge in that area.