Sketching for Beginners

Top tips about sketching for beginners

This article is about sketching for beginners. You'll find basic insights and techniques about sketching to help you get started. Then how you can take your drawing further.

Once you know the basics of drawing, then you can move onto the more advanced drawing themes. Such as urban sketching or learning how to draw animals.

If you're looking for sketching tips to help get you started on your sketching journey, then i've got you covered. I'm sharing my best sketching advice about sketching for beginners.

So if you would like technical advice or tips for getting inspired, this article is for you.

If you need some help deciding, here are drawing pencils and drawing pens I recommend. In case you need help choosing which ones you should start with.

01. Become familiar your drawing supplies

When you buy a drawing pencil kit, all the pencils are in different darkness and lightness. There's a big difference between 2B and H.

Picking the right pencil for your sketches is key. When it comes to the different types of pencils to sketch with, the hardness of the graphite is shown on the side of the pencil. ‘B' pencils are softer, ‘H' is harder, and ‘HB' sits in the middle.

I recommend starting somewhere on the H scale when you start a sketch. Then finishing your drawing with a pencil on the ‘B' scale.

02. Hold your pencil right

In sketching for beginners, you'll want to hold your pencil in the middle. Unlike holding it towards the point as you would if you were writing. Holding your pencil in the middle ensures your sketches stay loose. This way you avoid tight drawings.

In your early sketches, avoid details.

Focus on drawing the larger and medium shapes of whatever it is you're looking at.

03. Vary your marks

There are a variety of ways to make marks. Sketching for beginners is about experimenting to see how you naturally draw. This includes how you make marks to emphasize darks. Which help create a form to your sketches

It’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you. This way you'll grow your natural drawing style.

04. Vary your lines

Just as you should vary how you create your darks. You should also vary your thought and contour lines.

Creating thicker lines for areas where there are more weight and thinner lines for lighter areas.

This use of varied lines will create a dynamic, visually interesting drawing. Controlling the line quality is tricky for sketching for beginners.

However, the more you sketch, the easier it'll be to create a variety of marks. Marks will work together to create an interesting image.

Also, test out different pencils (from H to 6B) while holding your pencil at different points of your pencil.

05. Apply the 70/30 rule

Keep your main focal point within around 30 percent of the image.

Essentially, the 70/30 rule helps you create more interesting compositions. Here's the idea: 30 percent of your sketch should be the main focus. The remaining 70 percent is filler. The more detailed area drives more interest. Directing the viewer's attention to the main focus of your sketch.

06. Differentiate different textures

Show different textures within your sketch.

For example, avoid shading skin the same way you might shade scales on a lizard or fur on a tiger. Try to capture the unique properties of what you're drawing.

Before you sketch pay attention to whether the object is rough or smooth. Then observe if the object is absorbing or reflecting light.

07. Make interesting silhouettes

When you're drawing anything such as a human, animal, plant, or character. Pay attention to the silhouette that is created from your sketch. Without looking at any of the internal details, is the silhouette of what you're drawing identifiable?

To test whether or not your silhouettes have strong, easy to identify shapes, place a piece of tracing paper on your sketch and trace around the figure. Then look at it so see if it's identifiable on its own.

08. Embrace imperfections

Sketching is about creating imperfect drawings. Sketching for beginners especially.

It's best to not even use an eraser as you are learning to sketch. By keeping thought lines and contour lines in your drawings, you're making your drawing more unique. It's adding your personal signature to your sketches. Only you can create those lines. These imperfections add a uniqueness to your sketch. It's what makes drawings so interesting to look at.

09. Trust your intuition

You'll find that people will respond more to work that feels authentic.

This means steering yourself away from trying to make “perfect” photorealistic drawings. Instead, embracing the way you naturally make lines and make mistakes. Not being afraid to keep your thought lines and “mistakes” in your drawings. Treating your drawings as a record of the moment you were looking at a specific scene.

Final thoughts on sketching for beginners

Drawing with this sense of freedom feels more authentic to you as an artist when you're in the moment of drawing. Plus, it'll feel more authentic and resonate with your viewers as well.

If you would like to take your sketching skill further, I recommend these sketching books. To this day I still pull them off my shelf to reference them.