The Tools of the Trade
Drawing requires a lot of tools such as different kinds of pencils and different textured papers. Sketching is a free-form art where you only need very light strokes so it is always best to use hard lead pencils like an HB or 2H pencil. If you use mechanical pencils then a narrow lead point (0.7) is going to be your best friend.
Mastering the Art of Sketching
When you sketch you have to remember that this is completely free-form. Keep your hand from resting on the paper. You can try these four common ways to hold a pencil during your sketch sessions:
- Basic tripod grip
- Underhand tripod grip
- Overhand tripod grip
- Extended tripod grip
There are also different strokes to sketching and these are used to add a little bit of detail. They are generally used for quick portrait sketches and can be used to do shadows or add depth to a simple outline.
Some basic strokes are:
- Long lines
- Medium lines
- Short lines
- Tonal grading
- Corrugated lines
Perfecting the Art of Sketching
If you want to get good in sketching you should practice the habit of making shapes and lines with simple, light strokes. To perfect this you might want to practice drawing lines and basic shapes. Try this simple process below:
Start with parallel lines. Do them horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. You know you are getting better when you can draw them towards and away from you without having to bend your wrists and still get straight lines that are evenly parallel to each other. To add complexity, try adding additional parallel lines as if you were drawing a road map.
Circles should be done with a carefree motion. If you want to get the measurement right, the best tip is to draw a box first. At the very center of each side make a small marking. These points are the only areas where the circle should come in contact with the box’s lines. It’s a good way to cheat the system and get a nice, well-measured circle. You can use this strategy for oblongs and other ideas as well, even faces and body parts.
The Practicality of Sketching
Remember that a sketch is a quick work of art and that it is usually intended as rough draft of sorts. Everyone from Leonardo de Vinci to Albert Einstein did sketches for their work, whether it was to layout a basic design for military inventions or for visualizing a mathematical concept. With that said, you can still make a rough sketch pretty by adding depth through the strokes mentioned above. Some artists thrive entirely on sketching, doing and selling quick portraits in just a few hours. It is also the basic pencil art if you are intent on doing comic books or animations.