Discover how to make a sketch with the best sketching techniques that exist

To learn how to make a sketch you must first know the main sketching techniques that exist, because with them you can perfect the way we make the strokes and capture our ideas on paper.

there are times when, no matter how much you want to draw, it seems that the ideas don’t come to you. We know how frustrating it can be not to have inspiration or not to be able to transform a sketch into a drawing.

So, in order for you to forget about those problems, in this article, besides knowing the techniques to make a sketch, you will also learn how to overcome fear and use the blank pages of your sketchbook.

Also, we will give you some recommendations to make a sketch, that way, your artistic creativity will know no limits and you will be able to finish an endless number of drawings without pressure to achieve masterpieces.

Sketch from geometric figures

The process is as follows: in your sketchbook or sketchbook draw a series of geometric figures; these have to be distributed throughout the sheet, no matter the order, also, you can use different sizes and can be repeated.

Now, observe these figures and find objects, people, animals; the options are endless, it all depends on your imagination. This exercise will be nothing new for you, because you have done it many times when you have observed the clouds and found shapes or faces in them.

Well now, apply it to make your sketch, draw the lines you need until you find an object, animal or person, likewise, you can eliminate the figures that make you noise.

Draw sketches from random figures

To make this type of sketch you need to draw a random figure, one that requires the interpretation of your brain. Now, transform that random figure into an object for your sketch.

The exercise does not end there, draw the same random figure again and, now, turn it into another object. Repeat the procedure until you have filled your sketchbook sheet. This type of sketching is intended to exercise your brain.

Sketch from references

This sketch is a bit more complicated, because you will draw a real object from different perspectives. It doesn’t have to be perfect, remember that this is a quick sketch.

For this exercise select an object that has different shapes depending on the angle from which it is seen.

Source: Pexels

Techniques to make a sketch

We also have to talk about the techniques to make a pencil sketch, as we consider it the ideal method for those who will carry out their first artistic creations.

1. Sketching

One of the first sketching techniques you can resort to is hatching; a technique that consists of providing depth by means of shading, which is achieved by drawing parallel lines in the same direction. These lines are drawn following the main line of the sketch, the idea is that the lines do not touch each other, however, they must have a very narrow separation, almost minimal.

In this technique artists can vary the effect of shading, texture and tone by means of:

Length of the lines.
angle of the lines.
Closeness between the lines.

Source: Animation Industry

2. Cross hatching

It is the same as the previous technique, however, to that series of parallel lines that go in only one direction, you have to add another series of parallel lines that go in the opposite direction to the previous series, so that the final result is a kind of net.

Source: The temple of drawing

3. Stippling

Stippling is a technique for making sketches that has the purpose of adding depth and shadows, it is very similar to the previous technique, however, as its name indicates, dots are used. These dots keep a minimum distance between them and, the closer they are, the more depth they give to the sketch.


4. Shading, lighting and blurring

This technique consists of softening (blurring) the strokes with your finger or a piece of paper, so that highlights and shadows are created. The shading effect can also be achieved by changing the grip of your pencil.

One way to get light in your sketch is to use your eraser. With your eraser you can remove some of the pigment from the graphite and then smudge so that the tones blend effectively.

Put these sketching techniques into practice and we assure you that, when you see your sketches more detailed and with more work, the motivation to transform them into drawings will come to you instantly. You can also learn other pencil sketching techniques and combine them with the recommendations we discuss here.

Source: Webnode

Importance of knowing sketching techniques

It is very likely that the first step of your artistic creations is the sketch, that exploratory step that helps to visualize your work or to mark the way to get to it.

In case you don’t know what a sketch is, let’s consult the definition of sketch proposed by the Royal Spanish Academy:

“Project or general outline prior to the execution of an artistic work”.

In that sense, if you are one of those artists who are concerned about perfection from the sketching process, we want to remind you that artistic expression is something to be enjoyed and taken calmly.

Not everything you produce has to be a masterpiece, indeed, probably few things you do will be quality works but that doesn’t mean they are not valuable. Everything you draw will be part of your next best work.”

Source: Pexels

These are some of the points why it is important to learn how to sketch and know the main sketching techniques:

A sketch represents the mood and impression of a situation according to the artist’s interpretation.
With the sketch, the artist exercises his ability to represent a subject and to draw objects, because by executing it, he puts into practice the description of the elements of the work.
The sketching process serves as a graphic study, with which the artist examines and determines methods and forms for drawing a given object or character.
The sketch provides a general idea of the final result of the drawing, as we have already said, it is a guide.
The sketch is the process where the artist is free to make mistakes.
The sketch captures the essence of a character or an object.
The sketches to draw are personal projects that can only be fully understood by the artist who drew them, as you will see in this article, each of our teachers has their own techniques to make a sketch.

Source: Pexels

Recommendations and tips for sketching

Our teacher Jota Ilustra recommends that you treat each page of your sketchbook as if it were your last and that you work on the blank page without pressure. It doesn’t matter if your sketchbook is full of sketches, because there are even well-known artists who sell their sketchbooks with only sketches, so keep that in mind and don’t put pressure on yourself for wanting to achieve masterpieces.

“Many times we don’t want to start a sketchbook because we believe that the first illustration must be perfect, we are waiting for a stroke of inspiration to start but if you look at sketchbooks that you have already filled you will see that there is a great variety of good works, bad works and maybe some sketches that didn’t make it to the top. […].

You don’t have to do this well, you just have to do it […]. Every line you draw is better than the one before it. If you feel you draw badly, just keep drawing; if you feel you draw well, keep drawing. The whole point of this is to get in the habit, learn to love sketching and drawing just because.”

Now that you know what a sketch is, we want you to be encouraged to continue drawing, no matter if you are good or if you need to improve. As we have said several times, there are no rules for artistic expression, but it is necessary that you do it with pleasure and patience. So, don’t be afraid of sketches and don’t get frustrated if they remain just that.

Source: Pexels

don’t be afraid of sketching or the sketchbook!

After knowing the techniques to make a sketch, we want to give you a series of recommendations that will help you to overcome the fear of the blank page. So, let’s see the tips that our teacher Luis Gadea provides in his course “Pencil drawing: From beginner to expert”:

Do not fall in love with the drawing: as an artist it is important that you do not get attached to a single drawing, in addition, you should develop the ability to repeat the same drawing as many times as necessary.

Fill the pages of your sketchbook with sketches: make sure that each page of your sketchbook has a drawing, no matter if it is not perfect. The idea is that drawing becomes a habit that you enjoy, that way, you will never stop again for fear of something going wrong.

Alternate pencils and their position in your hand: for your sketch to really be an exploration project you can alternate different types of pencils and the way you hold them. The goal is to generate shapes that give way to new creations. Remember that there are pencils to draw portraits, colored pencils to make drawings, and other types of pencils, you should choose the ones that work best for you.

Work without fear: don’t be afraid to dirty the paper or erase what you consider necessary, because the sketch is the right place to correct.

Source: Pexels

The sketchbook is the tool in which the artist captures his ideas in the form of sketches or drawings. We know that sometimes artists do not know how to find inspiration: imagine that suddenly an idea comes to you and you have nowhere to put your sketch, are you willing to waste that inspiration?

Surely not, which is why it is so important for an artist to have a sketchbook and to carry it with him or her everywhere. In this regard, ESDIP Art School points out that, for the sketcher, the sketchbook is a basic tool and a permanent companion that should be carried wherever you go for this simple reason:

“Don’t wait for inspiration to come to you to start drawing. Draw whenever you can and inspiration will come from your work. For this, your sketchbook is the ideal tool”.

Resources for practicing sketching techniques

Now that you know what sketching is and how it’s done, it’s time to move on to practice. We know that things can be a bit tricky at first, because to learn how to sketch you have to spend a lot of time using the sketching techniques we discussed.

But don’t worry more than necessary, because the Pixart creative team designed a series of resources that will be very useful for you to take advantage of your talent and develop your sketching skills.

These resources are totally free, so to start using them you only have to download them from the links we will leave you below. With them you will learn to draw like a professional and you will be able to start mastering the sketching techniques used by the best artists.

Exercises to draw daily

This guide to draw daily will become one of your best allies and will be very useful to improve your skills with sketching techniques. Inside you will find more than 13 exercises to draw and sketch daily.

The guide comes in PDF format, and has more than 20 pages of content that will help you in the process. In addition to sketching techniques, this guide includes some tips to learn how to sketch easily, some of them oriented to organization, discipline and some other things that will make your work easier.

If you want to download the guide and start learning how to sketch, just click on the download link below.

Drawing guide from scratch: the human body

When you are learning how to sketch, the most difficult thing you will encounter is the drawing of the human body, as its structure can be more complex to draw than some objects. This guide can be used to complement and reinforce the sketching techniques you already know.

This guide is designed based on the sketching techniques created by Andrew Loomis, one of the most important American illustrators and animators of the 20th century. His techniques are based on the geometric construction of the human body, and this is perhaps one of the easiest approaches to learn how to sketch a person’s body.

Freehand drawing templates

A good way to learn how to make a sketch is to be guided by some templates that explain the process step by step. And this resource serves just that purpose, as it has the instructions you need to make some step-by-step drawings.

These templates are an exercise that works very well for those who are interested in mastering sketching techniques. Besides, the file weighs practically nothing, so you will be able to start using it in just a couple of seconds.

A guide to drawing fashion patterns from scratch

Learning how to make a sketch for fashion projects has its complexity, but it is by no means impossible. This guide is an introduction to the sketching techniques that are commonly used in the fashion industry.

In total, the guide includes a list of 15 steps that you must follow to make a fashion figurine for the design of women’s garments. We recommend you to download it if you are linked to this industry or if you are planning to start studying fashion design or any related career.

Drawing guide from scratch: the head and the face

This other guide is also based on the work of Andrew Loomis, and will help you to learn how to make a sketch of a person’s head and face. Starting from the same principle of geometric construction, the guide will explain how to build a skull, what are the proportions of the face, and some other things that will be very helpful.

If you still haven’t finished learning how to make a sketch, with this and the other resources we share with you you will be able to expand your knowledge and begin to master professional sketching techniques.

Here ends our artistic journey, we hope that now that you know the techniques to make a sketch, we encourage you to continue drawing without pressure to obtain perfect results.

However, don’t forget that, although you are not looking for perfection, you are looking for each of your creations to be better than the previous one and, as our teachers said, the best way to do it is through practice. That’s where sketching is your best ally, so draw whenever you can.

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