Basic Sketching Habits

Sketching is not only fun, there are many benefits of sketching, one of the most important is that through practice you'll stay loose, it also can be a great images resource for future projects. I have studied Art for over a decade, and very often I find myself developing old and new sketches. Sometimes when you do something for very long you forget when you learned the basics and admittedly sometimes by trying to take shortcuts I sometimes find myself making rookie mistakes. Good drawing habits will make you more productive, less frustrated and happier with the end results of your sketching session.
So, here is a reminder of basic drawing habits:
  • Make sure you have a correct vision of your plane, distorted vision can occur by simply drawing on a flat surface, to correct that try drawing on a slightly slanted surface, so your sight will fall straight on the paper.
  • Use long strokes instead of short strokes. This will help you keep your sketches clean and it will be easier for you to concentrate on the overall shape rather than just a small part of your drawing. Draw a rough outline,at this point you will decide what needs to be changed or not. Start drawing very lightly, sometimes barely touching the paper. The first lines will be your construction lines, don't worry if they are not perfect because they are so light that later on will be covered by more permanent lines.
  • Start defining forms, keep using long strokes, pay attention to perspective. At this stage you want to keep things light and kind of rough.
  • If possible, draw with your arm instead of your hand. This takes time to master but will give you great control over your drawing.
  • Start adding details. Stop every now and then. Yes, stop for a while, specially if you are engaging in a complex sketch. Go do something else for a while and go back with fresher eyes. Look at your sketch from far away both physically and emotionally. Once you see it as it if wasn't yours you can decide what to do with it. I sometimes keep mine for years before they come back to me and become paintings or finished drawings.
The most important parts of this is that you are being active at drawing and hopefully having fun while sketching things. Creating good drawing habits is easier than fixing bad drawing habits. Nevertheless both are possible and with practice good drawing habits will become second nature.

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