How to Start Sketching – Beginner’s Guide


A sketch is referred to as a freehand drawing. It may be a draft version or a rough outline of the final piece of work. It may or may not be regarded as finished work. It might be something that an artist sees or an idea or principle or a demonstration. Sketching is the most inexpensive art medium.

Sketches can be made in any drawing medium. It can be done in silver point, graphite, pencil, charcoal or pastel. Pen and ink, such as a digital pen, ballpoint pen, marker pen, water colour and oil paint can also be used.

So, are you ready to get started with sketching

Step1: Get your tools and mindset ready

For starters, sketching only needs a pen, paper and creativity. It’s always a good idea to warm up a bit and get your drawing muscles loosen up. As you get comfortable, let the creativity flow.

Check here for different types of pencils.

Step 2: Make hand-eye coordination

Train your hand-eye coordination a bit. Practice drawing a few straight and curved lines – both long and short. Then draw a few round shapes like circles and ellipses. Try to vary the size and pressure of your pen/pencil. Register any changes that you see if you draw with your entire arm or locking the elbow and wrist.

Step 3: Start with baby steps

Sketching, especially for beginners, is all about exploring and making all the possible mistakes. All objects can be broken down into basic shapes. So, start sketching loosely with simple shapes and light lines. Don’t bother about getting the perfect curves or shape. Try to get the outline and proportions right. This will produce a perfect draft that you can work with and refine at later stage.

Step 4: Refine

Once you have the outline ready, find areas that need improvement. Try to sharpen the curves, edges, lines, angles and sketch until you get your desired result.

Step 5: Define

In this stage, try to make defined shapes, add more volume, draw confident bold and light lines, introduce few details and texture in few places.  

Step 6: Practice

No matter what you do, practice makes one perfect. If you want to get better at sketching, the same advice applies: keep practicing.Steadily working on perfecting your skills will help you grow as an artist and push you to learn new skills.

Kalavidhi Art-vantages!

  1. Keep the 70/30 Rule in Mind – To achieve the main focus on a particular part of your sketch, fill 30% of your sketch with details and use the rest (70%) of the area as filler.
  2. The greater the variety of lines, the better
  3. Don’t be a perfectionist
  4. Focus on the overall shape instead of the details
  5. Use a gentle amount of pressure
  6. Symmetry is not always visually interesting
  7. Avoid smudging

Share your sketches on Instagram and FB, tag Kalavidhi Arts and get featured on Kalavidhi Arts Instagram and Facebook page.

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