Sketching

When you’re beginning to learn to draw, picking up a pencil is generally the first thing you do. But, that’s where many of us stop; we learn how to doodle, but don’t go beyond the basics. If you’re unfamiliar with drawing with a pencil—beyond stick figures or scribbles—there are sketch techniques that you need to know.

Learn about graphite.

Graphite comes in a variety of scales. Did you ever notice that your standard pencil says HB? That’s not arbitrary — it refers to the density of the lead. A pencil that says “H” is going to be harder and will therefore make lighter, crisper lines. Alternatively, a “B” indicates that the graphite is soft, and it’s perfect for drawing deep, rich darks. So, HB is right in the middle. I like it for sketching.


Paper is important.

Like graphite, your paper choices are seemingly endless. It can vary in tone “warm” or “cool” and texture — with a smooth finish.


Hatching and cross hatching.

Hatching is one of the most basic drawing techniques. To create volume and shading, draw lines that follow the curve of a line. These lines do not touch. Cross hatching is layered hatching, where the lines intersect. The distance between the lines and intersections will determine how dark an area is.


Blending.

Build on the tonal technique with blending. Simply use your finger or blending stick to create a smooth, even surface.

There is so much more to creating an interesting sketch than marking a quick outline.

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