Learning How To Sketch

When learning how to sketch, having the right types of supplies and a few simple exercises can get you well on your way to creating great sketches.

Sketching is not the same thing as drawing. The goal of sketching is to create a simple black and white drawing that captures the general idea of what you would like to draw. Sketching is the first step to creating a drawing or painting. To begin sketching, you will need sketching paper, sketching pencils, and an eraser. Sketch pads can be found at most stores including your local grocery store or pharmacy. For sketch pencils and a quality eraser, you will need to visit your local craft store such as Hobby Lobby or Michael's. You can purchase sketch pencils separately or in a set. The most important pencil to have to begin in a 2B. This is a softer lead that will allow you to create lighter and darker lines and it easy to erase.

1. For your first exercise, find a very simple line drawing. It should be an outline with simple lines and angles. Look for something without shading or color. Turn the drawing upside down. Now, without lifting your pencil, begin to copy the drawing. Pay close attention to the length of lines as well as curves and angles. The goal is not to create a beautiful work of art, but instead to become comfortable with creating lines. By drawing the picture upside down, you are less focused on what the picture is and more focused on creating the lines. Make several of these drawings until you feel comfortable.

2. For the second exercise, choose something around your home to draw that has meaning to you. You may choose a kitchen knife, a book, a spatula, a hammer, or anything else you find. It should be relatively simple in its lines. Don't choose a person or a pet. Again, without lifting your pencil from the paper, use your eyes and follow the lines of the object to create a general outline of the object. Don't be afraid to add in details such as the contrast in color between the knife blade and handle or the slots in a spatula. Create several of these sketches before moving on.

3. For the final exercise, choose an object that has overlapping parts such as your car keys, a stack of CDs, or a still life arrangement like a cluster of fruit or cups. Focus on creating what you see. Many beginning sketchers seem to have x-ray vision. Remember, only draw what you can see. If you need to, sketch what is under or behind an object, then use your eraser to remove lines that you can't actually see. Create several of this type of sketch.

After completing these exercises, you will have a much better eye for the lines and shapes that are in the objects that you see everyday. Expand your drawings. Try sketching anything you see, Carry a small sketch pad and pencil with you wherever you go. Remember, with sketching, you aren't trying to create a finished work of art, but instead capture the essence of the idea.

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