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  • Guide to Quick Sketching

    Sketching is the shortest exercise for improving drawing skills, and it is also one of the most effective. Even those who seriously study art often neglect sketching, hastening to move to “real” works, but this is a wrong way to do. Only sketching will help you to:

    1) think everything over, make up your mind and take all decisions beforehand
    2) get rid of many corrections, because a good draft is 50% work done
    3) just keep yourself toned and constantly train the “hand-eye-brain” connection.

    How much time does sketching take?

    One sketch may last for several seconds to 30 minutes. Sketching also involves using minimum tools or means. In point of fact, sketching for artists is similar to practicing scales for musitians. They usually do not have any artistic value but their aim is to develop your hands, eye sight measurement and improve drawing skills.

    What to draw?

    Of course, it’s great if you have many interesting places and objects around you. Maybe you have an opportunity to go sketcing to a nature museum or to the narrow streets of an old town. But if this is not your case, anything will do. Earphones, books, cups and plates, clothes and shoes, your relatives and pets. You may either draw just everything you meet, or choose a theme deliberately.

    How to draw?

    Theoretically, there are three kinds of sketches:
    1) linear, including croquis, i.e. super quick sketches with one line or minimum lines
    2) two-tone (the volume of objects is shown with just two tones: light / shadow)
    3) spot (the whole object is shown with a single silhouette),

    Types of sketches
    (All the pictures here and below are taken from my Pinterest. The rights to the images belong to their authors.)

    and their various combinations. A very popular mode of sketching is that using the liner or gel pen with watercolor spots or pencil hatchwork. Spot sketches occur more rarely, but they are also very useful because they train you thing quickly, while the paint is still wet. You also may sketch multi-object compositions, where the objects that are more distant are just drawn with lighter tone.

    Alternatively, you may set to yourself a challenge to draw an object as quickly as possible and with minimum number of lines. This is a super efficient training for your eye and a way to make your hand more steady. It is highly recommended for those who draw with uneven “hairy” lines. It is also useful if your model won’t sit quietly (e.g. children or cats).

    Remember the following requirements to doing sketches:
    1) Set yourself a task and choose a format! E.g., you might decide to make 6 sketches from nature, 2 pcs. per A4 sheet. This will organize you and make you better weigh your actions.
    2) Try to “capture” the proportions, movement and character of your object. This is the most important point.
    3) Try not to make corrections. If you spoiled a sheet — do not try to fix it, start it anew.
    4) Draw from the general to the special, from a bigger form to minor details. This is a universal principle, by the way.
    5) Drawing a human, start from the feet and make sure the waist and the head are correspond to the feet position, for your figure to stand still and straight.

    And, finally, remember that the quick sketch must remain quick, without many details and working-through. Remember about your timing, e.g., 10 min. per 1 sketch.

    Well, and of course, do sketching regularly, ideally everyday — and your skill will surely improve!

    Sketching in Progress

    Did you like my article? Please share with your friends 🙂 If your have questions or notices — please drop me a line in the comments.

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