Now you might be thinking that the ability to draw well is something that you’re either born with or without, but like the vast majority of skills, drawing is something that you can improve on and develop with practice. Even if you can only draw the most abstract representations, by following a few of these tips and tricks you’ll find that your sketching will be massively improved.
Use Different Pencils
While it might be tempting to stick with your usual HB pencil when sketching, you’ll find that different pencils can actually have wildly different results for your work. The best advice is of course to experiment, you can pick up a set of pencils for a relatively low price, and this will really help you to find which pencils you prefer for different tasks.
Switch Up Your Pencil Grips
When you pick up a pen or pencil you’ll probably find yourself using the same grip every time, this is most likely the way that you’ve learned to hold them for writing with. As difficult as it might initially seem, you have to try and resist the urge to revert to this grip whenever you hold a writing utensil. Gripping a pencil closer to its point will give you lots of control but a heavier line, while holding it further back will result in a lighter line but with less control. Try holding your pencil in a few different grips and you’ll soon find a few that work best for your different uses.
Research may seem a bit antithetical to the image of an artist picking up a pencil and drawing the perfect image straight from their imagination, but the reality of drawing is that you’ll be spending a large portion of your time researching and observing. Taking the time to research and really look at the subject of your drawing will help you to appreciate the subtleties and details of its shape and shading. Even when you’re constructing an image entirely from your imagination it can be useful to look at similar pieces of work to draw inspiration from.
Use Different Strokes
In much the same way that holding your pencil differently can result in a variety of looks, using the full range of diverse strokes of the pencil will give you drastically different results. Try using different strokes for different uses, heavier strokes for outlines and lighter ones for shading. I’d also recommend adding variety to your longer strokes and outlines, this will help to break up your image and maintain the viewers’ interest.
Yeah, so this one probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but it really can’t be said enough. If you don’t take the time to practice, then you won’t improve. So, take some time every day to sit down and do a little sketching. It’s a good idea to carry a little sketchbook with you so that you can always hash out a little sketch when the mood takes you. Don’t worry too much about what you’re drawing, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It is the practice that is important, not the results.