I have seen some comments in an FB art page asking for random tips in drawing. When some folks saw me drawing or my finished drawings, they would ask random questions.
“How do you draw the eyes?”
“How to start sketching?”
And more questions they want me to answer. I have to be honest that I can’t just answer all of these questions. But professional artists can do. In fact, I have my own way of making arts. These are from my personal learning experience.
When it comes to a comprehensive drawing guide, we need to consider choosing the proper drawing tools, shading and value, color combination and giving good finishing touches with your artwork.
So, if you’re still new in sketching and you are crazy about learning how to draw, take a look with the following basic pencil drawing techniques.
1. As much as possible minimize smudging
Well, some artists use smudging technique to work on shading on their piece. On the other hand, make sure that you won’t compromise the clean-looking value of your drawing. With the use of several tools, you can use smudging to smooth our shading. For instance, you may use a simple piece of tissue paper to finish the job.
Artist Brun Croes has a helpful advice.
“When shading, use an extra piece of paper underneath your hand. This will minimise the amount your hand smudges your pencil lines. If you’re right-handed, start shading from left to right; if you’re left-handed, start at the right and move to the left.
2. Leave some areas for texture
Texture adds life to your creation. Sometimes, we try to make the drawing clean and smooth. Yet, Patricia Ann Lewis-MacDougall, a designer, suggests that keeping some texture is a great idea.
“Some artists might find using watercolor crayons a little on the grainy side; however I like the added life the grain gives to a sketch. You don’t have to add water over the whole image. Leave some areas untouched to add a bit of texture to your sketch.”
3. The right way to sketch the sky
Do you like drawing the sky? If you feel like you’re not doing it the right way, here’s some advice from artist Marisa Lewis.
“Sometimes it’s preferable for your shading to be less sketchy and more smooth and subtle. Pencil lines don’t blend perfectly unless you’re very careful. We don’t want a sky full of scribbles unless it’s on purpose!
How to draw a ‘smooth’ sky
“Instead, use spare paper to doodle a big swatch of soft graphite or charcoal pencil, then use a large blending stick to pick up the soft dust to use for your image. Keep using the blending stick and adding more scribbles as you need more graphite. Using the same technique, start darkening some areas of the sky to define the tops of the clouds.”
4. How to make curly hairs out of simple lines
If you want to draw curly hair, here are some sketching tips from Illustrator Eva Widermann.
“Draw two straight vertical lines; these will be your guidelines for the width and length of the curl. Now loosely draw a wavy line down between the two lines.
“Double this wavy line a little below the first. You can already see a curly ribbon forming before you. Now connect the open parts on the sides, remove the guidelines, and add some details.”
5. Control your pencil
One important thing to learn while drawing is taking control of your pencil. According to illustrator Sylwia Bomba, the position of your hand holding the pencil affects your strokes and the marking it makes on the paper.
Bomba says, “If you position your hand closer to the end of the pencil, you have more control and precision, but heavier strokes (darker markings). Gripping further up the pencil will give you less control and precision, but lighter strokes (lighter markings).”
6. Play with Silhouettes
Silhouettes make a very important role in making an entire image more recognizable with the eyes. According to artist Leonardo Sala, “The purpose of finding a strong and interesting silhouette is to create an easily recognisable character that will remain clear in the visual memory of the viewer.
Now, to test if your drawings can be recognized as silhouettes, get a piece of tracing paper and trace around your character or your drawing. It’s like you are filling it with a solid color. Afterwards, show them to other people, friends and family members and ask them what they see.
If they can recognize your silhouette as a walking man, you’re doing a good job.
7. Combine symmetrical and asymmetrical parts
Symmetrical drawings are great but they look sometimes they also look boring.
Croes suggests, “A good way to prevent this is to add some subtle changes and only keep the general lines symmetrical instead of mirroring every small part. Keeping some elements asymmetrical helps to avoid boring repetition.”
8. Create different types of lines
By using various lines, with different width and darkness, you can create a dynamic and ‘visually’ interesting drawing. These add more visual impact to your drawing making it more realistic and appealing.
According to says illustrator Rovina Cai, “Controlling the kind of mark you put down can be tricky in the beginning, but with practice, you will be able to create a variety of marks that work together to make a cohesive image. Experiment with different pencil grades, (from 3H to 6B) and with holding the pencil at different angles.”