Drawing is merely transferring what is in your mind to a two-dimensional drawing surface. The process of drawing lines, shapes, and adding value on a piece of paper can create a breathtaking, realistic drawing with some simple sketching tips.
Drawing is a skill that can be learned, just like learning how to sing or play the guitar.
Learning some simple sketching tips and practicing the sketching tips outlined in this post will make your drawings pop off your drawing surface
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on an affiliate link, Nevue Fine Art Marketing may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, Skimlinks, SareASale and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
What Is Sketching
Sketching is a freehand drawing technique to create a representation of the final design or illustration.
Drawing, on the other hand, is more detailed.
Tips When Sketching
Sketches are light, free-flowing lines that map out a subject.
Place your hand at the end of the pencil. On the opposite side of the lead and use a light grip.
Do not be concerned about drawing perfect lines or circles at this point.
Focus on the general shapes of objects instead of working towards perfection.
The final drawing is for concentrating on details.
In my drawing tutorial, I start by showing you how to sketch the subject’s outline.
Then I will show you how to add details to make the subject look realistic.
Here are some drawing tutorials that you can try to enhance your sketching skills.
- How To Draw A Radish
- How To Draw A Pear
- How To Draw A Lemon
- How To Draw A Pumpkin
- How To Draw A Banana
- How To Draw An Apple
For more sketching ideas visit, Over 100 Ideas Of What To Draw And Sketch
Drawing Tips For Beginners
Now that you have become more comfortable with your sketching skills let’s talk about how to make your drawings pop off the drawing surface.
Adding value to a subject and watching it come to life is my favorite part of the drawing.
Know Your Pencils
Graphite grading scales measure the hardness of a pencil’s graphite core.
The letter “H” indicates a hard pencil.
The harder the graphite core is, the lighter the line will be on your drawing surface.
The higher the number is, the harder the graphite core will be
The lower the number is, the softer the graphite will be.
Common “H” pencils:
“B” indicates the darkness of a pencil’s mark.
The higher the number is, the softer the lead will be.
The softer the lead the darker the mark will be on your drawing surface.
Common “B” pencils
- You will also have an HB grade. This grade is in the middle of the “H” and “B” grades.
- Draw a box with each grade of a pencil to understand the value each pencil offers. This is one of the best drawing tips for beginners.
- Having the right pencil for shading is crucial, and this exercise will help you know what pencil will be appropriate for every situation you encounter.
These are my favorite drawing pencils.
Best Paper For Drawing
There are so many different drawing and sketching paper brands available, and I think I have tried them all over the years.
I will share my favorite drawing papers for sketching and final drawings.
Final Drawing Paper
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Smooth
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Velum
Related Post – Strathmore Bristol Smooth Paper Review
How To Hold Your Pencil
Gripping further from the pencil’s tip will give you lighter, looser lines. This grip is often used for sketching and drawing light values.
Gripping closer to the tip will provide you with more control and precision.
Practice with both grips so you can use them on your final drawings.
Three Pencil Points For Shading
There are three different pencil tips I use for my drawings, and each pencil tip will produce different results, which will help you draw different textures.
- Sharp Point
- Rounded (Dull) Point
- Chisel Point
You can read more by visiting 3 Different Pencil Points For Shading
Practice Drawing With An Eraser
There are different erasers used by graphite artists, and you will want to learn how to use each type for your realism drawings.
Erasers Used For Realism Drawings
- General’s Factis Magic Black Eraser
- Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser
- Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers
- Alvin Dry Cleaning Pad
There will be times when you are creating a pencil drawing that you will need to remove a line, lighten a line, or create a straight edge.
Practicing drawing with an eraser will allow you to make the best decision every time for your drawings.
To learn more, visit Drawing With An Eraser
Elements of shading
Understanding the elements of shading and how light reacts to objects will help you to create photo-realistic drawings
The 5 elements of shading are:
Full Light – This is the area on an object where the light source hits it at full strength.
Halftone – This is the area on an object with the middle value. It is neither indirect light nor shadows.
Core Shadow – This is the darkest tone of an area on the object where light is blocked from hitting the object. For example, it will be where the sphere curves away from the light but not at the very edge of the sphere.
Reflected light – This separates the darkness of the core shadow from the darkness of the cast shadow. It is a lighter value that outlines the edge of an object.
Cast Shadow – This will be the darkest value on your drawing. It is the opposite side of the light source and blocked by an object. For example, it will be where the sphere meets a surface on the opposite side of the light source. This is the area where light does not hit.
Learn more by visiting Drawing Tips For Realistic Drawings – The Elements Of Shading
You will want to become familiar with different types of shading techniques, so you can draw accurate textures of different subjects.
Hatching – shading with closely drawn parallel lines.
Cross-hatching – shading with intersecting sets of parallel lines.
Stippling – the process of drawing, painting, or engraving using numerous small dots or specks.
Small circles – shading with small circular motions
Scribbling – shading with the use of different lines
Blending – blending graphite with a blending tool like a Tortillon or Blending Stumps
How To Draw Smooth Values
A final drawing can take many hours before it can be called finished.
Some drawings have taken me up to 40 hours to complete, and this is because it takes time to build up values that will create a realistic drawing.
- Start by applying your pencil lines softly and in the same direction.
- Build value using different pencil grades, not by pressing too hard on the drawing surface.
- The first layer of graphite should be done with a 2H pencil.
- Start with the darkest areas and work towards the lighter values.
- Keep drawing over the area with the 2H pencil until you have reached the maximum darkness your pencil can produce.
- Take your HB pencil and add more value to the area, starting with the darkest part and work towards the lighter area.
- Continue this step with your 2B pencil, 4B pencil, and 6B pencil if needed.
Sometimes values will play tricks on your eyes. Some areas might appear lighter or darker.
Using a Gray Scale and Value Finder will help you see the different values of an area you are working on.
Control Your Lines
Different lines will create different dynamics in your drawings.
Your lines’ subtle thicknesses and darkness will create an exciting drawing that your viewers will admire.
Practice drawing thin, thick, light, and dark lines with different grades of pencils.
Protect Your Drawing Paper
Never touch the drawing surface with your fingers.
Oils from your hands will be transferred to your drawing paper even if your hands are clean.
The oils will make it impossible for you to draw soft subtle value changes.
Place a piece of paper between your hand and your drawing paper when you are drawing.
To learn more, visit How To Keep Graphite Drawings Clean.
I recommend storing your drawings in a portfolio when you are not drawing.
There is nothing more frustrating than working on a drawing for 20 hours and having it ruined because it got dirty because you left it out.
Anyone can learn how to draw. By practicing these pencil sketching tips and tips for drawing, you will further enhance your drawing skills.
Keep practicing the sketching tips until you feel comfortable and confident with your lines.