How to Sketch? Sketching Tips for Beginners

Hey guys. Welcome back to another post of Art Tindouf where we get creative every single Thursday here on this blog. And since so many of you guys requested it, I will share some tips and tricks on how to sketch that are perfect for any beginner.


Let’s start with the materials. Obviously one of the things you will need is paper. I would recommend using paper for drawing and sketching because it has a nice texture, but of course, you can use any paper you have, even print paper. And you will also need pencils.

A lot of you guys asked me about the difference between all the letters, H and B, and all their numbers. That’s why I wanted to give you a quick overview. So for H pencils, the higher the number, the lighter and harder the pencil becomes. An HB pencil is something in the middle of an H and a B pencil, which I also use most of the times for quick sketches and drawings.

H pencils are great for sketching thin and non-blendable lines. As you can see, the lighter the number of my H pencil is, the lighter the shading becomes. So with these pencils, you can basically only get lighter and lighter. B pencils, on the other hand, are different. The higher the number of the B pencil is, the darker and softer the pencil becomes.

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B pencils are usually used for sketching lines that are all blurry and smudged, and also of course for shading because, as I said earlier, they are softer and you can blend them and you can create darker shades with them as well. You don’t need all of these pencils. I usually don’t use H pencils that much but to have one H pencil and a few B pencils such as two, four, and six are a great start.

Okay, another thing you can also use is a tissue paper for blending instead of any special tools. I wouldn’t recommend using your fingers as you will add only add oil to the paper through your fingers and ruin the drawing. And since no one is perfect, you can also use an eraser. Let’s start with the basics that are so simple but really important when it comes to sketching anything you want.

Basic Tips For Starting Sketching

Before you start sketching, pay attention to how you actually hold your pencil. Make sure you don’t hold the pencil super-tightly at the very tip of the pencil. You will not only have difficulties moving the pencil while sketching, but you will also only be able to draw in a short distance. It’s okay if you want to draw details but when it comes to sketching, holding the pencil loosely is key.

That’s why I try to hold it a few centimeters away from the tip between your fingers. This way you will be able to move your hand more easily by moving your fingers and your wrist. As you all know, we sometimes get super stressed out whenever we are about to start drawing something and focus so much on making it perfect, but it’s really important to just relax and loosen up when you sketch.

That’s why I would recommend starting with drawing loose lines, circles, curves, just to warm up your hand. Do it very loosely. Don’t focus on creating a perfect line. It’s not the point of sketching. Okay, now before we start, choose the object you want to draw.

Choose Your Object

You can use anything you find on your desk or you can also just use a picture for a reference, and of course, you can also just draw from your imagination.

Sketching is all about capturing what you see by breaking it down into basic shapes. Even if you just want to draw a circle, it’s easier to start with simple lines and to work your way to the final shape you are going for. A sketch would be the base or a draft of an idea, an image you want to create, not the final piece of work.

Therefore, try to keep your hand relaxed and move it lightly with lots of short, quick strokes. Use minimal pressure to create the foundation of your sketch. This will make sketching a lot easier because it will help you to create the overall shape of the object you are going for without committing to one single line that, well, might be crooked and hard to erase later on.

I believe lots of us forget that sketching is all about exploring different ideas, trying things out, and having fun while practicing drawing. So let go of the mentality that everything needs to be perfect. There is no such thing. So have fun and sketch the outlines loosely and find the shape little by little.

And when you finally get the overall shape, you can use a B pencil and start outlining the shape with a darker line. Here I’m using a 2B pencil. So try out this approach where you start with loose lines that you create and form into the shape that you plan on drawing. Now once you’re happy with the overall sketch, you can now make it look more three-dimensional by shading it.

There are different ways how you can do that. By hatching and cross-hatching where you either add shadows by simple lines or by crossover lines. You can contour and cross-contour by following the shape of the object. But you can also add shadows with random lines that might not make sense.

Or you can add them by stippling or simply by just smudging the pencil, following the shape of the object. I won’t go into details here because it’s a topic for a whole new video. I just wanted to give you a quick overview. Just try out different techniques and decide which technique you like best. This is a great way to finding your own unique sketching style as well.

Pay Attention to the Light Source

Now before you start shading, it’s important to find a light source as this is going to decide where you have to add the shadows and the highlights. Where does the light come from? As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s important to pay attention to the overall shape of the object. This is always important when it comes to shading it.

So we’ll start at the darkest spot that gets the least amount of light, and then blend it out to the brighter areas by using any of the shading techniques I showed you. If you draw something that is square, you don’t want to use curved lines for shading. Rather, follow the shape of the object while shading it.

If you want, you can also use a blending tool or a tissue paper and blend out the sketched-out shadows following the shape of the object. This will create a smooth surface but you can also just keep it the way it is, as all the different shading techniques give the sketch a really nice feel and character, but remember, we are just sketching here.

We’re not creating a masterpiece. Don’t feel like it has to look perfect. It doesn’t have to. This is only a sketch, a draft for future reference or just for practicing drawing. Try to get rid of this perfectionist mentality I was talking about earlier. If something looks horrible, it’s okay. You’re here to practice. Don’t beat yourself up if it looks ugly.

Embrace it. I believe that it’s better to create 10 ugly and unperfect art pieces than none because you can use all the knowledge that you gained by sketching and drawing all these art pieces for your next work that will look amazing. Just give your best, practice, and remember to have fun.

I really hope you enjoyed this video and found it helpful. If so, don’t forget to give this video a thumbs-up to support this channel. It will mean a lot to me. And if you’re new to this channel, don’t forget to subscribe and to click on the bar to get notified whenever I put a new video on Thursday and on Saturdays.

Thank you so much for reading, guys. Have a wonderful day, and I will see you on Saturday. Bye!

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