PROFESSIONAL SKETCHES IN 3 STEPS
Technique and Attitude
It is very common for beginner artists to start a new drawing and despite putting a lot of effort and time into, the result still shows lack of technique and experience. If this has happened to you, don’t panic; you are not the only one. There are different ways of improving the quality of your drawing quite easily and fast. Some would call it technique; I would say it is more of an attitude towards the way you make art. Following these 3 easy steps, it is more than certain that your next drawing will look much better!
1. Avoid those outlines
One of the first mistakes beginner artists make, is to pay too much attention and put too much effort into defining every shape on their drawing. This might be useful in very early stages of the drawing or painting, however very strong outlines rarely look good on your artwork (unless it is a feature or plays some specific role). It is good to have a rough definition of outlines to give you a feel of space, volume, planes, perspective and so on. Do remember though that losing the outlines in the end will make your artwork look more professional. How do you do that though without ending up with a very fluid and “undefined” sketch or painting?
2. Less tone, more contrast
If you look around you, there are almost no hard and bold outlines around the objects. Nevertheless, you can still see clearly the different items. Your eyes use the different colours, the shadow and light and the various tones to distinct all these different things that surround you. It is exactly the same with your drawing! You can still define the objects very well without even adding an outline; just use tone and contrast correctly!
Always keep in mind one thing: It is the contrast that makes the difference, not the amount of tone you add. A solid block of thick black has nothing to offer to your drawing. On the contrary, a good gradation between black and white can show a round surface very well. Or a very high contrast (black going directly to clean white) can show a very sharp edge. If you know how to use these, then you are a step closer to omitting the outlines and making your drawing look better. Again, if a thick block of tone is playing a specific role then of course you will have to use it; otherwise try to avoid using too much tone. Make your drawing light and airy and achieve perspective and volume by good use of gradation and contrasts.
3. Don’t be careful!
Last but not least is the lines themselves. No need to be too careful with your lines; let your hands free to create. Mark making is important and is unique for every artist. Others create very free marks and others use their pencil, charcoal or brush very neatly. Understood; however please imagine yourself as a writer. No one remembers the writers for their handwriting; they remember them for the content of their books and the character of their writing. Use the lines in the same way. Use them as a means of communicating the message but do not get bogged down to creating the perfect lines. If it comes naturally it is fine (you are lucky…) if not; live with it and make it part of your art’s character.
A little bit of extra advice
It is all about contrast and tone variation. High contrast and different tones can make objects on your drawing pop out immediately. An easy way to do this is by using complementary colours. The theory is very easy to understand and it is a matter of spending some time reading and practicing on it. You can find an easy introduction to complementary colours here.
Please do let us know what is the most common problem you face with your art. If you want to have a chat with other artists about it, feel free to join the small and friendly group: Love Sketching and Painting
What is the weakest point of your drawings? Let us know in the comments.
The Artist says:
“Sometimes achieving a better result is a matter of letting yourself and your hands free to create. This is all what art is about anyway. Some technique and theory is necessary however observing the work of established artists and practicing/experimenting with different styles will eventually give you the desired outcome.”
Love Sketching & Painting