The key to any good sketch is of course to get the drawing right! In this section I want to show you a few simple ways of drawing accurately from life, that I hope will help you.
Lines, squiggles and shapes
Your pencil can be used for much more than just drawing outlines. Take a sheet of paper and see how many different marks and shapes you can make. I've had a go at a few here. Some lines are straight, some wavy, some are circular, and others just squiggles. Some lines overlap and some don't. Some are thick (pressing hard down on the pencil edge) and some are soft (drawn with less pressure). The lines at the top left were drawn with varied pressure.
Lines can be used for a whole variety of purposes, from drawing details, through textures to shading. When you sketch try to vary your lines and the marks you make to depict these things in the best way. Don't just stick to one type of line. Be creative and it will really pay off.
Click on the picture for a larger version.
Have you ever started to draw a picture and then found that it didn't fit onto your paper? You just needed that little bit extra to the right in order to fit the door in, and there was then a large empty space to the left! Well, here's one way of making sure that your picture fits onto your page.
Look at your subject and decide where some of the major points are; things such as the corner of a building, the top of a tree, or the nose of a cow. Then plot these onto your paper with small dots, as shown here. If you can get these outer points in the right place, then you will be sure that youir drawing will fit. Easy!
Click on the picture for a full size version.
This is the quickest and easiest method you will ever come across for drawing accurately from life!
Hold your sketch pad up in front of you, and between you and the object you are drawing (in this case a house). Then close one eye, and simply put small marks on the top of the paper that line up with the peak of the roof, the sides of the windows, the chimney etc.. This will give you the exact vertical placement of all the key features and will also make sure that your drawing will fit on the page.
If you move the paper closer to you, then more of the building fits onto the page. Move the paper away from you and less of the object will fit on.
Border your sketches
To find out how borders can make or break a sketch, Click on the picture.
Pens or pencils?
Pens and pencils make different marks and can be used in different ways when sketching.
Click on the picture to find out how to get the best from both these drawing tools.
How to scale up
Click on the picture to find out how to transfer your sketch to a larger piece of paper for painting back at home.