Sketching - Techniques

Drawing in pencil – Step by Step
This help was provided by Colleen. If you want more help, feel free to email her here.

Choose the picture you want to draw from. Something you enjoy looking at.

This picture is one that I have used to teach my kids how to draw using the grid system.

The best and easiest way to draw something is to use what is called the “gridding method”. This method will help train your eye to see “each separate shape” on the page. It breaks your picture down into manageable sections. Our brain tends to want to look at the “picture as a whole”, and makes us draw how we “think” something should look, rather than drawing what we actually see on the paper.

First you draw a ½” x ½” (or 1” x 1”) grid over your chosen picture. Then you draw a corresponding grid (very, very lightly) on your drawing paper.

Keep in mind that drawing from a grid, and tracing are excellent tools to help you learn. They teach you to see the perspective and depth of your picture, and help you render an accurate outline as well.

Once you have your grids completed, you just start wherever you want to and draw each section on to your drawing paper. Sometimes it helps to try and look at things as shapes… for example… the pupil and iris of the eyes are circles, the tip of the nose is almost always a sphere shape, while the nose itself is a triangular shape, etc.

After you have completed your outline… you erase your gridlines, and start filling in your detail. This is where you will use your blending stumps a lot. Do your shading according to how dark or light it is in the picture you are drawing from, then use your blending stumps to smooth your shading out and blend it together so the transition from light to dark is smooth.

Remember to put a piece of paper or Kleenex between your drawing hand and the paper you are drawing, to reduce the chances of smudging and smearing on the page.