10 ways Beginner’s Guide to Sketching will help you to become a master sketcher

Looking to improve your creativity this winter? Discover the best ways to warm up before sketching in this glimpse inside Beginner's Guide to Sketching

Looking to improve your creativity this winter? Discover the best ways to warm up before sketching in this glimpse inside Beginner's Guide to Sketching

Sketching can be used as a constructive visual-thinking tool. Often enough people exclaim that "I'm not a real artist” or "I can't draw.” The artistic quality of sketches is not always the main point; in fact the goal of sketching is exploratory. Sketching is about generating concepts, solving problems, and communicating ideas more effectively. You can choose how far you take a sketch, whether it's refined or rough and expressive. Either way it adds a dimension of momentum to a drawing that can't be achieved from picking up a pen and pad once every few months.

Here we wanted to take a look at the contents of Beginner's Guide to Sketching to give you some extra motivation for the cold, wintery months ahead. We hope it leaves you wanting to grab the nearest pencil and begin your creative adventure!

"No matter when you start your creative journey, it's important how you start”

Sylwia Bomba

1. Learn which tools to use and why

Talented drawing instructor Sylwia Bomba (who has produced artwork for businesses including Coca-Cola, Pixar, and Ikea) kicks off the book with a helpful section on getting to know your materials and tools. Find out which grade of pencil, sketchbook paper, and eraser is best to use for your purposes and discover how you can use blending tools and markers for different effects. For instance did you know that the oils in your skin can cause smudges that are difficult to erase, so it can be best to avoid smudging with your fingers?

2. Discover the basics of shading

Sylwia also contributes a comprehensive guide to the fundamental techniques of sketching so that any beginner will know where to start and how to develop their drawings to create the illusion of a three-dimensional object. Here you'll learn how to create highlights and shadow to mimic the effects of volume and form – an essential skill for any artist.

3. Dabble in a variety of mark-making techniques

From contour lines and hatching to circular lines and stippling, you'll become familiar with a range of mark-making methods that will allow you to add a bit of extra excitement to your sketch.

4. Warm up correctly before starting your sketching journey

After demonstrating the range of marks you can make in your sketchbook, Sylwia then walks you through some different warm-up exercises to get you started. Click on the image below to test out the book by downloading a free sample of this section!

5. Master the best ways to add color to your creations

Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy artist Patricia Ann Lewis-MacDougall then offers her expert advice in the sketching in color section of the book. Using watercolor pencils and a color wheel, you'll be producing beautiful sketches such as this one here in no time!

6. Be enlightened by pro tips to tackle tricky subjects

In the quick tips section of the book you'll discover how to take your sketches to the next level by learning how to mark out hair, creature eyes, feathers, grass, colored landscapes, and more! Featuring advice from artists such as Leonardo Sala and Eva Wildermann, you'll be able to pick up the best ways to add those little details to your drawings.

Images by Eva Wildermann

7. Grasp how to incorporate a character, creature, and environment into one sketch

In the final section of the book, four incredible artists including Brun Croes and Justin Gerard talk you through their workflow for developing a character and creature, and bringing everything together in a final scene. Discover the benefits of starting with thumbnail drawings before moving on to the sketch as a whole to produce unique characters and settings such as this witch by Rovina Cai.

8. Get behind the thought process of professional artists

Sketching is not always just about putting pencil on paper; when coming up with new ideas, using your imagination to consider all angles of a story is also key. Through observing different artists' approaches to creating a complete sketch step-by-step, you'll understand how they develop their characters and scenes to fit a brief - an important skill if you want to work in the industry.

Brun Croes

9. Pick up trouble-shooting tips from the experts

As each artist in the final section of the book works through their process for sketching a scene complete with creatures and characters, they'll share with you their best tips such as practicing facial expressions in the mirror and this trouble-shooting one here.

Justin Gerard

10. Get enjoyment from seeing your progression

Perhaps most importantly of all, you'll have fun learning from this book. At times you may be frustrated as your sketches aren't quite what you intended them to be, but with practice you'll be able to step back and take pride in what you've achieved!


We'd like to give a quick thank you to a friend of 3dtotal who joined us for a week earlier this year and contributed to this feature!

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