Artsy#4 – Sketching Is A Mind Game…

The title of this post sounds kind of mysterious, doesn’t it? But it has a lot to do in the practice of sketching. Let’s talk about that first, then some exercises.

This week I got through the 39 pages of the book. The first part was about the mental side of sketching. Liron, the author, assured me that I can learn to be a passable sketcher as long as my mind is in the game. As mentioned in the last post, practice is an essential part of that mindset. It also has to do with visual intelligence. Sketching is about observation and perception, but it is also about gravity and perspective and other such mundane things. You need to understand why things look the way they do.

As Liron says, sketching is also about curiosity and variety. I kinda like this idea. It’s basically about once you get the basics down you need to constantly try different paths of your new skill.

Read below to see what all this gibberish means 🥴

The Basics

I thought I learned in grade school how to hold a pencil, but now I have been told that there are many ways to do that to make your sketching easier and better.

The image above looks like scribbling, but it is actually what I ended up with at this first paper and pencil lesson.

  1. I was asked to do was to draw a series of horizontal lines
  2. Then draw some arches
  3. Then some squiggles
  4. The final exercise was to put two dots on the paper and then to draw a straight line between them.

After these exercises, it finally dawned on me that I had a long way to go. 🤪 The top half of the above image is what I drew.

Then the way to make things better came.

I found that as Liron said, I could not draw a straight line more than 3 inches or so before I stopped and then continue. The reason for that is because of how I was holding the pencil. The secret to making better straight lines and curves is to hold the pencil at about 20 degrees above the paper and hold it towards its back. The other thing is to draw away from you from left to right. If you are left-handed do the reverse.

For short lines pivot with your wrist. For longer lines pull your hand off the paper, and you will naturally then pivot with your elbow.

Squiggles are easy to make, but you should try to do them without lifting the pencil off the paper. Exercise 4 of drawing two dots and connecting them is harder than I thought. The secret to doing that is to gaze between the two dot instead of looking at them separately.

The final advice from Liron is

“Realize that sketching is nothing but a multitude of lines. This is important”

Next time we will get into the “baby steps” of drawing. I think this new skill will be quite fun. ☺︎

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