Sketching- A Refreshing art

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Sketching is an art to put down your emotions, your surrounding or anything that allured you.

It is a very effective way for expressing your emotions.. Sketching varies from being the one a professional artist does in preparation of his painting or a random doodling with no end goal. It is also used in a form of concise rendition with a very impactful presentation of a social awareness message.

It is an art with no rules.. Where no one can make any mistakes. Because rather than going into the specifics the essence of the element matters.

Basically there are three types of sketching:

  • Croquis
  • Pochade
  • Portrait sketch

They are not as complex as their names suggests:

  • Croquis sketch is used in order to remember the scene or a person in a more permanent type of way. Nowadays fashion designers use this term for the quick sketch of a model.
  • Pochade sketch is used to capture the atmosphere i.e. the fleeting effect of the light etc. As opposed to Croquis which is a line art Pochade deals more with the shade and atmosphere of the scene.
  • Portrait sketch is used for the artistic representation of a person with predominance given to its expression.


Conventionally it is done by using different kinds of pencils for example the professional graphite pencils (h, 2h, 3h, hb, b, 2b, 4b, 6b) and even charcoal and carbon pencils. But again it can be done using pens, ink, water colours, oil paints, pastels etc. Here the grade ‘h’ defines hardness and ‘b’ defines blackness. The ‘h’ grade pencils are hard and smudge-free so they are predominantly used for technical drawings and light sketches. The ‘b’ grade is used by the artists for brush-like expressions and smoother look.

Predominantly the sketch comprises of 5 types of strokes.

  1. Lines
  2. Cross-hatching
  3. Circular stroke
  4. Directional stroke
  5. Tapping


The different types of shades are created simply by using different type ‘b’ grade graphite pencil. This shades is done by adding layers of the strokes one after the other.

As mentioned earlier there are no specific rules for sketching. But there are few techniques for a beginner to make this experience easy and delightful!

  • Use appropriate materials.

Choose the pencil according to the type of the sketch. The ‘h’ grade pencil are hardest and used for non-bendable lines. They are mostly used in industrial drawing.

The ‘b’ grade pencil are softer and smudge easily. Hence they are used for making smudges lines and shading your drawing.

Fine art paper can be used for your sketch rather than the smooth one… As it gives nice texture and improves the overall appearance.

  • Choose a subject.

For a beginner it would be better if you use an object or an image as a base for your sketch. It’ll make it much easier than imagining it.

If you are using a physical object, than take a few minutes to observe the object thoroughly. Notice it’s source of light, make the sketch lighter and darker with accordance to the effect of the light . See if the object is in motion and make the sketch in its accordance. If it helps first visualise it in the form of primary shapes (Square, Triangle, circle etc.) and use them as a base to get the dimensions right.

If you are using an image then divide the image in equal 4,9,25 or so parts according to your convenience. Then replicate each smaller part in your drawing paper as dealing with the smaller part is much simpler than dealing with the whole. It even helps in getting the dimensions right!

  • Don’t draw heavily

Use light strokes whenever you are sketching as usually it’s a base draft of an image. Therefore always use light and lot of short quick strokes. Using light strokes even helps in erasing the mistakes.

  • Next step use darker pencil

Once after completing the rough primary sketch, use darker (6b) pencil to define the strokes more precisely and adding details to them. This strokes are also used to get the inner details right. If you want a smoother final product u can always smudge it with the help of cotton or soft cloth.

  • Erase all the extra smudge prints

Usually while using softer pencil you’ll notice smudges on the paper. So remove all this smudges by using a soft eraser lightly. Keep in mind to use a soft eraser as a putty one might tear the page.

  • Perfect your lines.

Add further details and repeat the earlier steps with them until you a satisfied with the end result. Many times the soft border gives an unprofessional look to after erasing the extra smudge u can highlight the sketch using a harder pencil (H grade).

  • Voila!

You have your beautiful sketch ready.Now you you wish you can spray fixative so that the sketch is preserved and is avoided from smudging


Sketching is not that hard as people seem to believe. There are no right and wrong in it. Above mentioned technique just makes it simpler so use them and let yourself indulge in this beautiful experience and let the magic begin!


These are some of my own attempts at sketching:


An artistic representation of a landscape.
Portrait of Marilyn Monroe.


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