Manish Suri Jammu – Tips for Free Hand Pencil Sketching


Free hand sketching is the way to express your imagination on a canvas or on a paper without any device like ruler and protector. It is an art and art flourish when it becomes a passion. If someone wants to be a good at it then he or she should sketch daily and should take care of some basic tips of sketching. Here I would like to share some tips for free hand pencil sketching.

1. As we know, we can’t draw without a pencil. So, it becomes a most essential tool of sketching. Some pencils have hard graphite and some has soft. It is specified on the side of the pencil. ‘H’ refers to hard, ‘B’ refers to soft and ‘HB’ refers to medium graphite. To start a drawing use ‘H’ pencil and for detailing use ‘B’ pencil.

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2. Draw basic shapes initially. Use light strokes for these and then add more details further.

3. For the better control and strokes on the sketch, hold the pencil from the bottom. But for the lighter strokes and less control clutch the pencil from the top.

4. Never smudge a drawing by placing a paper or a tissue beneath your hand. It will ruin your drawing. A right hander artist should use left hand for smudging and a left hander opposite to it.

5. Some beginners use their fingers to blend. It doesn’t give a smooth and perfect look to sketch because oil form your skin doesn’t let the graphite away. Always use a blending stick to blend.

6. Always go from light to dark area when shading. Otherwise dark graphite will stick to your tool and will make your sketch untidy when you go to the light area.

7. Use different styles for shading like hatching, cross hatching, stippling, scribbling, small circles and finger blend.

8. In a sketch, all the texture should be different. It can’t be the same for skin and nature. Use of appropriate technique will make a sketch more defined.

9. Variety of lines should be used in a drawing. It makes the sketch more alive and fascinating. Combination of dark, thin, wide and light lines makes a sketch lively.

10. For symmetry always use grid lines. But sometimes evenness looks very dull. So, to avoid the dullness in the sketch, use symmetry for main lines only and rest of the lines could be unsymmetrical.

11. The outlines of a sketch should always be light.

12. You can use some color pencils, water color or pastel colors in your drawing too.

These are some basic tips for free hand sketching. I will try to add more and more from time to time.