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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 22, 2021
Headline for Top 5 Amazing Sketching Techniques You Need to Know - Five Sketching Methods That Every Artist Must Know
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Amazing Sketching Techniques You Need to Know - Five Sketching Methods That Every Artist Must Know

Whether you're a beginner just learning the ropes or a seasoned artist looking to expand your skills, honing in on new sketching techniques can only add to your creativity. Here are five useful sketching methods that will elevate your drawings to the next level.


Cross Hatching and Hatching

While hatching is considered one of the most rudimentary sketching techniques, perfecting this method of drawing can benefit your sketches in a profound way. Hatching refers to the technique that artists use to present the idea of volume by drawing lines that curve but do not touch one another. It is perhaps the best technique to demonstrate the scale of an object while Cross Hatching allows lines to intersect and the distance between each of these intersections and lines will decide how dark this area of the sketch will be.


Tonal sketching

Tonal sketching is completely different to Cross Hatching and Hatching because the lines are not visible when one sketches according to this technique. Tonal sketching involves sweeping the pencil across the paper, back and forth in a flowing and fluid manner, to achieve a certain effect. Using different pressure levels on the pencil, one can create darker and lighter tones as the effect will be darker the harder one presses and lighter when one is not exerting as much pressure on the pencil. In addition to the pressure used, one must also consider the graphite scale when engaging in tonal sketching.


Accent Lines

Those who draw often have a false perception of the actual utility of accent lines as most believe they build form. This could not be farther from the truth as accent lines can only accentuate or add a certain stylistic flair to a drawing. There are a number of accent lines artists can incorporate and of these; wood grain seems to be a popular option.


Using Erasing to Define a Drawing

While it may seem odd to consider erasure or the act of erasing as a sketching technique, what artists choose to eliminate from a drawing can have a big impact on the overall impression of a drawing. Erasing is not simply a matter of removing what is unwanted or making mistakes less apparent but a method that can define the form and enhance it. Although it may not be apparent, most Sri Lankan paintings and works of art hanging in the Sri Lankan Art Gallery have gone through many transformations during the creative process, which includes erasing. It is important to use a clean and unblemished eraser when erasing certain sections of a sketch as other colours, stains and other residues will make bringing the original white background of the paperback a more challenging task.



Blending is often considered an added layer to tonal sketching as one simply uses one's finger or another object to blend lines, colours and shades to create a more uniform surface on a painting or drawing. Those who use blending techniques often must remember to wash their hands in between as blemishes from one section of the drawing can be left on another area of the drawing if a stained finger touches the surface.

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