Becoming an Expert Sketch Artist One Step at a Time

Sketching is the art of translating real life onto paper. Becoming an accomplished sketch artist is highly important, no matter what art form you practice. Almost every degree at RMCAD, from Fashion Design to Game Art, requires sketching as a fundamental skill. Accurately converting the beauty of the real world onto a piece of paper is vital to success in a fine arts degree, so here are five tips to help you become an expert sketch artist.

1. Perfect the basics
Most sketches are a combination of the same basic techniques. Mastering shape, form and lighting may sound simple, but it is the simplest aspects that make a piece truly great. Being able to depict something you see into something that someone else can recognize involves understanding physics. We don’t make you take Physics 101, but we do suggest that you pay attention to the world around you and the effects light, gravity, air and density have on different objects.

2. Learn from experts
Observing other’s work and paying attention to their technique can be a huge help when polishing your sketching skills. Watch your teachers closely and ask other great sketch artists in your classes how they learned to perfect a difficult technique. Using the internet as a resource can also be helpful. There are endless amounts of sketching videos explaining and demonstrating how to draw different things.

3. Get the right tools
It is also important to have the correct supplies for sketching, which can really improve your final products. This includes making sure you have the appropriate materials to draw with, draw on and erase with. Check out some local stores for supplies and ask your fellow classmates and professors for recommendations on the best tools for specific projects. Some projects require adding color from colored pencils or pens, pastels, or even watercolors, so make sure you have everything you need before starting your piece.

4. Practice
Getting in lots of hours of sketching is one of the most important things you can do to improve your technique. Try focusing on the aspects that you are struggling with, and over time, we promise you will start to see improvements. The only way to become an expert is to put in a lot of practice, so try to fit some sketching time into your daily schedule. Even a few minutes a day can help prevent artist’s block and improve your skills.

5. Be kind to yourself as you learn
We do not become masters at anything overnight. Muscle memory takes a while to build and certain techniques can take a lifetime to truly perfect. The most important thing is to not give up when you struggle or when a finished piece doesn’t look quite right. Get a good eraser for mistakes, and try again!

We hope that some of these tips help you on your journey as an artist! For more art tips and tricks, be sure to keep up with the RMCAD blog.