Pablo Picasso once said, ‘I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else’. His quotation makes it pretty clear, that before turning a slight idea into the ready-made project, it must have been perceived and captured. What can serve better for this purpose, than a sketch? First, it becomes your draft, then the source for finding a better composition. Or the way to store your views for the future creations, you’re free to choose how to use this technique.
I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.
— Pablo Picasso
Aside from mastering the artistic skills, I also like to observe sketching through the prism of sentiments: the lines represent a certain visual image, provoked by emotions, so-called sense & accents investment in the image. Omit the affectional part and turn to pragmatism — sketches don’t require a thorough detailing and it’s not time-consuming.
This type of sketching can help out if you don’t know where to start from, because the inexhaustible abundance of plots is everywhere, just look around! Even static objects of nature can be analyzed by just watching them and finding an interesting angle. I might seem nostalgic, but back in the days my teacher used to say that mastering art includes only a drop of talent and the rest is achieved through constant work and practice. That’s why the more sketches you make, the faster you grow to the realization of a shape, structure and movement of objects.
Sketches are also necessary for the fixation of your plans, in other words, their instant visualization. They’re not necessarily a precise variant of views, provoked by the flow of imagination, but a brief focal point of the huge masterplan. By using the idea sketches, you look at the embodiment of your future creation from different perspectives and choose the desired variant. What if you don’t have an aim to pick up professional art? Then your option is to make sketches with simple shapes, lines, light, shadows or colored spots.
The Types of Sketches
Needless to say, that it’s for you to decide how the sketch will look like. But it’s just a draft, remember? You shouldn’t be afraid of a messy image, have a freelance of your thoughts and imagination. Just let yourself go.
Now when you’re psychologically prepared, moving on to the technique itself. The classic way is to start with simple contours, transferring the common vision of a form. All the accents and the object’s nature will be set with different thickness, smoothness and hardness of lines.
There exist another way of sketching, the basic one — depicting the object’s shape through a simple geometry. Initially every object possesses a plain combination of geometric bodies, concentrated in their structure, so all you have to do is to reduce a chosen piece to this form.
After planning the main shape, strat fixing it using hatching and shading. This way you can reflect the object’s texture — the harder hatches are, the rougher the object’s material is supposed to be. Logic and simple, right?
The most rare, to my mind, method of sketching is the object’s reflection through light tones and points to present of the general vision and color solution of the composition.
One more thing: don’t purposely seek for the specific sketching style. Set accents the way you feel, listening to your self. All I’m saying is that you should keep in mind the emotions, you’d like to reveal through the sketch and which overwhelm you at the moment of creation.
Inspiration can appear at any moment, sometimes you don’t even expect it. But when it suddenly hits your mind, be ready to clasp it tight and not let go.
There is a great variety of materials used for the sketches: graphite pencils of different hardness, ink, charcoal, colored pencils, pastel, watercolors, it can be even a simple pen! Don’t worry if you haven’t bought yourself a special notepad for sketching or forgotten to take it with you. Quick drawings may be done even on a random piece of paper you can find at hand.
Sketching helps you to discover the world, develop the sense of space and composition, teaches to transfer the manner of objects and capture the fleeting moments. Eventually, you begin to look closer to the world around you and search for its unusual elements. Sometimes it happens the other way round – the most common things appear in a fresh light, which eventually leads to new concepts for your design. I usually stick to the point, that work, started from a hand-drawn sketch and eventually realized in a digital way looks more alive, dynamic and emotional than the computer generated image, but of course you’re free to have your own vision of that.
One more vital thing — let sketching become a pleasant habit for you and not a strictly imposed step in drawing. As a result, the collection of your artworks will become a pantry for your thoughts by looking at which you’ll go through the same emotions and feelings, which accompanied you during the process and remind you of a place, where they were done. I also advise to study your old sketches once in a while to see some fresh variants for the realization of your ideas and track the evolution of your skills. Seems to be romantic and useful at the same time, isn’t it?