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15 Genius Sketching Hacks You Wish You Knew!

Sketching Hacks

The most fundamental and essential skill that most artists begin with and progressively improve over time is sketching. It serves as the framework for paintings, the place where you can experiment with and polish compositions. Not to mention a lot of artists face difficulty in finding the right texture paper, right supplies, proportions, alignment and so much more. To make your sketching experience hassle-free, Rooftop gathered 15 sketching hacks that you should use every time you find yourself with a sketchbook!

Know Your Tools

Choosing the appropriate tools before beginning a sketch is an important step. The hardness of the graphite pencil, the types of pens and papers you can use, depending on the piece you are sketching and the degree of your ability. Choose the appropriate supplies and trust us. You save a tonne of time this way!

Painters Tape

painters tape
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Taping the corners or border of your paper by measuring equally from the edges is a hack you can use to achieve a neat and professional finished product. This helps to create a sharp border and a mess-free appearance.

Two Pencils

Saving time is equally vital when comes to sketching hacks, hence it is recommended to use two pencils, one with a sharper tip for detailed work and the other with a rounded tip for efficient shading.

The 70/30 Rule

This concept talks about how the major emphasis and details should take up 30% of your sketch, while the remaining 70% should be filled up with filler. This less appealing section aids in drawing attention to the centrepiece of your artwork.

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It’s not necessary for symmetrical drawings to be monotonous and repetitive. To avoid this, make some modifications while maintaining broad symmetry rather than mirroring every tiny component. Avoiding tedious repetition is made easier by keeping certain aspects asymmetrical.

Extra Sheet Of Paper

You can use a different sheet of paper for a draft drawing and another sheet for your final result if you find yourself having to recreate sketches more frequently to get your end product.

Place A Paper Under Your Hand

Use a piece of blank paper underneath your hand when sketching to prevent the oil residue in your fingers from adhering to the graphite and causing smudges.

Carry Your Sketchbook Everywhere

Image credit: Verb now

Pick a sketchbook that fits conveniently in your bag so you can take it with you everywhere you go. Try to make sketching a regular practice; you’ll soon notice a significant improvement in your abilities.

Observe Compositions Around You

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Practice with perspective and size can be easy. A decent place to start is by looking at pictures with generally realistic scales and perspectives. The arrangement of the different elements inside a piece of art is referred to as composition. 

Shade In Different Directions

To avoid ridges you can shade in multiple directions as it lets you shade smoothly. Sketching is a skill that gets better over time. Practice makes perfect, but also knowing the right tips and tricks can make your journey easier. Here at Rooftop we offer a variety of art workshops that you learn from and grow from. One such workshop is ‘Urban Sketching’, where you learn everything you need to know about sketching from certified artists and mentors. Head on over to Rooftop to begin your journey with us!

Edge Control

Objects have solid borders with thin, sharp edges. The edge becomes suggested rather than specified as the object and backdrop values start to meld together. 

Sketch Upside Down

Image credits: Weebly

Try drawing an image from an upside-down viewpoint to help you focus less on symbolism and more on what’s truly in front of you. One of the sketching hacks is this preferred by all artists.

Length Of Lines

Using varying lengths of lines can add dimension to your piece and highlight areas you want to focus on.

Break Everything Into Shapes

shape sketchingSac
Image credits: Joshuanava (l); (r)

If you want to get better at sketching, pay special attention to the forms that make up images. When subjects are broken down into simpler components using shapes, they become much easier to depict.


In a sketch, contrast helps to guide the viewer’s eye. When people discuss contrast, they typically mean contrast in values, where light and dark parts are placed side by side.

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