Drawing Fundamentals

How to sketch complicated subjects

There are many possible ways to approach sketching. Building your subject by using base shapes like circles and rectangles or sketching using flowing lines, starting out real messy. OR you can sketch complicated subjects by following these steps. In this article I’ll give you some quick tips on how to sketch complicated subjects.

Step 1 – Simple form

First I’ll think of the simple outline of the subject I’m sketching. I usually do this by making imaginary lines around the subject, but you can also make real lines around your reference to make it a bit easier to find that simple form.

Step 2 – Refine outline and add shapes inside the form

Next I’ll refine the outline of the subject and add the shapes inside the form. In this case that’s the legs, the round shape of the belly, the ear, face, etc. Shapes can still be pretty rough.

Once I have that rough sketch down, I’ll turn down the opacity and use this rough sketch as a base for a more refined sketch.

Step 3 – Refined sketch

The last step is to make a refined sketch, in this sketch I add all the detail I need for the painting process. You can also add an extra step by turning down the opacity of this sketch and make another even more refined sketch on top. You can take as many steps as you like of course!

Now you have a better idea of how to sketch complicated subjects. Want to get more sketching tips? Check these 10 tips on how to improve your sketching skills.

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