Good Sketching Habits

habits-01As part of my resolution to tell better (more) stories, I’m trying to take my idea sketching up a notch as well. So while trying to figure out the personalities of my up-coming webcomic characters, I made a personal goal that in every sketch the characters would:

  1. Be in a specific environment (even if it’s not detailed or accurate.)
  2. Be interacting with each other (or reacting to an object.)
  3. Use interesting, dynamic body language
  4. Have facial expressions that aren’t just the obvious emotions.

These 4 things really pack a lot of power into a drawing (even if it’s just a rough sketch.) They help tell your viewers that something is happening in your fictional world, and that your characters are truly immersed in their own realities. Not only that, but it makes the readers feel engaged, invited into the world you’re creating.

The other thing that I decided to experiment with was color. Using Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils, I tried to create the effect of strong sunset lighting, like somewhere (off page) there’s a large opening, letting the light in. To contrast, I created a cool colored background, so the characters stand out.
The other thing I’m trying to do with my drawings is trying multiple plans, multiple approaches. For this one, I want to play around with this particular “scene” some more, though. Specifically, I want to try experimenting with the camera angle… it’s sort of the “obvious” choice (which isn’t necessarily wrong) but I want to see if I can find something that’s a bit more unexpected, more unique. Right now, my plan is to try something that uses the light source in a creative way… but we’ll see!


What are some habits you have when you sketch? What are some obstacles you want to overcome?

One thought on “Good Sketching Habits

  1. Great tips! I really need to try these out, as all of my sketches seem to turn out the same, with floating people who don’t have any interesting expressions. XD

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