Tips for drawing sketches from scratch?

i literally cannot sketch for the life of me, and it’s quite a setback when i have to make a pose, trace it and all that because i suck at sketching :’)

anywho— if any of you talented artists could point me in the direction of some good youtube videos, or give me some tips in general for sketching i’d greatly appreciate it !!

i use ibispaint x btw


I suck pretty badly at sketching, I’m a lot better with coloring but if I don’t have a decent sketch then the whole thing is a mess so I totally get where you’re coming from lol

Since I’ve started digital art and commissions, I’ve worked really hard to get better at sketching. At first I practiced tracing poses to get familiar with how the body parts work/look.

Now, I use a couple reference images and take my time drawing. I usually use 3-4 layers just building up the pose. The first layer is pretty chunky, and just for mapping out the pose style and what body part goes where. Then I’ll lower opacity, and add a new layer. On the new layer I’ll try to refine the pose a bit more, make corrections etc. Then I’ll lower opacity again, add another layer, and refine even more. If I’m still dissatisfied with how the sketch looks, then I might add a fourth layer.

All in all, I’ve realized that it takes me roughly 3 hours to complete a decent, workable sketch. I’m still not the best at it and I’m not always in love with how they look, but practice definitely does make perfect!!!

I’ll attach a sketch vs completed drawing for reference. If you’d like, I can also share clips of each of my sketching stages. But just lmk cause that stuffs on my iPad and I’m currently in bed on my phone :joy:

Le Art

I’m also someone who needs to have a super clean line art to follow which is partly why it takes me so long….I can’t work with it if it’s really sketchy and “messy” heh


I’m no expert, at all. Buuuttt (But) my dad is and he gives me some really good pointers.
Some things:

  1. For people learning use reference poses for what you want to draw, and don’t limit to just one. Chose a style and then find poses that match the look you going for.

E.g. I was drawing something recently and what I did because I didn’t really know my starting point is I drew everything as stick figures, with simple facial expressions. Then I collected reference poses for each part, (left hand/ arm for character 1, right hand/ arm for character 1). I used these to try and mimic, not copy but mimic how I wanted certain aspects to look.
On this forum I posted the image and my reference poses if you want to see an example of what I mean: Episode Forums Official: Share your Art, Edits, and Drawings Continued! :yay: (Part 2) - #1380 by Goldpigs

  1. Drawing everything lightly so it’s easy to erase. Idk if you already knew this one but I’m going to share anyways. Basically, draw your sketch light but seeable, since you use a digital platform I recommend using a soft pen/ brush that’s thin and using either black or gray depending on the brush/ pen you use. Also since you use digital not to use the eraser at it’s biggest size and using a small size depending on what you erasing along with not using the eraser at its highest strength option since that;s when you can hover over it and everything erases, use maybe a medium strength option.

  2. Outline last, and once your completely sure you are done so that you don’t have to go back and may changes, this also affects usign digital because if you colored already or outlined already you now have to press ub=ndo a bunch to get it right.

  3. When sketching don;t be stiff. Something I was doing was drawing the slightest curve because I wnated my wavy line to look exactly like the a reference, but difference. But I would get uoset when It looked wrong and I wouldn’t guess why. Try being more loose and flowy, and not be slight curves (you might use it in certain areas) or stif corners because it won;t look how you want.

  4. Also practing what you bad at. For me this is hands and lips, I don;t undertand them, so what my dad said was to try practicng them. So I looked at references and tutorials on how to draw, i still suck and lips, but my hands got better (as far as the style I like trying).

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.
I don;t know the exact style fo art your looking for but me thread for drawing resouces might help, it;s not complete but the free website’s section might help.
Thread: Resources for learning how to draw
Also looking on youtube for videos on each part, e,g, anime long hair side view OR anime long hair 3/4 view.


I have a lot of typos but it’s all merged so I can’t tell where each is.


thank you so much for replying, this definitely helps a lot !! ur art looks gorgeous by the way :))


omg— thank you so much!! this is very helpful!! i kind of want to go practice sketching rn but it’s midnight haha !


No problem, and enjoy when you get to sketch :hugs: (It’s midnight for me too, more like 1 almost.)


Oh I just remembered 1 more thing.

  1. Proportioning. I suck at this so I barely attempt it, as long as they look close enough to the size I want it’s ok for me. But some good proportion references I found are from this page: (these proprtions are what this person uses for there mange=a style characters but it may be different by style) How to Draw a Manga Girl Full Body (Front View) || Step-by-Step Pictures – How 2 Draw Manga
    And this search on google may have soem in the style of art you chose:

Moved to Art Resources since this is art-related. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about creating topics, and feel free to PM me if you’ve got questions. :smiley:

1 Like

there’s 2 ways i do sketches

  1. the grid method, you put a grid on the reference and then one on the canvas and basically copy the squares (one of my favourites as it gets all the proportions accurate)

  2. shapes, the way my art teacher tells me to do it lol (personally not my go too but it works) look for the shapes in the reference and draw them then like make it more refined. this is much quicker when doing traditional art i’ve found :))

hope these made sense i’m not the best at explaining things haha


I don’t think I’ll be much help but I’m pretty good at sketching. All I really do is make light strokes and after that everything just comes naturally. I do light strokes because it allows you to make room for mistakes and erasing your mistakes much easier. Also, figuring out where the characters limbs would go for posing can be difficult so I either do it myself irl or look up the pose to see what it would look like


I have a realistic face sketching tutorial on my Instagram incase you’d like to see:

Please follow me on IG if you’d like to support me