Quick tip for sketching: check your shapes, all the time

Thought I could share my thoughts and tips, since my main focus right while I work nowadays, is based on shapes. Maybe some of you would find this helpful too?

Let’s start with this scibbly little fox, that I doodled during one of my coffee breaks. It’s super tiny, and would fit on a post -it.

Here’s how I usually did the line art

I went ahead and created a new empty layer. Then simply drew the lines on top of the scribble. I know many amazing artists who could do this in their sleep, and the line art will turn out perfect every time. Well, I am not one of those artists, hehe… I’m never happy with the line art at this stage. The shapes and roportions aren’t as good as in the initial scribble, and I end up in a never ending loop of fixing mistakes, during the rendering stage.

Instead, I skip this step for now, and focus entirely on the overall silhouette

Here’s what I meant with starting outside, and to work inwards. I correct the shapes, remove tangents, and polish everything until I got something that I really like.

I check my shapes against the scribble all the time, since I already solved lots of things at that stage already.

Allright. Now I have a silhouette that I feel content with, and a nice foundation to start with the actual line art.

Here’s the final line art! Big difference compared to that first attempt.

You can save so much time this way, even though it feels like such an obvious tip. It took me a while before I started connecting the dots. Better late than never!

Here’s a little bonus as well. I enjoyed drawing this fox so much, that I decided to color it. Enjoy!

Hope you found this post helpful! If you have any good tips when making line art, feel free to leave a comment!



  1. Tej 4 July, 2020 at 01:35

    Hmm, this is interesting. So do you let the overall silhouette guide you while making clean line drawing and not look at the rough sketch very much? As for your question, I’ve heard this somewhere that lineart won’t look stiff if you approach it as if you’re drawing it in the moment. I do something along those lines. I try to forget about the rough sketch, use it as a guide, and let it evolve into something new while making a clean line drawing. I think of one or two other things as well, but if I start listing them all, it’ll be a blog post in your comments section instead of a simple comment haha. Anyway, great job with the sketch.

    1. Andrea 4 July, 2020 at 16:06

      I do both. Use the rough sketch underneath as reference on a layer with lower opacity. I tend to nail most of the design, early on in the rough sketch. That’s why like to stick to it through out the rest of the progress, if that makes sense. Thanks!

  2. Peter 8 May, 2021 at 09:09

    Thank you very much for sharing those tips!
    I am just starting to learn drawing by sketching every day. Do I understand correctly that shapes/proportions is a sort of next step to practice after I feel comfortable just drawing? It seems to me that the first step is to create a habit of practicing drawing and having fun doing so before I can go practicing shapes, perspective and any other topic that most books on how to draw recommend to start with?
    Maybe the answer is obvious but I would love to hear your opinion on that :)


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.