For a lot of us, a detailed reference photo can be overwhelming sometimes, which is why many teachers advise you to squint your eyes. That way, you can see basic shapes instead of focussing on detail right away. Even though I try to do this as often as I can, most of the time I can’t resist taking a peek at all the details. So I made it a habit to do basic (max. 5-10 minutes) sketches and then throw out the reference photo. This allows your mind to focus on what you want to see, instead of what you think you see. You’d be surprised how differently you can paint when you work off a sketch instead of the actual reference! To get you inspired I’ve created a series of dynamic sketches for you to use.
As much as I am a supporter of practicing sketching as much as you can, I’m an even bigger supporter of art being fun and free of ‘having to do’ things or judgement. So use these files any way you want: make your own sketch, trace them, transfer them with gel or paint straight over the print. Because sometimes you’ve had a long day and just want to get painting and messing around in the limited time you have, without having to do a sketch. I’d love to see what you come up with using these, so make sure to tag me on Facebook (Sabra Awlad Issa) or Instagram (@dearjools) if you post your work!
Here are the three images you can use, choose one that suits your mood and/or style. I’ve put them all in a .zip file for you to download.
9 thoughts on “Free: sketch templates to inspire you”
Thank you SO much !!!
You’re welcome Jeanne!
” … sometimes you’ve had a long day and just want to get painting and messing around in the limited time you have.”
I LOVE this – exactly! Thank you, Sabra – greatly appreciated.
Glad you can relate, took me while to accept it but it feels much better not putting pressure on myself over something like that. <3
Thanks so very much Sabra! Going to try this out.
You’re welcome and I’d love to see what you come up with! <3
Thank you Sabra
Thank you so much for this free portrait lesson Sabra
Fantastic blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost
on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
Any tips? Bless you!