3 Ways to Improve Your Sketching Line Quality

Having a good sketching line quality can make a quick 5 minute doodle look like a semi-rendering.

But how do you practice it? Here are 3 exercises I do and you can do as well to really get those smooth, clean lines going.


1, “The Dot Connector”

Grab a clean sheet of paper. Add a bunch of dots to the paper with a pen. Now, try to connect two dots together with a single line. I usually make a few “ghost strokes”, hovering over the paper before actually drawing the line. This will help with the aim and accuracy.

Do this to a few dots and practice your speed and control. Use your shoulder and elbow when doing this. Just using your wrist will mess everything up.


2, Line Shading

Draw a rectangle or square or whatever basic, enclosed shape you like. What we want to do now is fill in this shape with parallel lines. Same thing here, the faster you go – the cleaner the lines. Put a bunch of shapes down on the paper and see if you can adjust the pressure and distance between your parallel lines, creating a shade from light to dark. This is good stuff.

3, Everything is a Curve

Fill an entire sheet of paper with ellipses. This might make your non designer friends a bit worried that you might be going crazy, but that’s ok. Everybody’s a bit crazy anyway so who cares. ATTACK THAT PAPER WITH CIRCLES AND CURVES. This exercise is for speed practice and getting comfortable with the pen. Try to keep a consistent speed and don’t forget to really get that elbow moving, your wrist should basically be in the same position at all times!


These are a few exercises I like to do when I’ve been lazy and not sketched anything for a while. It gets me back into biz fast.

Do you have a line quality exercise you prefer that I didn’t talk about? Do us a favor and share that in the comments with us!

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