How to Draw Faster and Sketch Quickly

Learning to draw fast is a skill that will allow you to produce more drawings rapidly. You will also find that drawings executed at speed retain a certain quality, making them unique pieces of art in their own right.

First, practice and develop the following skills to get better at drawing fast:

Sketch Quickly

Simplify the Forms of the Object You Are Drawing.

Practice Gestural Drawing

Don’t Focus on Drawing Detail

Draw Negative Spaces

How to Draw Fast
How to Draw and Sketch Quickly

To begin to process of drawing faster and at speed, you will need to challenge your sketching and gestural drawing abilities.

In the first part of this post, I will aim to explain how learning to sketch quickly will enable you to speed up your drawing technique.

Learning to Sketch Quickly

Sketching is usually seen as the prequel to more finished styles of drawing.

Sketching also enables artists to gather visual information through preliminary drawings quickly.

how to draw quickly
How to Draw Quickly

Simplify the Forms of the Object You Are Drawing

One of the more effective ways to draw quickly and accurately is to reduce the objects you intend to draw to the there most basic form.

This is a skill that most accomplished drawers will do automatically without thinking about it.

When reducing shape to its most basic form, try to think about the basic shapes that make up the object.

For example, take a bottle. This is a simple-looking object which is easy to draw.

As someone who has taught still life drawing for many years, my approach was to draw a simple elongated rectangular shape.

Next, I would add a centerline, which will enable you to draw the symmetry of the form of the bottle.

I would progress on drawing the three-dimensional form of the bottle. This is achieved by drawing faint elliptical lines at the top and bottom of the main shape.

I will draw a semi-circle where the top of the bottle begins. This approach can be completed and drawn in less than thirty seconds without warning of additional lines.

This drawing method is ideal for the drawing of the human figure. As life drawing is a perfect way to explore the many varied forms that make up the human form.

Pro Tip: As mentioned earlier in this post, try to draw fluently with a faint line. Draw from the elbow and shoulder, resulting in loosely drawn soft lines.

Easy Sketches to Draw
Easy Sketches to Draw

Please look at this drawing and sketching video course I have createdUse this link.

Practice Gestural Drawing

If you are attempting to improve the speed at which you draw. Then one particular method you can try is gestural drawing.

Gestural drawing and sketching seek to convey the form, position, and movement of the object or person you are drawing.

To begin a gestural drawing, you must complete a series of sketches. Over a short period, these can be as short as sixty-second intervals, for example.

Gestures can be found everywhere in the world around us, from animals, humans, objects, and vegetation. Gestural drawings of the human form moving and expressing the human form’s motion, movements, and emotions are quickly executed through sketching.

With practice, you should be able to complete it under timed conditions with a real sense of expression and fluency.

Don’t Focus on Drawing Detail when Drawing and Sketching

Learning to sketch quickly under timed conditions is an excellent way to focus on your subject’s form instead of representing the details.

A timed drawing challenge can be set up to enable you to draw under pressurized conditions.

An alternative method is to listen to a piece of music. While drawing under set timed intervals, you will enable you to focus on the form of your subject and speed up the drawing process.

How to Draw Quickly
How to Draw Quickly

Draw Negative Spaces

Negative space is created when areas in objects and in-between objects are formed.

Drawing negative space has always been an essential aspect of life and still life.

Recognizing and acknowledging the spaces around and in between the objects you are drawing is an excellent way to quickly position and arrange objects in your drawings.

This is an effective way to speed up your drawing skills.

For example, if you are drawing a figure from direct observation. As well as measuring the proportions of the main aspects of the subject. Look at the spatial relationships between the various limbs.

If the arms appear to be bending, then look at the angles created in the spaces. You can use your pencil extended at arm’s length to help measure them.

This method can quickly establish the relationship between the different objects in your drawing.

Draw Caricatures Quickly

Caricatures are often recognized as a niche within the art of portrait drawing from observation.

A caricature is best drawn quickly and possibly under the pressure of timed conditions.

Drawing quickly in series will enable you to achieve a higher fluency of lines when drawing.

The trick with drawing a caricature is to focus on the unique features of the person you are drawing.

Focus on the features which will have the most impact. It may be the eyes or nose.

The hair and overall shape of the head can also be used as a way of portraying the character of the person. Think about how you want to represent.


How to Learn to Draw Faster:

Work on Several Drawings at Once

Drawing and painting, or even speed drawing with the paint, are naturally suited to be produced in series.

This can be accomplished in several ways. First, you can work and produce several drawings together.

By producing one drawing after another and then moving on to the next drawing. 

You can then move back to the original drawing.

You can quickly build up a series of four or five drawings by working on more than one picture.

Alternatively, if you are interested in quickly producing a drawing, you can generate drawings in series.

Working under timed conditions is an excellent way to do this.

Endure that the intervals between each original drawing are short enough. Short intervals will give you the necessary pressure to draw quickly.

Create Background Colors

Another solution to speeding up your working methods is to create blanket backgrounds quickly.

For this to work and to be of any benefit. 

You will need to fill in a large area of color or tone quickly. Inevitably it saves a significant amount of time with needless background work.

Create Unfinished Pieces

The technique of creating rough drawings and painting. Then presenting them as art pieces is a method many professional artists use to create a larger body of drawings. This is a simple way to produce large amounts of drawings quickly.

Use a Larger Brush

Drawing and painting with a larger brush are straightforward to fill quickly in large areas with color or tone. So instead of using smaller tools, brushes, or pencils to paint and shade. Immediately opt to work with a larger brush. Ultimately, this will speed up your work rate and save you time.

Lucy Drawing Tool

The Lucy Drawing Tool is a much-improved variant of the traditional camera lucida. The camera lucida is a quick and accurate method of drawing directly from a cast image or ghost reflection. 

This is an excellent way to create quick and detailed drawings. If you want to produce detailed drawings which are in proportion. Plus, if you want to convey shading and value in your picture, this tool will help you speed things up. 

Learn How to Trace Images

Tracing images is a quick and easy way to draw outlines and the main features in any drawing. 

Tracing can be done using several different ways.

The old fashion method of using tracing paper to draw and transfer the features you are looking to draw is quick and straightforward.

However, if you have access to a lightbox or lightweight light pad. You can place a copy of the image you hope to trace onto the light pad

Place a piece over the top to begin your traced image. Read a detailed review of the latest light pad at Amazon.

All the techniques are quick and straightforward methods you can use to speed up the drawing process.

Learn to Draw Digital Images

If you're looking to Learn to Draw Faster Digitally, one of the best things you can do is practice drawing quickly. This not only helps you to get a feel for the medium, but it also forces you to think in simpler terms and to focus on the essentials. Here are a few tips to help you draw faster digitally:

  1. Use basic shapes: When starting a drawing, don't try to immediately render all of the details. Instead, break the image down into its basic shapes and blocks of color. This will help you to quickly map out the drawing without getting bogged down in the details.
  2. Use reference images: Rather than trying to draw from memory, use reference images to help you along the way. This can be anything from a photo to a sketches or even other digital drawings. Having a visual reference will help you to quickly get an idea of composition and proportion.
  3. Keep it loose: Don't try to make every line perfect. In fact, sometimes it's helpful to purposely make your lines appear imperfect or wobbly. This can help you to capture the essence of an image without getting caught up in small details.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to learning how to draw faster digitally!


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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