Sketching the numeric way

Author // DEDENYS Caplice Siobhan
Posted in // art tips, Creativity, drawing

When you come from a traditional background, sketching in a notebook or on a simple piece of paper appears very natural, and allows you to feel free in your drawing. It is as most people say, a direct way from your mind to your hand. The quicker and more instinctive the sketches are, the more dynamic they appear.

So when crossing over a numerical media, it’s sometimes difficult to keep this natural vibe while drawing. Here are some tips and ideas for sketching on photoshop. These are all my way of approaching the numeric media, and they are in no way universal.

  • Photoshop is a different tool , take advantage of what it offers.

Sure you can draw lines on the software and pretend it’s a sheet of paper, and most of time it can be quite good looking, but while you’re at it, why not try what’s different ? Unlike a pencil and a notebook, here you can draw the masses, and the volumes by drawing with a large brush.


  • Learn to adopt new useful tools

Some tools in photoshop are particularly adapted to speed painting/sketching. Let’s just talk about two of them.


First, the lasso tool is a great way to experiment and draw neat forms. You can just start a painting by doing random forms with the lasso and paint in them with blur brushes or even texture brushes. An amazing artist, Jama Jurabaev, did some videos about his process on the lasso tool, it’s quite instructive :

Secondly, the burn/dodge tool is very useful to quickly adjust values. Use it with a round blur brush to highlight the parts of your drawings that are more exposed to the light.

  • Play with the fusion options of the layers

In photoshop you have access to many fusion modes on any layer. This fusion mode expresses the way the colors and values and the layer will react with the layers that are beneath it. You can try many things and get unexpected results by testing fusion modes. One that works well : create a new layer and paint light on it with a saturated color, then put it on the density color – mode. It creates colorful lights and gives depth to your sketches.


  • Learn some shortcuts

When working fast, the last thing you want, is to spend time looking in your toolbox. Here are some useful shortcuts I use to make life easier :

Alt (while having the brush tool) : color taker

L : lasso

B : Brush

Ctrl + T : transform

Ctrl (while transforming) : stretch one point of the transformation square to give a perspective feel.

V : move a layer or a selection

Alt (while moving) : copy layer or selection

Space + mouse : navigating into the canvas

  • Not all filters are useless

Generally speaking, filters are to be avoided when you are painting. They are quite messy and can make you think that it will hide the flaws of the painting underneath. But when nicely used, they can be quite useful. Some filters like strength, add noise and the various blurs can have a great effect when used with precision.

  • Have fun painting

Try your best to not be restricted by the software, use one tool at a time. If you feel confident and secure while you’re painting, nothing bad can happen.


There, I hope you’ve enjoy these tips, these are obviously  my opinion and from my experience, and I am in nowhere near to being a good artist, but I feel it could help some.

Keep drawing, painting and posting.



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DEDENYS Caplice Siobhan

English Teacher in Rubika. Started the blog with students hope they keep it alive !

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Recent comments

  • DigZon technology

    18 août 2015 |

    Keep up the great work ethic.


    10 août 2015 |

    This article has inspired me. It’s profound, interesting and worthy of a positive comment. I try to give good content its due and this deserves a top rating. Thank you.

  • Mathieu

    22 mai 2015 |

    Very interesting article. Could be usefull to me in 2nd year, that is if LePivain makes us study this one.

  • Mitzi

    15 mai 2015 |

    This article and many other on your page are very interesting.
    There is a big chance to go viral.

  • admin

    10 avril 2015 |

    Beautifully written