Sketching is about observation, thought and choice.
Go outside – find a place like a park, cafe etc and take your time to find something that captures your interest. It’s a common mistake to rush into getting something down on paper – don’t sketch anything before you can answer why you feel this is important for you to sketch! Almost any answer will do as long as it is not: ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I need to fill out my sketchbook.’
Sketching is not about rushing, but about understanding what makes that moment evoke something in the viewer.
If you don’t know what that something is, then you will rely on luck to capture it, and we don’t want that.
So first thing to practice is your thought process and how you find out what to sketch and why to sketch it. Now this can take some time and people walk by, drink their coffee, have their argument, all with little or no concern for your sketch 🙂 But don’t draw anything before you can answer those two questions – What to sketch? and why to sketch it.
Let people pass by, let them walk out of the cafe – trust me, it’s worth the wait to hold back and only train your observational skills.
Eventually you will feel something about a situation or person and know that there’s something there for you to explore. Now practice labelling it with one single word. This word is what you will be sketching – the appearance of the person is used to evoke further that one word you found.
This one word is also your personal take on the scenario – there is no wrong words – only what you decide to portray.
The more you train your observation and thought-process the sooner you will feel ready to get it down on paper. This is where you will begin to benefit from also practicing your drawing skills to make sketching more enjoyable as your sketch will be more appealing as a drawing.