line weight

what are some of the tips for making a line sketch pop using ling weight working on vellum using verythin also what would you use to sharpen the lead. can you use the sandpaper pads on them that drafters use? thanks for any tips you guys could give me.

No matter the pencil, I just use an electric pencil sharpener. no need for anything fancy… try drawing straight lines across the page varying the line weight while going from the side of the pencil to the tip of the pencil. This is the technique that Jim Orr practices and teaches (he calls it “power drawing”, I call it sketching well)

It’s a little corny, but it works…

Jimmy ORR isn’t exactly THAT great of an example to follow. The man could speak in front of audiences but all his content is bogus…


Bold outside lines, light inside lines…
that’s pretty much what I was taught.

Yes, an electric pencil sharpener is a must.

I don’t know if this will help you, but I used to practice Pinstriping. There are a few great books and tons of stuff on the internet.

A lot of the practice I did was to vary your line weight especially on curves. It’s like script writing. If you don’t have the line contrast, your design will look lame.

The other way I learned was looking at cartoons.

Check out They have some great drawings there.

Here’s a character I did a while back. I used fat outlines and thinner lines inside like copyboy mentioned.

Hope this helps.

What I was taught was that “if you can reach behind it, it’s bold”. So basically…not just outside lines, but any line that represents an edge with space behind it in the page. Try it on a sketch sometime – look at every line and ask yourself “does that represent something I could reach behind”. If it does, darken it up. It has a very nice effect, like adding the subtlest of shadows.

For example, in the image above: The line between the character’s shoes would be dark, because you could reach behind his left shoe’s rightmost edge.

Besides the silhouette, any edge that has blind “space” behind it should have a heavier line weight applied to it. This will really give the effect of depth in a similar manner to shadows (although not necessarily as drastic). A single-line-weight drawing will appear very ‘flat’ by comparison.

I’ll see if I can’t find some examples…

this is reiterating the above responses, and helps during a sketch:

if there is air behind it, give it weight

has anyone seen the JD Orr DVD?