When Did Sketching "click" for you?

I’ve always known I can draw…well, not always, but I knew since I was a kid that it was something I would be able to develop.

That said, I never have been confident with a pencil. I’ve drawn comic strips for newspapers, I’ve drawn sketches for clients, etc. But because I am not a render god, I don’t have mad, mad draughtsmanship…I always got down on myself.

Now, for whatever reason, something has clicked in the past year or so. The confidence has “clicked”. I know when I sit down I can translate my idea quickly and effectively. No…I am still no automotive designer who’s pen oozes sexy drawings. But I can clearly articulate my ideas so people get what I want.

So, it may be strange to some of you that I am 39, have owned a design firm for 5 years and I am admitting, just now - in a public forum - that my sketching ability has finally “clicked”…but something tells me that I am not that odd. I might be behind the norm. I have compensated my sketching skills with other skills to help me be successful.

When did it click for you? When did confidence kick in, and it was no longer something that stressed you out every time you thought about sitting down with a pen and paper?

I’d say it clicked for me between the end and beginning of 2006/2007.

I think people go through more than one "click"s. I had my first one in the second semester of freshman year when I discovered I liked to sketch and switched to ID. My second “click” was when I went to LA to learn from entertainment industry designers and I really got into marker rendering/shapes and forms. I’m waiting for my 3rd click where I can draw elegantly, quickly, and simply. A lot of my drawings end up overworked, and I have to try hard to not use so many lines. There’s probably gonna be a 4th and 5th, and a separate set of clicks for digital sketching.

I may not have that much sketching experience as of yet, but I have been playing music for many years and they are extremely similar in their development as far as “clicks” go. Obviously the more you practice the better you get and the more clicks you have, but in my experience it is more of a plateau/rapid ascension process. As in: you develop and improve rapidly for a while, and then stagnate, then rapidly ascend again. over and over.

I try to enroll in a Life Drawing class every now and then, and I feel my sketching ability always reaches a new level during/after doing these classes. Everything just seems more fluid and ideas just flow more effortlessly onto the paper, the hard part is maintaining that level.

It clicks whenever I’m sketching for like a whole day…the first 4 hours are a real hassle but after that I get looser and looser and the sketches keep getting better and better :wink:

I guess you have to invest time to get into ‘the zone’…over and over again.


YES I second “the zone.” It takes a while to warm up but once I get there I don’t want to stop. LIKE NOW
I’ve gotten to sketch the past two days of work, it was awesome. Bad news: spinning my wheels on a project, Good news: DRAWING and not staring at a computer.

I had different stages of “clicks”.

  1. Getting the perspective.
  2. Marker rendering.
  3. Ellipse- now and then.
  4. Line work.

First my line work, perspective and markers were horrible. But one day at the end of the semester, I was running out of time and I need to finish my drawing class project. I just had few hours to do and I quickly drew the sketch, scanned and photoshop in about 6-7 hrs. It came out ok to my sense. The reward was, among 7 highly talented classmates mine was the only one chosen for the annual spring show. I then felt, oh maybe it “clicked”. Still long way to go though.

I can’t remember a time that it didn’t click. There are technical things I’m sure I’ve never learned (I’m self taught through books and videos) but always felt at home drawing.

Pen and ink was more fun for me as a kid but I’ve always loved to draw with a pencil. Markers are new to me but they are somewhat easy to pick up.

Oil painting is very confusing and awkward for me. I also tend to avoid things I’m not really good at so maybe I just focus on the things I can do well so I never get that feeling of not clicking.