How to draw with proper standing posture

How to Draw with Proper Standing Posture

DRAWING TIP-A-DAY CHALLENGE 5/30

You love going out drawing urban sketching, statues in a museum, people in the street, do product observation in shops…
But you struggle to draw on the go?

To solve this, I found a great accessory to make drawing outside fun and comfortable. So you can draw anything you see standing on the spot!

It’s a simple writing pad with a paper clip. However:

  • if you don’t hold your pad well,
  • or if your standing posture is poor, your sketches won’t look good.

How to draw with proper posture (Side view)

AT A PEN STORE

I bumped into a pen store, and test some pens for drawing on draft paper while standing. So today, I show you how to improve your standing posture!


I FOUND A WRITING PAD!

I always thought about getting one of these writing pads to use as a portable drawing board.

I FOUND A WRITING PAD!
  • Drawing with a writing pad allows you to practice outside without shaking and without using any random book (too soft, too small, or thick book…).
  • I also like the A4 writing pad format as it is easy to fit in your bag.
Writing pad
  • As a student, every Thursday afternoon was my favorite moment. We went outside exploring Paris to draw notorious art places and monuments.
  • I remember drawing sitting on the floor or standing for hours to draw using this XXL portfolio below. That was too big for doing “instant sketches” with a standing position.
art portfolio

LET’S DRAW WITH THE PAD!

I clip a draft paper notebook the art shop let customers test the pen.

test the pad

CLIP YOUR PAPER HERE

In the case of strong wind, your paper won’t fly.
If you want to draw using underlays, your papers won’t move.

clip your paper here on the pad

Which pen to use?

There are thousands of available pens here.
Let’s come closer to find something cool to do the drawing test.

pen store
found artline pen at art shop
Artline pens
Artline Pen | Water based Pigment
Artline pen nib
The nibs: 0,2mm and 0,05mm

TEST THE LINE WEIGHT

For each pen, I draw 1 circle with the same intensity for each.
I try to find the quality of lines I feel the most comfortable with for smoothness, thickness, and precision.

water based pigment pen test on line weight
Line Weight testing
sizes nib of Artline water base pen
0,1 to 0,6mm
drawing circles
WINNER PEN: 0,2mm

LET’S DRAW SOMETHING!

Remember that design sketching is about strategy.
In this case, you need to train your observation skills to plan the drawing steps in your mind before starting.

let's draw something
  • I pick up this eraser tape to practice on.
  • I spend a few seconds to analyze how I will draw it.
eraser tape observation to plan the steps for drawing

PART1: MEMORIZE THE FORMS

I don’t want to do a great sketch in one shot.
I plan at least 2 attempts.

The first one is to:

  • Memorize the forms in 3 dimensions
  • Practice the drawing steps I’ve in mind.
Step 1 Memorize the forms

PART 2: DRAW FROM MEMORY!

Strategy and forms in mind, I am able to reproduce it from memory.
Potentially I could draw it from any angle.

Step 2 Draw from memory

CHECK THE BODY POSTURE

A proper body posture allows you to draw better and longer with standing position. You will not always find a comfy chair where you can sit comfortably each time you spot a great subject to draw.
Let’s see today how you can draw faster anywhere with the pad.

CHECK THE BODY POSTURE

LAST LOOK ON THE PRODUCT

LAST LOOK ON THE PRODUCT
  • For the second sketch, try to draw from memory only.
  • It will help you improve your sense of observation.
  • Thus you will draw faster.
  • It is powerful for drawing moving people in streets or doodle note ideas in daily life.

HOLD FIRMLY THE PAD

HOLD FIRMLY THE PAD
  • Your body is both strong and relax.
  • Make sure your body supports the pad using your left arm to hold it.
  • Only my right arm is moving to draw while my body stands strong.

Remember: Don’t draw with your wrist. Your whole arm is moving.

Remember: Don't draw with your wrist. Your whole arm is moving.
Wrist is locked when you draw

SIDE VIEW

Same observation as previous.

side-view posture
standing posture is firm
right arm is relaxed for sketching
arm move freely for drawing

BE AWARE OF YOUR ELBOW

A beginner mistake is to draw with a stiff arm. But if your pad is well supported, your drawing arm will be free to move and draw any lines and curves.

BE AWARE OF YOUR ELBOW
move your elbow

ROTATE YOUR BOARD

  • I often mention the importance to rotate your paper like I do for my Wacom Cintiq 13HD or also iPad Pro’s sketches.
  • About the writing pad, we also rotate it too!
  • The pinky finger at the corner gives me great control.
pinky finger hold the pad
rotate the drawing pad

Drawing confidence

  • If you lines are shaky, learn to hold your pen the right way.
  • My 3 fingertips below are sliding the paper. They are somehow like a moving tripod.
slide on paper
drawing stability and control

DRAW SMOOTH WITH PALM LIFTED

  • A technique I like to use for fast sketching is to draw with my palm lifted.
  • I avoid friction on paper.
draw with palm lifted

For small details, I can rest my hand on the pad and draw doing micro movements.

drawing small details on pad

FAST SKETCHING

  • In product design, it is essential to sketch fast.
  • Why? Because as a designer you have timelines and deadlines to follow.
  • Drawing fast helps you multiply your ideas from start, and select the best ideas for the next phases (marketing, engineering, prototype…
As a product designer, fast sketching is your best communication tool.
As a product designer, fast sketching is your best communication tool.

FROM MEMORY TO FLUIDITY

Memorizing the steps and forms during the first sketch allows you to focus on the line expression on the second one.

Drawing from memory
Your draw with more fluidity
Subscribe to my Youtube Channel!
Subscribe to [the Design Sketchbook] Youtube channel
To make your first steps in design sketching, download the Designer Starter Kit!

“SILVER-LEAD PENCIL”

I went around the shop to test various pens and pencils. The last time I used this one was long ago for sketching people. It is great to draw anything organic (portrait/face, people posture, fruits…)


THICK LEAD MECHANICAL PENCIL

This thick nib looks interesting to play with. You benefit of a wide range of thickness depending on the angle you draw with the lead.


If you want to make your first steps in drawing, I invite you to download the Designer Starter Kit to start learning with the basics of perspective step-by-step.

The Designer Starter Kit exercises in 6 videos:

  1. How to draw straight lines
  2. How to draw a perfect square
  3. How to draw awesome circles
  4. How to sharpen your sense of proportion
  5. How to draw a cube with 1 point perspective
  6. How to draw a cube with 2 points perspective

Once again, these videos are linked to the Designer Starter Kit.

To enjoy the series of tutorials better, I recommend you guys to download the sketching book for beginners first.

>> Recommended articles

About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field