Adebanji Alade Burton Silverman emphasize graphite impact Inspiration to sketch Kezia Life Drawing selectivity sketch sketchbook Sketches Sketching Tips

I’m always excited to post something new here! This tip or should I say hot shot, is really one of those that reveal the difference between the pro- artist and the amateur. But even the amateur can develop this mind-set and watch their work advance! This hot shot is what to leave out, more what what to put in.

It is about where to work and where not to work. You don’t have to over labour your sketches.

Think in terms of where you want you viewer to focus on…… think of what you really want to emphasize! Anyway, before I keep rambling on, Please click HERE if you missed my last HOT SHOT on letting who you are show through your sketches!



The Completed Demo- You can see the areas emphasized help to create an interest all around, it's by selecting a few places and those place now help the sketch to have IMPACT!



“Think as you sketch what you’d like to emphasize. It won’t be right to leave it all light or all of it heavy. It’s always great to have a little bit of suspense or uncompleted parts for the viewer to fill in and that really helps for a balanced piece.”

Adebanji sketching on the tube- I see a face and immediately I decide what I'll like to emphasize!

Emphasize only a bit- in your sketches….

Select what to emphasize in your sketches.

sketch 4- the faces here are hardly complete but what needs to be emphasized has already been stated, the viewer "puts" in the rest!


The viewer wants to participate, they want to engage with your sketches.

Josh in Sleep-mode XIIII- Notice the full area of concentration and how the rest just complements the whole picture. Imagine if all the picture was treated with the same intensity?


In some way, they almost want to  “enter” your mind!


That’s  how powerful our sketches can be!


The artists’ treasure are their sketches. It is here that one can see the real substance of the artist.


sketch 1- Look out for the areas that have been emphasized? Her Torso is almost absent from the scene, yet it joins the face and the knitting hand together!

That is why, secretly, you want to exaggerate this process of interaction with the viewer, by not giving everything away.

sketch 3- She had so much on but I decided to give her face the most treatment and leave the rest a bit unfinished.


Some people call it the suspense part of the piece. Some people say it balances the design. Some people call it emphasizing the centre of interest, while some, like the great draughtmsman- Burton Silverman calls it:selectivity!


I like to see it in terms of selectivity. Once I begin a sketch, I always have it at the back of my mind to emphasize or exaggerate one part and really hone into this area and most of time, it is an area that interests me!


Angus- I sketched him while his gig was going on, no time to sketch the whole figure, so I emphasize the main things- His hands and head.

This is not always on my mind when I start every sketch but I sometimes have to pinch myself to remember this.


Once I develop this area, I leave other parts to accompany this area or compliment it, but not compete with it. Everything cannot be handled with complete full attention or intensity.

AFRO XXIII- This piece is from my AFRO series, the whole Piece is about what to leave out-I have left out everything in the background, only to emphasize the key elements and leave the viewer to enjoy the rest of the mystery

So, learn to leave a little bit of the sketch unresolved, let it remain a mystery and  If by chance it happens naturally and you don’t have time to complete a sketch, just leave it the way it is, don’t go back to re-work it because that might just be the beauty of it!
If re-worked, it could probably bring about the death of it!
NB. Just before I go-Does any art group, club, individual or individuals, college or School, need a teacher/tutor in sketching, Life Drawing, Urban sketching, figurative painting, portrait painting, still life painting or Plein Air painting? Or any representational art course?
Please contact me via message or comment, as I’m currently looking for places to complete my student placement in my current Teaching Course.
Anywhere in London is preferable- Thanks!
You do not need to pay as I just need this experience to complete the requirements of the Teaching course.
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