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How To Clean Sketches Easily (Step-By-Step Guide With Images!)

image showing how to clean your sketch step by step

How To Clean Up Your Sketch

“But my Sketch looks so Messy, what can I do with this?”

Do not worry.

We’re going to Clean everything up and make your Lines look beautiful. Some of my sketches end up looking pretty bad, but I know they are just a Base that you can clean up and improve later on! And that’s what you should think of your own sketches: bases to improve.

(1) Start by drawing lines through your previous shapes

  • Keep them loose and try to make them as steady as you can.
  • Don’t worry too much about messing them up.

Try to create long lines from one point to another, that means no “chicken scratching” or tiny lines to make a longer one! One of the best ways to Improve your Line Quality is to have strong and long confident lines.

If you’re on the Computer, using your Software of choice (here is my recommended drawing software) create a new Layer on Top of your previous Sketch. This way you can erase and re-draw lines at will without messing up the sketch lines from before.

If instead you’re doing this the Traditional Way and you’ve used a Pencil, then switch to a Pen or a Brush that you like and draw over them.

This way, once you’re done, you just need to wait for the ink to dry and you can erase the underlying sketch.

Another option is to use Vegetable Paper and draw on top of your sketch, this way you keep the previous sketch untouched while you’re still working with a steady and strong base.

(2) Focus on simple Straight and Curved Lines

Keep your lines very loose from one point to another while adding small details all over the figure.

Focus on drawing simple straight and curved lines on top of your sketch to clean it up.

(3) Add Complex Details Such As Hair and Clothing

Add buttons, creases, and other tiny details to give extra depth to your drawing.

Maybe you’re going to a very simplistic character with just the basic shapes, or maybe you want to go full steam on it and add wrinkles to the fabrics and pores to the Skin to make it look super realistic!

You do you.

Do not rush it, and have fun while doing it.

“I don’t know how to Draw [insert body Part here]!”

First of all, it’s all about practice. If you keep trying and focusing on the general shapes of the pose, you can draw ANYTHING. Yes that’s right, I’m not exaggerating, with enough practice nothing can stop you.

This is also true for Improving your Line Art.

If you’re still having trouble, here’s a starting point to learn figure drawing right now!

final line art of a clean sketch of a dancer

Here’s my final version of the Cleaned up Sketch

Tips On How To Make Clean Sketches

Now let’s go over some tips on how you can make clean sketches.

  • Use a fine tip or brush to make thin, strong lines
  • Go shape by shape, don’t try to clean up your sketch all at once
  • Use a Kneaded Eraser to create highlights on your traditional drawing
  • Don’t be afraid to erase mistakes!
  • Take your time cleaning up your sketch, don’t rush it

And don’t forget, it takes time to improve any artistic skill!

Practice cleaning up your sketches over and over, until you’re happy with the results.

And if you’re looking to level up your anatomy drawing skills, here are 5 Anatomy Drawing Exercises To Improve Quickly!


Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!

Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!

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