Product Design Lessons

Interface Design Sketching  |   Lesson #2

How to Draw a Straight Line

Straight lines are the difference between your sketches looking like a well-articulated idea and a half-baked thought.

In this video you’ll learn the three key techniques to drawing a straight line.

Move your arm, not your wrist

  • Keep another piece of paper under your drawing sheet. This provides a smoother surface for the pen to move across.
  • Move your arm and not your wrist. This keeps the pen at the same angle with the paper and makes the line weight consistent.
  • For practice, close your eyes. This helps you focus on not using your wrist.

Commit to drawing the line

  • Commit to drawing the line straight. Always use a pen and not pencil. The pen forces you to commit to the line.
  • Draw the line as soon as you make contact. Hesitation gives you too much time to think. Your mind will be overly focused on NOT drawing the line crooked. And your line won't come out as straight.
  • Here's a tip: look at a point past the end of the line, don't look at the line as you draw it.


  • You can get practice by drawing lines between two dots. Draw twenty pairs of dots and work down them. Use a large piece of paper and draw long lines.
  • Long lines are harder, so practice with these to make short lines a snap.
  • If you miss a line, do it again with the same pair of dots until you get it right.
  • Don't worry if you draw past a point. No one cares. And it helps you with follow through to the end of the line.

Next Steps

Practice daily with 20 to 40 lines and you'll get better by the end of the week.

About the instructor


Anthony is a rockstar senior designer and a scrappy self-starter at ZURB. Before finding ZURB, he earned his degree in landscape architecture from UC Davis. A Bay Area native, Anthony knows where to go for a swank dinning experience.