Sketch-based 3D model retrieval is very important for applications such as 3D modeling and recognition. In this paper, a sketch-based retrieval algorithm is proposed based on a 3D model feature named View Context and 2D relative shape context matching. To enhance the accuracy of 2D sketch-3D model correspondence as well as the retrieval performance, we propose to align a 3D model with a query 2D sketch before measuring their distance. First, we efficiently select some candidate views from a set of densely sampled views of the 3D model to align the sketch and the model based on their View Context similarities. Then, we compute the more accurate relative shape context distance between the sketch and every candidate view, and regard the minimum one as the sketch-model distance. To speed up retrieval, we precompute the View Context and relative shape context features of the sample views of all the 3D models in the database. Comparative and evaluative experiments based on hand-drawn and standard line drawing sketches demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of our approach and it significantly outperforms several latest sketch-based retrieval algorithms.