Advice on improvement

Hey guys

I’m becoming a sophomore after summer and I’m trying to pursue a ID major. I have learned to sketch during my high school years and the prerequisite course to majoring in ID is during winter quarter. I’d like to know what I can do to improve as much as I could to stand out from other people. What recommendations do you guys have so that I can improve my sketching, CAD, and even creativity? Maybe books, tutorial, anything! I’m willing to invest a lot of time in this because I do feel like this is what I’m passionate for. Thanks!


IF you’re willing to invest time, you’re probably willing to do some searching yourself. There’s plenty of advice on this forum. Plenty of inspiration on the internet. Just find what you’re interested in and absorb it. Practice a lot. It’s hard to tell you what to improve on when you dont show us anything.

I agree with all of the above. The one thing I can tell you without even seeing you work is to SKETCH, SKETCH, SKETCH, and when you think you have sketched enough sketch somemore. Also take notice of things around you. Ask yourself how you feel about that object. If you like it, ask yourself why you like it. If you don’t like it ask yourself why you don’t like it. I have a Moleskin notebook that I record all of these thoughts and even small sketches in. I carry it around everywhere and it really helps me when it comes time to solve problem because I take inspiration from things that I have seen around me.

  1. Sketch a lot.
  2. hang out with people that sketch a lot and are better than you.
  3. post your work and solicit feedback.
  4. Sketch a lot more.
  5. print out reference material, lots of sketches you think work, styles you aspire to…
  6. buy some Design Studio Press books
  7. Sketch even more
    :sunglasses: turn the page
  8. use varying lineweight
  9. sketch more
  10. study perspective both by reading about the principals, and studying how your eye distorts objects
  11. always (ALWAYS) cary a sketch book, and if you have an idea, draw it
  12. sketch some more

Hi everyone!
Thought I’d not start a new thread so I’ll post my question here.
Where and how do you guys get the confidence to your line work? To me, this seems to be the basis of a good sketch or drawing, and I’d appreciate some advice and insight. I know that bullheaded practicing is about the only way but that doesn’t prevent me for looking for a shortcut anyway…
I’ve noticed that i get the best lines when sketching with a “big” and sort of a rough touch but i loose all control of direction, start- and endpoints and radiuses.

Any feedback appreciated, Super-Panda

it’s really hard to answer that without seeing you sketch. practice drawing the line in the air right above the paper a lot before you actually commit.

I’ve been practicing my sketching a lot lately and I think one of the hardest habits to break is repeating the same line too many times. If you missed the line the first time it doesn’t get any better by drawing three more on top of it. I also have to stop myself when I let my concentration drift and get sloppy with my line work. Every line is important. Make every one of them count.

Someone took me aside many years ago and explined the idea of shooting the bird… practicing drawing straight lines across a page in a very controlled way… so ideally the blank letter paper looks like it was printed with regular horizontal lines. The “shooting” and the “bird” part are when you actually start the line by making a small dot on the other side of the paper where your line should ideally end and then start the line from the opposite side ending on the dot. I’ve seen a lot of very good sketcher do a page of these before they start a sketch session and it can give you more control over the long straight lines…

Draw a light underlay, draw confident lines making up the major lines of the form, and then fill in the radius, transitions etc.

there are others variations of this one and others for curves and the like, but this might give you a good start


Thanks for your input! Answers were somewhat expected. I know there’s no other way to improve than to actually sketch, sketch, sketch. To me it’s pretty much intuitive to “hover” lines before putting pen to paper.
It’s the eye-hand coordination and interaction that is my weakest link, so I guess i’ll just have to start drawing staright lines, Whooppee!!
Anyway, keep the board alive! Where is everybody anyway? Is there another, more popular sketching/design forum somewhere?

Definitely no easy way out of this one, practice, practice, practice is the best way to guarantee improvement. I think that being an active rather than passive sketcher, will help you really improve at a faster rate. Think about each line before you put it down, is it an outside edge, is it a line to show change in form, is it a part line, is it a line to indicate a highlight? Thinking through these sorts of questions helps me to be a little more confident in what each line is supposed to accomplish. Watch others draw with a critical eye, whether it’s upperclassmen or Scott Robertson. What is it that they are doing that you would like to do? Copy their style, see if it fits for your style of sketching. Use underlays and trace your work to refine it. Few people can knock out a perfect sketch the first time. Grab some tracing paper, go over it again, make corrections. As far as improving hand eye co-ordination the connect the dots exercise is a great way to warm up, a little boring but it might prevent the first set of sketches turning out wonky.