Apowers' Design School Journey

Hello Core77,

My name is Aaron Powers and I’m an incoming second semester student at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Just some quick background information on me, I have taken one basic art class previous to the four class I have completed at AAU and I am highly motivated to improve as quick as possible and produce quality work. These 3 sketches are just a glimpse into my perspective course which I have just completed, but I would like to use this thread to post all new sketches for my next drawing classes (Digital Imaging and Design Drawing 1) and any sketches which I do for fun outside of the courses.

I appreciate any feedback I can get, and hope to learn as much as possible from these boards.

4/01/2014: Here is my most current work


Hey Aaron, good start. I think I might work on overlaying some of these and focusing on varying your line weight a bit, a lot of the sketches feel a little stiff. In the flashlight sketches it’s hard to tell what the cross section is. If it’s supposed to be circular your ellipses look too narrow and a little football shaped. In the camera sketches try to make sure all of your lens ellipses have their minor axis lining up with the same perspective line.

Keep it up, looking forward to seeing more

For the flashlight, your ellipses aren’t correct.

Been pretty busy with winter break, and now I’m taking a 15 week color and design class condensed into 3 weeks so I’m pretty packed. However, I’m trying to really push my understanding of complex form and here are my first sunglasses sketches, and hopefully some better constructed cars. My instructor told me that the first two cars show that I lack an understanding of volume, so I watched both Scott Robertson videos and the dirtier ones I tried to really construct out.

I’m struggling getting the curves on the further side of the cars to look right, I’m just not understanding what they should look like.

The last image is just some thumbnails for an abstract/organic composition for my color and design class that can’t have any gradients, so I’ll be simplifying them.

Getting better. How often are you sketching? In what medium?

Try sketching a minimum of 10 pages per day. Try sketching around a theme each day (ie watches one day, dishwashers the next, followed by to go coffee cups…)

Also try switching you mediums up. Try to sketch only with a black sharpie for a week. Then only with a blue pencil for a week.

Lastly, when you see things out in the world, try to imagine what the designer’s sketch looked like for that product. How would that person communicate the idea?

The past 15 weeks I’ve been sketching about 30-40 completed pages on 11x17 a week, and 99% of them have been in ballpoint, and the rest in prismacolor. The next 15 weeks will be my introduction into lighting/rendering sketches. I will definitely take your advice and shoot for 10 pages a day with different mediums!

Thanks for the feedback and help!

Finished my color and design work before midnight so did a little experimenting with blue prisma and the intimidating pilot fine liner.

Ugly slammed car, but starting to understand the forms that cars have.

Warmup watch

apowers are you doing any overlays/underlays?

One thing that might be interesting os to take a stack of sketches from a few weeks ago and try overlaying them. Fix what you see needs fixing, and keep what you think is working.

Also, try sketching the object upside down, not you upside down, the product on the page :wink:

Received my winter break assignment for my design drawing class, and it’s a lot of primitives/basic objects before we get into shading. Also don’t have an 11x17 scanner in my room so sorry about the cut off sketches.

In the mean time here’s what’s been kicking my butt in my winter class…

Gonna upload the bunch I get done tonight, thanks for the feedback everyone.

Also, Yo, I have tried overlays a few times and I haven’t had much success at “fixing” any sketches, I end up just making the sketch really static. I’ll try some overlays tonight, thanks again for the feedback.

One more week until I’ll be back in the IDS groove…

Some quick sketches in class today 3-5 minutes per. First time sketching shoes

Those cameras are looking pretty good. They look a bit looser, and more abbreviated. They also look better because the design elements go together better. Seems like your sense of design language is improving, which makes sketching much easier!

I recommend using pens at this point instead of pencil. Pencil is more forgiving, so it’s not as good as pens for practicing. A sharpie will make you good at line weights really fast, and help teach restraint. I’m more of a scratchy sketcher as well. I use the BIC Crystal pens, which are probably too scratchy for good sketch practice, but I like that pencil grip. =)

Pens also allow you to define an idea faster, so you can generate more iterations, and more ideas as a result.

Thanks for the feedback, Cameron!

Unfortunately my current Design Drawing 1 class is Prismacolor pencil only so I was just getting in the groove of using pencil again.

I have a ton of sketches to post I’m just trying to figure out a good way to scan them because they are all on 18x24 paper. I think I’m just going to have to crop each individual sketch or as many that will fit under the scanner.

Until then, here is my 2nd week assignment in Design Drawing 1. This assignment was the introduction to shading all primitive shapes. The top left page is the page in which I finished last, and the bottom left was my first page. I have a handful of things that I know need improvement but I’d love to hear more from you guys.

And here’s my first try at rendering in Photoshop, messing around with different styles and black/grey/high contrast surfaces.

Looks like your confidence on the page is building.

Thanks Yo,

Here’s this weeks work… Showing black and white surfaces…

big step!

Nice tonal sketchwork!

very good, but be careful with middle cylinders top ellipses, they look a bit too dark