At what age did you start sketching?

I guess a good 95% of you started off when you were kids or something…I’m just checking to see if the other 5% is mostly just me (I’m ancient, and started sketching yesterday).

Like anything, there are a certain number of hours that have to be put in to become fluent. Think of it like learning a language. You start off crudely, learning random words. Eventually you become good enough to start to structure some simple sentences. With daily practice, and surrounding yourself with other people who speak that language so you converse daily, you eventually become fluent.

An instructor once told me that your first 2,000 sketches will be trash, so get those out of the way as fast as possible. There is something to that. Just spending the time to become familiar with the tools, the paper, and the types of marks you can make is essential to developing. Once the mark becomes an extension of your mind things start to click. You start focusing on the idea your trying to convey and stop struggling with the mechanics of how to sketch it.

To answer your question though, I never stopped drawing from when I was a kid.

I starting “doodling” when I was about 6 or 7. Typically it would be in the margins or the back cover of my notebooks.

I have been drawing and creating for as long as I can remember. I wish I did it more now. Like Yo mentioned you have to do it everyday to keep it up.


around 5-6 yrs old…

Probably since first or second grade. I probably would have gotten better grades in school if I didn’t doodle. Looking back, I’m glad I was a doodler!

I started sketching properly last year.

I am 19 now and can sketch certain things half decent because I went about sketching in a more strategic manner. I understand that certain people think it takes x amount of hours (such as 10000 is it?) to master a skill but I decided to pull on as many resources as possible when I started sketching properly (3+ hours a day, every day) and working on warm-up exercises etc.

I talked to an awesome designer who sketched for around 80 hours a week (let’s be fair, it was probably an 80 hour week here and there…) but it was just on his own and at drawing classes. My argument is how many hours is calculated learning worth in terms of say, watching Scott Robinson videos and mastering the techniques there. How many hours does that save?! I would say many for me!

The other thing is I think I have travelled a lot more than most people my age and had some truly great experiences linked to designers in terms of using design thinking to plan a project with NASA, or presenting a design in Silicon Valley’s NASA Ames Research Centre or meeting with some of the best Industrial Designers in the Industry. I know sketching is important, believe me. I know it’s probably the most important skill for become a great designer but my question is what is the most important thing for become one of the greatest designers around? I would say life, cultural and inspiring experiences.

What does everyone else think on this?

Ah, but that is not the question Liam. What your doing is called a thread-jack.

No one is saying it is an either or. Sketching is but one skill, but to master it takes time and effort. That is great if you have accelerated your learning curve though! You should post some sketches.

I sketched a lot when when I was younger, but it wasn’t really ‘design’ sketching… more like jotting down notes without words or trying to draw pictures in magazines

I’ve found it one of those things that I have to work at all the time, even still after almost 15 professional years as a designer. I still completely admire some of the *&@#-hot sketchers that can make a perfect line capturing a shape in a stroke

My parents met in art school, sketching a concept on paper was a primary form of communication of concepts from them to me and my brother and sisters. Drawing “things” and later improvements on “things” started very young.

Ah I did wonder if that was or not! Thanks for the heads up.

I will indeed post some sketches (as soon as I gain access to a scanner) I am dying for some direction. I’ve been in China for a year and failed to find a drawing school…

Thanks again for heads up!

You meant Scott Robertson, right?

His sketching DVDs are the shizzle!

Although I feel kinda silly doing that perspective grid exercise he shows at the beginning of his first DVD, about 10-12 times everyday.
But I guess if I just grind through it, my sketching skills would improve no matter what.

Scott Robertson is a great resource! Another exercise I like to do is to draw many parallel and perpendicular straight lines. Within these lines, I then draw ellipses and circles. Try to hit your ellipses and circles in less than two attempts. Rinse and repeat many times!

This is precisely what I have been doing a lot over the past 10 months or so. I find that if I hit a wall with drawing but I don’t want to stop (and feel bad about being terrible) then I go back to this exercise. I find that drawing page after page of straight lines and moving onto parallels and perps in prospective and then drawing ellipses inside them is something that improves my technique.

And yes I mean Scott Robertson! (woops…)