Beautiful Surfacing Sketching

As always I’m looking to build my sketch skillset, and have hit a bit of a roadblock in creating beautiful or well thought out new forms. Something with way more fitness than I can currently achieve. I’m looking for advice on how to create surfaces that knit and wow, rather than looking like two boxes joined together! Maybe something with seamless transitions and beautiful lines.

I know this isn’t an overnight learning, but I’m no-where near it yet, and would love any hints, tips and places to look for inspiration!


In terms of sketching out organic forms, I find it helpful to use underlays with all of the contour and joining lines first to work out the actual surface, and then use the contour lines on the underlay as marker guides for the shadows and highlights on the later sketches. I also find it helpful to trace over existing images that have the shapes/shadows/highlights I’m looking for if I really can’t get my head around it.

Start simple with a sphere, and then two spheres with a bridge between them and so on.

Two designers that come to mind for organic form inspiration are Luigi Colani and Ross Lovegrove. I did a Luigi Colani inspired speaker project when I was a student that definitely improved how I thought about complex surfaces knitting together.

Hi Sophie,

If you step to sketching complex surfaces and blends, I recommend first mastering basic use of materials.
If you know how to draw reflective surfaces, you can already start applying that to complex surfaces as well which makes them much more legible besides the contour and section cut lines you usually draw.

A good surface comes from a good division and proportioning of volumes. It is a good idea for you to start blending volumes. First determine for both volumes where the blend is going to flow into the volume, draw a line there, and then draw the section lines flowing from the first volume to the other. Then also determine for other volumes, if there are any, the in-between surface. From there you can start shading.

Keep posting and we will stay in the loop