best way to go? please help.

My sketching is not very good, so I am looking for options to improve this.
Basically the sketch itself will have to improve with practice…no other choice (right?)
But what about rendering: The results in photoshop seem quite amazing…Is it easier to make good renders with PS than the good old marker?

And finally, if I just want to add color in PS, do I still need a tablet, or a tablet is only worth it, if I am drawing straight into the computer?


It’s worth learning both. Theres a certain reality and tactility to marker renderings that you can’t achieve with photoshop.

Likewise a bad photoshop rendering will usually look worse then a decent sketch with some quick color thrown on it.

Improving isn’t just a matter of practicing - the important part is to learn where you’re going wrong, and what makes other peoples techniques work so well. Everyone has a different style, and every style has a range of quick and lose to slow and polished. What works for someone else may not work for you, but its worth understanding how they do it.

My suggestion is to start saving other peoples drawings as inspiration. Print them out and pin them up on a big wall wherever you draw. Compare your work to theirs and learn from their techniques. What makes one line weight better than another? How does perspective help explain your form? What mediums work best for a certain technique.

If you really dedicate yourself to improving you can see some pretty good results in a short period of time. I realized right towards the end of my junior year of college that I was awful at drawing, and spent at least an hour or two a day during the summer drawing. By the time I went back in the fall my professors and classmates had wondered what I did with the old me.

crawl before you can walk as the saying goes.

in college we couldn’t take PC courses before rendering courses. it was a strict prerequisite.

in my opinion you’ve got to learn how to render with markers first. its the first step to PS rendering. you will use the same techniques and learn skills and tricks that you can use later on the digital drawing board.

learning with markers/pens/pencils will train your arm. thats the most important. there will be hundreds of times when you don’t have a wacom on the spot, in the factory, with an engineer, at a bar, on a subway, bed side table, etc, etc. learn to communicate your ideas efficiently without the digital crutch. some say you don’t need to be able to sketch/render/whatever, that’s BS- that’s a different job from traditional ID, which is still fine. use the digital rendering as a tool in your various box of tools, not your screwdriver to hammer in a bolt.

It has been mentionned in the other replies but I truly think that one should have a good sketching basis before jumping on Photoshop. Achieving a good rendering by hand or by photoshop can be equally difficult since the same basics of perspective, lighting and rendering applies.

It is really worth to improve your hand sketching because sometime you’ll just have a napkin and a bic pen.

If you are really looking into improving your sketch, practice and commitment is probably the best way to go. You can also check out books and instructionnal DVD’s, like Scott Robertson’s video tutorials at Gnomon Workshop that can be quite usefull :