First year student looking for some feedback

I’m a first year design student at Carnegie Mellon, almost definitely going into ID next year :smiley:
Just some of the better stuff i’ve done since getting back from break.
I really want to get my drawing up to snuff so any feedback or words of advice would be appreciated :slight_smile:


2nd draft

Keep working. Draw, draw, draw.

Focus on line drawings for now. Ignore the marker/color. Get your proportions, lineweight and perspective right first.

CMU represent! Keep going. Takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at anything.

^—This is critical. While your marker work actually seems pretty tidy for a freshman I would work on really pushing your basic line skills first.

Check out if you haven’t already - tons of great tutorials and motivation. I found that giving myself a project each night to sketch (and not necessarily something I would have wanted to draw like cars or robots) was a great way to push myself and really learn.

Practice taking objects around your house whether geometric or organic and work on sketching a bunch of designs for at least an hour each night. You’ll improve incredibly fast if you continue to push yourself and be able to identify things in every sketch that weren’t quite right (perspective, line weight, wrong ellipses, etc).

Thanks for the reply!
I’ll try to keep those things in mind, particularly proportion, I think that one falls by the wayside sometimes…

Woop woop! Go tartans! lol

Yea I’ve been to IDsketching, some good stuff there, but i always wish there was moar!!
But I definitely want to try to fit in more formal sketch time. I did the blue (then red) car in my free time, so no excuses i guess right! :slight_smile:

Woot woot CMU!

I would really focus on your basic cubes and cylinders for right now (at least one page a day). I notice that your style is much more illustrative than formal ID sketching, so you should practice doing more underlays with basic geometry when constructing complicated car and camera shapes. Also try adding shadows to your objects, they’ll seem more grounded.

I’ve finally started doing just straight line practice on 11x17, and i can tell its helped a bit. I guess cubes and cylinders will be added to that routine!
See you in the AM :slight_smile:

I read Outliers, too.

Definitely agree. Practice makes perfect. If you devote the hours to practice what you already know and just go for a harder design each time you will get better and better before you know it! Good luck!

I have pages and pages of just line, cylinder/ellipse, and cube practice, but I figure the manifestation sketches are more interesting :stuck_out_tongue:

sort of in chronological order (most recent at bottom)

It was groundhog’s day

A lot of great advice above so I will not repeat. The one thing I would point out is loosen up. You look a bit stiff. This will come with practice, but like mentioned before SKETCH, SKETCH, SKETCH. You actually are moving in a good direction, but you will only get better with time and practice. Keep them coming. There is nothing better for us old guys than for us to see the progress of a young designer.

Edit: I will add that cars are very hard to draw and very few do it well. I would focus on products for now and then move on to more complex objects like cars.

Yea, cars are temping because I really like them, but you definitely have a point that they may be a little above my level for the time being.
I really liked doing the pencil sharpeners the other day. They start with a really basic rectilinear form but still have a lot of room for exploring form, in terms of drawing as well as design. They were fun and rewarding sketches :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback!

Looking at your work, I would recommend focusing your effort on perspective at this point. Pick up a book or read online materials about the basic 1, 2 and 3 point perspectives. For ID work, you’ll more likely end up using 2 point perspective for most work.

Try sketching the simple object (primitive forms, or combination of primitive forms) over and over with slightly different perspectives each time. Once you feel comfortable that object, you’ll be able to apply the learning onto other objects or designs. I’m thinking by spreading yourself with variety of subjects, you are having to re-learn basic perspective every time, which might be slowing your progress down.

That my 2 cents, but I’m sure others may have different view on how to pick up sketching in perspective.

I would buy a shitty sketchbook or a big pad of newsprint and just fill it with cubes, cylinders, cones, pyramids in varied perspective with cast shadows. May also help to analyze a page that you did, sketch over it to correct perspective, make notes on where you are not paying attention to.

What also helps is taking an object in real life and drawing through it. Not like fine art still life, but break a camera into its basic shapes: rectangular box, cylinder, etc.

do you guys have any specific tips or advice on how to evaluate my sketching on, lets say, a cube? Or how to make basic shape drawing a more dynamic experience?
I draw cubes and cylinders and stuff a whole lot, but I find it kind of hard to have direction in doing so.

I don’t really know how to explain what I mean, but maybe I feel like it’s at the point where I’m drawing a drawing of a cube, and not actually a cube, so the goals in my sketching feel a little…mm… well, they are hard to define.
But at the end of a drawing of some kind of product or something, I feel I can judge the quality of the drawing more critically. Like, I wouldn’t draw a camera with tons of convergence because it’s not a very large object, so that would be a built in criteria for evaluation my perspective. Or maybe drawing a pencil sharpener I have a specific angle that is most telling that I want to draw it from, so i have that criteria for evaluation as well; i.e. is the convergence accurate considering the angle of the two sides.

But with a cube or a cylinder or a cone etc. I draw it and just ask myself if anything diverges, are my lines straight, and then I’m sort of at a loss; some look better than others, but it almost feels like luck. They are such impersonal, abstract objects I find it hard to judge their quality or see progress like I do drawing products and the like.

I don’t doubt you guys at all that more basic form drawing might be what I need right now. But I sort of feel like I don’t know how to go about it that it will be as meaningful of a process as it should be.

Your cubes in all all your images are pretty much all the same in proportion and perspective angle. In addition your line weights don’t have much conviction they are quite chicken scratcthy (or hairy lines). So to improve on your cubes I would first hark back to the straight lines and try and draw straight lines that are the length of the A4 page. This will really make you use your arm.

Then start banging out the cubes, thick lineweight for outside lines thinner for contour lines, all in different angles. Don’t forget it can be fun to do this as illustrated by Anh Nguyen:

Then move onto the cylinders cones etc…

The elements that make a “product” sketch “good” are the same as if you were drawing a cube cylinder; line weight, perspective, proportions composition.

Maybe try another pen that has a better ink flow to start of with to help with the confidence. It looks like your drawing with a bic biro. I’ve had hits and misses with biro’s there so cheap that some have a nice ink flow and some just plainly suck. So maybe move to a gel ink type pen or pilot fineliner.

Also do not get disheartened. This will take a while to master.

If you get into this routine eventually it will become a habit,for me I always start the morning off banging out some cubes cylinders or some product doodles based on those primitive forms… it’s always a good warm up for the day.

  • a bunch of ugly pages of ellipses, cylinders etc. =\

a lot coming in the next day or two…

mostly just rendering practice since i got a couple new copics :slight_smile: and work for our current drawing project of redesigning our studio space. The zone i’m working on is a collapsible light-table bar type thing :stuck_out_tongue:

Looks like those last couple of the desk type surface are starting to put it all together. I can see the progression. Keep pushing yourself to sketch often. If you find yourself thinking about something, force yourself to immediately sketch 10 variations of it.