Help Needed, Sketching and that...


I’ve put a few of my portfolio attempts up on Core and have had feedback which always mentioned that I didnt include enough development work. So i have a few questions about the inclusion of development work into my existing portfolio’s

  1. Do i need to put more examples of sketching in (see attatched file) or should i do more to make my actual development process more obvious? also, how could i include the attatched sketching into my existing portfolio, which is:

  2. Whenever I scan or photograph my sketches, i cant seem to make them clean enought to put into my portfolio. is there any tips or hints that anyone has about photoshopping them? i work in blue pencil usually.

  3. When i apply for a job and it asks me for “examples of work” should I:
    include just one project and put in the development of that project or put in a few projects and just have the finished products? Here is what i send out at the moment:

Thanks, any comments appreciated


hey man,

  1. i guess the answer to this one is both! not so much just examples of sketchin but show the process, prehaps more like this is my problem, i did this analysis, here is my exploration into that (could be sketchin or modelling or a mixture) and therefore this is my answer, bam! shiny presentation visual!

  2. play with the levels and the contrast. using the levels usually sorts it out, sketch big and then shrink them, comp pages together to make a really nice quality busy page.

  3. if you are just sending a few “exampls of work” then i would send your best stuff, ur best visual project, best page of hot sketches, cad etc rather than just send one project send a range of stuff both in terms of project and type of work. but present it all in a coherent way

im new at this also tho so shout me down if im wrong!

Process is always good. It shows how you arrive at things. Final examples are also good.

As far as the image you posted, I think it could do without the photoshopped shadows. It’s very distracting and not well done.

Also, don’t only work in blue pencil. Use the blue to rough in, then use black to clean up the lines. It will be easier to scan and clean up. I’ve been sketching lately with the new Sharpie pen and it scans amazingly! You can do real light lines and darken them up pretty good.

Once you scan your image, go into levels and adjust the slider. You can also use the eyedrop tool in the levels panel. Use the lightest one and touch it to a light gray area and it will turn that grey into white.

Sometimes your white paper scans gray. By using the eyedropper, you can make it white again. I sometimes will desaturate the image, then adjust the contrast. This way your only dealing with grayscale and no color. You can always colorize it to make it look like blue pencil.


i don’t really know what im looking at in the image attached to your post… doesn’t look very strong compared to the portfolio. i don’t really consider this “sketching”…maybe it’s just the sample, dunno. it’s obviously digital and doesn’t read very well. i’d rather see a nice pencil/pen sketch than an overworked digital one with not much content to it.

you graphics are nice. i think process is relatively well covered in the portfolio with the exception that there is not much sketching. perhaps this might be what you are hearing when people ask for process. from my perspective you got everything else except this. modeling, user analysis, 3d rendering, etc.

i’d guess that perhaps you don’t feel too comfortable with sketching so aren’t showing much (correct me if im wrong).

from the little in sketching i do see, it looks kinda basic. i think if you could improve these skills and showcase them more you would have a very well rounded portfolio.

as for cleaning up sketches, yes, levels are the best way. there is a white eyedropper in the levels palette in photoshop which you can use to select the white of the paper and have it become more white accordingly. then darken the rest of the linework by adjusting the center slider. normally this works quite well.


hey guys,

thanks for the help, its much appreciated. On my attatched picture above i was just giving an example of what i could include to show process work, also it was just one of my practices trying to do photoshop sketch rendering. but i’ll keep practising.

Ive done a composition page of sketches, without any shoddy photoshop work and attatched that. do you think something like that along with some examples of CAD, Modelmaking and other work would do for sending with my CV?

also, Should i just put a page of sketches in with my portfolio or should i try and link them in with my projects? because i spent a lot of time sorting the graphical composition of my portfolio and think it looks pretty good, i also think this is one of my strongest skills.

Sorry i’m being a bit needy with my questions


something like your above attached sketch page is better. You could show a compilation or within the context of a project.

Still, from my perspective, I’d say that if you could improve your sketch skills more, it would help round out your portfolio. You’ve got graphics, process, modeling and the thinking aspects in place pretty solid, I would say, but the sketching is a bit on the week side, and somehow within the context of your other strong skills it highlights this even more. Also, given this, I would be aware of how you present things, as it could come across as lots of sizzle and little steak. I know you aren’t likely trying to hide anything, but because of your strong graphics and layout, i’m getting this feeling a bit…

on the positive side, it’s a good thing that you have only one thing to concentrate on- sketching. the majority of portfolios out there not only need help in sketching, but also are weak in graphics, layout etc. You are ahead of the curve in that respect.




The sketches on the second image that you posted are really nice, they show off your skills way better than the photoshopped dev work. I wouldn’t have recognised them as the same person’s work.