how do you sketch???

something i recently noticed when i am really having fun sketching i kind of blank out and everything is kind of a blur, iam not explicitly thinking of something. when it hits the paper is the 1st time i am seeing it, like there is no picture of this idea in my head.

what are you thinking about when you sketch? are you thinking? do you visualize in your head?

For me I am thinking about the abstract of the project as well as kind of the tenants of a good sketch, but it is important not to judge yourself while doing this. The point is to get ideas out, which is probably the freedom you are referring to.

That said I do some of my best sketches while talking on the phone or to a friend…

so when you are trying to visualize these ideas do you try to see them in your mind?
i know er’body has a different approach, but i am curious how professionals/other students go about it…

so when you are trying to visualize these ideas do you try to see them in your mind?
i know er’body has a different approach, but i am curious how professionals/other students go about it…

Hmmm, I think I have a concept in my mind, but I’m visualizing as I go, finding new ideas within the idea. I like to sketch up 10-20 variations on a single idea, and then pick the elements that make the most sense to draw up a refined version. By the end of a project I have stacks of sketches, inspiration and research that tell a linear story, though the process seems anything but linear while in the middle.

When I am sketching for fun, sometimes I have an idea or inspiration, others I just sit down and randomly start laying down value and line and see what comes out. Or I just draw whats around me.

Professionally, I think about the concept and draw the easiest idea I can think of and then I try to think about the most abstract idea I can come up with. Then I think about form and design and function and design. Then I a draw for for awhile I zone in and out thinking about concepts or whatever else is going on. Then I look at what I have layed down, and evaluate whats good and whats not, and refine.

first thing when you grab a pencil is to draw some figures for an hour or so…

then you will be warmed up and will have all the inspiration you need for your project…

So do you evaluate as you go?

the thing that i do that i just can not seem to get over, i am trying but i just can not turn my brain off when i am doing projects, i end up filtering myself before i even put a line on the page. i just do not get the same free flow on ideas when i am just doodling or playing around

The problem I have is that I seem to ‘self-censor’ as I go, so by the time i’ve finished drawing, there’s only one idea there. It works for me, but when I take the results to show management, you can see the thinking… “lazy bugger’s only done ONE idea!”

I had this problem through school and college as well, it was really hard when part of the design syllabus refers to drawing 5-10 ideas for a project, then eliminating all but 2, develop them and then pick what’s best - In my head, that’s all done ‘back office’ before I get to the page.

Anyone else experience this, or have any ideas that will enable me to break out of this method?

I used to suffer from the same thing tremendously, that’s why I could never generate volume. Didn’t help that it wasn’t necessary in the school I was taught, we came up with one concept and made it work. It just seemed like a waste to me because I could filter it in my head and not waste the time drawing tons of different ideas just to do it. And it also seemed to be a waste to continue to draw something that I had already figured out was “wrong”.

Then I had to look at it this way…to not filter as much because they sometimes need to see the “wrong” ideas so they can follow your path to the “right” ones. It’s a way to get people to understand “why” something is wrong. They may have some “obvious” (ly-wrong) solutions in their heads and wondering why you hadn’t reached any of those conclusions or explored them. It’s a good idea to go ahead and show them to get rid of those questions and to knock out the garbage early so people don’t try to bandaid it in last minute on top of a nicely refined design. I also had to accept the fact that they can’t read my mind, so even though I figured stuff out in my head, when showing someone else, they can’t make that leap with nothing to see. So you have to sit and still draw it out as fast as you can so others can read your flow and understand your direction. The way I was previously doing was just giving them the cliff notes or just telling them the conclusion to the story. The butler did it, easy to see at the end of the process, but during the story that may not be so clear, so you have to lead up to it with “wrong” info…it was the maid in the basement, etc…so they can get the feel for the story and see that your final conclusions were in fact the best ones given the constraints and the total story.

Try to think in terms of each concept solving one specific solution in one way. Other concepts have to singularly solve a different problem, or solve the problem in a completely different way. That way you’ll have some depth so you can cross-pollinate and show lots of concepts in different ways and combos to then come up with the super solutions in the end after a process of building up and stripping down. Good luck, hope this helps.

and sometimes as wrong as some of those ideas are, they spark another idea a few weeks later that they wouldn’t have had you not taken 5 minutes to jot it down on paper. There is plenty of time to figure out what is not right. Take a few days at the beginning to open up the throttle and see how far you can go when you lift some constraints. Let the boundaries of your imagination be the only limitation when you are starting to sketch.

When it comes to generating a LOT of ideas to address one problem, I find it useful to write down (not draw) as many ideas as possible before I sketch a single idea. There is only one rule in this brainstorming, and it’s that you can’t evaluate the idea. Save evaluations for the next round when you are actually sketching. Then as you sketch, you can evaluate the ideas, whether or not they are feasible, or worth drawing. Einstein once said something to the effect of “any idea that at first doesn’t seem ridiculous has no hope”. I’m always amazed at how many ‘stupid’ ideas can be turned into a great creative solution with a little tweaking.

To answer the original question, as I sketch a design, the better I get at bieng a designer, the better I get at looking ‘through’ the drawing to the actual object I’m creating. So there is a LOT of pushing lines around, and erasing, as the 3d object on the paper slowly takes shape. I don’t ever worry about making a ‘pretty’ drawing when I start out, and once i have a decent style or design down, then I use the original crappy thicklined sketch as an underlay for a more ‘presentable’ drawing, so others can see what I see on the paper.

I definitely second the writing part first, definitely a fast way to give yourself a path to make concept sketching go smoothly.

Sorry to Hijack your thread a bit there junglebrodda, but skinny, yo and Kooshman have given me some food for thought and a new way of looking at things - I just have to try not to evaluate now, easier said than done!

much easier said than done.

that is probably the best thing about this journey i have been on, because when i 1st started that was exactly my position, i did not see the point in drawing what i had already figured out in my head and i was not really sure what i was supposed to be doing (still not sure). i have always liked drawing and it took me a while to learn the difference between a drawing and a sketch, i spent a lot of time where i was in the gray area where i was what i was doing was not detailed enough to be considered a drawing nor quick, loose, and thinking enough to be a sketch. in the process i just got into the mode of over analyzing what i was doing and it is something i would like to get out of this habit, as was said, much easier said than done…

it is all good, i started thread for this reason we were getting at the same thing