maze's sketch thread

Hi guys

I wanted to have my own sketch thread for quite a while but not able to have enough sketches to start. Recently got back to sketching regularly so I think it’s a good way for me to learn. I will be posting new sketches here weekly and hope to get some feedback.

Quick intro of myself. My name is Ben. I’m 19 and currently learning product design in design school in New Zealand and currently a first year undergraduate.

Previously I have some experience in sketching mostly loose sketches of cars, not really formal training. Currently I am undertaking a class on basic sketching in school, daily warm-ups before sketching (Filling paper with lines, square, circle etc.), reading books on sketching with the most recent on How to Draw by Scott Robertson and been doing exercises on that.

I guess my interest is to improve on my sketching (More confident lines, better perspectives, maybe rendering and shadows) therefore starting this thread. Seeing users like mbw, apowers and designfabulous inspired myself to improve and I think it’s a good benchmark to achieve by this year if that’s not too high of an expectation.

Here are some of I think my most successful sketches so far. Haven’t got proper scans of them as they’re from my Instagram. Will do proper scans for next batch.


I’m glad you started your own discussion thread. It is a great way to track your progress, keep all of your feedback in one spot, and build momentum. The above is a good volume to kick off as a base line. I hope you post regularly so you can get a sense of week by week progress.

A few pieces of feedback below:

1: are you overlaying your sketches? One way to make them cleaner is to figure out the design and composition on one sheet and then put a clean sheet over top and re sketch it more cleanly, correcting a few mistakes. Do this 10-20 times and you will have a much better sketch. This is a normal beginner technique, bit I do it as well. Almost every sketch I post has at least one overlay.

2: try changing mediums. I’d be curious to see what you would don with a prisma pencil vs pen

3: proportions. A lot of your cars are toy like in proportion. Too short. One trick that helps is cutting the paper down the center horizontally so you have very long and low pieces of paper. This forces your proportions to be lower and wider.

Looking forward to the next batch.

One quick comment. Try not to be so sloppy with your drop shadows and background shading. If you can crisp those lines up, make the lines more dense and not overshoot your boundaries as far , itll help out a bit as right now. Always good to reference any of Spencer Nugents sketches as he got a very good cross hatch/shading style

Hey Ben,

Glad to see you started your own thread! This forum has proved to be an invaluable place for feedback for me, and I owe a lot of my progress to the dedicated individuals that have taken time out of their days to give me feedback. Keep posting and reaching for input on your work!

As far as the sketches you posted this week I think Michael covered most of it, my only addition would be to focus on the large volumes and their proportions and relationship between each other before spending time shading/detailing/rendering etc.

It also might help to lighten up on the amount of lines you’re using to build up the sketches (for the sake of time and also readability). If you want a bold line to pop out it would serve you better to use a felt tip marker or something along those lines.

I look forward to seeing your progress!


About the overlays most of these are done observing from existing images (magazines, websites etc.) with few exception like the watches and the Land Rover that I thought of as I drawn.

I’ve been looking into Newsprint pads as they’re quite affordable to experiment at my level I think. I will get some when I go to my local art supplies store next time.

Regarding to perspective I think you’re right. The thing is that my sketching tutor previously worked in the automotive industry and he taught us like a shortcut to draw most cars to start from an eclipse that I guess dictates pretty much the overall form in the beginning. Also I want to point out that the sketch before the LR is a Kei car so the real car actually has a similar toy like proportion. I’ll have a try on your suggestion.


I’ve been staying away from shadows for my sketches this week and my tutor suggested the same to focus my energy on form and proportion. I guess we’ll find out when I do some tighter sketches.


I can clearly see that the sketch thread worked out great for you and I’ve been following your thread for quite a while that lead me to start my own. It’s always good to have some internal competition going on I think. Thanks for the push man.

About the lines I think you’re right. It is more efficient to go over lines that I want thick by using a marker. My thought is that it kind of gives the form a more 3D look with the shades without doing too many cross section lines which gives almost like a instrumental drawing look to it.

And thanks to everyone that gave feedback it’s been quite motivating. I’ll try get this week’s sketches before Sunday.

I haven’t been managing my school work as well as I’ll like. Nonetheless here are a very late post of supposedly last week’s sketches. I would put more energy in line detail if I had more time but that’s just more of a cheap excuse I guess.

I had some trouble getting a good perspective in these sketches below

These are some of the weekly assignments that I did for sketching class where I was asked to sketch a speaker design inspired by a musician and a computer mouse that is not normally made by a computer hardware company. In this case I chose Audi.

This is a great start Ben, even though the line work is still a bit heavy, the cleanliness on the page is much nicer, and helps us break down your sketches.

As far as the speaker design goes, I think the major critique on projects like these is to do some thinking on why this company (In your case, Audi) would make a speaker, and what that speaker would accomplish. It seems like these sort of assignments are trying to deter students from thinking in terms of product design, and focus on only the drawing aspect. I would encourage you to put in the extra effort and engage in the design process. I’ve found that just thinking and designing more things has significantly cut down the amount of time I need to reach a final design for my own projects.

As far as your car sketches, your wheelbases tend to be too short. Try sketching existing cars in side view and analyze the proportions using the wheel of the vehicle as a measurement. Pay attention to where things start and stop in relation to the wheels.

Thanks apowers

As for the speakers they’re actually suppose to be inspired from a musician and I went with Coldplay on that. (I must have not talked about it clear enough, apologies there)

Yea I guess these exercises are just that we don’t sketch boring shapes. At the end this is still a sketching class I think it’s not very possible that we would pull out a full fledge project like in studio projects. But I’ll keep in mind of putting that extra effort on thinking and designing. It seems to be a good idea. But to me personally I always have this problem when ideating in the start of a studio project where I’ll probably get stuck after the first half an hour and start to draw random forms to fill pages so that I have something to talk about.

I’m still trying to do cars with more lengthy proportions especially sedans and coupes. Will give side views a try. To be honest I’m starting to get bored of cars though.

I’ve been slacking on these sketches because of school. For some reason the sketches I did on newsprint when scanned over saturate, I’ve tried many adjustments in Photoshop but no help would be great if some one give a hand.

This sketch here should look like the one below

Maze, you cars are far too short. Try cutting the paper in half or overlaying someone else’s sketch to hang of the proportions. Also I think you should try switching mediums. Try moving to prism pencil.

yo, I took your suggestion and tried lengthening the cars. I did some overlays on some existing cars so I think that helped a bit. Also I try to keep in mind to use as few strokes as possible in sketches if that helps.

Recently bought the Wacom Intuos Creative stylus and it’s been a reasonably great experience so far after a week of use. But I tend to get easily sucked into spending too long sketching because of the amount of tools available in disposal without worrying about inks. Not sure if it’s a good thing.

Because of my finals I’ve been absent for a long time. Good thing is that the semester has finished so hoping to post more frequently. For a start I decided to do a few blobs of random things.

It is not a good thing. Pencil and paper are your friends as they have: no lag, no smoothing, physical drag and friction, large flat area to hold perspective points. Like you said before newsprint pads, nothing precious. Keep up the work, you will progress and the gravity-free digital tools will be waiting for you and will only get better.

Thanks nxakt

I guess you’re right, it feels weird and disconnected drawing on glass lines slips so easily there’s almost less control. I think it better to see it as a tool for rendering sketches to improve the workflow of a project.

Here’s another batch of sketches. I kind of ran out of ideas to sketch so suggestions are welcome.

Trying to sketch as often as I could as I have more free time. I sometimes slack off.

There’s been a massive delay in sketches. Nonetheless here they are.

Some sketches from a studio project that we’re doing at the moment.

I’ve been experimenting sketching on a tablet

I’d admit that wheel at the front is very out of perspective. I was trying to achieve a extreme dramatic angle kind of thing. Guess back to perspective basics.

Just a note I’ve been keeping in mind on sketching on different mediums, but haven’t got around doing it.