Old School Rendering still in?


I am taking a presentation techniques class that has us using markers and pencil only and recently two professors of mine mentioned to me that old school rendering techniques are not in use anymore and that it’s all about computer programs such as Sketchbook Pro and scanning our line sketches into PHotoshop, etc instead of bothering with talc powder, pastels and the like. I bought a bunch of colored pastels and pencils because I was inspired by the old books written on the subject (like Dick Powell’s) and wanted to learn how to use them to create shade, shadow, etc. and I don’t feel like I am wasting my time learning these techniques. We haven’t gotten into software yet (that’s later on) like Sketchbook, but what do you all think? Are these methods on their way out? First of all, I want to say that I am getting something out of using pastels and markers and I feel it’s probably better to learn the basics and then when I master the principles of perspective drawing, line weight, shading and shadows, I can then move onto software programs and put to use what I have learned. Should I continue learning the old school way and are there any “senior” (I don’t mean OLD, just been working for a long time. :slight_smile: ) designers that still use old school techniques at work?

Thanks guys!


Sure, I do not do that much old school rendering for work, BUT, it is the foundation of everything I do. At my office, we do lots of sketching. We also do digital renderings (which you would have no idea how to do if you did not learn how to render old school first). Bottom line, old school is a great foundation for digital work.

Jeff :smiley:

Agreed! I recently bought Product Rendering With Markers by Mark W. Arends and it has so much good information that can work in any medium.

The computer is just a tool, so is a marker etc.

I just picked up a copy of that along with Dick Powell’s Design Rendering Techniques!

I find that working with pen and markers keeps me focused on executing through every action due to that lack of a “Undo” button. Digital can sometimes lead to too much dilly dallying.

I think it is a great foundation, it gives you a truer sense of how to do things I think.

Thanks guys for all your feedback. I appreciate it. I will continue doing what I am doing and learning from the ground up. I am actually enjoying using the pastels (never used them before in my life) and markers. To me, its easy to convey shadow and highlights with pastel and have noticed doing a search through all the older posts, people who have used them in their own sketches and work. So I guess there will always be a place for old school methods. Like J6Studios mentioned earlier, it’s just another medium. :slight_smile:

By the way, a video I got recently from Copic markers produced overseas on product rendering, has the instructor using not just markers, but pastels (and talcum powder!), colored pencil and all the above. It’s a very impressive video, if any students are interested in getting it, its found on Copicmarker.com. Hey J6, what do you think of the video so far? Not bad, huh?

Yeah, great DVD! A lot of good techniques! I wish volume 2 was sold here in the U.S.!! Scott Robertson has some good DVD’s on rendering form. He uses Nupastel chalk and Vertithin-Prismacolor pencils on the last one.


Yes, I have all 3 of Scott’s videos. :slight_smile: Yes, they ARE good.

BTW, I emailed Copic twice in the last few weeks asking if they were thinking of getting that part two of the video and still nothing! :angry:

It does say for the first time since I started researching this video on their website Copicmarker.com, that they are now going to start adding some more instructional DVDs to their product inventory, so maybe they will add part 2? I hope so. Copic’s site never mentioned that they sold Part One at all, have you noticed? Until you told me to actually call them, is when they admitted to selling it! Now they are advertising it on their site. If anything, I think Core77 had something to do with it! Free publicity. Maybe they owe the moderators some of the proceeds?