Sketches and Renderings: Advice

Hello guys, my name is Dino and I just finished my first year of Industrial Design at Virginia Tech. I would like some advice on how to render well with markers. I love doing renderings by hand-- I prefer it over CAD rendering-- so I need to get much better as fast as possible.

small website with some of my work:

for first year renderings, these are nice! I like that you’re not afraid to be heavy, dark and intentional with your mark making. I often see student work, especially at first, where they are afraid to put down a mark, everything is light and wishy-washy.

I would encourage you to try backing off in parts of the rendering for contrast and to avoid the same level of darkness and detail throughout which flattens the drawing overall. You do this a little in your cockpit drawing, which is my favorite. The car exterior looks overworked (especially the lens flares!)

I did a quick overlay of your sketch to show this and for fun.
(I know I did it in sketchbook pro, which is CAD but this applies to markers too)

Hey Dino:

Nice sketches man. I definitely see improvement in your marker technique (especially in that car rendering) from when I last saw you back at school. benny has a good point when he refers to the contrast/darkness in your sketches. My favorite sketches from you are the ones that show your line work, like the cockpit one above and the “jacket line drawing” in your coroflot portfolio. You can focus the viewer’s eye on a certain product detail by varying the lineweight/marker in the sketch. It gives the sketch more “life” too. Hope this helps. Keep up the good work.

P.S. >> Nice background boxes. :slight_smile:

PHIL!!! It’s great to hear from you! I appreciate the advice guys-- and the overlay looks great too. I can see what you mean about the contrast/darkness. It’s hard to pick these things out on your own so this is great help!

haha, background boxes! I can’t wait to get back to tech - i have to see the new cowgill studio.

I did something different. I can see my problems with this one-- I’ll do another one.

i also did this van and truck recently

Nice overlay bennybtl. I love to see that people are comfortable enough to throw down some overlays for each other. Keep up the good work.

Nice improvement. A few things to try:

Simplify: can you communicate the design with less. Can forms merge and communicate with one another so the product has more flow, or a holistic feel.

Perspective: This angle is not particularly informative. The blade right now draws the most attention… in essence the part with the least design has the most prominence… flip that. I want to see the other side. How does it look as if I was approaching it to pick it up?

More sketches!

2 more that were inspired by this book I just got called “Mechanika” by Doug Chiang – BUY IT NOW, IT’S AWESOME!

Nice vehicles! This stuff is fun to draw.

Great jump in skills since your first few posts. You’ve been working and it shows. Your Black and White (greyscale) work is reading better than your sketches with color. Try to keep the color palettes simple first, use color sparingly, and work your way up. See if that helps.

Great stuff! Keep going!

As yo mentioned, good improvement.

1- Watch your highlights (gleamies, reflections, white spots or whatever you want to call them). They are a little random and a little overly “hot”. Maybe tone them down a little? Make them crisp details along edges and transition into “hot”. They are pulling a little too much attention, instead of helping to communicate the shape.

2- Try some thumbnail sketches in pen. It will help you to use “less is more” to illustrate the shape (as yo also mentioned). Pencil is a little too easy to keep putting lines on paper, pen (felt/sharpie) forces you to commit to minimal lines. As also mentioned, start with basic shapes and work up.

Keep going…

Nice improvement - it’s been so long since I actually got to draw something fun!

By 4th year you’ll be dominating those markers!

I decided to work with photoshop a bit:

Get the sketches right first, photoshop later.

Back to basics…

I just started my second year at VT and so far everything has been going very well. I have reverted back to line drawings in hopes of fixing my issues with perspective. Let me know what you guys think…

Long live BIC pens!


  1. car
  2. tape dispenser
  3. pencil sharpener

    500Industrial Design 2nd Year 020.jpg

…and more

Master Lock minus the lock part :stuck_out_tongue:

(bonus: bike from Akira – drew it and it almost spanned my 11 by 17 paper, looks better in person)

tea anyone?

Oh, I just fixed my blog so it should look better now. It’s easier looking through my work on that than my website for obvious reasons. Check it out here:

nice loosening up with the pen stuff! Keep up the good work.