Sketching Supplies?

I’m starting ID in fall '09, and since thinking and computers are my strong suit, I’ve decided to work on my crappy area: sketching. I’ve been doodling since I can remember and whenever I can, but I want it to look professional. I know I’ll take classes on sketching, but I’d like a head start since I have nothing better to do.

So what should I buy? Specifically, what grade pencils (2H, 3H, etc)? Other supplies? For the sake of argument, lets say I want to draw iPods.

And yes, I have down much Googling, but sadly most tutorials are on Photoshop sketching.

Bic ball point

Early on it is often beneficial to use pen, it will help you to be more deliberate and thoughtful with your lines. It may not yield perfect results immediately, think of it as long term investment strategy, if you are really trying to get ahead it is the way I would go.

Draw lots of boxes/cubes in 2 point perspective.
Overlay your sketches (put a piece of tracing paper over your sketches and

the parts that were working and add/subtract etc 'til you get a satisfactory result.

check out

Yup put that pencil away,

Bic Crystal Pen. You get a box of 50 for like a couple of quid.

Pencils encourage you to rub out, erase, hair lines etc…

To Draw with a pen you have to be as Idiot says deliberate and thoughtful, great way to teach you how to sketch.

Also by a sharpie for bold outside lines.

Seriously the only drawing utentsils i use regular are:

Bic crytal pen
Sharpie fine liner
black prisam colour pencil (this is only to add shading, which tbh is quite rare for me)

Any colour rendering i do in photoshop based on good linework.

If you need examples check out Blasters sketches on his coroflot great exmples how pen sketches with good line work and perspective are just as good if not better than those that have been coloured up and rendered

As for tutorials do the following:

Sketch large
Sketch lots of boxes in different perspectives
Sketch lots of elipses in different perspectives

then mash them together to make forms

^If you need help in the above buy:

Scott robertsons sketching techniques
and Scott robertson draws hovercrafts → this is great for form building.

Rapid Viz

Is another great book for getting started. One point in there that I wish someone would have really hit me over the head with earlier is to (especially in the beginning) limit the size of your toolbox. Pick a couple tools (pens, markers). Too many different tools (especially early on) can cause some analysis paralysis. Once you learn your chosen tools it will be much much easier to transition and learn others later on when you have the skills.

Sketch Early Sketch Often


Personally, I’m a Paper Mate guy myself…just never did like BIC.

I wouldn’t worry so much about what supplies you purchase - use whatever you have. I’ve done of my best work with a ball point pen and a sheet of copy paper…nothing fancy about it.

But in thinking about your situation I would encourage you to just practice life drawing. By doing that, you’ll stay in the habit of not only drawing, but seeing as well. Seeing (whether it be from life or from your own head) is just as critical as the actual act of putting pen (cil) to paper. When you start ID, your instructors will most likely completely throw everything you’ve gotten used to in terms of sketching style out the door and you will learn how to draw all over again. I don’t think simply reading a book or watching a video is going to give you that foundation…so don’t even worry about it right now. Keep practicing what you currently know and keep using the media that you are currently used to.

That be my advice…

Not sure about the comment on tutors will through everything out the window and teach you again.

The only reason why i say that is constructing things like perspective in a sketch is a standard, there are a set of rules. and tbh they are really well taught by Scott Roberton in his DVD

I personally wouldn’t leave it to your tutuors because you will only have minimal contact time during the week. i dunno how it is run over in the states bu here in the uk we had a few semesters of it in the first year and thats it, because well quite frankily you have to practice yourself so might as well start now. It is totally up to you whether you want to improve or not, it takes time and dedication but it WILL pay off in getting internships and placements.

BIC Ultra “Round Stick Grip” Medium’s


Just like others have said, keep it simple and get rid of that pencil. I have my class sketch with just a regular rollerball and sharpie to make them confident with their linework. Later on I allow the bic because if it’s too early, they still try to do the hairy pencil technique. Within the semester, they all made incredible improvements in their freehand drawing skills with the most simple supplies (standard office pen, copy paper, and a sharpie). Just keep the toolbox simple and do those drawing drills constantly, those will help you develop the qualities that make for a good drawing.