Summer Sketches

Hey guys,

I am trying to improve my sketching/rendering skills this summer. I bought “Sketching: drawing techniques for product designers,” and have been trying to replicate sketches from the book while applying those techniques to my own sketches. Any advise is welcomed!

Are you sitting at a slanted angle or something? All of your sketches are wonky. Make sure your vert and horiz lines are actually perpendicular. It ruins your sketches completely and makes it very amateurish.

Pay more attention to your work. Sketches still require care. Your marker work is very sloppy (the 2nd page, the red marker work shows your sloppiness). Try to think about your marker strokes before you apply them. I notice a lot of fading out marker strokes in the 3rd page. It’s a style thing, but It’s not working for these sketches. The left sketch on the 3rd page, the markering confuses the form and makes the top and bottom sections look disjointed.

I’d practice rendering cylinders before you tackle these more complicated forms. There’s a good section in the book on building up complex forms from simple geometrical shapes. Look at that section. It’s a bunch of greyscale marker renderings (light sketches, plugs, boxes, etc) and should be a good exercise. Make sure your sketch is good before you render it.

Watch your marker stroke directions. 2nd page, the vignette I can clearly see your strokes in the handle holed out section and it makes it look sloppy. Keep all your marker directions the same for the same surface (i.e. the vignette all one direction, the handle all one direction, etc).

But yeah, I think you’re jumping the gun rendeirng these more complicated forms. I’d like to see some nice basic shapes first. I don’t think you’ll have a problem though.

Thanks for the comments. You’re right, I seem to move through a sketch too fast, not checking to see if my perspective is totally correct, or my horizontal/perpendicular lines are parallel/perpendicular. I’ll check out those simple grey tone renders in the book and do them myself and post them soon.

stepping back and working on the basics…

boost your contrast on those boxes, and maybe some shadows as well

gray 10 - top
gray 30 - light side
gray 50 - darker side






are your markers dying or are you not using the full chisel tip of your marker? the streaks are distracting. Personal preference, but keep your marker strokes within the form. You can stylize your renderings later, but practice neatness now before it becomes a bad habit.

Sloppy marker work. Overlap broad strokes by at least 1/3 to make sure no streaks appear. Are you using a ruler? don’t. Perspective’s off a little on some of them (bot left cube).

Tip on using markers for cubes: using the chisel tip, tilt it so that only a small tip of it is contacting the paper. Outline the area you intend to marker in with that value (i.e. one side of the cube). Now tilt the chisel tip so that the entire broad side is in contact with the paper. Carefully (but with intent/speed so your marker doesn’t bleed) marker in the side, making sure not to go over the edges/leave any gaps.

Thanks for all the comments and advise! I create the boxes freehand, without a ruler. I’m only using a ruler to outline the boxes again when I am done applying the marker. I think it looks cleaner in the end, but I should get out of that habit and just do that part freehand as well.

Sorry it has taken me so long to post more sketches…I have been real busy with work and knocking out some elective courses for next semester.

you are definitely improving with each post :slight_smile: I still see some issues with perspective here and there, such as the floss box looking sketch you posted (watch your diminishing lines!). You have pretty good line quality, so working on accurate form and perspective would be good for you. I would not try to attack too complex of forms and shapes (such as those first bottles). Try to simple them down into blocks and linear shapes then apply curves to them (cut the corners away, once you’ve established the basic linear real-estate). and remember to take care with your marker strokes, because each stroke can define details in your form. and good luck in your endeavors. (also try to work faster with your markers as I see lots of strokes. Blocks of color will blend if you put them down before it dries. So carefully plan first before you attack)

Stay inside the lines!!! At least try to! It’s okay if you bleed out a little.

Start drawing cast shadows! The book should have tips on doing it. Having cast shadows will prevent your sketches from floating and ground them to make them feel more tangible/realistic. When you start implementing shadows, you may want to think about reflective light and gradate your sides (darker at one corner to lighter at the other, reflective light from the table it’s sitting on, etc).

Also start using prismas to bump up the line weights. Heaviest line weight should be on the bottom where the cast shadow is.

The cylinder’s cast shadow is wrong. The projected ellipse on the ground plane should be the same ellipse as the bottom of the cylinder.

Anyway, you should be knocking down these simple form renderings in minutes. So I don’t think how any amount of schoolwork can prevent you from doing AT LEAST 20 a week. If you think about how Art Center kids work, even the ones who aren’t in yet and are just taking night classes to make a portfolio do 20 pages a week of sketches/presentation boards/whatever. This is in addition to school that they are taking for gened credits OR work in another field they want to transfer from. Just a tip for the future: don’t start presenting something with an excuse. Most people won’t even notice until you say it.

Here are some pencil sharpeners with drop shadows. Thanks for the advice ratio and tangerine.

It’s good that you are doing shadows now, but one of the things teachers pick on is having cast shadows directly under your object. RARELY do you ever light something/see something lit from directly above. Most people do a cast shadow from top left lightsource, which helps the realism of the drawing. So now you actually have to learn how to cast shadows (easy, there’s tutorials inside the Sketching book, as well as on not directly under objects.

Good page Q4857, you are getting there, keep going!