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Guest Lilith

Drawing Skills

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Guest Lilith

hi everybody. I am having this ridiculous situation at uni, none of the people in my group can draw (without exaggeration). :worried: The only "drawing skills" lesson we had, was 30 min demonstration of magic markers rendering (by 1 tutor on a small table in the middle of the room for 40 students i bet half of them couldnt see anything at all). Let alone the fact we never did anything about line drawing etc. :ermm:

None of the tutors gives a thing of how our "designs" look like as long as we have "good" ideas. With all my respect to "good ideas" i dont understand how we are going to sell the best idea in the world without being able to communicate it properly!!!

All we do is "try to understand the real needs of people", investigating some complicated graphs and charts about some complicated design researches and all sorts of crap... :D

so my question is (sorry i am kind of depressed :D ) where and how did you gain your drawing skills? I see a lot of people on the forum with brilliant sketches and renderings, can anyone achieve good results by independent practise?

i would appreciate any advise , thanks

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Guest bgp3te

Hi there, that seems a shame that you havn't had great drawing lessons, in all honesty I didnt at the start of my course last year, but it was enough to get by.

 

It's gonna sound so boring but really the only way to get better is practise, i was ok at drawing before uni, and because of all the concept creation and project work I have definately seen an inprovement in my sketching ability.

 

It WILL come with time! honest! Just try and enjoy sketching so you don't see it as a chore, and do a little bit each day, say just an hour to begin with, I think most ppl here will agree practise makes perfect.

 

Try drawing in perspective alot too, using gridlines, just to get an idea of how the lines work on paper...

 

best of luck! Pete

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There are a lot of schools that don't stress drawing and allow students to get away with crap drawings.

 

What I would suggest is find some classmates who want to improve their drawing skills and force yourselves to spend X amount of time per day (after class, after dinner, etc) doing nothing but sitting around a big table sketching. Have everyone throw some money into a group fund for resources - DVD's, Books, drawing supplies, etc. Have everyone look around and print out sketches and renderings that really inspire you and make a whole wall of motivational drawings. It wasn't till I came on this forum that I realized I needed to kick my own ass and force myself to draw, because no one was going to make me.

 

There are a lot of techniques out there, and really you need to develop your own over time. But having a group of motivated people and getting some resources together are certainly a start. You need to push your program if your teachers aren't going to do it for you. See if theres any other local colleges that have drawing professors that would be willing to fly in for a day of demos. Theres lots of ways to arrange things if you're motivated enough.

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Guest bgp3te

out of interest cyber, how much practise did you put in, in order to see an improvement in your work. Your sketches are pretty awesome now, so did it take long?

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I'd say the biggest changes (from total crap to "hey thats decent") took about 3 solid months of work over the summer. After school let out and my roommates left town I set up a mini-studio for sketching on my dining room table:

 

studio.jpg

 

Spent at least an hour or two every day after work and a few hours on the weekend practicing with markers, trying out different techniques, etc. Also put that little corkboard up and pinned up drawings that I finished as well as other peoples work (I printed every sketching page of Snugjas design challenge entry http://www.productdesignforums.com/index.php?showtopic=3666 and wallpapered the room with them).

 

I find if you try working in a vaccuum (by yourself) it's extremely hard to stay motivated and progress. But if you surround yourself with people (whether in real life or via the internet) who are extremely motivated it keeps you working much much harder and you'll progress much faster.

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Guest lufbrasketch
hi everybody. I am having this ridiculous situation at uni, none of the people in my group can draw (without exaggeration). :worried: The only "drawing skills" lesson we had, was 30 min demonstration of magic markers rendering (by 1 tutor on a small table in the middle of the room for 40 students i bet half of them couldnt see anything at all). Let alone the fact we never did anything about line drawing etc. :ermm:

None of the tutors gives a thing of how our "designs" look like as long as we have "good" ideas. With all my respect to "good ideas" i dont understand how we are going to sell the best idea in the world without being able to communicate it properly!!!

All we do is "try to understand the real needs of people", investigating some complicated graphs and charts about some complicated design researches and all sorts of crap... :(

so my question is (sorry i am kind of depressed :( ) where and how did you gain your drawing skills? I see a lot of people on the forum with brilliant sketches and renderings, can anyone achieve good results by independent practise?

i would appreciate any advise , thanks

 

 

As always, this is a tricky subject which is often brought up in the forum.

 

As the others have said, look through places like coroflot , here and the core 77 forums. There you will find good examples. Literally, to begin with just try to immitate a style you like. Look at what they do and what you do and find differences.

 

Personally, I think spending alot of time on theory can be unproductive. Of course learning it is good but it depends how much time you put into it. In my eyes, someone who can draw quickly, to a good level and can bring across their ideas (even if the perspective is slightly off) is really handy. At first with your development work, try not to spend too much time on the sketches. Don't make them works of art, otherwise it slows your design thinking.

 

I think what they are teaching you at university is very very handy. Understanding the user is really what design should be about, understand their needs and wants is vital to get a truely good product.

Research is a big part of design which is under-rated in my opinion. So, don't be too quick to shoot it down, you will find how handy it is in an interview to mention the research you have done. Especially to user-centred companies like IDEO.

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Guest bgp3te

cool thats quite a nice improvment rate cyber, your studio looks alot like my arrangment at the moment, although mine is alot messier! I'm looking at sending my hols improving on my concept sketching soon as this project is over, hopefully I'll see an improvment.

 

are your sketching lessons going to continue through the year lilith?

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As cyberdemon said... Find some classmates to do it with. If everyone in the group wants to be better I would suggest that you make some kind of aggrement in the group...

 

We have also only had limited presentation drawing lectures at our school, so everything is a self study. But one time we had an agreement in the group that we at least had to make one drawing pr day. Just a 30 min drawing. Ind it must not have anything to do with the project you are doing, then you just think to much of the design. And that isn't the point of the exercise... A common mistake - it's all about representing a specific form. So find an object and place it on the middle of the table. and everybody draws the same object from different perspectives. And then look at what's good and bad about the different drawings... You will se an improvement during a short period.

 

And regarding drawing techniques - then there are several tutorials on the net and many great artists - for instance on deviantart.com. By the way - I find it more relaxing to draw fantasy things when practicing indstead of my own design proposals. Otherwise I think to much of the design.

 

I hope you get started - it's the only way :P

 

/tbroen

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Guest Lilith

hey thanks everybody, i really appreciate that you spend your time on responds :P

 

bgp3te thanks, i tried grid lines it really helped!

 

Cyberdemon thats a fantastic idea , unfortunatelly i tried it before and my classmates dont seem to really share my passion at all , they kind of satisfied with default conditions, sometimes thats the reason i start to doubt myself "maybe its just me being paranoid? how come everyone else is ok with the current situation ??" then again i realise- theres no such thing as "competition" in my group (not in terms of drawing skills) which i always found very motivating :(

So i just practice on my own these days, moving quite slowly. However for example reading about your experience is very encouraging :) thanks! and your mini studio looks like a dream to meeeeee :lmao:

 

lufbrasketch thanks, cool i will try to be more positive about what they teach us, but i guess you would agree-i will not have a chance to demonstrate my "research" at interviews , because i will not get them in the first place :) (with my current skills).

 

...

are your sketching lessons going to continue through the year lilith?

well, starting from the next semester i will be doing a work experience which i could finally manage with my department through some long and boring negotiations. So will be getting some commercial experience which will hopefully allow me to buy some decent pencils/pens/markers and training dvd-s :blush: i am going to work on my sketching skills VERY seriously (actually i already started 2 days ago, after i opened this topic) :)

 

tbroen it is really great you mentioned "I find it more relaxing to draw fantasy things when practicing indstead of my own design proposals. " I think thats what is sometimes missing in my life these days... Devianart is a wonderful place, i visit there ocassionally, but before i discovered it, i was posting in gfxartist.com (mainly abstract illustrations) so just sticked with them. do you have your fantasy things somewhere my eyes can reach? :)

cheers :)

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Guest sketch

Just a quick thought. - what about joining a part time art class (weekend or evening). I did something similar a while back - and i found it very useful.

 

i'm sure there's a local art school in Hertfordshire. If not, Central London is not far :P. It will be worth the travel. Central Saint Martins Art School do quite a few.

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do you have your fantasy things somewhere my eyes can reach? :D

 

I only have my drawings in one forum and there aren't that many. And most of them are car drawings. But there are a few non-products as well.

I have them on www.tegnebordet.dk, which by the way is a Danish site.

 

If you want to se some of the other fantasy drawings on the forum you can look at this High-End Fantasy drawings

 

Regards,

Thomas

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Cyberdemon thats a fantastic idea , unfortunatelly i tried it before and my classmates dont seem to really share my passion at all , they kind of satisfied with default conditions, sometimes thats the reason i start to doubt myself "maybe its just me being paranoid? how come everyone else is ok with the current situation ??" then again i realise- theres no such thing as "competition" in my group (not in terms of drawing skills) which i always found very motivating :D

 

Is anyone in your class actually serious about design? From my experience and the experience of professors and collegues it's that only the top 10-30% of students in the class will actually land a true ID job out of school. The middle of the road kids will land odd jobs (graphics, web design, packaging, etc) and the bottom tier will be lucky to land jobs in anything even remotely related.

 

As someone whos sat behind the table and watched candidates interview, strong sketching always reflects well. You don't have to be GREAT at it, but if you can't show an idea through a drawing (even if it's a rather shaky napkin sketch) you'll be screwed.

 

If the kids in your class don't share that enthusiasm and desire to actually do what it takes to get a job, screw them. Pick up some good DVD's, books, and do whatever it takes to keep yourself motivated. Post work up here, look at other peoples work and see what makes a sketch good. The KEY skill it takes to improve yourself is the ability to look at someone elses work - see what makes it good, and apply it to your own work. Likewise looking at your own work, see what areas need improving, and focus on those areas. If you stink at drawing hands and figures, spend a month drawing hands and figures. If your perspective is weak spend a month doing carefully constructed line drawings and not settling till the perspective is correct.

 

If you want to improve you can do it - it's harder by yourself, but not impossible. You don't need to be an art center grad but having nice sketches in a design interview will ALWAYS reflect on in a positive light, as it really is one of our key skills. It doesn't matter how great your ideas are if no one knows what the hell they are.

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I went through the same thing at my old school. The conceptual things they're teaching is good but you have to teach yourself how to draw confidently.

-Check out the Scott Robertson Gnomon dvds.

-Practice drawing designed objects, its very different than figure drawing.

-See if you can set aside big chunks of time to draw, say a straight 6 hours on the weekend. Pick one thing to draw and draw it from different angles and with different subtle variations. Drawing something a second and third time is easier because it's familiar.

-Drawing will become easier when you're used to it and become familiar with the angles and lines.

-Practice for long stretches at a time, it'll make it click. When you're drawing for a project and you have to do it from a certain perspective, that shouldn't be the first time you've had to do it.

-Focus on making swift, confident, decisive lines. Those will be the smoothest and look the best.

Good luck.

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Guest Lilith
Just a quick thought. - what about joining a part time art class (weekend or evening). I did something similar a while back - and i found it very useful.

 

i'm sure there's a local art school in Hertfordshire. If not, Central London is not far :). It will be worth the travel. Central Saint Martins Art School do quite a few.

 

thanks for reply, yes i was thinking about that really, there are some academic drawing lessons at our uni for extra cash but because i pay 7000 pounds just for uni tuition fee, its hard to afford any additional lessons (especially in St Martins :(( ) along with my rent and other stuff... :(

Cyberdemon i really appreciate your help ! thank you so much :) these words

If you want to improve you can do it - it's harder by yourself, but not impossible.
are always in my head :)

 

I went through the same thing at my old school. The conceptual things they're teaching is good but you have to teach yourself how to draw confidently.

-Check out the Scott Robertson Gnomon dvds.

-Practice drawing designed objects, its very different than figure drawing.

-See if you can set aside big chunks of time to draw, say a straight 6 hours on the weekend. Pick one thing to draw and draw it from different angles and with different subtle variations. Drawing something a second and third time is easier because it's familiar.

-Drawing will become easier when you're used to it and become familiar with the angles and lines.

-Practice for long stretches at a time, it'll make it click. When you're drawing for a project and you have to do it from a certain perspective, that shouldn't be the first time you've had to do it.

-Focus on making swift, confident, decisive lines. Those will be the smoothest and look the best.

Good luck.

skinny thank you for the list, i picked a stapler to draw from different angles, really helps, i can see some little imporvement after some hours :) although my perspectives dont look correct.

 

now i have a question :blush: there are some certain angles that are easier for me to draw a quick line, which means i rotate paper while drawing, i was wondering isnt it kind of speculation?

also i noticed that when i consider the hidden lines, it slows down my process and confuses me, but the object looks more "realistic" whereas when i dont draw them, the object looks flat, but the process is quicker and not confusing, so what is the easiest way for beginner?

thank you all !

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For now, draw your lines straight through, you can always just overlay and retrace the correct ones.

I would think most people have their 1 or 2 angled lines they draw the easiest. Sometimes you can even spot out a left or right hander by what positions they consistently draw their products. I'm right handed which makes it really hard for me to draw a line that travels to the upper left, going upper right is extremely easy. You can spin your paper but then you lose your reference. So you can draw it sloppy just to get the positioning right and use that page as an underlay. When you draw over top, spin the paper however you have to in order to get the good quality line.

Or you can just visualize where the line should end and make a mark, then spin the paper to get the good quality line.

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