Improving your sketching skills
As a designer the most important thing is to get your ideas
on to paper as quickly as possible. Sketching is therefore
a very important skill to master. There are a few things which
will help you sketch better.
Draw using your shoulder rather than your wrist. To sketch
quickly learn to sketch from your shoulder. Most people learn
to sketch on small pieces of paper, usually no bigger than
A4, sketching small images. Because the images are small,
people tend to learn how to sketch from the wrist. Drawing
a long line tends to consist of lots of small movements from
your wrist, as you move your arm along. If you look carefully
at these lines they consist of lots of small arches.
Sketching from your shoulder means that you can draw lines
in one continuous movement. Instead of drawing by moving your
wrist, keep your wrist still and move your entire arm in one
long movement from your shoulder. It's not an easy skill to
master but once you have, you definitely will see the benefit.
A good way to learn is to practice drawing on large A2 sheets
of paper and have the paper vertical. This means that you
can't rest your wrist on the page encouraging you to use your
shoulder when drawing.
There is a simple exercise that can help. Draw a series of
opposing vertical and horizontal dots at each end of a piece
of paper. Practice drawing a continuous line from one dot
on one side of the paper to the dot on the opposite side of
the paper. Gaining confidence in your drawing action is vital
to improving your sketching skills.
Choosing the best type of paper
As mentioned above, sketching skills tend to improve if you
use large pieces of paper. Learning to sketch on A2 paper
is a very good way of gaining confidence in your skill. But
most people find A2 an inconvenient size for project work.
If you can, try to do sketches for your project on A3. Buy
a pad of layout paper. This type of paper is useful because
it is slightly opaque. When drawing final ideas you can quickly
sketch your basic idea getting proportions correct and then
use another sheet of layout paper placed above to trace the
original sketch without mistakes and guide lines.
Sketching in pen
When sketching, pencils are the obvious choice, but I recommend
using a biro for the simple reason that you can't rub out
biro. This means that you will learn to put down only the
marks that you really want to. Also you won't be tempted to
rub out ideas. Never rub out an idea it shows the examiner
that you have thought about your design and not just developed
your only idea. Besides, occasionally you find that you can
use some element of discounted designs..
Drawing box guides
A simple way to get the proportions of your idea correct is
to sketch boxes in perspective. See the 'Drawing in 3D' section
for more information about the various 3D sketching skills
you can learn to master.