Applied sketching

Class 6/6 – May 23rd 2014 –

The results of the exercises with cylinders and camera’s are looking pretty good! Most sketches demonstrate a good understanding of construction of cylinders and ellipses in perspective. Even the more complicated ellipses in relation to rectangular objects (like the body of a camera) look good. You also seem to get the hang of applying markers to your sketches to clearly communicate the geometry. And, equally important, most sketches are communicating that they were part of an exploration. Well done!

This class was the last class of this assignment. A good opportunity to put all your new skills to the test within the context of a creative process. This is ultimately why you’ve enrolled in this assignment: to be able to efficiently produce sketches that communicate effectively within a design project. And this is also where it gets tricky, because even though you are able to construct perspective and ellipses it still takes time to get things right. And time is short when you are trying to crank out lots of creative ideas. So you either spend time (and brainpower) on construction of geometry and end up with only a handful of ideas, or you disregard the rules of perspective all together and just jot down your ideas in a very rough way. Now here’s the secret: practice, practice, practice! The more you practice the basics the less you will have to think about them when you really need them so you will be able to focus on the task at hand.

We started a creative session by exploring the potential within a familiar scene: the exploratory sketching classroom (and your home studio). The objective was to come up with innovative products and services that can help students and assignors in the process of training skills and transmitting knowledge. By sketching directly onto the sketched scenes (that were prepared for you using the techniques from class 3) you now had to implement your new skills while thinking about creative solutions which turned out to be harder than you thought.

We than switched to the communicative mindset to select and highlight the best ideas. Some of the original sketches where so small that you needed to make a new ‘blowup’ sketch somewhere on the same page. To create contrast in these scenario’s it works best to use the surrounding elements as ‘natural’ backgrounds. So use a wall, the table or the floor and create a backdrop behind something on the foreground. This way the context remains visible and can become part of the story at the same time. Also try and incorporate the people using the product or system in your story by adding contrast to their figures and clothes as well.

The results were posted on the wall where we did a couple of presentations to see how easy it is to communicate your ideas by quickly going over the highlighted conclusions using the visual information as ques in your story. Pretty cool ideas by the way!!!

In the demo I showed how to take a rough idea from one of the presentations and quickly explore some design variations in blue pencil. By using an under layer you can quickly trace the basic geometry in the right perspective and proportions and start playing with the shape. I never find a good design immediately. It will usually require a decent amount of exploration wherein the shape will gradually evolve from very rough outlines into more subtle and refined geometry.

This term I decided to demonstrate the marker techniques and material expression earlier in the assignment (class 4 and class 5). Above you can see the rendered conclusions from last term. I made the forms legible with markers and persuasive by adding contrast, (gradient) shading, some details and a bit of color. I finished the renderings with a soft white pencil to make textures (with a textured material underneath the sketch) and gradients and highlighted some of the edges. As a finishing touch you can add a couple of bright highlights with correction fluid. In class I didn’t have time to finish my sketches but you should add text and other graphical elements to communicate the full story of your design.

To do for next week:

Each one of you will pick an idea from someone else for further development. You will develop the physical design of this idea in the same way as demonstrated in class:

– construct the basic geometry and make an under layer in one or more perspectives.

– quickly explore (lots of) possible design directions in blue pencil.

– pick a couple designs that you like and start filling in the details.

– communicate the geometry by using all marker techniques that were explained in this assignment.

– add text and graphics to all the pages to optimize the communication.

Impress me with lost of exploration and clear and effective marker renderings! More info about the deliverable (your portfolio) for next week will follow shortly.


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