Drawing Fundamentals – Using Reference |Pen Holder

Building a visual vocabulary takes time and patience.  It’s not easy to understand form and try to replicated it on paper.  However, it is a crucial process in order for you to create images out of your own mind.  When designers create products, they need to have a firm foundation and understanding on how forms relate to each other.  This is why some design schools are so intense.  When a student applies to design school with a strong portfolio, private schools typically accept kids that have shown a propensity for the following:

1. Enjoy the process of drawing

2. Have developed a skill  for observing and drawing

3.  Shows a potential for success at the school

However, if you are just a drawing hobbyist, drawing and sketching can still help you to generate ideas by practicing some basic techniques in drawing.  You don’t have to be a pro but you should try to visualize the basic idea that is in your head and replicate it on paper.

To do this, take any simple found object and try to understand the root form.  By root form, I mean the “essence” of the shape.  Every complex shape is built off of a more basic shape and then refined and sculpted with details.  It get’s difficult trying to rationalize all the details at once without understanding what the original shape actually is.

So for this exercise, I took a hand held pencil sharpener.  I decided to break its form down to two primitive shapes.  1.  A cylinder 2.  A cone   If you are able to sketch a cylinder and cone by themselves, then you can see that the pencil sharpener is just an enhanced version of the basic forms.

Check out the video and let me know what you think! Please comment below.

Sketch Notes:

1.  Pick an object around your home or desk

2.  Dissect the form to it’s basic shape

3.  Setup your perspective

4. Try to draw the basic shapes by themselves and then “join” them together

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