Using Primitive Shapes to Draw Products

There is always difficulty in drawing very complicated shapes that communicate your strong grasp of design and form.  It proves to be somewhat illusive for some product designers or even drawing hobbyists.  I met a friend of mine who is an engineer that loves to draw.  However, he mentioned that he was not at all “trained” in drawing but just enjoyed the relaxation that came with it.  What really grabbed my attention was the project he was working on and how he transformed what seemed to be pretty simple boxy looking sketches into an idea for a product he had in mind.

That sort of only proved my point that ANYONE that is interested in creating can do so by picking up a pencil and just getting started.  I’ll have more to share on my friend in another post and possibly an interview with him to discuss some of his ideas and what he is doing.  It’s pretty impressive!

The main point is this.  Get started drawing simple shapes and try to transform them into a product of some sort.  In this video demonstration, we will be doing exactly that.  We will start by taking a simple rectangular shape, volumize it, and transform it into a laptop computer.

Starting with simple shapes will serve as the building blocks to your visual vocabulary of form and how details relate to each other.  What you’ll see in this video is the importance of observing simple shapes.  You’ll also notice how controlled my hand is when drawing straight lines.  It’s definitely an acquired and learned talent that ANYONE can do if they just put in some time to practice it every day.

So this is what we will cover from a step by step process.

Sketch Notes:

1.  Practice drawing straight lines BEFORE you start with your idea. Try to draw lines that are parallel to each other – do this for 10 minutes

2.  Google some images of laptops as reference or take a picture of your own laptop

3.  Observation – this is important. How well do you observe details of the product you are drawing

4.  Establish your perspective view for the drawing

5.  Start to identify all the key functional elements of the laptop.

6.  Start asking yourself questions as to what these details represent and whether you could offer alternative solutions

7.  Ensure that all your details still follow the perspective lines.

8.  Start adding in more details to the drawing to sort of “flesh out” the drawing

That’s it.  This shows you the simple value to drawing simple shapes.  At this point of the drawing, you do not have to incorporate radii along the top edges of the laptop.  Just keep it simple.  Remember the phase “Keep it simple stupid!”  If you are a beginner, don’t try to jump ahead to creating more advanced drawings.  Just try to take a layered approach so your brain has the ability to learn at a constant and manageable pace.

If you have any questions, please be sure to comment below.  Just remember, I believe you can do this! Just put your mind to it and take action.