Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Skate Break: Sketching

By Ryan Northcutt

Sketching is one of the most important resources we have as designers. If you do it properly it’s quick and conveys plenty of information. As we progress through our career sketching ideas and communication with others in a two dimensional fashion becomes important in the sense that we start to generate more ideas. In many ways it is similar to writing, which is also suggested, maybe not to designers, to many other disciplines. So to say the least, we must sketch, all the time, any time, every time. Just like any practice, it is hard to get into if you aren’t motivated at the time, but as you continue to practice, you feel the desire to sketch more often and expand your skill. Many people often thing though that they cannot sketch or they cannot draw. Well that isn’t really the point. It does help to know how to draw, but maybe you start to lose the point when each sketch becomes a piece of work. To understand why it doesn’t take a whole lot of drawing skills to sketch, try and think of this… We sketch to convey ideas, we draw lines to represent solids and voids, plans and lines, and well the list goes on. As soon as you start conveying the idea, the sketch becomes a conversation to almost anyone. This takes confidence though. Nothing is more nerve racking than seeing someone try to sketch and they draw a line with little chicken scratch marks. I hate to say but this a lack of confidence, which is followed usually by I can’t draw. The beauty of sketching is how an individual shows their style through a single line; a line with a personality is confident and conveys its own information on its own. I kind of realize now that this is much of a rant… so to say the least, be confident. It’s a process that grows as you continue to work. And it will take work. Not a single person is good at sketching right from the start, we all need practice.

            I enjoy sketching. I typically sketch a lot and I usually sketch diagrams of ideas. And through all my practice I have found that trees and people are most difficult. There isn’t one way to sketch trees or people, it’s all preference, and hopefully you find an aesthetic and you confine it from there. I would like to end with some diagrams that I drew for my thesis so that ideas could be conversed…

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