Anybody can sketch. Quick test in 4 steps.

TIP 160 Anybody can sketch. 4 steps test. The design sketchbook - Product and Industrial design sketching tutorial

I’ve just went to the money changer of Raffles place (in Singapore) to get some Thai Baht as I am flying to Bangkok tomorrow! 🙂

This afternoon,
I stop for a while at a cafe Paul to sketch.

I am preparing the next week course of [Sketch like the Pros]. I’ve just took a picture of my yummy Creme brulee and mint lemonade but also some sketching TIP I would like to share with you.

TIP: Use an IKEA catalog (or any other free advertising) you get in your mailbox as a sketching study book.


Bring your sketching IKEA study book in your bag

The advantage of a paper catalog is that you are free to draw on top of the pictures.  Something you can hardly do from a picture found on Internet, except if you have a graphic tablet though. But I like the idea of carrying my Ikea study book wherever I want.

I personally like IKEA brand as it’s functional, simple, fun and beautiful! They have great products to start with.

TIP: Decompose what you see in simple geometric shapes. That’s truly essential!!


The 3 golden rules

To improve fast, I highly recommend you to follow these 3 golden rules:

    Imagine you have an X-Ray vision super power like Superman. So you can draw 3D volumes like a 3D software.
    Focus on general shapes first and details later. Simplify the main shapes in simple geometric one. So you will be able to draw complex things that won’t look awkward.
  3. DRAWING WITH ORDER (strategy)
    It’s about planning a sequence of action that allows you to draw fast and nice.

We will draw the IKEA product using these 3 golden rules to practice our sketching skills in good condition. It will be a great phase of exploration where you will take a product from a 2D picture and draw it in multiple angles!

Of course, it needs some good basics of perspective such as drawing a cube in any angle. You can find a step-by-step exercise of perspective for beginner in the Designer Starter Kit. 

Learning how to sketch is like learning a new language.
To be fluent, it is not enough to learn the theory – you definitely need to practice. Vice-versa.

Cafe Paul ID sketching Ikea.jpg

Observe, analyze to plan a sketching sequence – and draw.


This relaxing chair for kids is light and suspended. It’s symmetrical and we can simplify the bottom part as sphere.

Analyze and draw with strategy

STEP 1| Start with a vertical axis that will serve as a symmetry axis.

STEP 2| Add a circle or sphere

STEP 3| Spot the holding point. Join it to the sphere.
(To make the circle become a sphere, simply add an ellipse inside – make sure the ellipse is at 9oº to the symmetry axis).

STEP4| Add some hatching for the ground shadow to show the suspension.
Add some hatching to give more contrast to the product itself.
i.e. The supportive band that surrounds the entrance.

Extra note: Draw taking in consideration the gravity that goes along the symmetry axis – so your sketch will looks more dynamic.


Sketch faster

This sketch takes only 30 seconds to draw.
A product designer needs to sketch fast. So he can multiply his ideas in a shorter time. He could also draw a napkin doodle face to face to a client in a cafe.

To do so you don’t necessary need to draw with a faster pen movement. You have to work on your observation and analytic skills. 

If you think you can’t sketch

But want to learn, I invite you to try these 4 steps and let me know how it goes in the comments.

That’s it for today!
Just wanted to highlight that sketching is not about innate talent but essentially about techniques. This is why anybody can learn how to sketch! Hope you find this article helpful and find some courage to start your project. We all start somewhere. Ok ?

Take care.

PS: A few minutes doodle I did of a lady drinking tea in front of me.
lady drinking tea sketch at paul.jpg


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About The Author


If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my career, I believe that they can also help you to learn, and help you with your projects. Whether Design is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.


  • Gian

    Reply Reply February 23, 2016

    post your schetching as much as you can!
    Really interesting:-)

  • ken

    Reply Reply February 20, 2016

    Hi Dear,
    Thank you for great shares, really all very usefull informations.

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply February 20, 2016

      Hello Ken, I am happy to help 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

  • Renata

    Reply Reply February 19, 2016

    Hi Chou-Tac
    I agree completely with you!

    it looks nice your crème brulé aver an kiwi juice ? 😉

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply February 19, 2016

      Haha yes it was super nice 🙂 After that I get a Galette des rois from them, and I won the charm ! (La feve)

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