Don’t play Pokemon Go! Go catch inspiration with your pen in your Sketchbook !!| TIP 198

Hello guys from Korea !
I am now in Seoul, and it’s super cold like being in a freezer. I went to find refuge in a caffe to warm myself and sketch.

I sit, opened my sketchbook and found the unfinish fish below. I decided to complete it today, which is 7 months later. 🙂

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic a

Ocellated Frogfish – Boston acquarium August 2016 

I first sketched this above fish in August 2016 in the acquarium of Boston. It was a live sketching when you draw standing with your sketchbook on hand. I was in a pretty unconfortable position, people was passing in front of me, the fish kept moving and my family was waiting for me to carry on the visit.

I had to sketch fast. I roughly had 5 to 10 minutes to catch the essential per subject. I told myself it’s ok, let’s sketch with “fast sketching rules” (I love sketching that way !): I would sketch super fast, catching the essential and I would continue them later. The trick here is to do not try to reproduce 100% exactly what you see. The idea is to catch a feeling with a good volume and proportion.

Instead of playing Pokeomon Go, go to your nearest acquarium or zoo to hunt and catch “Creatures” with your pen !

What I learned is that: It’s super fun !! With the fast sketching technique, you jump from a subject to another. You don’t look for the perfection but the main lines and details only. You understand that you don’t have to show it all to get a nice sketch. That you gotta spot the key feature.  80% of a sketch are often made within the first 2 minutes. 

I love bringing my sketchbook when I travel. When I feel bored, I flipped the pages and rediscover what I did. I saw the fish and I had a great sensation like a flash back. It’s amazing how this 5-minute sketch can re-activate your memory. Through this quick sketch, I can still remember being there, the lighting, the ambiant sound and even feel the strange and thick texture of the fish.

It’s a similar feel as when you bump into a picture of yourself when you were a kid. You feel a flood of memory and feel fill your heart. Sketching bring you the same phenomenon of nostalgia. But here, you can reactivate this nostalgia, and make your sketch evolve to something better.

Sketching creatures activates and feeds your memory of forms you can use for your product design.

I guess that’s one of the main reason I like in sketching. You gather a feel, a moment of life in your sketchbook – and from there continue to progress. The details, the scales, the textures, the colours, the way the fish moved… are all new information I could tap in for a future product design. Explore your surrounding world with your pen to expand your awareness and refine your sense of observation. You will surprise yourself how much details you can grab more at every new session of sketching.

Remember that most of us are under the same routine: Wake up, go to work, go back home. We basically see the same things everyday. As a designer, your job is also intentionnally break this routine and go out see the world ! Believe me, Internet is not the magical answer.

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic c

I start spotting the darkest area such the eye and the mouth using hatching.

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic e

Hatching give volume to your sketch in no time.

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic g

You don’t have to go perfect to draw details – but I make sure my hatching are neat.

before after the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic copy

That’s it! I focused more on the front, so the overall sketch looks lighter and give focus to the “face” of the fish.

A sketch is something you can evolve.
By flipping your personal sketchbook, you will extract  features to inject in your product design projects. Anywhere you go, be ready to catch and feed your memory of forms ! Become an idea hunter !! 🙂

Below some more sketches I catched at the Boston Acquarium:

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic carribean dwarf seahorse

The real size was smaller than my thumb nail. I had to look at them very closed ! Like if I had a magnifier glass.

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic giant octopus

The Octopus was massive and heavy – yet so graceful in the water

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic seadragon seaweed camouflage

The sea is an amazing inspiration for your product design.

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic gh

the design sketchbook sketch boston acquarium fish drawing ball point pen blue bic Moonfish

The moonfish having an expression like if it was hypnosed.

See you for the next sketching tips and techniques !

Take care.
Cheers,
Chou-Tac

Ps: Even if you study Product design, I do invite you to study nature. “Nature can’t go wrong, and never lies”.  Within a further extend, it goes to biomimicry: when instead of using Nature as a raw material, we tap into its intelligence to make better products.

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

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.

2 Comments

  • Edward Eyth

    Reply Reply February 14, 2017

    Absolutely beautiful sketches. Nature provides the best inspiration, no question.

    “Let Nature be your constant guide, live with it, study it unremittingly; make not a stroke with the pencil, give not a touch with the modeling tool without having it before your eyes; it alone gives life.” — Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply February 14, 2017

      Thank you Edwards for your beautiful quote. This is so true !

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