Today, let’s look at a 4 steps tutorial that will help you better draw any Product design in 3D. It’s a perfect training for whom face the Malediction of the Blank page, where you may face these challenges:
- No inspiration, no ideas
- Even if you have ideas, you can’t visualize them on paper.
- So you feel paralysed and end doing something else than drawing… e.g. Counting your pens.
The [Random Product] technique in video
Before / After: Start from a flat shape to make it evolve in 3D and get a [Random product].
When I had to draw things I was not familiar with at school, I “spaced out”. I was kind of trap in a loop: I felt difficult to draw anything looking for ideas, while I even didn’t know myself what to draw… What helped me to unlock that situation is to start drawing with references. My memory of forms was just too weak. So I started to observe things with more focus, and sketch them ! (Looking is definitely not enough.)
But the first thing I needed to work on was my ego. I had to put it aside and accept that I can’t create better if I don’t steal more from the past, that is just the real world. For this tutorial, I divided the process in a step-by-step approach to help you better draw in volume.
There is multiple benefits to the Random Product technique:
- You improve your quality of lines
- Your vision in 3D is more reactive
- Provoke more Happy accident (create new shapes randomly)
- Practice your memory of forms
- And let your ideas flow faster and better.
The idea here is to create [Random products] to train your observation and sketching skills – without caring much about the real benefits of the prodcut. We don’t need here your product to be working. So the trick here is to combine details taken from multiple hardware, to import them and give a look of a product to your sketches. No more flat drawing !
With this exercise, you start drawing without the complexe of “What if my product doesn’t work”. I would like you to focus here on researching new shapes in volume.
Observe hardware that surround you, identify the details and “Drag & Drop” these elements to your sketches, and feel free to modify them.
There is 3 major types of details to pick up from:
- Industrial details: Screw, joints, cables, grooves…
- Functional details: Power cords, button, tab, icons…
- Commercial details: Logo, barcode, product specification, illustration…
I recommend you to watch the video about the Contour lines first – for a good start of the following technique.
Step 1 Draw random shapes.
Fill your paper of few random shapes.
Step 2 Draw the contour lines
Even if these shapes are flat, play with the contour lines to give them a 3D volume appearance. Try to represent it with the minimum of lines.
Step 3 Draw more contour lines
To give more definition to your shapes, add more contour lines.
Step 4 Add details
You don’t care much about the “real” functions, you just try to assemble different details together to make your shape looks like a product. Details will bring life to your shape.
The 4 steps of the [Random product]. I have no idea of what is this product for, but it looks like a product.
Assignment of the day:
Take few objects around you such as phone, mp3 players, mouse, camera, kitchenware…Observe all the details from different angles and practice the “Random product” challenge.
Observe the details – such as grooves, buttons, icons, thickness… then drag & drop them in your sketches.
”For whom enjoy Concept art, go ahead !”
There is a lot shapes to explore there. Remember to take reference from the real world. Do not only take from other artist artworks. Always go back to the source.
>> TIP 88 Study mechanical pieces for credible concept art engines.
Feel free to explore designers you like. You may explore Marc Newson, Karim Rashid, Christophe Pillet… and so many others who are awesome source of inspiration ! The designers’ style you decide to follow will help you build your own. What will come in your brain, wil come out from your pen.
Keep practicing smart, and for your next project, your will naturally better activate your memory of forms and already visualise multiple alternative of shapes – even before putting your pen tip on paper yet. You will find solution faster, struggle less and enjoy more !
Have fun ! And let me know how it goes. 🙂
Random product sketching – Chou-Tac Chung