How I draw better product design – sketching dancers |TIP80


I like to do some “sketch hacking”. I take a technique somewhere to import and improve my Product Design sketching skills. It might be how designers create there own style anyway. But for me, I intend to provoke it, and make it continuously evolving. That’s something I hope you will enjoy doing as well.

Nicki Minaj – Anaconda – Choreography by Tricia Miranda.

Quick sketching is fascinating for the movement and posture you give to people. I usually quick sketch in the street or watching movies, but I started by something very challenging ! Drawing dancers.

I usually draw from video without pausing. This time round, I cheated and made an exception. The poses change so fast and are so unusual to me that my brain couldn’t remember much.

Why ? Because in real life, people body posture follow a common body language. You know when someone is sad, his back tend to curve. If he’s happy, his torso will rise, and so on. It’s a kind of “pre-existing template” that all of us are familiar with. Here, the dancers’ choreography breaks all these codes, and creates a total new body language.
So, the biggest challenge I train here is: instant memory.

To achieve that, your first line is the MOST important. Don’t try to reproduce exactly what you see, but a movement. With more practice, you will gain in accuracy.  Observe and catch the energy from the body movement. When you got it, trace it.

Once again, I would like to mention that feeling the movement is important. Enjoy the music, let it drives you and your lines will follow the rhythm. If you can, rise the volume of the music loud.

In quick sketching, we love exaggerating the body movement to make it more expressive. It’s a common technique used in comics. The trick to make it even more dynamic, is to play with the movement of the hair. Make sure, it goes in the right direction.

Aya Sato, workshop

I saw this video in my Facebook feed. This video became viral and I actually immediately liked it! Maybe because it’s from Japan.

I never saw such dance before. Have a look, the young gothic duet is hypnotic.

It’s up to you to define the level of details. In quick sketching, the rule is “Less is more”. Once again, no rubber is allowed. Imagine in your mind each curve before tracing it. The challenge is to do it fast before you forget the next lines.

I will carry on dance study. I want to be able to CATCH ANY INSTANT moment, and be able to reproduce it on paper. If I can do this, drawing people in the street will be a “piece of cake” !

If you don’t know how to draw people, it’s interesting to experiment live drawing. It’s a good exercise for practicing your sense of proportion. It will get naturally better. Many urban sketchers have no clue about body proportion, and for x reason the result looks nice. Once again, don’t stay in that “comfort zone” too long. To learn Design Sketching, accuracy is important. Always challenge yourself to target the next level. Keep this in mind and this step-by-step journey will bring you very far.

Time to open YouTube,! Choose a choreography you like, and try ! Then let us a comment to share your impressions.

To know more about sketching live people: My very first TIP 1 of the 365 KEEP SKETCHING CHALLENGE! Where I sketched my friends playing football in Ho Chi Minh, with my graphic tablet and Sketchbook Pro.

Facebook Comments

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.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field