How to draw a bike pedal with digital tablet

How to draw like a Concept artist | INSPIRED BY BIKE TECH

I’ve always been fascinated by bikes tech from Shimano since my childhood. You know this bike handle or brakes where you see their white logo.

My friend in Singapore started to ride a bike for Food Panda delivery. He has sent to me pretty pictures of his new bike. That’s how I got the idea to take the bike inspiration for today’s drawing tips!

If you lack inspiration or face the blank page, today, we draw like a Concept Artist and get unlimited ideas!

And as an Industrial Designer you will:

  • Improve your drawing skills
    (getting out of your comfort zone)
  • Raise your memory and library of forms
    (exploring new curves and unexpected designs)


Transform your inspiration into a sketch

As a designer, learning how to copy will help you grow faster instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. Don’t feel shy or shame to use pictures as inspiration.

For this drawing of the professional bike pedal,
I draw the small mechanical parts for my concept art study on my digital tablet (Wacom Cintiq 13HD).

Shimano Bike pedal sketch

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TIP1 | WARM UP

Like starting a gym session, your muscles are cold and stiff.
Take a minute to draw some curves and circles to warm-up.

Warm up on digital tablet

TIP2 | TEST YOUR COLOUR PENCIL

Black is boring :P.
Explore other colors of your choice. I like to pick in dark tones.
It gives a professional look to your design sketching board.

Colour pencil test on digital tablet

TIP3 | WARM UP WITH THE BASICS

Concept art can be very organic and random. Especially when we use a lot of the Happy accident drawing technique.

I like to draw this sketch to recalibrate my brain with my digital pen.

However, remember to study your basics fundamentals of sketching.
You will save years struggling at guessing. Perspective foundations are your best Kickstarter as a learner.

warm up with the basics of perspective sketching

Download your Designer Starter Kit

Click on the picture to make your first steps in Industrial design sketching.

Download the designer starter kit book in pdf

TIP 4 | DRAW PRODUCT GROOVES

A simple and powerful trick in Design sketching is to double a contour line to draw a groove. It gives your sketch a more real product feeling.

draw some grooves in product design sketching

TIP5 | USE REFERENCE PICTURES

I try to absorb the overall structure of the product. It reminds me of the articulation of a leg, a knee, or an elbow. That’s mainly what I want to keep my drawing.

Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art
Zaha Hadid Interior Architecture design - Mobile Art IMA Expo
Zaha Hadid Interior architecture (Mobile Art IMA Expo) reminds me the Shimano design
Shimano Bike product design organic detail
I draw with Zaha Hadid architecture references in mind

TIP 6 | DRAW YOUR INTENTION

What will make your sketch unique?

  • It is your interpretation of your reference picture.
  • It is how you will convey your idea in the sketch will differ from any other designer.
  • This is how you create your own drawing style.
Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP 7 | Draw from general to detail

Small mechanical parts are tempting to draw starting with a screw, a joint… but an efficient approach is to start with a general form. So the main proportion will be set up from the beginning. Then, you add the details to it.

I.e: We can’t start making a cake adding the cherry first. We have to start with the foundation, then spreading the cream, add the fruits, chocolate chips, and birthday candles!

The same for sketching, following this order like a recipe, will help you tackle any complex products by simplifying it first.

Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP8 | START WITH LIGHT PRESSURE

Be aware if you have a heavy wrist. Make sure to start very light, so you can make a clearer drawing, especially for this complex sketch with intricate details.

I’m using the drawing software Sketchbook Pro, and you can easily parameter your pen sensitivity. That’s one of the great benefits of digital drawing!

Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP9 | Add “crispy details”

Add in the logo brand, some prints, some screws…
All these added on the product surface participates in adding more sharpness to your drawing. They are the little things that serve your product story and make your sketch more attractive.

Shimano bikes tech
Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP10 | REMEMBER TO START SIMPLE

Adding details is cool, but only when your base is simple. So your product won’t look overcrowded.

Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP11 | DON’T PLAN. FEEL!

There is a misconception that a sketcher has the full picture in mind before drawing. It depends on which stage of the 5 creative phase you are.

A concept artist doesn’t start his sketch with the precise picture in mind for its first sketches. Consider this as an exploration sketch, where you draw and create along the way.

Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP 12| BUILD YOUR MEMORY OF FORMS

Challenge your skills by drawing new forms. It will be uncomfortable. Your brain is like a muscle that needs time and practice to adapt.

Imagine when you study a new form by drawing it, your brain is acquiring it. More you will draw it, more you will master that form. So you improve your skills, like how any sports athlete would do.

Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art
Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art
Sketches of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP13 | IMPORT NEW FORMS IN ID SKETCHING

These more or less random forms you will create will serve your industrial design sketches. It is a great way to create something unpredictable. For example, I love the architecture work od Zaha Hadid.

Zaha Hadid Space bar in London
Zaha Hadid Space bar in London
Drawing of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art
Drawing

TIP14 | DRAW THE BOX STRUCTURE

To draw the bike pedal, I start with a box that will embed it. I over simplify it with a box and a cylinder in the middle. They give me the basic information on proportion.

From there, I’m ready to go!

Drawing a bike Shimano pedal

TIP15 | CHALLENGE YOURSELF

As we said, this will be uncomfortable at the start. But don’t worry, remember to learn step-by-step. So whenever you raise your skills, what you have accomplished before becomes easy.

Think like you are a knight in video games who get more and more power and assets to fight a bigger boss at each stage.

To succeed in industrial design sketching, it has a lot with the mindset preparation. Explore Concept art, Fashion design, Interior architecture, transport design… to keep evolving.

A designer is like an “Octopus taking inspiration from everywhere”.
If you are a beginner, I share with you how to succeed in your design school.

Drawing a bike Shimano pedal

TIP16 |FEEL THE ESSENCE OF IT

Your creative brain needs to function like Google somehow. Describe this complicated pedal in a few sets of curves, elements, or feelings. For example:

  • The cylinder inside is a rotation axis.
  • The silver pedal hooks are like small wings.
  • The black part has a support function.

Decompose the pedal, and you will feel less overwhelmed and impressed.

Drawing a bike Shimano pedal

TIP 17| REFINE ALL SKETCHES

Before finishing your drawing session of concept art, take a bit of time to review the overall and touch up!

Drawing of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art

TIP 18| DISPLAY A DYNAMIC COMPOSITION

The presentation of your elements matter. Even though it is secondary for the drawing exploration, you can start having this in mind.

Note that for this digital sketch, it will be easy to rearrange it anytime.

Drawing of Shimano bike tech design inspired for concept art - Composition board

That’s it!

At the start, I planned to create 1 TIP per day. But it happened to become a series of 18 tips lol. Let me know if you enjoy it, and if there is anything I can help you.

See you tomorrow for the next TIP-A-DAY CHALLENGE!

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

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