How to Draw a Plug Easy (Block Sketching Technique)

How to Draw a Plug Easy
(with the Block Sketching Technique)

Today, we draw a plug design by APPLE.
And you learn the Block Sketching Technique.

Study it and it will open in front of you a door
with an infinity of Product sketching possibilities!

To follow this tutorial,
you need to go through the Designer Starter Kit book first
to learn your basics of perspective.

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If you are a beginner,
you may feel overwhelmed,
and have no idea how to start.

That’s normal.

This is why I like to decompose
my tutorials into bite-size steps.

In Product Design Sketching,
it is essential to learn how to draw
with simple techniques
to progress fast and draw with efficiency.

This is how your mind gains clarity,
and you increase your skills like crazy!


How to draw an Apple Plug - with the block sketching technique
How to draw an Apple Plug
(with the block sketching technique)

I went to a cafe with my laptop and saw my Apple plug standing.
And thought it would be a great sketching tutorial for you today!

You learn how to start drawing anything easily.
How? By decomposing something complex into simple blocks.


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Click to Subscribe to my Youtube Channel!

Remember to subscribe to my Youtube channel to get notified of the newest design sketching tutorials.


PHASE 1 Strategy in 2D
PHASE 1 Strategy in 2D

We will cover 3 phases:

  • Phase 1| Strategy in 2D
  • Phase 2| Practice in 3D
  • Phase 3| Draw from memory
  • BONUS CHALLENGE| Draw from a different angle!

Apple plug - Side view
Apple plug | Side view

Observation from side view, where the elements are aligned.


Mistake 1 - Start by drawing the plug
Mistake 1 | Start by drawing the plug

The beginner mistake 1 is to start by drawing the plug itself.


Sense of order
Sense of order

I don’t recommend you to pick randomly the element to start with.
Try to draw with strategy and set up a sense of order.


Start by drawing the base first
Start by drawing the base first

The base is what support the plug itself.
We should start to draw it before the plug that will connect to it.


Mistake 2 Draw outlines
Mistake 2 Draw outlines

The beginner mistake 2 is to draw what you see using only the outlines.
It often results of clumsy drawings.


Draw with blocks
Draw with blocks

When you draw with strategy, we think with blocks/boxes.
It helps us to simplify a complex subject into very simple forms.


Think geometry
Think geometry

Instead of thinking with outlines, you think with geometry!
You would be surprised how sketching is actually made of a series of simple rules of geometry.

The learning curve raise when you start to assemble these rules to draw complex forms.


Phase 2 Practice in 3D
Phase 2 Practice in 3D

Let’s jump from the 2D side view to practice drawing in 3D (Perspective drawing).


Draw with underlay
Draw with underlay

Let’s use this photos an underlay. I low the % of opacity a bit.


TIP: Feel free to get promotional catalogs of product designs in shopping malls to get inspiration from, and draw on.

Spot the converging lines
Spot the converging lines

Observation exercise:
Spot the converging line using the longest line when possible.
Note: We start here with the base, not with the plug itself.


Download the Designer Starter Kit
Download the Designer Starter Kit to learn Perspective drawing

If you need to learn the basics of perspective, I created the Designer Starter Kit for you to learn it step-by-step.


Choose the right viewpoint
Choose the right viewpoint

You learn how to draw a cube in any angle!
Here are the 9 main set up to know.
We choose the bottom left configuration for our plug.


Choose the right viewpoint with the cube
Choose the right viewpoint

Can you see the similarities?
When you start learning to draw in perspective, memorize the 9 perspectives set up to use as a “mental 3D guide”.


Details follow the same perspective
Details follow the same perspective

Remember that the details (plug holes) follow the perspective as well!


Draw the Apple plug block (in green) in perspective
Draw the Apple plug block (in green) in perspective

We keep going with the Apple plug (in green) starting with a simple box.


Think Block to simplify
Think Block to simplify

It is essential to simplify what you see to draw the easy way.
Think you are drawing blocks, then you sculpt to refine, add precision and details.


Spot the rounding edge
Spot the rounding edge

For example here, the rounding is actually a “sculpted edge”


Redraw the full block considering the rounding edges
Redraw the full block considering the rounding edges

Time to redraw the overall with 2 main boxes.


Draw the contour lines
Draw the contour lines

Remember to use the contour lines.


Draw from memory
Draw from memory

During the Phase 1 & 2, we set up our drawing strategy.
We memorised it. It is now time to draw mostly from memory.


Draw thumbnail
Draw thumbnail

A quick warm up, is to review the side view with a thumbnail sketch.


From general to details
From general to details

Remember the rule of drawing starting from General to Details.


Don't try to copy 100% what you see
Don’t try to copy 100% what you see

We start with the base in perspective.


Apply your strategy
Apply your strategy

We add the plug on top of it.
(Make sure you follow the same perspective)


Add contour lines in perspective
Add contour lines in perspective

The contour lines helps to better understand the drawing.


Climb step-by-step
Climb step-by-step

Follow the tutorial, and you will climb the mountain step-by-step.


block sketching and detailed sketching
Block sketching and Detailed sketching

Last touch up is to add the details.


BONUS CHALLENGE: Draw different angle
BONUS CHALLENGE: Draw different angle

Congrats!


Drawing the Apple plug separately
Drawing the Apple plug separately

Start with a box
Start with a box

Add details
Add details

Study perspective with the Cube Mania Challenge tutorial!
Study perspective with the Cube Mania Challenge!

Add the multi plug sketch
Add the multi plug

Trace the guidelines for the series of holes.
Trace the guidelines for the series of holes.

Align the elements
Align the elements

Zoom in on the plug sketch
Zoom in

Presentation board
Presentation board

Hope you enjoy today tutorial!
Let me know if there is anything you would like to learn by email or in the comments below.

Cheers,
Chou-Tac

PS: Thank you Akram for your kind message on Facebook. 🙂
(Akram is one of my student of my online course Sketch Like The Pros)

Akram Testimonial about The Design Sketchbook blog

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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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