YOUR DESIGN COACH

Chou-Tac

Your Messages & Questions

I am from Algeria , I am first year industrial design student...
Minimalism is simple but often not easy to find the right curve or line. That is the beaut...
Hi Nicolas, You don't need to change any of your cables. You just need to buy a travel ad...
As another artist travelling US to france with a fat cintiq, a simple question: how did yo...
Like minimalism designs in my crafts...
sadhique from kerala, india...
Hi Mikhael, How are you doing? Thank you! The cover changed, but the guide remains the s...
Hello Rabia, Glad you are looking for sketching improvement besides your school :)...
Hi Marion, I made a beginner introduction to start drawing from imagination. It will help...
Hi Roy, You are starting an amazing journey! Congrats!...
I am Ajayce Roy From India Right now I am looking forward to study product design....
I love sketching but I would like to have more use of my imagination...
ı want to learn draw,ı am a student...
I see a new cover, then I'm curious to download it again, because the book is very solid a...
Hi Dalila, After you go through the Designer Starter Kit, I invite you to try this tutor...
Ola Ruben, If you want to receive the designer starter kit in Spanish, please send me an...
Hi James! Lack of patience is a double-sword quality! I am glad it brings you here. :)...
Hi Julius, awesome! Hope you will find valuable tips and techniques in the blog....
From Rwanda, looking forward to becoming an industrial designer...
USA. Art has always been in my life is various mediums. MY LACK OF PATIENCE seems to bring...
Hola, soy de México, me inspira mucho tu forma de enseñar a dibujar, tus videos y la inf...
I am from Algeria. Want to get better at sketching objects...
Want to get better at sketching objects...
Hi-I'm Terri. I want to learn to draw...
My pleasure Marcos. Estoy feliz para ayudar te a dibujar mejor cada dia. Hope my Spanish...
Superbe Shammi, Glad you are back in track for sketching :) Bravo!!...
My pleasure Sven, I hope you find helpful content for your drawing journey! Cheers, Chou-T...
Hello Eliss, Glad you love drawing and spend time to learn. Awesome! You are gonna do gre...
Hi Estelle, I am glad you enjoy the blog, and that it helps you in your sketching journey ...
Hi Chou-Tac, Your site on sketching is SO Inspiring! I am Estelle, I live in China. I am a...
Kelantan,Malaysia I want to learn to sketch because I love drawing.I always drawing when ...
Thanks Chou Tac for sharing. Love to improve my skills....
thanks, Chou-Tac, your tutorials are exactly what I needed to start sketching again. The b...
Eu sou do Brasil, gostaria de aprimorar minhas técnicas de desenho, muito obrigado....
Hi Vinicius, thank you for sharing about Worldskills. https://worldskills.org/skills/id/5...
Hi chan. My name is Vinícius Arduino, from Brazil. I'm a worldskills competitor, do you k...
I want to get book...
I am glad to accompany you on your learning design journey Gabriele :)...
Hi Musab, The book is free and it is delivered to you by email. Did you well receive it?...
Can I order this book?...
Eu sou do Brasil, e quero aprimorar e aprender mais sobre design. A artes me fascinam...
Hi Adrian, Oops, just saw your messages by chance. :) Please say hello to the team Creapo...
I'm from central California and have an interest in urban design. My goal is to design wal...
Thanks for sharing good information I read this post I really like this article....
I have always been interested in industrail design....
I'm from Japan. The reason I want to learn sketching is because I want to be a product de...
*Cheap*, sorry!...
Because of you I bought A5 Fabriano sketchbook and a couple of cheab BIC roundstick black ...
Thank you for sharing these awesome books for free. I’m from Myanmar. I always intereste...
I saw your Youtube tutorial...
Hi, I got my BA in 2010 at the age of 50. For my final project I wrote a short story and i...
ola a todos. sou do brasil....
brasil....
I was able to find it. Thank you! :)...
I was able to find it. Thank you! :)...
I'm ami from India and I'm looking for best technique and better skill for my design...
Hello! Maybe the beginner guide play hide and seek in the spam folder. Can you have...
Hey, I really appreciate it that you're able to provide beginners a free guide but I still...
Hi Sanjay, Glad to have you on board! You will get tutorials in the upcoming days and we...
A Mechanical product designer by profession learning to draw perspectives and human figure...
My pleasure Zahra. I am always happy to help, and glad you wanna improve. I learned s...
Hi Chou-Tac Chung, im so happy to find you again,my major is Industrial Design but im not ...
Hello Titi, Please thank the person who recommended the book to you. :) Feel free t...
That's an awesome goal you have Ruan! The gaming industry never stops growing. Bravo!...
I'm taking an animation degree and was referred to your book. I caught a glimpse on how to...
i like scathing...
I'm learning myself programming and game development on my own. And I want improve my draw...
I'm glad you enjoy David! By the way, in case you may be interested, the registration...
Hi, Chou-Tac Chung - Just wanted to say hi, and thanks for doing the videos. They're all r...
Estoy feliz porque te gustas la video de tutorial y ayudarte a dibujar las formas del arte...
Excelente contenido para aprender y para enseñar .Muchas Gracias por compartir...
Hey. How to determine in which scene I should be drawing a parallel source of light or a d...
Hi Daniel,  Yah, these days, it is better to rest if you feel any pain from your injur...
Hello I am from Montreal Canada, I've been sketching on and off for a while but more often...
I also hope you will find valuable content on the blog during your journey Deep. You sa...
Hi Stefan, I like your expression of a Chronic overthinker. You can find multiple vid...
Hi :-) hailing all the way from Denmark. I´m getting into portrait drawing and I was hopi...
Hi from Portugal I want to improve my drawings....
Hey, I am a Mechanical engineer, I like solving problems. But I want to explore my care...
Hy I'm Sabareesh, from India, basically I'm a graduate naval architect, who designs ships ...
Hi Mr Smith, I hope you find plenty of content that helps your high-school students....
Mr. Smith from Buffalo, NY I teach high school Architecture. I make every attempt to inc...
Hi i'm Jorge from Colombia and I need to improve my skills...
We can feel your high motivation Ian, awesome!! If you are a beginner, you may try this t...
Hope you find helpful content on the blog Salim :)...
Why the quality of image is decreasing when I'm posting on Instagram?...
Why the image quality decrease when I post it on Instagram?...
iwant improve my draeing...
i want improve my drawing...
I didn’t get a book yet please help me...
I WANT TO CREATE MY DESIGNS...
Hi Deanna, Do you mean the Designer starter kit? It is free. :) You can download ...
how much is the book?...
Hi Kathleen, I'm happy if it can be helpful to your art students. :) Thank you for s...
Great article. I'll share it with my high school art students! I always appreciate your ar...
Keep up Emmanuel! :D It is always worth pursuing what matters to you....
Thank you Chou-Tac. Your words inspire and give me hope....
Welcome on board Javier! :)...
Hello, I am Javier from Spain...
Hey Josh, Thank you for being an inspiration for the Design Sketchbook family and ...
Heck yea! I'm glad my question ended up making it as a full post! Hope it helps others as ...
Hi Asti, (Your name reminds me of a place I visited in Italy, where they produce amazi...
I am an Urban Sketcher and I want to improve my skills...
Hi Summer, Oops sorry for the late reply! Do you mind sending me an email at choutac@t...
I dont udernstant how you drawd your sphere and his shadow its says that you "will create ...
Hello! I’ve always loved to draw, and after observing how a lot of the artists I admire,...
Hi Graham, I do believe in "Quick wins". Basically about giving simple exercises th...
Hi I teach design in high school and I am looking for an easy way to teach my students to ...
Oh yeah, it's not free anymore. It's about 20$. I remember seeing a post from them on Fac...
Congratulation Ana for following your childhood dream. That's a great action you can def...
Avec plaisir Tania! N'hesites pas a partager dans les commentaires du blog, ou m'envoye...
Thank you for sharing Chris about the XP Pen tablet! :)...
Great article, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I was looking to get a screen...
Bonjour ! Je dessine en autodidacte mais cela fait des années que j'ai arrêté. Donc app...
Thanks for sharing! But Sketchbook is not free anymore for Windows and Mac OS. I use Krit...
Hi, I'm Brazilian, my name is Ana, and i am an frustrated adult how quit drawing as kid be...
Hi, My name is Leon, From Liberia living in Nairobi. I love sketches and would love to lea...
hola yo vivo en Guyana, siempre me ha gustado dibujar, pero necesito mejorar....
hey.. hey,i am form india i love sketching and your words motivate me thank you sir...
Hi Oliver, I am glad you enjoy the drawing tutorials :). Sure, keep going learnin...
Hi, I really like hoe you teach drawing. Some time I started by using some book on techni...
Hi Gordon, It's all my pleasure. I am happy if the blog can help you during your a...
Hi Chou, Just wanted to say thank-you for all the work and wisdom you share. I am 54 a...
Hi! I'm not sure I see the difference between B and C. Are you just resting more lightly...
Soy de la ciudad de méxico, me interesa y me gusta mucho tu forma de exponer cada uno de ...
Soy de la ciudad de méxico, México es mi pais, y me interesa la información de tus libr...
Australia, For self paced learning for my kids at home....
Hello from Brazil! I wanto to learn the sketch to ilistrate n eBook on elkectronics! Best,...
I'm from Portugal. Need to learn more about perspective. Hope your book help me on that. C...
From California. Engineer who wants to learn to quickly sketch product ideas....
Me gusta dibujar desde pequeño y quisiera aprender más....
Yeah! I am happy it helps you refuel your motivation tank! :)...
hey, thanks a lot for this article! i got my college results recently and was feeling do...
am a land surveyor and love designing.......
am a land surveyor and love designing.......
Hello from Hawaii!...
Don here, from Hawaii. Always wanted to be able to draw, looking forward to learn here....
Actually I try to know and learn the systematic technique for sketching. It will help and...
Hi Susan, Thank you for sharing your creative apps selection on iPad. Do you draw ...
Hi there, I've been a professional fine artist for over twenty years. Before that I was a...
My name is Pablo and I'm interested in improving my art skills....
Hi, I'm Julius from Ghana. I've just started drawing and I'm looking for resources online ...
Hello, I have just sent an email to you :)...
I a brazilian and I want to improve my technique...
Is the “37 Secrets of Sneaker Designers'” book still available??? I sent for it, got t...
Hi Chou-Tac! I've been trying to get the book but it's not been sent to my mail, please c...
Hi Gino, Oops! Thanks to you, I realized I forgot to unlock the book delivery. Let ...
Is the "37 Secrets of Sneaker Designers'" book still available??? I sent for it, got the l...
My aim and passion to be designer I'll achieve this surely...
Hello Janet, Yes, the basics are perfect to start sketching the "correct way" as you...
Superb! It's definitely great to explore different styles and methods. :)...
Hi Kamil, As a carpenter, you may like this interview with Guillaume Bouvet. He's a ...
It is my pleasure to share! I also love illustration. Art and design are so interlinked....
Welcome on board Sam! Let me know how it goes, and do not hesitate to leave a comment or...
I'm a self trained set designer Wood worker from Lagos Nigeria Thanks for sharing I real...
Learning to sketch as a hobby and past time....
Hi from Belarus! I'm after illustration. I hope learning to sketch would help me to get i...
Hi! I come from Poland, but I live in Germany, Berlin. I am carpenter and want to learn sk...
Hello my name is Jan, I live in Perth, Western Australia. I am 72 years old and now disabl...
This is a great reminder to half things.. thanks...
I’m design garments and just expanding on sketching....
I’m looking forward to sharpening up my sketching skills for sneaker design. Thank you f...
i Come from Les Baux de Provence. Thé lockdown five me Time to draw and now i love it bu...
Thank you for sharing this with us...
Hi! I live in Mexico. Im arquitech and i want to improve my sketching styale. Thak's for g...
Hi , I’m trying to take my drawing to the next level ....
My name is Chris Richards from Asheville NC and I need to improve my skills to better pres...
I work as illustrator, I'm very curious about design techniques....
I'm from Arizona. I just started teaching myself how to draw because I've always wanted to...
how is you learn design product ?...
M a french student in a design school, i wish that you're book can help me in my work...
I'm from Brazil and sketching is my favorite hobby....
Very enlightening article. Been reading your blog little by little for some time now but ...
I want to crack the nid exam (National institute of designing)I am preparing for the exa...
Thank you so much for making this content and for your fantastic YouTube videos! I hope to...
I want to draw to open my business and as a hobby...
I'm a landscape architect and want to polish up my landscape drawing skills....
I'm theater design student and want to learn more about sketching....
I want to learn how to design for the industry....
I want to learn it so I can design environments for the industry....
Hello, I've tried signing-up several times for the book download, but no success. Nothing...
My major is industrial design. I'm a design sketch teacher. I'd read the book to improve m...
Gostaria de aprender outras técnicas de desenho porque faço Design de Calçados....
Hello Chou-Tac, I am Marina from Serbia. I study graphic design. Thank you for sharing thi...
Oroville, CA I want to learn it so I can design environments for the gaming and film in...
I've always loved drawing but geneRALLY REfused joining a course. I've always wanted to be...
I’m teaching designdraxing myself and want to have indpiration for my lessons...
Sacramento, CA...
I am a student of Design... but my drawing skills never developed well... when I was 12yo...
I want to improve my skills to better support my students when working on sketching design...
I’m learning how to be better at illustrating for animations...
Hi me prem...
Hi, I’m from Singapore. I am a teacher ,teaching design and technology. I want to be a...
I am a Mechanical Engineer. I do a lot of computer drawing every day, but I would like to ...
i want to be a product designer, sketching is the first building blog to be...
I want to learn how you learn how to draw what you see....
I am an art teacher and want to learn from other artists. I work in USA in Washington sta...
I am an art teacher and want to learn from other artists....
Hi Manuela, Yes there are some tutorials about straight lines. You can get them here...
Hi Nadya, I have just send it to you by email :) Chou-Tac...
Tried downloading book nothing happening. Can you please send me a copy. Thanks...
Hi chou-tac I love your videos. I have a question i always drawed feather lines. I am now...
I've always known I have the talent for drawing/sketching plus I love art but I didn't tak...
Well, I want to learn how to sketch so I can be a animator so I can make this animation fo...
I could relate to this post quite a lot. When I was in my third year I found myself questi...
I'm a student in 3D computer graphics for games and film, but want to improve my artistic ...
My pleasure Jan!...
Totally agree Bryan! :)...
Hi Greig, Hope you find plenty of helpful content on the blog. :) Please let me know...
Awesome Albert, Please, let me know how it goes with the students. :)...
Hello Sam, I am glad that you could correct your elbow position when you draw ellipses...
I have been drawing since I was a kid but never took it seriously enough to learn/study ho...
I would like to use the book for students who are having difficulties with drawing. Tha...
Awesome Usamah, It's such a great feeling to solve problems helping people (even if we...
when I studied mechanical engineering, it was very difficult because of the many calculati...
studying product design...
Trying to get back into sketching, I teach high school design technology and am looking fo...
I am a student and a freelancer, looking forward to be very good in design sketching and t...
Hello, I'm from Oklahoma. I'm interested in sketching because there are times words simp...
Thanks for the help and book to help and practice...
Congrats on your choice of the creative path Teertha! I am glad the sketching videos hel...
Just a student interested in design and wanted to know where to start...
Thank you. I'd like to learn to become a better sketcher....
Hello! I am going to apply for master's degree and found your videos to helpful for me....
Hello Richard, I am glad you enjoyed the video tutorial on perspective and found it be...
Hi Chou-Tac, Greetings for the day. My name is Mahendra and I'm from India. I love to dr...
Hi Dev, PLease find my reply on your email. :) See you there! Cheers, Chou-Tac...
Salut Paxon, Bienvenue a bord! Je serais curieux de ce que tu fais pour les scenogra...
I want to sign up for the sneaker sketching course . Vould you help me with that?...
Bonjour! Je viens de lire votre introduction et je voulais vous dire bonjour d’Austin a...
Chou-Tac I went through your 2 point perspective tutorial. You've done an outstanding job...
from Switzerland, Suisse romande, et je parle français, I live near the lake of Neuchâte...
I am a beginner at 68 and want excellent help....
Am darhnyell from Nigeria . I love art and am passionate about it right from childhood...
Hi, i´m glad to meet you, whith us I had the necesary I need learn to draw better. thanks...
Hi, I did not receive the book till now. I am very interested to learn sketching. I am sea...
I want to refine my skills to be the beat artist I can be. Always learning...
Design Technology Teacher Qld Australia teaching Design...
Hi Sandi, You got a great initiative. Handsketching will help you a lot in your journey...
Hi, I'm a product design engineer student. So I would love to be skillful at sketching not...
Hi Uyen, If you use a screen tablet like a iPad or Wacom Cintiq, it gets very similar t...
Hi Matthew, I am glad you enjoy sneaker design so much! I have just finished writing...
Hi Chou-Tac, it's nice to meet you... I came across your website by vigorous researching. ...
I also need to know moreabout technique. I watch video and the Pro Designer is using Ipad ...
Me too. I watch video and the Pro Designer is using Ipad for sketch book, I wonder do we d...
Hi, I studying at Art and design University and I want to learn more about sketching. Than...
I did not get the book. I asked for it Again today....
I checked spam every day but, no, I did not get the book. I asked for it agin today....
Hi Ojo, Happy you are back with your passion for drawing! I have sent an email to you ...
Hello Chou Tac. I'm a former student of yours I started the sketch like the pros course ...
HELLO! I'M GABE. I'M FROM BRASIL. I'M AN ART TEACHER AND UNPROFESSIONAL DESIGNER. I WAN...
WANTED TO LEARN RENDERING TECHNIQUES...
Hi Miguel, I agree, being able to draw the products you have in mind will drastically ...
Hi Alexandra, Your teacher is wise. The world is generous of discoveries! For us t...
Hey Kym, You are totally right, for a concept artist, the key is a good understanding ...
Hello Aquilla, Glad to see you here and explore how to keep improving your art skills....
Hi Andreas, The book is sent to your email. Did you receive it?...
Thanks Praveen, I am glad it helps you!...
That i s great you go back to your passion. Your ideas and concepts will definitely take...
Thank you for the update Michelle. I am glad you received it. Sometimes email like t...
I was able to download it today using a non-gmail account. I put in a temporary email and ...
These tips and tricks are so amazing and easy to follow. Great explanation of drawing sket...
Hi, I am from India and wanted to learn to sketch because currently whatever I am thinking...
To the ones who didn't get the book, i tried with some diferent mail accounts and i only c...
I’m a Production Engineer, I need to be required basic drawing skills....
Hi, I'm Michelle from the US and I am unsure what direction to take when it comes to studi...
Thank you, Great method's; and very professional....
i love sketching but never was good at it....
Have tried to get the workbook several times but not received it via email. Can you please...
Hi, I'm Daniel. I'd like to design sneakers also but I don't know where to start. I've see...
i dont think there are a lot of design studios in turkey...
Hi there, This is Summer from the XP-Pen team, I am reaching out for a cooperation cha...
I am studying Design and Technology teaching at University and I need to learn how to draw...
Hello, from the US. I've always loved drawing and doodling as a kid. Drawing allowed me to...
To improve in drawing...
it is a fentastic book...
I love drawing and because I love drawing I want to improve on my drawing....
I'm a mechanical design engineer and want to do more industrial design. I love seeing thes...
Hi, I'm John From Colombia. I'd like to learn how to sketch like a pro like you because I ...
Hi I am from India, I need sketching for relaxation and improve my design thinking purpose...
I was very keen to learn the drawing from by 10th grade.But I cannot draw a proper one....
Hi I am Denisse from California I am a interior design student . ( technically I still hav...
I just think I would enjoy drawing trees and Mountains etc,...
I'm from Sweden. I want to draw for my own sake, doing fanart of games and comics I enjoy...
Hi I want to know how do design sketch. I need help in drawing. I’m from Japan. Thank y...
Apparently it just doesn't download anything. No sketchbook here....
Do you have to leave a comment to get the ebook?...
Hii... I am 21 and doing civil engineering and going to complete my graduation in June 202...
Hey, I draw a lot with ballpoint and my drawings and the ink keeps getting pale and yellow...
Hi I want to know how do design sketch. I need help in drawing. I’m from Guam. Thank yo...
I want to be able to think visually and share sketches that people can understand to explo...
I love to draw so when I saw this sketchbook - it will add some much needed structure :)...
Hello. The drawing subject is new to me. I am interested as a hobby....
I'm a student of Computing and IT and Design at Uni. The design half of my degree is stric...
Hi I will be a Industrial Design student in fall of 2021. I want to get a head start on my...
Hi it dgj...
Hey! I’m from France. Very valuable stuff. I’m improving by the minute with these guys...
Hi, I'm from Germany, I just finished my studies in industrial design and finally feel rea...
I'M KUNDAVAI FROM INDIA, I'M A DESIGN STUDENT AND I, WANT TO IMPROVE MY PRODUCT SKETCHING ...
hi i am Aquilla from philippines expert from drawing but dont know how to sketch i attend...

Categories

The designer starter kit chou tac chung
Sneaker sketch book chou tac chung

When we first join a design school, we receive an art material list.

After a visit to any art shop, you realize that the material is costly and that our budget may be quite limited as a student designer. We can’t possibly buy everything from the list.

But we are so excited to start school in great conditions that we tend to be non-reasonable and buy a lot more than we need.

  • Let’s do a tour of an art material shop: Blick

We have the belief that more we get equipped, more we’ll do great stuff !

I do not recommend following the school list 100% and focus on the essential first.

  • The list I received during my first year of design school contained about 3 full pages of material to buy… I didn’t use half of it.
  • I unnecessarily spend a ton of money during my first week of school believing that I could get a great start getting all these things in advance.

So, I thought that this article could help you to avoid my mistake, and identify the essentials needed for a great start as a student designer.

Art shop banner

shop-art-supplies
Art materials shop – It’s easy to be overwhelmed there.

TIP – Too many equipment kills productivity.
Start simple.

At the start, keep your material as minimum as possible or you may end overwhelmed. Later on only, spend some time to refine and explore more material along your learning journey.


1- X-acto

Exacto blade
X-acto

We prefer an X-acto to using a regular cutter or scissors.

You can cut more precisely such as font for example, and cutting curves with precision. I prefer to use Exacto to cut images to create my mood boards instead of scissors. Try and you might get used to it as well.

TIP Use an X-acto instead of a cutter or scissors.

Note that the blade needs to be changed regularly – especially when you want to cut foam board – or you may get some undesirable “bullet” of foam on the edges.

    • Positive + Sharp and efficient
    • Positive + Great for cutting curves
    • Positive + Precision such as cutting fonts
    • Negative – The blade needs to be replaced quite often

2- Cutting mat A3

Cutting mat with metallid cruler
Cutting mat A3

Protect your desk with a wide cutting mat from the blade of the Exacto and from ink stains.

This mat is great for protecting your desk. If you make some stains on it, try to keep it clean for a good working environment.


3- Metallic ruler 30cm

metal-ruler
Metallic ruler

A metallic ruler is better than plastic to cut paper and foam board safely.

The plastic ruler is made of a “soft” material, the blade might damage it. To keep your finger safe, use a metallic ruler. Make sure to hold it firmly.

TIP You may protect your finger using your nails as a “shield”.

(Some chef use a similar technique for cutting onions for example)

4- Foamboard


Foamboard
Foam boards

You will paste your work on these boards for your oral presentations.

I recommend foam boards with 3mm thickness. They look neat and elegant, however, these boards tend to bend a bit. The 5mm is a safer choice for big size documents such as A3.

TIP Buy them in a set to get a discounted price.

They are big and pretty fragile, make sure to avoid the rush hour if you take the subway and store them in a safe and non-humid place at home.


5- Ballpoint pen

Papermate-ballpoint-pen-pack
Pack of ballpoint pen x60

If you find a ballpoint pen that suits you, I recommend you guys to get them in the pack.

Train with the same pen and you will sharpen your pen pressure sensitivity. Each brand of a pen is different – so it’s good to stick to the same. Make sure to choose one that offers a good variety of lines.  You can click here if you want to know more about the ballpoint pen.

The brand I used to buy when I was a student was the Paper Mate above.

  • + Improve your skills faster
  • + Cheaper price buying them in pack
  • + Be able to bring them anywhere. Put one in your bag, another in your jacket…

6- Felt pen

Stabilo Stylist

The Stabilo Stylist is a great choice for drawing on Layout paper (Special paper for markers).

  • + The ink doesn’t blend in contact with the marker ink. (Many ballpoint pens do)
  • + Good pen pressure sensitivity
  • – Remember to put back the cap after usage. The tip dries fast.
  • – Draw gently with the pen, the nib get shorter from the “paper abrasion”

PaperMate Flair Original

The Paper Mate Flair original is a good tool to complement your Ballpoint pen and Stabilo stylist. You can use it for adding thicker lines in your sketches.

  • + Great for doodling
  • + Play with different line thickness
  • + The line is regular and bold

7- Colour lead o.7mm + mechanical pencil

Colour lead red 0.7mmStaedtler-rubber

The color lead is often more fragile than the regular “charcoal one”.

At 0.5mm, they will too often break and start to be irritating. Get color lead from 0.7mm or even 1mm. Blue and red leads are the most commonly used.

Besides that, color leads are more difficult to erase. Get a good rubber such as Staedtler. If you know a better one, let me know!

Note that I do not recommend using a pencil neither an eraser. These color leads are an exception. There is no much need to get any regular “charcoal leads” for the moment.


8- Paper

Double A paper
A4 and A3 Laser copy paper 80g

I have a preference for laser paper instead of inkjet paper.

  • The surface is smoother and slides better.
  • I choose 80g paper for the thickness. 70g is a bit fragile and transparent. 100g is unnecessary too thick.
  • Choose 70g paper if you want to draw with underlay

9- Sketchbook A4

Sketch book
Cheap and simple sketchbook

Don’t get any expensive sketchbooks.

It will paralyze you from drawing in. The sketchbook will be your best partner. Bring it with you as often as you can with a ballpoint pen.

An expensive sketchbook will make you draw lesser.

  • + Carry it anywhere to sketch in anything
  • + Note inside any ideas that come up day and night
  • + Private. Not aimed to be shown to anybody
  • + Not made to be beautiful but experimental and messy

10- Art Portfolio A3 with elastic

Portfolio Exacompta A3
Art portfolio with elastics

Bring your files at school with this portfolio.
I recommend getting one with elastic instead of ribbons. It’s just faster to use and it won’t open accidentally.


11- Glue in spray

Spray mount Scotch
Repositionable Spray mount

Make sure to get the REPOSITIONNABLE spray.
(Avoid buying the permanent spray version.)

It allows you to glue your work on the foam board and readjust the position if needed even hours later with a minimum of damage. If you make some mood board manually (not digital), use preferably that spray instead of a regular UHU stick of glue.

  • + Reposition your paper even after the glue get dry
  • + Clean work
  • + Spray a light layer of glue is enough
  • – Need an open space to spray

12- Markers

Copic Grey of Shade
Set of 12 shade of cool grey – COPIC

Markers are super costly. Buy them carefully. You can first get the basic set of grey shades. Then, for the colors I recommend you guys to buy them along with your projects.

gaz-choutac-chungThere are several brands available. The top 4 brands on the market are :

  • Letraset Tria
    : 3 tips – expensive – reliable. The colors are standardized. A marker bought in the US will be the exact same color as one bought in Asia for example.
  • Copic markers
    : 2 tips. Cheaper option and well made. Copic is pretty well known for Manga artists.
  • Letraset Promarker
    : 2 tips – pretty affordable – but may stain. The body is not as well made as the Tria series. About half price of the Tria if you get them in a set.
  •   Chartpak: Strong smell of alcohol.
  • + others such as Prismacolor Premier …
    that I haven’t tested.

I discovered and bought a cheaper option in Vietnam. I never saw them in any shop. Actually, the website indicated (www.maieart.com) on the marker body – but it is not on service anymore. I only found these markers available on eBay: Touchliit marker. The design of the marker is Copic alike and is well made.

Note: Try to get a blender. You may try some nice gradient effect.

Touchmarker-Twin-Colorless-Blender-Marker
Chartpak Blender marker

13- Layout Paper

canson layout markerpads
Layout paper for markers – Bleed proof

Get this paper for your markers.
Make sure to draw on the right surface. The verso is not usable (Some artist like to experiment with that surface. It gives a wet result)

  • + The marker ink will be “regularly” absorbed on the paper to give a smooth effect.
  • + The ink won’t go through
  • + Save ink compared as regular paper that the fiber absorbs more ink
  • + Semi-transparent, you can draw on top of another sketch from a different sheet of paper.
  • – Doesn’t dry as fast as regular paper – be careful with your palm
  • – Expensive

14- Printer

Canon Printer A3
Canon A3 Printer

Get a borderless A3 printer instead of an A4.
Most of the work you will present at school will be A3 in size. It’s to make sure that the whole class can see your work, even from far. Ok, you may tell me that you can assemble two A4 paper on the presentation board. True.

Get an A3 printer to save time and energy.

  • But you will discover that it’s pretty annoying to parameter your software and printer to print without margin. Note that not all printers can print without margin. So you may need to cut manually and  NEATLY the extra white border…The joint has to be perfect, especially if you have some text written on it. To avoid the hassle, consider an A3 Printer.
  • You will need a full A3 size paper for your portfolio.
  • Note: You may consider printing your work or portfolio with a Professional Laser printer. It will be much faster, cheaper. However, you won’t control the color calibration that tends to be too contrasted at times.
  • Make sure that the ink cartridge is all independent.
  • You may consider refill ink to low the cost. Try to get a system that needs less maintenance as possible.

15- Scanner

Canon Scanner
Canon A4 Scanner

Despite recommending an A3 printer, I recommend an A4 scanner.
Because the A3 scanner is just overpriced. Things you will scan from may come from magazines, newspaper,s or else.. most don’t exceed a4. Note that an A3 scanner is VERY bulky.

Get a scanner that has ONLY an USB cable, no power cord.

A scanner doesn’t need much energy and will get it from the USB cable itself. The simplification of cable is a practical choice. My scanner remains most of the time in my cupboard. I take it out only when I need it.


16- Mac or PC?

macbook pro
MacBook Pro

Definitely Mac!

Most industrial designers will answer Mac as well. Nowadays both 2D software and most 3D software such as Rhino 3D are available on Windows and Mac OS.

I would recommend a portable option that allows you to work anywhere. Just make sure to get at least a 15-inch screen. I know it’s quite heavy, even for a Mac Book air.

  • + Safe environment
  • + NO VIRUS
  • + Low updates needed
  • + Possibility to install Windows on a Mac with Parallel Desktop (Works great but take a lot of resources)
  • – 3DS Max and Solidworks are ONLY available on Windows
  • – A bit heavy to transport.
wacom-cintiq-companion
Portable Wacom Companion

The only reason why I would go on a PC would be an additional screen tablet included. Some of you may think about the “Portable”  Wacom Companion. I tried and unfortunately, I didn’t like it. It’s heavy, the autonomy of the battery is low, and worst of all, the pen is not accurate when you reach the edges of the screen. Disappointed.

UPDATE: The Wacom Companion 2 has been released. I haven’t got the chance to try it yet!

Modbook inc Mac book screen tabletModBook: Fusion between a MacBook Pro and a Screen tablet

I didn’t have the chance to try it. That option is pretty interesting but VERY expensive. The company Modbook Ink takes some Macbook Pro, and TRANSFORM them into screen tablet with 1024 pen pressure sensitivity. Awesome!


17- Digital Graphic tablet

Wacom Intuos4
Digital tablet

If you can’t afford a screen tablet, start cheap.
Don’t underestimate a regular graphic tablet vs the Screen tablet. It will take you more time to get used to it, but we all need to start somewhere. If you can’t get an Intuos 4, you may even consider a Bamboo. Unfortunately, I haven’t personally tried that one. All I know is that I started with the Graphire 2, a very old version that gave me satisfaction.

For the rest of the materials, wait for your teacher to give you specific instructions before getting more such as:

  • brushes,
  • painting,
  • watercolor,
  • curves,
  • permanent markers,
  • Posca,
  • trace ellipses,
  • pastels,
  • sponge,
  • color markers,
  • blender,
  • pencil color…

All these can wait or you may start your design school being overwhelmed. Remember that: “Less is more”!

Let me know your impressions in the comment below.

Chou-Tac

Hello! 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 is to help you all along with your design projects and journey!

Leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

Chou-Tac

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