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How to improve my concept art?

I would like to create more “credible” concept art engines.
For that, I thought about studying mechanical pieces.

It would help me to have a better understanding of the mechanical functions.
That will be my “raw” material.

To increase my creativity while I sketch Concept art engine, I feed my memory of forms. It’s good sometime to select my own inspiration pictures. E.g: going to Product design expo, art musuem, getting the Artbooks of your favourite movies… or Google image”.

Sewing machine bobbin case

When I was a kid, my mom had a sewing machine at home. I remember playing with that above bobbin case that I already felt modern and elegant. I guess that’s what attract me today to draw it. It was so small yet composed of many rounded mechanical pieces, some more a bobbin could perfectly fit in.

Ok, it looks complicated. How to start ? By identifying the main shape: a cylinder. I trace 2 ellipses for the above surface skipping the bottom one. Only the upper surface interest me. Then the game is about detailing respecting some basic rules of perspective. I will explain more about it in further articles.


This bobbin looks already like a spaceship. Note that the bobbin is symmetrical. That’s a major information you need to identify before sketching anything.

The sewing head

I like this shape. It reminds me a walking/jumping robotic foot.

It’s quite interesting to draw some in multiple views.

Tonight, let’s explore the tough part of the machine!

I have chosen this picture for its complexity. I won’t draw everything as it is (I guess I would go crazy :)) but extract the shapes that interest me. Actually, after a couple of hours seeing it, it looks less complicated to me. I guess my brain has already get familiar to certain shapes.

It’s a big mess. But it’s ok. It’s a combination of doodles for me to train. It took me about 3 hours. It’s definitely too long because I wanted to sketch as many shape as possible. Next time, I will draw with an even looser hand to sketch faster and explore more.

As soon as your brain has memorised the “logic” of a shape and mechanism, you should be able later to redraw it neater.

Have you notice that most of the shapes use ellipses.

Because I draw metal pieces, I feel suitable to use a cold colour marker.

The cafe closed at 2am and I was the last client. Time to go home, write this article and go to sleep !


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 : )


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