Roll of paper challenge: 7 days to fill the roll of sketches | Concept art |TIP90

To improve we need to regularly get out of our comfort zone. It’s something that we don’t do naturally. Relax, in sketching we can only improve. Even a little, it’s still a step forward. So keep in my mind your goal, and keep going.

A friend of mine, passionate of concept art recommended me to look at John park’s techniques, a great concept art artist. So I did. Thanks Adrien for your support ! Concept art is fascinating but also quite challenging for different aspects. Creativity, memory of forms, speed, quality of lines… All are mixed together.

I understand why so many Product designer enjoy so much drawing Concept art. (A good number of them come from Product design background).

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Few years ago, I bought a roll of paper. I told myself that I would fill it of sketches. You know what ? Nothing happened. I procrastinated. Today I decided to challenge myself and starting doing.

We often hear: Practice Practice Practice. Alright ! Let’s do that with the challenge of the week !

I will fill a roll of paper in 7 days.

I  Hope you wanna try as well !

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My memory is not that great, so I first started to make a bit of research, looking for inspiration. I do a quick brainstorm of where I could look for Machinery references such as Factories, gold mine extraction, laboratory… The Ipad with Google image will help me to feed me of ideas along the way.

I recorded the sketching in video. You will find some Tips and comments.


Day 1 Results: 5.60m of sketches ! It’s longer than my kitchen ! 🙂 It took me about 3hours+.

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From top to bottom pictures:

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It’s important to draw with a loose hand.

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If your sketches are clumsy, it’s ok. It doesn’t matter much. Your goal is to drop as many ideas as possible. Later on, you can make a selection, and study it more in details. Anyway, your skills will improve by failing many times. Take the good habit to analyse why.

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The importance of practicing some joints. Sometime, feed your memory of forms drawing existing mechanical pieces.

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Have you noticed the light blue lines ? The idea is to draw random shapes. Then you include inside some bots. You will train your proportion skills.

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Petrol extraction inspired.

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Grass hopper legs inspired. Nature is a great source of inspiration. You can add some organic shapes to your bots, they will look more intriguing.

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It’s good sometime to draw multiple views.

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Drawing with side views is convenient to drop many ideas.

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Draw with dynamic lines to bring life to your bots.

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I sketched much more than what I expected. Compared to a regular sketchbook or sheet of paper, the advantage of the roll is that you don’t realise how much you draw. There is no more page to count, so you keep carry on without setting up when it’s enough or not. Only your mood will tell you when you need to rest.

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Let me share with you a comment from Sandy Grant, drawing teacher.

“My “theory” is that trad sketchbooks – rectangular, paged, discontinuous, etc – aren’t therefore conducive to creative thinking – you sketch out a few ideas, turn the page and they disappear from sight and lose that critical visual connection you have just, fleetingly, established! You sketch out a few more and turn the page and, etc, etc – no flow, no connection and possible inspiration is lost or, at best, turned down. Some students simply got stuck on the page and “lost” in the corners and were reluctant to turn over and, hence, lost idea flow momentum – they then gave up thinking!!!”

I invite you to try sketching on the roll as well. It’s fun ! You will challenge so many aspect of your drawing skills. Most important is about not being fear anymore of failing.

The journey is not finished, there is still a lot of blank space in the roll.

Let me know your impressions !

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About The Author


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 : )

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