Sketching, Industrial Design, and Modeling 101 Pro Materials and Tricks

Sketching is the bee's knees for any artist, designer, or creative professional. It's like the bread and butter of visual arts, from doodling to painting to graphic design. If you want to be a sketching wizard and master this craft, there are a bunch of things you need to know. First of all, practice makes perfect! The more you sketch, the better you'll become. So, make sure to set aside some time every day or week to work on your skills. Whether you're sketching from real life or using reference pictures, the act of drawing regularly will help you develop your technique and improve your overall artistic abilities. Another important aspect of mastering the art of sketching is studying the fundamentals of drawing. This includes understanding basic shapes, proportions, and perspective. By learning these fundamental principles, you'll be able to create more accurate and compelling sketches that will make your friends go "wow."In addition to studying the basics, it's also important to experiment with different techniques and styles. Try working with different types of pencils, charcoal, and other materials to see what works best for you. You can also explore different styles of sketching, such as gestural drawing, contour drawing, and shading techniques.


Sketching and Design Workshops

To take your sketching to the next level, consider taking a class or workshop. There are many online and in-person options available, and these can be a super fun way to learn new techniques and get feedback on your work. Plus, participating in a class or workshop can help you connect with other artists and creatives, which can be a valuable source of inspiration and support.

If you're looking for online options, check out Skillshare or Udemy for a wide variety of courses taught by professional artists and designers. Some recommended classes include "Sketching for Product Designers" by Koos Looijesteijn and "Sketching Techniques for Artists: Inking, Textures, and Shading" by Robert Marzullo.

For in-person workshops, keep an eye out for events hosted by your local art store or community center. You can also look for workshops hosted by professional organizations like the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) or the Society of Illustrators. These organizations often offer workshops and events that are open to both members and non-members.

Design as Communication

When it comes to sketching in industrial design and architecture, the process takes on a unique set of challenges and considerations. In these fields, sketching is often used as a tool for communicating ideas and concepts to clients, collaborators, and manufacturing teams. As such, it is essential for sketches to be clear, detailed, and accurate.

In industrial design, sketching is used to convey product designs to clients and manufacturers. Sketches are often the first step in the design process, allowing designers to quickly iterate and refine their ideas before moving on to more detailed design work. Sketches can be used to explore different product configurations, test ergonomics and usability, and convey design aesthetics and brand identity.

In architecture, sketching is used to communicate design concepts to clients and construction teams. Architects often use sketches to explore different design options, experiment with spatial relationships, and test the functionality and flow of a building. Sketches can be used to convey the look and feel of a space, as well as the technical details and construction requirements.

Precision and Accuracy

One of the unique challenges of sketching in industrial design and architecture is the need for precision and accuracy. Designs must be detailed and well-defined, with clear and consistent lines and shapes. In order to achieve this level of precision, many designers and architects use specialized tools and techniques.

For example, many industrial designers use a digital tablet and stylus to create sketches. This allows for precise line work and the ability to quickly iterate on designs. Some designers also use 3D modeling software to create detailed digital sketches that can be easily shared and refined.

Architects, on the other hand, often use a combination of hand-drawn sketches and digital tools to create their designs. Hand-drawn sketches allow for quick iteration and exploration of ideas, while digital tools such as CAD (computer-aided design) software and 3D modeling programs allow for greater precision and accuracy in the final design.

Regardless of the tools and techniques used, the key to successful sketching in industrial design and architecture is the ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively. Sketches must be easy to understand and must convey the intended message to the viewer.

Getting started:

  1. Start by practicing basic drawing skills, such as sketching simple shapes and objects. Focus on achieving precision and accuracy in your drawings.

  2. Learn the fundamentals of industrial design, including ergonomics, materials, and manufacturing processes. This will help you create designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

  3. Look for inspiration from other designers and products. Study the designs of everyday objects, such as furniture and electronics, and analyze their form and function.

  4. Experiment with different media, such as pencils, markers, and digital tools. This will allow you to find the tools and techniques that work best for you.

  5. Seek out feedback from other designers and professionals. This can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your skills.

  6. As you develop your skills, start working on more complex projects, such as product designs or furniture concepts. Remember to focus on creating designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Monetizing Your Sketches

If you have a passion for industrial design, you may be wondering how you can turn that passion into a lucrative career. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to use your industrial design skills to make money. Here are some tips:

  1. Freelance: One of the easiest ways to make money as an industrial designer is to work as a freelancer. Many companies and individuals are willing to pay for the services of a skilled designer. You can find freelance design work through online job boards, social media, and word-of-mouth referrals.

  2. Sell your designs: If you have created a portfolio of unique and innovative designs, you may be able to sell them to manufacturers or retailers. Look for companies that are looking for new product ideas or consider starting your own online store to sell your designs directly to customers.

  3. Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can be a great way to fund your own design projects. If you have a great idea for a new product or design, you can use these platforms to raise money from backers who are interested in your idea.

  4. Licensing: You can also make money by licensing your designs to manufacturers or retailers. This means that you retain the rights to your designs and allow others to use them in exchange for a fee or royalty.

  5. Work for a company: Many companies, especially those in the tech, furniture, and automotive industries, employ industrial designers. Look for job postings on job boards, company websites, and industry associations.

  6. Teach: If you have a passion for industrial design and enjoy sharing your knowledge, consider teaching design classes or workshops. This can be a great way to supplement your income while also giving back to the design community.

Design Services

If you are a business owner, you may be wondering whether you need industrial design services to help you create innovative and functional products. While some companies have in-house design teams, others may prefer to use third-party design services, such as ZAZADesign, to meet their design needs.

ZAZADesign is a design studio that specializes in industrial design, providing a range of services to help businesses create unique and functional products. Here are some reasons why you might consider using a third-party industrial design service like ZAZADesign:

  1. Access to expertise: Industrial design is a specialized field that requires a high level of expertise and experience. By using a third-party service like ZAZADesign, you can access the skills and knowledge of experienced industrial designers who can help you create products that are both innovative and functional.

  2. Cost-effective: Hiring an in-house design team can be expensive, especially for small businesses or startups. By using a third-party service like ZAZADesign, you can get access to high-quality design services without the overhead costs associated with hiring a full-time design team.

  3. Faster time-to-market: Industrial design services like ZAZADesign can help you get your products to market faster. With a dedicated design team working on your project, you can save time and streamline the design process, allowing you to bring your products to market more quickly.

  4. Increased flexibility: Third-party design services like ZAZADesign offer increased flexibility, allowing you to scale your design needs up or down as your business grows or your product needs change. This can help you adapt to changing market conditions and stay competitive.

  5. Access to the latest tools and technologies: Industrial design services like ZAZADesign use the latest tools and technologies to create innovative and functional products. By using a third-party service, you can benefit from access to these tools and technologies without having to invest in them yourself.

When it comes to choosing an industrial design service like ZAZADesign, it's important to do your research and choose a service that aligns with your business needs and values. Look for a service with a proven track record of success, a portfolio of high-quality designs, and a team of experienced designers who can help you bring your vision to life.


Recommended Materials

  1. Pencils: The Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils are often recommended by professionals, as they offer a range of hardness levels and have a consistent, high-quality lead. Another popular brand is the Faber-Castell 9000 series, which are known for their smoothness and durability.

  2. Sketchbook: Moleskine sketchbooks are a popular choice among professionals, as they have high-quality paper and come in a range of sizes and styles. Another brand that comes recommended is the Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook, which has heavy weight paper and is great for both dry and wet media.

  3. Erasers: Kneaded erasers from brands like Faber-Castell or Prismacolor are great for sketching, as they can be molded into any shape and are gentle on the paper. Another popular brand is the Tombow Mono Zero eraser, which has a fine tip for precision erasing.

  4. Sharpeners: A reliable sharpener is essential for keeping your pencils sharp. The Prismacolor Premier Pencil Sharpener is a popular choice among professionals, as it has a compact design and sharpens pencils quickly and evenly.

  5. Drawing board: A lightweight and portable drawing board like the Art Alternatives Sketch Board is a great option for artists on the go. Another recommended brand is the Alvin PXB series portable drawing board, which has a smooth surface and comes in a range of sizes.

  6. Models: For wooden models, Art Alternatives and Darice are popular brands. For plastic models, Revell and Tamiya offer a variety of subjects including cars, planes, and ships.

Remember that these are just a few examples of the many brands and options available. Ultimately, the best materials for you will depend on your personal preferences and artistic style. Don't be afraid to experiment with different brands and materials to find what works best for you.

3D software and device recommendations

Here are some software and device recommendations that professionals use to bring sketches to life in 3D:

  1. Sketching software: There are many sketching software options available, but some popular ones among professionals include SketchBook Pro, Procreate, and Adobe Photoshop. These programs allow you to create digital sketches with a range of brushes and tools.

  2. 3D modeling software: To turn your sketches into 3D models, you'll need 3D modeling software. Some popular options among professionals include SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, and Fusion 360. These programs allow you to create detailed 3D models that can be manipulated and tested for functionality.

  3. 3D printing software: Once you have a 3D model, you'll need to prepare it for printing. Software like Ultimaker Cura and Simplify3D can help you optimize your model for printing, including slicing it into layers and setting the printing parameters.

  4. Graphics tablets: Graphics tablets like Wacom or Huion are essential tools for digital sketching and 3D modeling. These tablets allow you to draw directly on the screen, giving you more control and precision over your sketches.

  5. 3D printers: When it comes to 3D printing, there are many different types and brands of printers available. Some popular brands among professionals include Ultimaker, Formlabs, and Prusa. These printers can create high-quality 3D models from a variety of materials.

Remember that these tools can be expensive, and it's important to invest in quality products that will last. If you're just starting out, it's okay to begin with more affordable options and work your way up as you gain more experience and skill. Additionally, don't be afraid to seek out tutorials and resources online to help you learn how to use these tools effectively.

Incorporating Different Practices

There are several ways to incorporate other practices to become a better designer, which are discussed in this article.

One of the ways to improve one's sketching skills is by incorporating other practices. For instance, by incorporating painting, one can learn about color theory, composition, and how to create value. By incorporating sculpture, one can learn about proportion, form, and texture. By incorporating photography, one can learn about framing, lighting, and how to capture the essence of a scene.

Incorporating other practices can also help designers think outside the box and develop new ideas. For example, a designer who incorporates writing can learn how to communicate more effectively and tell compelling stories. A designer who incorporates dance can learn about movement and how to create dynamic compositions. A designer who incorporates music can learn about rhythm, tempo, and how to create an emotional connection with an audience.

Another way to improve one's sketching skills is by being creative, fun, and imaginative. Sketching is not just about drawing what is in front of you; it is about capturing the essence of an idea or concept. By being creative, fun, and imaginative, designers can take their sketching skills to the next level. They can experiment with different styles, use different materials, and draw inspiration from their surroundings.

Sketching can also benefit from being informed by research. For instance, a designer who wants to sketch a building can benefit from researching its history, culture, and purpose. A designer who wants to sketch a product can benefit from researching its materials, manufacturing processes, and target audience. Researching can also help designers develop new ideas, refine existing ones, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.

Using sources for research is also important for designers who want to incorporate other practices. For example, a designer who wants to incorporate writing can benefit from reading books, articles, and blogs about writing. A designer who wants to incorporate sculpture can benefit from visiting museums, galleries, and art shows. A designer who wants to incorporate photography can benefit from studying the works of famous photographers and learning about different techniques and styles.


Obsolescence of Sketching


Sketching has been an essential tool for designers for many years. It’s a way to quickly jot down ideas, explore different concepts, and communicate visually with clients and colleagues. However, with the rise of digital technologies, sketching is becoming more and more obsolete in professional design environments. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this is happening and what it means for the future of design.

Sketching is becoming less popular in professional design environments is that digital tools are becoming increasingly powerful and sophisticated. With software like Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, and Figma, designers can create detailed, high-fidelity designs in a fraction of the time it would take to sketch them out by hand. These digital tools offer features like vector graphics, layers, and unlimited undo/redo, making it easy to experiment with different design ideas and iterate quickly.

Another reason why sketching is becoming less relevant is that many clients and stakeholders now expect to see polished, finished-looking designs from the outset. This is partly due to the rise of design thinking methodologies, which place a greater emphasis on prototyping and testing designs with users. Clients and stakeholders want to see what the final product will look like, even if it’s just a rough prototype, so that they can provide feedback and iterate quickly.

Furthermore, sketching is becoming less common because it can be time-consuming and inefficient. Designers often have to create multiple sketches to explore different ideas, and then choose the best one to develop further. This can be a time-consuming process, especially when deadlines are tight. With digital tools, designers can create multiple variations of a design quickly and easily, without having to start from scratch every time.

However, it’s important to note that sketching is still a valuable skill for designers to have, even if it’s becoming less common in professional design environments. Sketching is a way to quickly capture ideas and explore different concepts in a low-pressure, low-stakes environment. It’s also a great way to communicate ideas visually with clients and colleagues, especially in the early stages of a project when the design is still taking shape.

So, what does this mean for the future of design? While sketching may be becoming less relevant in professional design environments, it’s important for designers to continue honing their sketching skills. Sketching is a fundamental part of the design process, and it’s a skill that can be applied to many different areas of design, from product design to architecture to fashion design.

While sketching is becoming more and more obsolete in professional design environments, it’s still a valuable skill for designers to have. Digital tools are making it easier and more efficient to create high-fidelity designs, but sketching is still a way to quickly capture ideas and communicate visually with clients and colleagues. As the design industry continues to evolve, it’s important for designers to stay adaptable and continue learning new skills, including both digital tools and traditional sketching techniques. 


Cover Art by 

Rus Khasanov

"Space Iris"