Basics to Design Process Design 101

Drawing is one of the best skills that you can have as a creative person or designer. I believe it’s a must-have skill for any person to be able to think critically before engaging in your work on the computer. Critically thinking is so important to the design process and that is what drawing is. Brainstorm and sketching thumbnails work help you through anything in your life, from relationships to stress. Because of its a form of expression, like writing or acting.

Anyone can draw, because drawing even marks or stick figures are an expressive way to communicate.

Cave Man paintings or parietal art were not elaborate masterpieces but the process they used to communicate with line and marks, dashes even what they used like berries or blood, tell a story that is relatable even today. What will your marks tell?

Drawing organically is another process I like to use if I am stuck or practicing new while waiting for a collection of ideas to emerge. I have noticed I will hate the drawings or designs I do and then I see them months later and my process emerges.




Step-by-Step Directions for creating thumbnail drawing

Materials you will need.

• Paper

• Pencil or Pen

Step 1

* Note: Try to remember these are will not be finished designs for portfolio pieces, these drawings are for you learn how to think outside the box.

Pick a simple subject to draw. Example an apple or an object you right near like a book.

Draw 6 to 9 squares or rectangles on your paper.

Step 2

* Note: These shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes each.

First box Draw your subject.

• Add Circles

• Add Lines

Second box Draw your subject larger in the box

• Add something to detail

• Add something that helps describe your subject

Third Box Draw your subject

• Wave lines

• Sharp lines

• With Dots

Forth Box Draw your subject using

• Flowers

• Leaves

• Letters like A for Apple

Firth Box Draw your subject outline

• Write something in the shape

• Erase Lines and reveal your quote

• Add leaf or a bug

Sixth Box – Eight Box

Draw your subject in different angles

• Draw your subject cut in half

• Draw the of your object

• Draw Subject small

Ninth Box

Draw your multiples of your subject.

• Create overlapping

• Stack your subject

• Darken your subject with lines or dots

Step 3

*Note: These shouldn’t take you more than 15-20 minutes each

Pick 2-4 drawings you like the best, I put check marks next them

Then I take another a piece of paper and divide it into 3 parts or draw evenly drawn boxes.

Then I take the 4 Ideas and draw them larger in the boxes with more detail, more lines, shading, color always thinking about what I can add and what I can take away from those 2 ideas.

Step 4

*Note: This should take you 30 minutes to an hour.

Pick the best drawing or idea from Step 3 and add a checkmark to it.

Then take another piece of paper and use the entire page to expand upon your apple. Why should eat this? Where are you eating this apple? When am I eating this apple? Who is eating the apple? It is funny but these questions help you add to your thinking process?

Step 5

*Note: Stay off the computer – use your brain and look around you for inspiration

Pick your favorite one and expand on composition, scale, and textures. Don’t be afraid to try other things.

Step 6 

Refined my drawing and completed my piece with ink pens, watercolor, digitally draw over it in Illustrator or Photoshop.

So, its simple and quick process overall. This process will help you to manage your time effectively if you plan on your projects especially if working with a client. If you are stuck on what to draw, draw the first thing you see. A lamp, your computer, your hairbrush, it can be anything, it’s your interpretation of the object and that’s what drawings mean. Once you do the process it will become normal, easy and your projects will stand out among others who rush without thinking things through.

You are one step closer to becoming a better illustrator or creative.


Post your project.

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