Happy Holidays from IdSketching

Merry Christmas to all. I hope you all have a productive and joyous season. It’s such a great time of the year, and an even better time to brush up on those dusty sketching skills. So, you may have been wondering where I’ve been, what I’ve been up to and so one. For starters, you can check out this article on Core77, and head on over to sketch-a-day.com as well.

Never fear, I’m still working on new ideas and ways to provide good content. First off, I do have a video in the works. You can keep an eye out for it around the beginning of the year. In the mean time, have a great holiday and see you on the flipside.

Bizarre, wierd, and fricken sweet!

I’m always searching for more inspiration especially the stuff that gets my mind making new crazy connections. If you go for the same thing, or dont, tell us what you think of Allen Sutton. His style and topics are pretty intense. 😉

Avalanche Software Blog

I have a cousin who works for a game design company here in Utah. I dont know much about the company,  except for they were bought by Disney sometime ago…like everyone else, but the blog is fun and shows a lot of creative play on words. They also do a sketch challenge and some of the images crack me up.

Then Buffy Staked Edward...THE END!

Snow White wanders too far into the Enchanted Forest.

52 Weeks of UX

This site covers a lot of thoughts and principles around the design of  User Experiences. So much of what we do as Designers  is based around creating a particular user experience.

In a round about way this applies to sketching as well. One of the main reasons we create a killer sketch, or rendering, is to inspire the viewer and get them emotional involved. If the sketch is done poorly it results in a bad viewer experience and a bad reaction. Your ideas could make the company millions but if you cant get the viewer, who many times has no idea what the right solution is, emotionally connected to your idea then it will almost never get chosen.

A great sketch will do the opposite. Ive seen bad ideas get chosen solely based on how well they were presented…So in closing the moral of the story is “Be a great sketcher so you can get people to buy into bad ideas. jk :)”

Heres to 52weeks of User Experience Design.

Old School Viscom by Jason White

“Old School Viscom – 20 Renderings in 20 Steps” is an excellent book, written by Jason White (An automotive designer and an instructor at CCS), that covers rendering and visualizing design concepts utilizing “old school” or analog techniques. As the title states, the book contains 20 renderings presented in 20 easy enough to follow steps in over 250 pages of full color awesomeness. The design sketches included are mostly automotive in nature, however, there are a few product renderings included as well.

When I first opened the book, flipped through the pages, and scanned the tutorials, I was very impressed at the way the material was presented in a very clear, concise, and communicative way.

Before beginning and tutorials, one is presented with a glossary of materials represented as icons as well as a simple guide to some basic drawing and sketching fundamentals. Each page of tutorials contains large images that clearly show each step of the rendering process. Compared to other books that I have read and seen, these images and tutorials hold up very well in the areas of quality and clarity. For each step of the renderings, there are small icons that show what materials are used. This works nicely as a quick visual guide to what marker, pen, or pencil to grab next, and what to prepare for before beginning the next step.

Although the rendering take place over 20 “short” steps, I found them to be gradual enough that one would not get lost in the mix if you were following along. Following along the step-by-step renderings, I could tell that there was considerable time and thinking placed into the presentation of each of the steps.

The book does hint at using Adobe Photoshop for some tasks here and there, however, it does not delve into the minutia of those processes, and instead focuses on the broader analog techniques. I did not find this bothersome, but for someone just starting out, jumping into photoshop without some clear direction may be a little daunting. In any case, with a little creativity and adjustment, I think the analog techniques covered would translate just fine to a digital medium such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, or Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

All in all, the book is a fantastic resource, and one of the best that I have come across in terms of content, clarity, and clear directions for rendering and sketching. It’s definitely worth having in any designers library. You can find it at oldschoolviscom.com for the 44.95 USD. There’s even an option to have the copy signed by Jason himself!

I had the chance to interview Jason White about the book, himself, and his feelings about sketching. Check out the interview below –

1 – Tell us a little bit about your background – Where are you from, what led you to industrial design, what’s has your career been like up to this point and how did you come to be an instructor at CCS?

I was born and raised in suburban Detroit. My father was a body engineer at Chrysler and he was acquainted with several stylists. So we knew CCS was an option very early on. I decided to be a designer after a GM stylist came to my third grade class and gave a slide presentation. I was already producing stacks of car drawings at home on our coffee table, and here’s a guy in a suit telling me I can get paid to do that! Talk to any car designer from my era and most of them will relate a similar story. After I left CCS, I found a niche as an interior designer at Ford. My main contributions there are the 2008 Escape/Mariner interior and the 2007 Super Duty instrument panel. I took a quick detour through the Hyundai studio in Ann Arbor, and now I’m back at Ford on a contract basis. I’ve been teaching at CCS since 2007. This originally came about because a friend had to leave on a foreign assignment and needed a substitute to cover his class. But since then, I’ve really grown to love the process of teaching. For me, it’s not a job; it’s more of a passion. I’ve often come home from an evening class and I’m practically bouncing off the walls; that’s how much I enjoy it.

2 – You mention in your preface that the fundamentals of viscom are often overlooked in the transition from analog sketching to digital sketching. How do you see both analog and digital skill sets complimenting each other?

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Inspiration: Unusual Combat Snowmobiles from Russia

via – English Russia

Check out these sweet combat snowmobiles from Soviet Russia. Definitely some good inspiration here at the least.

DIY Cintiq

Heres a project for those who are a bit more technologically inclined and want a Cintiq, but cant afford one. (thats me…and about everyone else in the free world :))The build is a bit complicated and you’ll need to take your time but when its said and done youll have a pretty good DIY Cintiq. I used a bunch of parts i had laying around. An old 17″ monitor, free wacom that was 6 years old, and a bunch of extra wires and tin foil. For those who want to take the risk Good Luck! and be careful.


Danny Draws…really well.

Ive been following Danny Gardners work for sometime and it just keeps getting better and better. His blog is great and shows a lot of his process from ideation sketches to final rendering.  Check it out and Enjoy!

Copyright Danny GardnerCopyright Danny Gardner

Itch’n for sketch’n?…not anymore!

We just featured a blog dedicated to Urban Sketching and in the spirit of those awesome images we decided to have an urban sketch challenge of our own. Over the past week some great work has been done and we are excited to see more!

We have also done space stations and drones. :)

And thank you to all the sketch challenge contributors. Keep up the good work!

Inspiring: Snowmobile Sketch Contest

I happened to check in on the fellas over at Simkom.com. It has continued to be an on-going site of sketch inspiration and awesomeness! Right now they are featuring a sketch contest to create some hotness around snowmobiles. The person that creates the coolest snowmobile sketches will be featured in CARR magazine and have an internship opportunity at a design firm across the pond.

It’s too late to hop in on the competition, but not too late to check out the “in progress selected works” that have been decided on through the rounds. Check it out! Image credit : Mishu Batra

And now for something different.

One of our resident sketch monkeys, Kannonne, was kind enough to share some sweet inspirational goodness with us and i thought it deserved some front page action. Its a bit different from the normal “sketch” theme but its still contains futuristic vehicles so its always welcome here. Check out Igarashi Design

And if you want to see some more inspirational work check out the recent sketch challenge!

On Workshops

IDSA Boston @ MASS Art

Spencer Nugent speaking at IDSA Boston 2010

Recently I was invited by IDSA Boston to host a Visual Communication and Sketching workshop with local designers and students alike. I had a great time working with the crew there. Initially I was slated to go for only about 4 hours, but we were having so much fun, I went for a whopping 6.5 hours of sketching and instruction. From what I hear, it was well received, and I just want to give a shout out to the crew there – Jeremy Ogg and Ryan Foote and anyone else who helped out.

Spencer Nugent sketching at a workshop

So what’s in a workshop and why do I do them? Read on to find out more.

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