Is drawing important for designers?
It’s a hot debate, as a designer, is it important to have drawing skills? I mean, you don’t need to draw anymore really? Surely computers can do it all for you now, download a few images, treat them with filters, composite them together in Adobe Photoshop – Bob’s yer uncle (as we say in the UK!)
But drawing is not only a process used to create finished aesthetic imagery to include in a finished design, it’s much more than that. It’s a learning process that is an important stage in the development of a confident visual language. When you draw something you learn to see with a different, more focused awareness. You start to question why things appear in a certain way, as a result you can understand how things are constructed, how light interacts with surfaces and how colors affect each other. Things that may not occur to you by just simply looking at an object. you need to truly understand these things to make your drawings work. Even if you don’t like your finished drawings, that really doesn’t matter, it’s the process of losing yourself in the craft of drawing that matters.
And it’s never too late to learn, in the Drawing chapter of my book, Design Essentials for the Motion Media Artist I talk about my mother who didn’t start drawing till she was in her 70’s. It has made a huge difference to her life and now she can draw and paint like she would never have thought. You can check out excerpts from this chapter using Amazon’s “Search Inside” feature now. The chapter also contains some of the exercises that helped me learn to draw during my time at Art College. There’s also a resources section on this website that contains some tips, tricks and links to useful tutorials, websites and a complete reading list.
Writing this book inspired me to include more about drawing in my software tutorial too. I recently recorded a new video training workshop for video2brain on Animation Character Design in Adobe Illustrator which will be available soon. In this tutorial I showed that you don’t need to limit yourself to using traditional drawing materials. In one of the tutorials I show how to create body shapes from primitive shapes and then use Illustrators fabulous drawing tools to sculpt these into more organic shapes, it’s an addictive and very creative process.
So, I hope that you’ll give drawing a chance, pick up whichever implement inspires you to make marks and get sketching! don’t worry about the outcome, just enjoy the process!