Learning to sketch

In the midst of pizza last wednesday, we somehow got into a discussion about how one learns to sketch or draw, and how learning earlier in life can affect drawing perspective later. Sketching can be grounded in specific principles and practices when one has a background in drawing. For example, isometric drawing is when you represent a 3-dimensional object by drawing parallel lines and shapes. I use this technique when I am sketching or trying to convey an idea. I know when to draw parallel lines etc. to achieve the desired shape. Another technique is to decompose what you’re trying to draw into shapes, or blocks of colors or shading, or simply ‘drawing what you see’.

Before we talked about it, though, I hadn’t consciously realized that others might not know these techniques (or think about an ‘approach’ when starting to sketch), or how much I apply when I am sketching or drawing. Yet these principles can be really valuable to someone who doesn’t really draw but needs to convey ideas at their job. Like Suwa said (What do architects and students perceive in their sketches? A design protocol analysis), “…sketches…, as external representation, allow for reflective conversation.” To me this signifies the importance of early education in the arts. They can empower people with another way to convey the jumble going on in their heads.


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