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Drawing Free Hand Vs Photoshop

Luciano Bove is a car design manager working at Renault Design. Born in Italy, he graduated from Art Center College of Design in California.

Doodle sketches

Doodle sketches

Drawing Well

The Art of Drawing is very important for almost any Design field, in Industrial & Transportation Design is extremely important. It is the main language to communicate your ideas to others, so it better be good.

Since school we draw constantly to improve our skills, we want to gain self-confidence to draw free hand everything we want. To do so we must exercise daily, we need to learn how to use different media and their techniques. For example, chiaroscuro with a graphite pencil and crosshatching with a black ball point pen.

I see many portfolios coming from design students, they all try to apply for an internship or for a designer job, I can reassure you that the best ones are those with the best free hand sketches. In those portfolios we see potential because who is able to master drawing techniques will also be capable to use digital media with no problems. In other words, we see clearly talent.

Other story when I see portfolios with poor Photoshop illustrations, usually those do not even have free hand drawings and if they do they are poor quality.

The bottom line is: are you eager to start your illustrations on Photoshop? Good! Then you better learn how to draw free hand. It is useless to jump into Photoshop very quickly if we do not understand and assume the fundamentals first.

We cannot start a more complicated media if we did not learn yet the basics of drawing. I know that digital is very seductive and makes us dream, but first the basics unless you'll never make it.

Car Sketches Prismacolor

Car Sketches Prismacolor

Long Training

To learn properly we need a good Design school (or Art school) and follow a very strict and disciplined method. Generally, taking those drawing classes that will force us to draw as much as possible every single day.

It means starting from line quality exercises, from the basics of drawing, from perspective drawing, from studying cast shadows rules, from Theory of Reflections on basic shapes, from the use of color.

It is a long training process that starts when we are very young and really never ends, some do really well because it is in their blood or DNA and some others do as well even if not highly talented.

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This is possible thanks to the constant practice, it should be a real pleasure take that time everyday to draw stuff. See the progress, experimenting techniques, different sizes and subjects, trying different compositions on page, different backgrounds, using colors, trying different types of contrasts and light studies.

Do you understand how exciting it can be?

When I started taking all those drawing classes I felt like in Paradise, every day I was learning and experimenting something new to me. A full discovery with which I was improving every day a little more.


Photoshop use for this Alfa Romeo illustration

Photoshop use for this Alfa Romeo illustration

Photoshop is the ultimate tool we can use after mastering drawing techniques. Once we know how to draw free hand, we can start exploring digital media to amplify our talent and skills. Going digital is a bit like magic, we have access to all the tools to illustrate and our possibilities, to make a better job, are multiplied by two.

However, going digital must be something that shows and gives value to your talent and skills, this is the reason for learning how to draw before using a digital art tool.

At the end, there is no argues between manual and digital drawing. Not really.

If you learn and exercise following the right steps you will have a great chance to sketch like a master and therefore you will do it with any media available. However, respecting the right steps is highly advised.

Digital media combined with new technologies open new incredible possibilities to express our own art. So draw a lot, exercise and get to the right professional level to express yourself with any drawing media available.

All the images of this Hub come from the same talented designer Swaroop Roy. You can see the steps, I was writing about the learning process, just by following the sequence of these images; from early sketches to Photoshop illustration.

Free Hand Sketching Lesson

Yesterday I made a LIVE CHAT about this topic so taking advantage of the video I also could show several sketches and illustrations as good samples to demonstrate for I wrote about free hand drawing and digital art.




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