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Online learning

support for design sketching

Online tutorials

City car

Digital sketch in side view

This tutorial video will show a quick digital ideation design sketch of a vehicle. It will show the built-up of the sketch and digital sketching tools used in Corel Painter. Sketching in PS will be similar, but some of its basic tools need to be adjusted for the same effect.


one layer - challenge // Digital sketching in wurm- perspective

Quick digital design sketch of a Zeppelin concept. This sketch exercise is built up sketching all in 1 layer > challenge yourself!



This video shows a step-by-step side view concept sketch on paper; explaining about the built-up of a sketch and the sequence of sketching tools.

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learning support

- sketching tips tools and tutorials to keep you going -
tips for sketching
Take elittle time to reflect and find out how your sketching can improve. Here you will find tips regarding line drawing or portfolio set up.
about sketching tools
Especially if you wish to try out a new tool, it can be hard to know whis is best for your situation. Here you can find some help in making the best choice.
Online tutorials
Nothing beats 'live action' when it comes to learning to sketch. We have posted a series of online tutorials, both for marker and digital sketching.

Tips for sketching


Choose a sketching tool that cannot be erased, such as a fineliner or pen. Although at first it may not result in the most beautiful sketches you dreamt of, sketching with fineliner instead of graphite pencil encourages you to ‘decide’ instead of lingering and re-doing parts of the line drawing. In the long run, it will make your sketch more decisive and confident.

LONG LINES - look better

Try not to focus on a line ‘from point to point”, but instead elongate it and focus on it direction. This will result in lines more decisive and straight (sleek). A good quality that will work through to the ideas you communicate as well! (Lines that are 'sketched' in pieces (hairy lines), will look indecisive.) Draw with a “locked” whist. By doing so you have more control of straight lines, as well as curves lines with a tension.

ZOOM IN? - not too much

We sometimes see people sketching with their faces very close to the paper… Remember that the persons viewing them will probably keep more distance! Take regular views at your work from a greater distance, you may even want to pin some on the wall. This way you will get a feel of which actions will have best effect, and which were somewhat futile.

WACOM Intuos- how to start

If you intend to do digital sketching with a Wacom IntuosPRO in the near future, just buy your Wacom tablet already. Throw out the computer mouse, and do all with your new tablet. This way you start getting used to the new eye-hand coordination : sketch ‘here’ and look ‘over there’.

CONTRAST - use enough of it

Its all about perception. Sketches with too low contrast, will be perceived as ‘weak’. Sketches with more contrast look stronger. You may have experienced this, when you fellow students pinned your work to the wall to discuss it. Some sketches immediately catch the eye, whereas others seem not to be noticed.
The answer is in most cases the use of contrast. Both black/white, as well as colour contrast. As a rule of thumb you will always need some white, grey, as well as black in a sketch. We usually use the black for casted shadow for this reason.

UNDERLAY - to speed up

Do not redo the same work over and over. Use your previous sketch as an underlay to work upon, so you do not reinvent the wheel all the time. Proportions and perspective are set. So you can focus more on content or on improvements or variations.

PORTFOLIO - professionals

View here for tips from design professionals on how to make your design portfolio.

Digital Sketching tools


your digital freehand sketching tools

We often get the question “what should I buy to start digital sketching?” Well, there’s no 1 answer. You either want to add something to the hardware you already have, or want to start from scratch; what OS you choose also matters, as do your workflow wishes and of course your budget, to name a few. Keeping that in mind, we drafted out several options.

In our view, it boils down to 4 core questions :
- preferred sketching location(s)
- which OS
- pen-on-screen/or pen-on-tablet
- your budget

Pen tablets/ computers

fixed location or be mobile // pen tablet or pen on screen

When you only need to sketch in one fixed spot, and have budget, its simple: get yourself a computer with a good screen, and add a WACOM Cintiq to it (16 to 27 inch, €1620-3000). This is a pen-to-screen tablet, or pen display.
I use a Cintiq 22inch. It is my favourite tool, as it enables very sensitive and comfortable on-screen sketching. A good desktop computer monitor, next to the Cintiq, is advisable if you regularly print your work.

On a tight budget, a pen-tablet is an option, a WACOM Intuos PRO M or L (€390-540). A lot of students use it, in addition to a powerbook or laptop (which, by the way, enables you to sketch where you want ;-). It is a very nice and pressure sensitive tool for sketching, but you need to get used to the weird eye-hand coordination. Size it at M or L.

If you want to sketch “mobile”, you can choose a computer set up for sketching pen-on-screen. When you’re comfortable working with windows, a WACOM MobileStudio (13/16inch,€1625 to €3250, follow-up of WACOM Companion) is such a computer + sketching tool in one.
There are others, such as Surface (studio) or Samsung notebook 9 PRO but to me WACOM has proven to be superior in its’ ‘touch’ for pen-to-screen sketching.

You can also add a sketching tool to a laptop. Adding a 13” Cintiq (€1120) to a powerbook would be an OSX alternative. Ok, drag along a lot of wires and you need a power scource, but without having to buy extra windows software. A WACOM Intuos PRO, however, is much more mobile, but that is a pen tablet, not a pen-on-screen device.


For sketching and more

The iPad pro + pencil (€1020) did the trick for me. Software interfaces of apps are adapted to the smaller screen size, and their (limited) functionality works fine for me. I think apps will improve even further in the future. No need to say the iPad offers a good (icloud) extension to the iMac. I regularly have to set up a sketch at a client’s, but I do not need to finish it there. So I can start on my iPad, and finish the drawing on an iMac in the Studio.

The iPad is a very flexible tool, that does more than being a pen-on-screen sketching device. You can mirror your iPad screen with your computer/ powerbook, and actually use desktop software on your iPad, Photoshop for example. Astropad, or Reflector 2 or Air Display are apps to do that. Your iPad and desktop need to be connected to the same network to make this happen. It works efficient in workshop demo’s: you can walk around and demo-sketch on iPad, and have this projected in the room. In that same range, the app Duet Display, for example, can also turn your iPad into a second screen to a computer. Very handy.


For freehand sketching

Adobe PhotoShop, is also a good sketching tool, after you customise your brushes. I use it preferably at the final stages of my sketches, as the photo editing capabilities are almost limitless, which makes it a good tool for after-enhancing sketches, adding context images, textures or graphics to a drawing. It does not work optimal with on screen sketching, as your hand gets in the way with the pulldown menus. On a 13inch pen-to-screen device the interface appears very small; too small to my taste. Other downsides are its high price, and it not being available on iPad.

Last but not least, some Apps worth looking into :
ProCreate offers a very elaborate sketching program for the iPad, that combines good options in both line drawing and in photo-editing, suitable for high-end rendering completely done on the iPad.
Artstudio Pro which is available on both MacOS and iOS.
Affinity Photo; available on both MacOS and iOS.
Sketchbook PRO is by far the most intuitive program that feels most like sketching on paper. It has a great variety of line and brush tools. Furthermore, it has some really nice gimmicks to make sleek line drawings, such as the ellipse tool that you can easy scale or rotate, rulers, steady stroke and predictive stroke. I use it mostly to brainstorm sketch and set up my precise line drawing. It offers an interface that is suitable for pen-on-screen interfaces such as the Cintiq or iPad. You can do almost anything without a pulldown menu, where your hand would get in the way. AND, it has a very good pricing. My favourite.


Sketching tools - marker


lijnen schetsen // snelheid, vlekken en handling

We gebruiken een fineliner; en geen potlood… een potlood nodigt uit tot eindeloos aanpassen, gummen en peinzen. Een fineliner 'dwingt' je tot beslissingen en veroorzaakt een meer resolute manier van tekenen. Ok, het veroorzaakt in het begin ook ‘slordige’ schetsen, maar het loont zeker na een tijdje.
Enkele fineliners die we kunnen aanraden voor de beginnende tekenaar zij: HEMA (per 24) (NL, B), Stabilo Stylist (FR), en Schneider TOPliner 967

TIPs bij het kiezen van een fineliner :
- test hem op het paper waarop je uiteindelijk wilt gaan tekenen
- kijk of hij combineert met de markers die je gebruikt (en niet vlekt of van kleur verandert)
- Kijk hoe snel hij opdroogt, of eigenlijk, hoeveel kans je maakt op vlekken wanneer je erg snel schetst
- kijk of je zowel dunne als dikkere lijnen kunt zetten met dezelfde fineliner, dit geeft je veel vrijheid in lijndikte variatie

A3 marker papier

Marker papier heeft een plastic coating aan de achterkant, waardoor de inkt niet doorvloeit. Alhoewel het best prijzig is ten opzichte van gewoon papier, zorgt het er ook voor dat je minder inkt gebruikt, en is het uiteindelijk een goede investering. Wij kopen het per pak van 150 vel.


Grijs : Neutral, koel of warm // schaduw

Met een basis set van 3 markers kun je al imposante ’grayscale’ schetsen maken. Bijvoorbeeld COPIC N3, N5 en BLACK (100), of C3+C5+BLACK. N betekent neutral, C betekent cool.
Als je kleur wilt gebruiken in je schetsen, de combinatie grijs & kleur is cruciaal. De kleurmarker wordt dan gebruikt over de grijsmarker, en bij ieder kleur 'hoort' een bepaalde grijs. Handig zijn N4 en N5, die kunnen worden gecombineerd met een grote groep kleuren.
Specifieke situaties zoals een erg warme of erg koele kleur, worden beter met een koele of juist warme grijs. Een COPIC marker met de letter W is een warme grijs, voor warme kleuren. De C grijzen, koele grijzen, zijn goed om juist met koele kleuren te kombineren.

Een minimale basis set kan bestaan uit: COPIC N3, N5, en BLACK(100).
Een algemene basis set kan bestaan uit: COPIC N3, N4, N5, en BLACK(100).
Een complete grijs set kan bestaan uit: COPIC N3, N4, N5, N6, N8 en BLACK(100).

Kleur markers

Wanneer je grijze markers met kleurmarkers kombineert, zul je eerst de juiste combinatie moeten vinden. Als je al een N5 marker hebt, koop dan kleur markers met een gemiddelde helderheid. Dat betekent niet te felle of erg donkere tinten. Als je voorkeur uitgaat naar een oranje marker, bijvoorbeeld, koop er dan een warme grijs bij. Maak in de winkel proefjes om te zien welke grijs je nodig hebt.
Je maakt eerst een goed dekkend grijs vlak, laat het opdrogen, en ga er dan deels met een kleur overheen. Gebruik niet te weinig inkt. Als het droog is zie je welke grijs/kleur combi de beste is. Altijd eerst de grijs gebruiken, daarna de kleur.
Alle alcohol gebaseerde markers, zoals COPIC, Pantone, Letraset, PROMarker, Winston, kunnen worden gecombineerd. Na dit alles nog even een ding: vergeet niet je eigen kleur voorkeur, schetsen is zo veel fijner met je favoriete kleuren !

Pastel krijt

Gradiënten // airbrush

Pastel krijt lijkt een beetje op airbrush, zoals wij het gebruiken. Je kunt er materiaal mee laten glimmen (gradiënten), maar ook een omgeving mee suggereren of een kleine kleurverandering mee maken.
Het is belangrijk om DROGE pastel te gebruiken, bijvoorbeeld Talens Rembrandt Soft pastels, in doos van 16 halve.

In het algemeen ziet het krijtje er zelf veel donkerder uit dan de pastel zoals die op het papier terecht komt. Je schraapt er wat af met een mesje, en poetst het met zachte doek of zacht papier. Je kunt pastel krijtjes ook apart kopen, bijvoorbeeld in je favoriete marker kleur.

Zo kun je ook schaduw maken met krijt, met COPIC C-markers en pastel 727,5.
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