Pratt ID online drawing course

What a gem:

from the context of the site, I don’t think it is intended to be a free resource, but is for Pratt Institute Industrial Design students- anyway, it is a great resource for drawing basics. Hopefully it stays open for the general internet public.

I’ve found most ID drawing/ sketching/ rendering resources to be pretty advanced (overwhelming even) so this a great reminder of what the simple things to know are.

It also has this nice reminder of why drawing is important to Industrial Designers:

Pratt Institute, Drawing for Industrial Design

Joel Wennerstrom, Assistant Professor



Why is drawing so important TO YOUR FUTURE AS A DESIGNER?

DRAWING IS THE SKILL MOST ASKED FOR BY EMPLOYERS.  When it comes to hiring industrial designers, employers are demanding an arsenal of skills.  Computer skills, verbal communication skills, the ability to come up with innovative ideas, knowledge of current market trends, styles and colors—are highly desirable skills that are sought by many employers.  But even with a heavy focus on computer skills, the ability to convey ideas through hand sketching is essential.  Here’s why:

1. Drawing is the fastest way to communicate your ideas—to clients, your employer and to your fellow designers.  As is often the case, a sketch provides the impetus for further dialog and brainstorming, which are essential for innovation.  It is the language of designers.

2. DRAWING IS A POWERFUL IDEATION TOOL.  Throughout your education and your career, you will use drawing to come up with ideas, work out design problems, or expand one idea into DOZENS of ideas.  The more ideas, the better chance you have of one of them being a great idea, which is what you’re being paid for.

3. a hand sketch shows excitement and passion in a way that a computer rendering cannot.  Computer renderings are too perfect, often stale, and lack creative expression. A human touch makes your ideas come alive, bringing excitement to your creative vision.

4. The ability to sketch by hand SHOWS YOU HAVE TALENT!  Look at the design portfolios at  Which ones impress you the most?  Regardless of ones ability to come up with innovative ideas, a well-executed sketch declares,

“I have talent!”


Any designer—with enough patience and training—can do a computer rendering with realistic lighting and reflections.  But do a quick, 10-second sketch at a brainstorming session, and others will regard you as being highly creative—and an essential part of the design effort.  In addition, you can sketch anywhere—on a blackboard in a meeting, or during your daily commute.  You are not a slave to a computer and subject to technological mishaps, hard drive crashes, or power failures.

drawing skills can be learned whether you have a natural talent for drawing, or you struggle with it, However, developing these skills does not happen simply by watching your instructor do demos in class.  It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and practice.  Those students who make this class a priority, walk away with a sense of empowerment and self-confidence they will build upon throughout their design career.

make drawing your number one priority, developing your skills so that you can spend your time actively DESIGNING instead of staring passively at a computer screen as you wait for it to render one idea at a time.


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