Module 3

Introduce | Learn | Apply


Old Man charcoal drawing with hat and beard

Example of a shaded drawing using charcoal to create tonal values

This is a traditional fine art drawing using shaded techniques only.

In this module, you will begin to sketch and draw simple objects from visual interpretation rather then from your historical memory of what you think it looks like.

A line drawing of 5 different types of candles in pen and pencil

Five candle drawings in a variety of stroke techniques

This drawing shows a progression of design drawings using line, stroke and primitive shapes to make the candlesticks look more like design sketches - NOT FINE ART!

Notice the variety of types of lines, strokes, hatching marks, use of outlines, use of thick and thin lines, and use of primitive shapes used to make these simple candlesticks look different. Each one is unique! Which style to you like the best? Could you copy that style? Try! Do some for your sketch files.

GID Design Archives ©


Before beginning this lesson, you should know or be able to do the following.

  • Read Chapter 2 one more time before you move on to Chapter 3.
  • Read Chapter 1 (ALL OF IT) in the RAPID VIZ (Hanks) if you have it, in full text or pdf file, so that you are ready for MOD 4 and additional sketching methods used by professionals. There is a lot there to understand so really read it and take notes. I will post it online as well as a resource file in PDF format
  • Understand the difference between LINE and TONE drawings. We use mostly line drawings in Design. We also use something called LINE TONED drawings by using hatching methods most of the time.
  • Know how to use simple pen and pencil strokes to create and line-tone without using shaded-tone drawing techniques


  • Advance your drawing skills to include objects from everyday life by introducing 6 new design drawing techniques to practice at the end of the LEARN section.
  • Become visually aware of shapes and how to reduce complex objects to simple circles, squares and triangles.
  • Build complex objects from the combination of simple geometric shapes like spheres, cubes, and pyramids in outline forms
  • Understand the value of thick and thin lines.
  • Understand the value of using lines to create tone instead of shaded graphite techniques to master design drawing methods.


In this lesson, you will do the following:

  • Practice building shapes using outlines and contour drawing in both 2D and 3D
  • Learn to see simple primitive objects inside complex shapes.
  • Look at multiple images of design drawings in your text book and online.
  • Practice the 5 new graphic design techniques that are in this lesson in your sketches as much as possible.

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These are the assignments for this lesson:

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Focus questions:

As you work through this lesson, you should keep the following key questions in mind to focus your studies:

  1. Question 1: Do I understand observational drawing verses design drawing?
  2. Question 2: How can I make my drawings look more like design drawings using any or all of the 5 new techniques?
  3. Question 3: What techniques should I practice to improve my design drawing style?

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What next?

Go on to the Learn section of this lesson. To get there, click the Next button below or the Learn link at the top of the page.