scribbles tagged ‘sketch’

3 mugs

Thursday, July 11th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

As a means to practice sketching I’ve set myself a design brief:

Design 3 mugs that can be carried by one adult hand, without burns or spillage, for at least 100 yards through push and pull doors when filled with recently brewed tea

carrying 3 mugs of tea inserted handleI first explored the structure – if stacking the mugs. Next I’ll explore different ways of ‘gathering’ them and container material, texture. Then, for the more successful solution options, I’ll practice more formal sketches with colour.

It’s a long time since I’ve done any engineering drawing. I’m really looking forward to having a go. The multiple arm-breaks have disrupted my ability, not my enthusiasm!

These preliminary, investigative sketches of ‘stacked’ options needed too many notes to for someone to be able to understand what I’m thinking. I want my drawings to convey the idea with minimal text explanation. This will reduce the opportunities for almost inevitable spelling and grammar errors.

Drawing kitMy original drawing kit is rusty, I feel a new drawing kit calling to me….

3 mugs
4 votes rating 3.5

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hands-free portable cupholder

Monday, July 1st, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

Jeans with built-in coffee cup holderIPortable Cup Holder love how people extend the use of designs to solve their current problems.

There are no rubbish bins on this Reading town train station platform, nowhere to recycle a used coffee cup. This passenger has decided not to throw the empty cup on the floor, or carry it in his hand. The elastic properties of modern trousers afford him wedging the cup in his back pocket.

Maybe trouser waistbands already come with attachments to carry cups, like the loop in my sketch.

hands-free portable cupholder
6 votes rating 3.8

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won the fun

Sunday, February 13th, 2011 | tags: ,  |

Working on my new year’s resolution to be more creative, I spent Saturday refining a short story written last weekend. It’s my first Short story since the 1970’s when English literature coursework included the formally named ‘compositions’. As my first short story Iit wont be outstanding. It’s amazing that its even getting written! I’m using the writers and artists short story competition as a motivation, a deadline and a set of rules.

The fun, the real reward, is in the process of getting the story from an idea in my head to a worthy of submission to a competition.

So far I have:

Dumped1) Written the story

2) asked an inspirational friend to read it and gathered her feedback. It was so much fun listening to her ask me about the characters, the back story, my intentions and tell me what she saw and imagined

3) drawn sketches to illustrate it – photographs of the sketches shown here

Caught4) subjected the sketches to an Adobe photoshop treatment to enhance the visual impact and hide the sketch quality!

5) updated the text based on the inspirational feedback. It was so much better after the feedback. This made it clear to me how much work I need to do generally!

While it could be so much better with more feedback from more people and with more time to get more detail right. For my first story, I’m ready to say I’ve learned a lot, lets move on.


won the fun
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portraiting iterations

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Producing a painting is very different from producing high quality software, it also has some key similarities. The similarities stem from the fact that you can’t do something this complicated right the first time, you need to take steps and reflect on how well each step is working, then make changes to improve it. You need to iterate.

Different iterations have a different focus. Below are the iterations for my last portrait, of Jasper. The inspirational photograph is on the left hand side, the 6 iterations move from a sketch on the right to the final version next to the photograph. I planned 4 iterations and had to add one because iteration 4 (the pale one) didn’t work aswell as I’d hoped.

Portrait of Jasper - photo and different painting production stages

Plan: The conceptual work for the painting is done before the sketch; getting to know the subject (Jasper) and the ‘user’ (Jaspers owner) what does the user want from the picture, where would they like to hang it in their home, how do they see the subject? This is the eqivalent of market research, product planning, and conceptual design explorations for a software project

Architecture: The first sketches are of the composition, the placement of features the use of space. No paint. How is the information organised in a way that makes sense. You can see how I made Jasper’s eyes look more upwards and towards the viewer than in the photograph. I wanted Jasper to look more directly at the ‘user’ . This is the ‘Information Architecture’ for a software development project – where is everything in relationship to everything else

Foundations: The first coat of paint is a base, it wont be seen in the final version but it emphasises or mutes the colours on top. For darker areas use a dark base, for brighter colours use a light base. For software this is  equivalent to wireframing the user-journeys through the software. The text may not be accurate, but the general idea of the interactions are in place

Technical investigations: With this painting I tried several techniques that I had never used before such as layering a watery-thin layer of white paint then using a brush to partially remove it, hoping this would create a finer texture impression of fur than I could achieve with a brush. For software projects the developers are often trying out how new technologies that can solve technical challenges and add value to the design. I love watching software engineers get all excited about technical proof of concepts

Filling in the framework: Successive layers add more detailed colour and texture, I had trouble getting the colour-mix to work. Between each coat the artist reflects on how well they are achieving their vision, making adjstments with each coat. Gradually the painting begins to look like the final product. But it’s clumsy, edges are not smooth, features are slightly mishapen, colours are too bright.  For software products this is the production and testing of the code

Fit and finnish: The final level details, this might be a glaze wash over the painting. For software this can be checking the details are consistent, the performance is smooth, the visuals are complete.

Commissions considered…

portraiting iterations
4 votes rating 5

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improvising product for volume

Thursday, January 21st, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

30 second sketchFiddling.  

With the wendy house blog and fireplace.

Updating my banner with a stylized picture of a gravestone that sits under a Cedar tree in the Cemetry junction graveyard.  

A speedy idealised  self-portrait on a post-it note without the aid of a mirror has become gravatar.   The hair looks like it has a little more volume than in real life.   I may fiddle with impovised product for volume to capture that ’80 big hair thing in real life.  

Some things move on and others move around and some things  get sketched on post-it notes then blogged.   Tis the way of things.

improvising product for volume
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vest and pants

Saturday, October 7th, 2006 | tags: , , , ,  |

you in your best vest

me in my plastic pants

you’ll knock me up

to hang out


A poem  written primarily for None-USA English speakers.   Inspired by multiple miner difficulties at various stages in my enculturation to the USA such as attempting to find a quality waistcoat (vest) to wear with my tail jacket,   being told I was wearing nice pants (trousers),   being told I would be knocked-up (called for) in the morning and being invited to hang out (come out to play).   Not to mention a funnier, clever, poem about a vest by a professional poet,   so I wont mention it.  


flick-r photo of Wendy produced sketch to illustrate this poem :-)
vest and pants
1 vote rating 5

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