So, the rough drawing stage isn’t the time to add tiny
details but instead to really nail down a solid structure to build upon. Since
you didn’t invest that much of yourself into this stage, your ego should allow
you to take a step back and redraw a section or even completely start over from
scratch—no harm done and I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.
If you are working conventionally with paper and pencil, I
suggest you use a thick pad of tracing paper to draw your roughs using overlay
over overlay to refine the poses and major forms. Once you have a decent rough,
gradually draw the cleaner final outline over that as seen in my demo in part one.
Since many of you work digitally, the process
remains the same except virtual layers replace the crinkled pages of traditional
tracing paper piled one over the other. You simply merge those digital layers
together (keeping them set to multiply) when you reach that perfect pose and
then work over that rough foundation for the next stage of creating the final
Once the outline has been worked over the rough foundation
drawing, add the tonal shading to the concept—but not too much shading as to
lose the impact of the line art. There has to be a balance here because you are
focusing on presenting the actual toy idea and not hanging this art in the Louvre.
Keep it simple. Any detail that is not needed to support the impact of the actual toy idea
should be removed.
One of the several advantages to working digitally is the
wonderfully magical command z—undo! This demo has been digitally painted in
Photoshop where I use my own custom brushes to achieve the results that make up
my personal style. This personal style of mine includes a heavy dose of comand z.
Rendering the final line art is much easier when all of the
problems have already been worked out in the rough stages. The major masses are
structurally sound so at this point all you have to do is refine the outline and add
The one strategic way most toy design students and even professionals can improve
their portfolio is to invest more time and effort into this simple rough stage.
Remember, no fancy rendering or highlights can save a bad pose or poorly
planned under drawing. The company that employs you certainly deserves your very best and so does your personal portfolio.