Toy Tech: Learning From The Mouse (Part 2 of 2)

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Detail: Dreamworks © 2014

Keep in mind, you really can’t erase Prismacolor very well outside of a highlight or two but that’s why we use it so all of our hard work doesn’t smear. Normal 2H pencils smear too easily and can wipe out carefully crafted details with one unmerciful swoop.

So, to illustrate my point, I thought I’d share an ideation design sketch I did for a retail toy and vehicle design for an animated television series. There were several variations and this was one of the earlier interpretations.

The first time I saw this technique at Disney feature and then different design applications at the Imagineering division—I darn near fainted. The artists at Dreamworks who emigrated from the mouse factory added their own spin it refining the style even more.

You just have to be sure to build up the shading bit by bit to get the right three-dimensional tonal effect, but if you take the time you’ll have a powerful image to sell your golden idea.

This technique can be summed up as drawing with the side of your pencil to gradually build up the tonal structure that gives the image emotional impact. You must, however, feel the form of the object you are depicting so your tonal shading wraps light and shadow around it, which creates the form factor.

Remember, the more you do it, the faster the technique becomes as you slowly master the ways of the design Ninja.

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