I actually like the free-flowing sketching styles that help give more energy to the presentation art than the tightly rendered noodled out versions. Here, in the ideation and conceptual stages, the point isn’t perfectly rendered ellipses but correctly placed ellipses that have dynamic movement within the drawing—that’s key.
My pet bug-a-boo, even with professional designers is that they sometimes forget to build everything around a line of action, which serves as the backbone to the skeletal structure. For a figure, that line of action would be the spine and for a product or toy design it would be the centerline running through it.
In the concept sketches featured in this article, the ellipses are structured around the centerline of the object running vertically. You can eyeball the ellipse angles but make sure they are lined up along that centerline or the effect is off kilter.
I know, I know, these are all simple drawing basics we learned in design school. Everyone “knows” all about those tedious rules but only a few actually apply them. Drawing loose isn’t drawing wrong—in fact, the more dynamic free-flowing energy your style has the more your forms need to be correctly placed.
Simplicity isn’t so simple after all.