Last week you designed new products using a different metaphor for each design. This week you’ll create new forms using silhouettes.

Try to spend at least 30 minutes sketching, 5 or 6 days a week. Short practice sessions each day usually lead to better results than longer, less-frequent sessions. You should make at least one new sketch each day, so by the end of the week you should have at least 4 new designs and your studies of the original products.

Get Ready

Find a few products with recognizable silhouettes. You should be able to tell what the product is, based entirely by the shape of its outline. This project will be easier if you choose iconic products: things that everyone in the population can recognize, rather than specialized products that are only recognizable to a limited group of people.

An airplane would be a great choice for this. Do an online image search for “airplane” and find a form you like. Find out what that specific airplane is called and do another image search, so you have views from several different angles.

Day 1-3: Build Your visual Vocabulary

Choose a different product each day. Using a wide black marker, sketch the product’s silhouette from at least 4 different viewpoints. The final sketches should be solid black shapes with no internal details.

We’re spending several days on this step because it takes some time to think about drawing silhouettes instead of lines. You want to be loose, but accurate. Use accurate perspective and proportions. Get as close as you can to the actual product, but don’t worry about any detail that’s too small to draw with a wide black marker.

Days 4-6: Create new forms

Each day, take one of your products from days 1-3 and pick a clear silhouette that clearly shows the product’s form. Create new designs for the product by drawing new silhouettes (using the same viewpoint for each drawing).

Work as quickly as you can without losing control. Try to create at least 4 distinctly different designs each day. As you get more comfortable with the process, aim for more drawings each day.