Each day this week, pick a simple product with large, easy-to-see text on its surface. Sketch the product quickly in 2-point or 3-point perspective. Then add the surface text.

As you sketch, observe how the surface changes the text. Edges that are straight and parallel when you view them straight-on will look different in perspective. They may bend around a curved surface, or converge to a vanishing point (just like any other group of straight, parallel lines). Some parts of the text may also get narrower, while other parts stay the same.

If you have never drawn text before, this week’s sketches may be difficult. So choose very simple products with large text. You don’t need to copy all of the text on the surface, just enough to fill 20-30 minutes.

Here are some simple products that would work well:

  • A paper-back book with a thick spine. It’s basically a box with text on three sides. Place it so you can see the text on the front cover and the spine. Then spend one day sketching the text on the cover, and another day sketching the spine.
  • Speaking of boxes, find some product packaging with large text. Set it up so you can see 2-3 sides and sketch it.
  • A soda can. If you’re having trouble, choose a brand that has big, blocky text in its logo. If you want a challenge, choose a script logo instead.
  • A smart phone. Open an app that uses large text, like a clock or a timer. Set it so you can see the text in perspective, then sketch the screen.


Here’s how it works

New sketch prompts will appear every Monday throughout the summer. Each week will have 6 sketch prompts that focus on a theme. Pick one sketch prompt and do one 20-30 minute sketch every day, 6 days a week. Then take a day off and start again with the next weeks’ post.