Sketch Making for Design Thinking

Hello. Have you ever wanted to take your ideas and communicate them visually? Do you have an idea you want to iterate on? Our Sketch Making for Design Thinking series of videos and activities can help anyone learn to sketch: children, students, parents, grandparents, and more.

We have opened the Sketching for Design Workshop, from Purdue’s Product and Process Design course, to help everyone learn to communicate visually.

In this workshop, Prof. Ramani will take you from sketching straight lines to making detailed and complex sketches. These seven short videos will walk you through the different levels of sketching during the design process, along with some practice activities to hone your skills.

To begin, grab some tools from around your house (paper, pencils, pens, markers, crayons) and let’s get started making sketches, adding depth to flat shapes, showing motion and interaction, and creating complicated 3D shapes easily. You’ll be conveying your amazing ideas on paper like a pro in no time!

Materials You Will Need: For this workshop, you will only need some paper and a writing utensil. If you have a marker available, that will be helpful. If you do not, when the videos have you use a marker, simply darken your lines by going over each line a few more times to make them stand out.


1. Sketching for Design
2. Sketching Basics
3. Line Weights
4. Annotations and Context
5. Showing Motion
6. Theory of Perspective
7. Complicated 3D Shapes
8. More Exercises and Activities for Children

You can also view the Full Playlist as well.

Individual Videos

01 Sketching For Design

Are you a beginner in sketching and want to learn more? This video will show the benefits of sketching, its uses in ideation, and everyday life to help people communicate their ideas visually.

02 Sketching Basics and Tools

This video introduces the basics of sketching for quality and effectiveness. You will learn about the importance of posture, sketching from the shoulder as opposed to the arm, the speed at which to draw, and their effects on the product of your sketches.

Activity 1: Practice drawing straight lines
Activity 2: Practice drawing circles and ellipses

03 Using Your Tools

Everyone uses a writing utensil to make sketches, but are you using your tools to their maximum potential. Is there a better writing tool available to improve the sketch, making it more clear? In this video, you will learn how to use line weights and writing tools to make your sketches more realistic and leave a lasting impression.

Activity 1: Practice drawing lines with different line weights
Activity 2: Practice drawing a simple household object (e.g. table, toaster, bookshelf) utilizing different line weights

04 Sketching Skills

Want to make fast sketches to communicate your ideas quickly? This video will show you how to sketch everyday objects quickly and discuss how context can increase clarity in what you are communicating.

Activity 1: Sketch different objects in a given context

05 Showing Motion

Have you ever wondered how to make a sketch come to life? This video will show you how to add motion or time to sketches using arrows, lines, and other symbols.

Activity 1: Sketch Jack In The Box
Activity 2: Sketch a toy that you enjoy and entertains you

06 Theory of Perspective

This video will show how sketches can be drawn from different points of view. There are several techniques that will be discussed which will help you draw more refined sketches for complicated objects.

Activity 1: Practice sketching prisms at different angles

07 Complicated 3D Shapes

This video will bring all the concepts from the previous videos and show you how to create any complicated object of choice, by going through step by step examples and referring to previously explained ideas from this Sketching Workshop series.

Activity 1: Sketch a vehicle (e.g. tractor)

More Exercises and Activities for Children

Full Sketching Workshop Playlist