The first thing I do is to just draw what I can see. In the case of the photo of the pipes, this means a very simple sketch, ignoring the brickwork.
With a more complex photograph, I would do many freehand sketches. I might turn the photograph upside down and draw what I see that way and I might cover part of the photograph and draw what I see uncovered. Then, after all the freehand sketching, I began to draw in a more controlled way.
At this point, don’t be afraid to use rulers, stencils and anything else which will help your finished drawing. Being more precise and accurate at this point is the beginning step to getting a realistic illustration of your design. If you want a circle in your piece – what is the point of free-hand drawing a wobbly oval-shaped circle? If you want to have straight lines in your design then use a ruler.
So here is the next step of my design process, where I have drawn a variation of what I can see, but more accurately.
At this point, I am starting to see the possibility of a piece of jewellery coming out of my walk around the neighbourhood. As you can see I have exaggerated the curved aspects of the two horizontal pipes and have included some squares, which were inspired by the brickwork.
The photograph on the left is another design that came out of the pipe and brickwork inspiration. The horizontal pipework has been curved, but in a different direction to the first design and then I have included a more delicate, tendril section. This “curly” section came from the greenery growing over the pipes and brickworks, that you can see in the original photograph. I love this design and am EXCITED by this design. I can see something beautiful beginning to emerge.
So tonight I am going to work with this emerging design and see if I can improve it. Do I want to keep it as a piece made out of thin, narrow pieces of silver – so that it is light and delicate in design? Do I want to fill in the illustration in some way, so that the piece changes into a more solid form? Is the piece going to be a FLAT design, like the picture, or am I going to form some, or all, of it so that it becomes a 3D piece of jewellery? All these questions will get answered by drawing and drawing the design to see how it looks when it is changed in the suggested ways.