Sketching the Basics Review


Sketching the Basics is the second book by Roselien Steur and Koos Eissen about design sketching. However, this book aims to be the first book people should buy when starting out with sketching. The First book this duo wrote (Sketching) was mainly a big survey of design sketching techniques in practice illustrated by various design studios. This book was such a success, that readers started asking questions like: how can we achieve this? How can we achieve this? At least, that’s how I think it happened, since I was wondering the exact same thing when reading this book!

The basics

So what exactly are the basics of sketching? The book covers all of the aspects that you would expect from the basics of design sketching, such as perspective, drop shadows, marker techniques and choosing the right viewpoint for your sketch. All these techniques are accompanied with sketches that illustrate how these aspects can influence a sketch. The different techniques are described in a way that the readers understand in what situation to use a particular technique and how this would can help you improve your sketch.

This means however, that you still have to do some thinking yourself. This book contains lots of visual material, but it isn’t a step by step guide to becoming awesome at design sketching; this remains something you’ll have to learn by practising a lot. In a sense this book can be considered as more than basics. If you have never held a pencil before, this book can be quite difficult to understand. It briefly describes quite important aspects such as perspective, assuming that the reader is already familiar with this aspect. Personally, I think this is the right decision, since the book is aimed at people already familiar with the very fundamentals of drawing, but more interested in using design sketching as a tool in their design processes.

All in all, the Sketching the basics book offers a very complete overview of the basics of design sketching, with extensive description of how to apply these techniques. The book offers some small exercises to support the development of the reader’s skill level, but it’s main focus is offering a wide range of techniques that the reader can immediately apply into his/her own design projects.


  • Like its predecessor, sketching the basics contains lots of examples from practice.
  • Covers all important aspects of design sketching


  • Not completely for dummies, some experience is required

Sketching the Basics preview