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Freehand Drawing Vs. Transformed Digital Drawing: A Preliminary Study And Comparison

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Instructional Strategies in AE Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.600.1 - 15.600.14



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Paper Authors

author page

Suining Ding Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Freehand Drawing vs. Transformed Digital Drawing: A Preliminary Study and Comparison


This paper presents a preliminary study and comparison of digital drawings, which are transformed from freehand sketching by using Photoshop. With the development of new software, digital drawings are used more and more extensively in the design field. However, freehand sketching continues to provide unique and vital capabilities to interior designers and architects in allied fields (Laseau, 2004). In order to balance both freehand sketching and digital drawing to meet the requirements of the current trend, it is necessary to explore a new technique of transformation from freehand sketching to sophisticated digital drawing. The transformed drawings should represent the characters of both freehand sketching and digital drawing; especially it presents certain qualities that hand-drawn drawing can not present. Therefore, a preliminary study on how to transform freehand drawing to digital drawings was undertaken. Most importantly, this preliminary study compares the characteristics of transformed digital drawings with characteristics of freehand sketching in order to make recommendations about conversion from hand-drawn to digital drawings for professional practice and education. This paper presents a procedure of transformation from traditional sketching to digital by Photoshop. It also presents a series of transformed drawings and hand-drawn drawings. A comparison list was created to describe the characteristics of both hand-drawn and digital drawings. This study provides valuable suggestions to the body of knowledge of graphic communications. It will benefit both design education and professional practice.

1. Introduction The objective of this study is to explore a method that can transform freehand sketching to digital drawing and keeps the characters of freehand sketching. The software used was Photoshop. The first of three steps involved in this preliminary study include freehand sketching or freehand drawing for perspectives or floor plans or isometric drawings with line drawings. The second step is to scan the freehand drawn line drawings and make them PDF files. The third step is using Photoshop to edit the scanned drawing and applying materials and gradient fillies. Finally, a comparison list of both freehand drawing and transformed digital drawing is presented in this paper.

Freehand Sketching is a means of communication for designers. Students and practitioners frequently call upon freehand drawing skills to communicate ideas or support a point of view with clients, colleagues and instructors. At other time, freehand drawings will be utilized to better understand aspects of one’s own design or to refine them. It is used extensively in the design process, especially schematic design. Designers need to effectively convey their ideas both visually and verbally. Therefore, the ability to draw and sketch becomes an important skill for designers because it supports a relaxed and fluid conversation among designers and clients. Most designers and architects agree that the freehand sketching process is a creative

Ding, S. (2010, June), Freehand Drawing Vs. Transformed Digital Drawing: A Preliminary Study And Comparison Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16296

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