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VCD Unit 1 AOS 1 2019

Drawing as a means of communication.

Outcome 1

On completion of this unit the student should be able to;

  • create drawings for different purposes using a range of drawing methods, media and materials.

What you will do

This task is from the field of industrial design. 

You will use observation, visualisation and presentation drawing in this task.

Use observational drawing skills to record the form of an object. Then use visualisation and technical drawing methods to re-design a new version of the same object for a different audience and purpose. Finish off with presentation drawings to present your ideas to your client.

The intention of this Outcome is for you to develop the confidence and skills to make effective design drawings. Drawings used in Industrial or Product design are different from most art drawings because they are intended to show the form and structure of objects. That is, they show both the outside surface and the internal structure of forms.

The rendering skills in this task are based around those you will need for the examination at the end of Unit 4 VCD. I have restricted myself to coloured pencils for this task sheet encouraging you to become proficient in their use will set you up nicely for all your coming exams. Yes rendering is hard for most students. Be challenged. Take up the challenge -  you'll thank yourself later!

Quick menu

Model answer

A presentation drawing rendering of the Monopoly house pencil sharpener.

Learning intentions

Learning intentions should be set at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals during the task.

Read through the content on this page. Discuss what you think could be learnt and form them into three 'learning intentions'.  Use sentences like, 'I will learn about making 3d drawings', or I will learn about 'media codes'.

Write your three learning intentions.

For advanced learning intentions, go with 3 different levels. 

  • 1 - What you will learn. (For example, the media code of camera describes the techniques camera operators use to record a scene)
  • 2 - How what you will learn can be used to create meaning or structure. (For example, camera techniques are combined with sound and/ or editing to create suspense).
  • 3 - How could your understanding of the learning be extended or related to other learnings. (For example, the use of camera has changed over the years and the invention of digital formats have allowed anyone to become cinema photographers)

Success criteria

Success criteria should be negotiated between students and their teacher. The class group agrees about what is successful completion of the task. Identification of success criteria is done at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals.

Now that you are familiar with what you will learn in this task, it's time to lock in how you will be able to demonstrate that you know it, or can do it. 

Write three success criteria, using sentences like the examples in the next column.

I will demonstrate that I have mastered the learning by;

  • 1 - I Can identify all of the camera techniques used in the selected clip.
  • 2 - I can use a camera to film clips in the ways I have identified.
  • 3 - I can explain how camera is combined with other codes to create meaning in a narrative.

Part 1
Observe and record.

The first part of our task will be to gain a full understanding of a wooden Monopoly house. Gaining this understanding will scaffold the skills you need to design on your own later in the task.

What is drawing?

Drawing is recording. Recording experiences. The book 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards, 1979, describes drawing as an extension of the process of seeing. She explains that although we may see things, it is not really until we have described and recorded them in drawing that we will actually know them. Then, when we know what things look like, how colour, texture, light and shade work across objects, we will be able to use this knowledge to design anew.

There are many kinds of drawing. The two here on the right are what I would call art drawings. That is, they were made with the intention of being looked at aesthetically. Design, particularly industrial design drawing is usually different. Our drawings are made with the intention to depict proposed forms for a client prior to them being made. To this end, industrial design drawings need to go below the surface. They need to show structure, form, surface materials and shade. 

This task will make you master of the industrial design drawing.

A pen line sketch I made of a sculpture in Italy in 2001.
A most beautiful graphite portrait of Alana's cousin. Alana Lacy (2-18).


The end point for this task will be to design a free, give away pencil sharpener in the shape of a Monopoly house. But to get started we are going to use drawing as a means to get to know an object fully. Taking the simple house form in the image at right, we are going to revise (or learn for the first time) each of the drawing methods needed for technical and visualisation drawing in Visual communication design.

Although a natural starting point would be to begin describing the house form with freehand sketching, I'm going to ask you to save this for later as drawing methods such as paraline and perspective offer training wheels, we can use to get started. Later, you will be given the chance to experiment with any of the methods in your own way.

Let's get started on six formal drawing methods - six ways to record our experiences of form.

A group of wooden Monopoly houses from

Drawing methods

We will work through a range of drawing tasks to review packaging net, 3rd angle orthogonoal, paraline and perspective drawing systems. This will get us confident in drawing and help use get to know our object like the back of our hand.

At this stage of the task, each drawing will be treated in a fairly rough manner as the intention is to simply learn the methods for full and accurate implementation later in the outcome.

1. Packaging net
(2 dimensional)

packaging net is the flattened shape that when folded would create a three dimensional form. It is used in making packaging boxes by communication designers.

Packaging nets use conventions for the ways lines are drawn. Continuous lines indicate edges that are to be cut, dashed lines are to be folded. Shapes also have tabs attached. We draw them 5 - 10 mm in width and finish their ends at 45 degrees.

We used the packaging net as a way to visualise each side of the form and to set a scale with which we could use to complete the other drawings.

Packaging net (Alyssa Ngo 2018)

2. 3rd Angle Orthogonal drawing (2 dimensional)

A 3rd Angle orthogonal drawing is a means to represent each side of a form in two dimensions. We use the same scale as we use in the packaging net to form up the orthogonal view. 3rd Angle orthogonal drawings are used in industrial design to describe and specify an object for manufacture.

3rd Angle orthogonal drawings use conventions for the ways views are set out and lines are drawn. To gain a fuller understanding of this method click here.

3rd Angle orthogonal drawing (Alyssa Ngo 2018)

3. Paraline drawing
(3 dimensional)

Paraline drawing is a means to represent forms as three dimensional. They are unique as both these two methods allow for 1:1 scaled measurements when constructing the view. You will have a good understanding of the form of the house now so will be able to move into 3d drawing fairly easily.

In both of these methods you will learn the technique of crating to assist you find points in space accurately.

Isometric drawing

Isometric drawing is a means to represent a form accurately. We use a 60/30 degree set square to form this view. Isometric drawings are used in industrial design to show how an object will look.

 To gain a fuller understanding of this method click here.

Isometric drawing

Planometric drawing is a means to represent a space accurately. We use a 45/45 degree set square to form this view. Planometic drawings are used in environmental design to show how buildings or spaces will look. The are often used for interior views.

Isometric drawing (Alyssa Ngo 2018)
Planometric drawing (Alyssa Ngo 2018)

4. Perspective drawing
(3 dimensional)

Perspective drawing is a means to represent forms more realistically - as they appear to the eye or camera. Although they are realistic spaces can not be measured (*easily) during the construction of the drawing, so you will have to develop the skill of judging proportions.

*There are methods for measuring in setting up a perspective drawing by you'll have to research them yourself if you want to learn them.

Perspective drawing also uses conventions including a horizon line and vanishing point/s.

2 Point perspective drawing

2 point perspective drawing is a naturally looking way to represent form. We follow a process of forming the drawing on a horizon line, using vanishing points and a closest vertical line.  2 point perspective drawings are used in industrial and environmental design to show how an object will look.

1 Point perspective drawing

1 point perspective drawing is a naturally looking way to represent form. We follow a process of forming the drawing on a horizon line, using a vanishing point and a closest plane.  1 point perspective drawings are usually used in environmental design to show the interior of spaces.

2 point perspective drawing (Alyssa Ngo 2018)
1 point perspective drawing (Alyssa Ngo 2019)

Tasks 1

1.1 Technical drawing

Describe and record a Monopoly house using the six technical drawing techniques shown above. Annotate your work with descriptions that refer to conventions or rules for each drawing method.


Did you know?

Observational drawing must be done from life. This means you must draw with the actual object in front of you - not a picture of it. The reason for this is drawing from life requires your analysis of real form, it gives your visual processing a workout. You cannot get that from flat shape.

5. freehnand sketching

Freehand sketching is a method I would normally recommend beginning with. However, most students need some techniques to assist them forming space on paper easily. That's why we began with a short course on the six drawing methods shown above.

So, now that you are confident with drawing in 2 and 3d, revisit the Monopoly house and make some sketches of it using any of the methods you feel will be best.

Freehand sketching is used for observational and visualisation drawing.

A quick sketch of a Monopoly house.
A quick sketch of a Monopoly hotel.

Tasks 2

2.1 observational Drawing

Use a range of freehand drawing techniques you feel comfortable with to make observation sketches of the chosen object to represent form and accurate proportions.

After you have made some loose drawings graduate to drawings of the object in freehand isometric and perspective projections.

Rendering to depict form and surface

Next we move to representing our house with colour and tone. We will learn how to apply different surfaces to indicate a range of different materials.

Depicting form

We will begin by rendering to enhance form. Use tone to render the house in grey scale.

To find out more about rendering visit this page:

Rendering for form and surface.

Houses in greyscale using rendering to enhance the form.
A group of forms enhanced with tone. Hanna Vu, 2019.

Tasks 3

3.1 Rendering

Apply your knowledge in rendering to enhance form on a drawing of the Monopoly house.

3.2 Applied Rendering

Apply the knowledge you have gained form rendering the Monopoly houses to render several real objects found in your own home. Draw and render them from life.

Depicting surface and materials

Next we will work through some class exercises to learn how to render the house as if it is made from:

  • Wood,
  • Plastic,
  • Satin metal,
  • Shiny metal,
  • Glass.

To find out more about rendering visit this page on 'Rendering for form and surface'.

House in wood.
House in plastic.
House in satin metal.
House in shiny metal.
House in glass.
Example showing two materials. Alyssa Ngo, 2019.
Extension activity. Draw and render from life. Hannah Vu, 2019.

Part 2
Creative thinking.

Redesign of Monopoly house

As designers we have to think creatively. We have to design. Sometimes to design is to invent and sometimes it is to adapt or modify. The essence of this creative task is to imagine a product differently. We need to suggest how we could adapt or modify it.


The brief

Hasbro, an international board game production company requires a design for the promotion of their popular game Monopoly. The design need is for a pencil sharpener in the shape of a Monopoly house. The sharpener is to be used as a free give away to promote the game.

The target audience is a broad age range from children to adults and is inclusive of both genders.

The purpose of the sharpener is to sharpen pencils and to promote Monopoly.

The context for the sharpener is in shops where the game is sold.

The constraints and expectations are that it;

  • Must look traditional and use authentic materials of, wood, metal and clear plastic,
  • Must include a detachable receptacle for shavings,
  • Must be in the recognisable shape of a Monopoly house.

The presentation formats required are;

A three dimensional rendering and dimensioned 3rd Angle Orthogonal drawing of the sharpener.

Research, observational drawing and analysis

Now that we are designing we are going to have to start a fresh. We need to research to inform our design exploration. We are going to research and analyse existing and past designs for Monopoly houses and pencil sharpeners.

You will collect images, use observational drawing and analyse designs in terms of function and aesthetics.

Function means the job a design is intended to do and how well it achieves it.

Aesthetics qualities and considerations mean the overall effect created by design elements, principles, materials, and other visual components.

Freehand observational drawing

Freehand sketching observational drawings of a range of existing sharpeners.

tasks 4

Research and analysis
4.1 Research

Make a page of images that show a wide range of both Monopoly houses and pencil sharpeners from the past and the present. When you collect images write down the location from where you sourced them. Place this location beside each image in your visual diary.

4.2 Observational drawing

You have already made a range of observational drawings of Monopoly houses in the previous step so now make three or four observational drawings (from real objects) of different pencil sharpeners. Choose at least one that function in a similar way to the one you are expected to design.

4.3 Analysis

Let's analyse one Monopoly house and one pencil sharpener. For each product do the following;

  1. Collect or draw one picture of each at the beginning of its analysis,
  2. Describe its function. This means what is it supposed to do? Think carefully, there might be a bit more to it than first appears.
  3. Identify the design elements and/ or principles present in each design. Choose only a couple of relevant ones.
  4. Identify and describe the materials used. Explain the design choices that would have lead to the selection of materials.
  5. Describe the aesthetic qualities of a Monopoly house and a pencil sharpener. Click on the link to learn more about aesthetics in design. Aesthetic qualities and considerations. 

Generate and reflect on ideas.

Visualisation drawing

Visualisation drawing is the name given to drawings you will make to visualise a new design. Unlike observational drawing, where you work from an existing object, visualisation drawing imagines new designs.

It is customary, and entirely sufficient to use line work only in visualisation drawing and save the application of colour, texture, variations in media for the development stages of your design process. However, you might find it helpful to make form more meaningful with some application of tone or cross hatching.

Ensure you populate your pages when generating ideas for new designs. This means you try to create interesting pages filled with two and three dimensional sketches in different scales. Don't worry about mistakes in your work, these serve as starting points for development later.


Some visualisation sketches for this project.
A real page of visualisations by student Christina Pirsl (2018).

tasks 5

5.1 Generation of ideas

Make 2 populated pages of different ideas for your new pencil sharpener. Remember to annotate your drawings making reference to design elements and principles, materials and how the sharpener might function. Refer back to the brief as you work in this section.

Creative thinking

Seeing it differently

Keeping ideas flowing is a difficult task. Our subject has an important component called Design Thinking. This involves Creative, Critical and Reflective thinking.

Creative thinking is used to expand ideas and help use create new approaches to problem solving by using games and routines.

Two different routines I recommend for this task are shown below.

For a wider list, click on the image at right to visit my page on Creative Thinking.


SCAMPER is a way to help us reconsider the way something is formed. Take your existing object then apply two or three of these verb processes to it;

  • Substitute one component for another different one,
  • Combine ideas from different products into one,
  • Adapt one part to become another function,
  • Modify the proportions of the object or its parts,
  • Put one bit to another use,
  • Eliminate as much as you can to simplyfy it,
  • Reverse the forms, the positions of the components.

Forced associations

In this game we try to imagine that we are a designer from a different culture or a different point in history - or even in the future. Consider how your design might look if it was designed as;

  • Steampunk inspired by 19th century machines,
  • Future white goods,
  • 1950s concept cars,
  • Classic timber speedboats,

In addition you might like to try these to research:

  • Harry Potter,
  • The Nazi regime,
  • The British Royal Family,
  • Willy Wonker,
  • The 19th Century Antarctic expedition.

Designing for very different contexts will elicit a range of very different ideas.

Forced associations

Steampunk machine ( artwork/mBqe9)
Maglev washing machine. ( 2010/08/25/clean-machines-10-wonderful-washers-of-the-future/)
Cadillac Cyclone concept car. ( cars/nation/10-wild-futuristic-concept-cars-from-the-1950s)
Timber speedboat. ( 2013/05/22/timber-speed-boats/)

Sketches incorporating creative thinking techniques

I have drawn two ideas inspired by the pictures above. The one on the left is in the style of steampunk machines, the right one in the style of future machines.
Here is a page done by a student. Showing tongs inspired by emojis, future designs and robots. Christina Pirsl (2018).

tasks 6

6.1 Creative thinking

Choose one creative thinking routine. Make one populated page of drawings using four different approaches within the routine. Make sure you annotate your drawings, describing the technique you have used and how it has assisted you come up with different ideas.

Development of concepts

Critical and reflective thinking

This stage begins with Critical and Reflective Thinking. This is where your design process will begin to converge a bit. You will look over the sketches you made to visualise new ideas and use Critical Thinking routines to reflect on their suitability against the needs described in the brief.

Click on the image at right to visit my page on Design Thinking. 

Critical thinking routine in action

This image is not from this task nor does it use one the Critical Thinking routines. However, it shows that the student has isolated two selected designs and analysed them in terms of their suitability for the brief.

tasks 7

7.1 Critical and reflective thinking

Create a page to demonstrate your use of critical and reflective thinking. Visit my page on Design Thinking and use a routine for evaluating and reflecting on the suitability of your designs.

Identify the best idea you want to use as your chosen concept.

Technical drawing

In this stage you will begin to develop the presentation drawings you will use to answer the brief. You will complete three drawings of your re-imagined product;

  • 3rd Angle orthogonal drawing,
  • Isometric drawing,
  • Perspective drawing.

Manual and digital 3rd Angle orthogonal drawing

A manual 3rd angle orthogonal drawing done for the same outcome. Christina Pirsl (2018).
A 3rd Angle Orthogonal drawing of my proposed sharpener. Click on the image to see a full size version for your reference.

tasks 8

Technical drawing (2 dimensional)

8.1 3rd Angle Orthogonal drawing

Manual techniques

Make a neat, correctly set up and ruled 3rd Angle orthogonal drawing of your chosen concept. This will be a draft copy. The presentation drawing will be done as a digital drawing using a vector based program.

Refer to my page on  3rd Angle Orthogonal drawing for further details on set out, labelling and dimensioning.

Digital techniques

Make a digital version of your ruled orthogonal drawing using Adobe Illustrator, a vector drawing program. Remember to include a title box, labels, symbol and dimensions.

3 Dimensional drawing

Here is a digital drawing of the proposed pencil sharpener in isometric.
And here is a freehand but ruled 2 point perspective drawing of the same sharpener.

tasks 8

Technical drawing (3 dimensional)

8.2 Isometric drawing

Using the dimensions you have established in your orthogonal drawing, make a neat, ruled isometric drawing of your chosen pencil sharpener design.

8.3 Perspective drawing

Using the proportions you have established in your isometric drawing, make a neat, ruled 2 point perspective drawing of the same pencil sharpener design.


Presentation drawing


In this activity you will produce your final presentation rendering of your newly imagined product. Your rendering will need to show;

  • Form,
  • Surface, texture,
  • Shade.

 This is a presentation drawing.

Click here to visit my page on Rendering

Rendered presentation drawing

A very simple coloured pencil rendered 2 point perspective view of the sharpener design. I have used colour and tone to show form, surface, shade and materials.

tasks 9

9.1 Rendering

Print one of your three dimensional isometric or perspective drawings and use coloured pencils to render it to show;

  • Form,
  • Surface, texture,
  • Shade.

 Remember to indicate the materials and surfaces required in the brief. This is a presentation drawing.


Evaluation and deeper learning

In this section we will think about the learning we have done. We will review the main topics and evaluate our learning. Follow the steps in the tasks shown here to prepare your folio for presentation and grading.
What have I learnt?

Answer the following questions (on paper or if you use a computer, print them and stick them into your visual diary).

  1. Describe what is meant by the term 'industrial design'.
  2. What are three intentions of rendering?
  3. What is an advantage of paraline drawing?
  4. What is an advantage of perspective drawing?
  5. If you were doing a similar technical design task again, what would you change in your approach?
Putting it together

Find where you wrote up what you thought the success criteria might be. Check that you have done something for all of the steps you wrote down.

Print final and organise your folio for submission.

Check the assessment criteria below to see if you have prepared your folio for each criteria. If not, take the time to complete each section.

Hand up your work on the due date as instructed.


Evaluation and deeper learning
Complete the evaluation, deeper learning and rating tasks as shown above.

Assessment criteria

Below is shown a broad indication of the evidence a student should show.

Click here to download a complete assessment rubric for this task

The extent to which the student:

  • Communicates form and function objects with observational drawing and uses visualisation drawing to generate alternative ideas in response to a brief,
  • Uses design thinking techniques to broaden ideas and reflect on their suitability,
  • applies manual and digital two-dimensional drawing methods to depict objects from and in multiple views,
  • applies manual and digital three-dimensional drawing methods to represent the form and structure of objects
  • Selects and applies media to enhance the form, shadows, materials and surface in presentation drawing,

Please note: To achieve good marks in criteria based assessment you must remember to include some work for each part of the task required. Spread your time evenly across the task.