Start With a Piece of Paper
When it comes to sketching jewelry, you do not need fancy tools or expensive supplies. The most valuable asset you have in the jewelry sketching process is your mind. In this first phase, it is all about experimenting with shapes and colors. In this stage, what you sketch may turn out aesthetically pleasing, or it may not! The point is to play around with ideas in your head. Even if you do not like the result of this initial sketch, you have still made progress and you now have a clearer idea of what you want your piece to eventually look like. Don’t forget to keep copies of your sketches for later reference. Not only will you learn from your own progress, but you can go back and remind yourself of what your thought process was of a certain piece.
If you are not sure what materials to use for sketching, here is a list of suggested items you can choose to use throughout this process:
- Paper (mixed media paper is your best option)
- Pencils for light sketching
- Rulers for creating geometric shapes/straight lines
- Stencils for creating perfect circles, ovals, etc.
- Ink/Pens for darkening initial pencil outlines
- Paint, markers, colored pencils, etc. to add color to your work
Don’t Just Design, Capture Inspiration
Beautiful things are born out of what the naked eye is able to capture. When you are brainstorming and sketching jewelry ideas, get out into nature to find your muse, or simply sit on a balcony and people watch. For example, one of the sketches shown features flowers and foliage that could be later used to incorporate into a new jewelry piece. Another sketch features a more fledged out idea for a necklace design, inspired by the art and architecture found in Lisbon, Portugal. Whether you are taking inspiration from others’ art such as architecture or statues or drawing from the art of nature, know that art surrounds you always. Don’t be afraid to add beauty to the world!
Utilize Language and Take Notes
As you begin to draw and brainstorm, you may have a certain thought in your mind that has inspired your sketching. Take note of what is going through your mind as you draw so that you can return to your work later and remember for what purpose you sketched something. Sometimes when a concept or idea strikes you, you may not have a clear picture of what that piece of jewelry will look like. This should not stop you from writing down your thoughts. Remember, anything goes when it comes to brainstorming, as this is part of the creative process. You will also want to write down things such as desired measurements and the types of material you plan on using. You will thank yourself for taking these things into consideration when you go to buy supplies for your jewelry. It’s important to know exactly what you will need, especially if you are working with more expensive materials such as precious gems or metals.
See Original Work From a Jewelry Designer
From jewelry design sketch to finished product, the process for jewelry-making is intricate and unique. Here is a bullet-pointed recap of what to remember about sketching jewelry:
- Start with big ideas, then hone in on details
- Cultivate inspiration from outside, and bring it within
- Remember that the written word can also be a part of your sketches
- Take note of important details such as size and materials you want to use
It can take years to master your jewelry-making technique, but the greatest artists are the ones who are constantly learning and growing. Don’t be afraid to try new things or to make mistakes. It is all a part of the learning process. You can also take inspiration from artists who have gone through the drafting process to create stunning finished work. For example, Amita Bhalla’s jewelry is inspired by world travels, with each piece beginning as a simple sketch. You can view her inspired pieces and their stories here.