1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Apr. 5, 2006
The Design Element
Anyone who has been through art school, drawing classes in particular,
can appreciate the sketchy type elements included in the samples below. I
have often considered making a website based on charcoal drawings, where
I actually draw the pages with charcoal. I haven’t had an opportunity
where this would make sense though. Partially I just want to put those skills
to use. These sketchy style sites put this set of talents to use. Formally
trained artist go to great lengths to learn control when drawing and
painting, it is perhaps this familiarity that draws them to this style.
I suppose the way this stuff is done is relatively obvious. The elements
are drawn by hand and brought into the computer via a scanner. Then
combined with more typical computer generated design elements. It is also
quite common to add in elements with a bit of grit and texture to them. Stained
and torn paper, scanned tape, scratchy textures, anything to further relate
the design to tangible hand made elements.
This technique really can produce fantastic results. The connotations
are clear and it works tremendously well to communicate creativity and an
artistic touch. I actually think this is a really smart direction for artist,
especially ones new to the web. It enables you to use a skill you are really
good at in a medium you are still learning. Clearly many of the samples are
very advanced and far beyond beginner. But I love how someone new to the
web can create a powerful design that draws on their existing strengths to
create an interesting and unique design.
On a side note, isolating scanned
drawings is actually really easy. One method was outlined in our Drip Sprays
and Splatter Blend-If tutorials. There are several other ways to accomplish
the same thing of course, it is more a matter of preference.