“No designer wants to be a copy of somebody else. Designing is the ability to authentically express your creative inner self.”
– Jenine Lepera Izzi, Creative Director, New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI)

In this era, seeing a hand-drawn sketch is a delight compared to the alluring photographs we have seen in magazines. When it comes to fashion, a pencil sketch of jewelry filled in with colors tells an exciting tale of what the designer was trying to make come to life.

Digital technology and imagery have made a huge impact on the jewelry industry. This change has almost replaced the true artist― jewelry designers, who made hand-drawn sketches to turn an idea into reality. From programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and 3Design Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, today’s digital age designs are rendered on computers.

Who Does It Better – Computer Rendering or Hand Drawing?

Computer rendering and hand drawing are both important. It’s imperative for a jewelry designer to know how to make a pencil sketch and also keep pace with the technological changes that keep popping up now and then.

So, why is it that jewelry designers are going back to the long-forgotten art of hand rendering?

Perhaps, the world of jewelry sketches is worth exploring one more time. Designers are focused on creating their work in a style, which does not have a computerized vibe and instead looks more realistic. If you think about it, there’s an authenticity and appreciation to a designer, who can make an artistic vision of their jewelry by sketching or drawing, or painting using gouache watercolors. If you close your eyes, you can picture it clearly ― a designer working on their jewelry sketch at an Atelier, trying hard to put those ideas onto paper.

Today’s designers draw the fine line between fine and commercial art. A hand sketch jewelry design captures the fine details that a computerized image can’t. This is why they say that learning to draw is how you learn to see. It’s often said that “the devil’s in the details.” In the case of jewelry designs, it certainly is! On the plus side, while learning this art style, you will also learn how to tap into your mind’s eye and express your creativity on paper.

Understanding What Jewelry Rendering Is

“Freehand sketching is the first conceptual phase of the creative process. It is also the universal language used by designers to visually communicate their ideas and concepts,” says Raffaella Stern, an Instructor at the New York Jewelry Design Institute. (NYJDI)

It’s a method of turning concepts or ideas into an art form with the help of sketches, paintings, or drawings. Don’t confuse it with jewelry illustrations, which are easier to do on a computer. Vector art lends it a more attractive look, which also helps showcase a designer’s efficiency.

Jewelry sketches give an illustrator the freedom to be as innovative as they want. It makes them relax and enjoy the work they do. It’s like free-falling into creativity, and the vastness never ends. This creativity coming from a designer’s hand-eye coordination can’t be matched to clicking away for hours on a computer. All new skills require patience and practice to hone a craft. Jewelry sketches are the same. The more you draw, the more your confidence builds, and you yearn to see the changes in your results. Over time, what you have in your hand is worlds apart from what you started with. That’s when you can truly award yourself with the accolade for a beautifully rendered jewelry sketch that will set the standard for your future designs.

If you want to study courses on how to hand render, look no further than what The New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) has to offer. They teach introductory courses on hand rendering in their Rapid Rendering class and freehand sketching in their Advanced Rendering class. If you want to master your painting techniques, check out their Traditional Watercolor using Gouache course.