Hi all. Was wondering if anyone had tips for drawing machinery, engines, spachips, industrial equipment and the like. Specifically conceptualizing them. I'm a big fan of MC Barret's work and I understand the basic idea of conceptualizing these machines. My difficulty is in rendering machinery like engines and such. Like I've tried drawing some engines and I just get really confused with all the tubing and literal nuts and bolts of the thing, and the stuff I draw just looks like a mess.
I understand perfectly that I may just not have put enough time into drawing machinery, and of course I'm going to keep drawing and sketching regardless. I just wanted to know if anyone had tips on visualizing and sketching engine parts so as to make them less confusing I guess. Links to tutorials or explanations would be much appreciated.
First of all, it's important to have a good visual library of mechanical bits- how they function and how their built. Then it's just a matter of using that knowledge in new and interesting ways. If your engines look too crowded, look at real engines and find out why they don't. Many times, aesthetics and function go hand in hand. A cool design will look functional, and functional things tend to look cool.
Mechanical drawings from imagination requires significant understanding of perspective, aside from the given such as light and form. You're going to find yourself drawing a lot of things within boxes and squares in perspective. However, to practice and improve your knowledge of the material, buy toy cars and draw or paint them or go outside and draw cars. Draw them with perspective constructions.
Once you get used to perspective, you will grow less dependent on construction, unless you are very concerned with accuracy.
Using engine as an example, it doesn't have to actually be designed to work in the realm of concept art, and as long as people recognize the thing as some form of engine, then you're all set. A lot of the textures in futuristic sci-fi concept art of machines are just random "greeble". If you draw a motorcycle engine enough times, all those pipes and grooves will be more or less imprinted into your mind, and the next time you draw an engine, you could establish certain dynamics of your vision of the engine onto paper before having to search specific references. Those who have no experience drawing engines will find that they will always resort to references first, which is likewise for any other subject.
Looking at your portfolio, you've still got some ways to go in the rendering or the understanding of light and form. I would advise drawing more from life. The more you draw from life, the more you become keen to things which can't be captured in photographs. When learning perspective, you can also get up and look around your subject to see why something overlaps another or to investigate ambiguous edges.
If you want to draw machinery, it helps to understand machinery on a functional level. Start with Simple Machines and work your way up to a basic understanding of how an internal combustion engine in a car works.