Illustrating a pencil

For a recent project at Chelsea College of Art we were each given a creative tool that we had to draw in Adobe Illustrator. The object I was given to draw, was a Pencil. 

I tried drawing many different illustrations of pencils, but lots of them ended up looking like typical clip art images of Pencils. After a lot of experimenting with different colours, shapes and compositions, I started creating simplified illustrations showing a whole pencil in its most striped back from. 

After feedback and further experimentation, I refined the pencil illustration and removed the middle section. This created a negative space effect where the main part of the pencil was not actually visible, but the viewer is able to make up the shape in their mind based on the other shapes in the composition. 

The final design was printed 420x420m and mounted to foam board. I designed the pencil so when printed, it was the exact same size as a real HB pencil. The final printed graphic received lots of positive feedback and was described as
elegant, beautiful and smart. 

Steve Jobs once said,

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

I really agree with this quote, especially after spending so much time trying to strip back my illustration. Deciding which elements were needed to create the form and which parts were just unnecessary clutter was difficult. But I was really pleased with my finished piece as it looked clean and simple.

It took a lot of refining but it has made me appreciate the shapes that help us recognise objects. This project has showed me the value in simplistic design.