How do you show a customer what a piece will look like?

Today’s post is a bit unusual, as it does not directly involve metal clay or jewelry. However, there is a very real indirect link.

A customer commissions you to make a piece. You plan what it is going to look like. But do your plans truly match the customer’s expectations? The only way to know that is if you can provide a drawing of what the piece will look like when it is finished. To do this, you have to learn to draw. In particular, you have to learn to draw metal, with its highlights and reflections.

I have been working on learning to draw. I have chosen colored pencil as my medium, because colored pencil is a dry medium (I have several cats, and cats and wet paintings do not necessarily mix well). While I am still learning, I decided to post two of my practice pieces.

The first is an exercise in depicting metal (a tea pot, not jewelry). I drew on dark blue paper, using the following colors of Prismacolor pencils: white, black, French gray 70%, French gray 90%, and cream. My drawing wound up as follows:


Following this, I chose to go for full technicolor, and not restrict myself to metal. I copied a photograph of a rooster (you might notice the makers mark for my jewelry studio in the lower left hand corner):


Learning to draw, with whatever medium you choose (graphite, colored pencil, charcoal, or painting) seems far removed from jewelry making. But learning will help you make jewelry. And it will help you sell jewelry. It sounds like a digression, but, if you learn to draw, you will be repaid for your efforts.

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