Product Design Course at RISD

Sketching + Rendering for Design Thinking

The ability to visualize and communicate ideas both rapidly and convincingly on any platform (analog or digital) begins with the development of strong hand-drawing skills. Drawing is one of the most valuable skills needed in design work; it is critical for thinking through ideas, and for expressing design ideas to oneself, one’s colleagues and one’s clients. Accordingly, this course explores a wide range of tools, materials, processes and techniques that help hone drawing and visual communication skills, from very simple working sketches to full-color professional presentation renderings. Topics covered include rapid visualization drawing, ideation, basic and advanced perspective, blocking out shapes, appropriate point of view, composition, tonal contrast, light and shadow, textures and details, and presentation.

Students receive instruction in the use of assorted media, including pen, pencil, markers and a variety of drawing papers. Assignments not only encourage technical skill development, but also promote letting go of one’s fear of failure, fostering imagination, inventiveness, and creative capacity–talents that inspire innovative thinking. Students create a final presentation of their own design. Basic drawing skills, while not required, will aid in students taking full advantage of the course.

Students looking for a full industrial design immersion may take this course in combination with Introduction to Industrial Design.

RISD degree students: This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from your department head using the “Transfer Credit Prior Approval for Major/Non Major Credit” form, found on the Registrar’s Office Forms page. Submit the signed form to the Registrar’s office and then complete the online course registration.

Course #0824
Amy Leidtke

Schedule A
June 21–July 27, 2021 (no class July 5)
Mondays + Tuesdays, 10 am–1 pm ET
Online, Live

Tuition $2,300
3 Credits



Amy Leidtke

Amy Leidtke is an industrial designer, artist and educator who combines the disciplines of research, strategic and master planning, ideation and design development, and participatory design workshops in an inclusive professional design practice, Leidtke Design. For more than 20 years, she has designed toys, activities and interactive play and learning environments for families and children. She is a faculty member for the RISD graduate and undergraduate programs, and holds a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MID from Rhode Island School of Design. Photo Credit: Marybeth Meehan

Go to Top