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Watercolor Electronic Tools

When it comes to creating technical materials targeted at beginners, hand-drawn images using watercolors or colored pencils may offer a non-threatening solution.

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I thought the title of this column might attract your attention. The thing is that I recently ran across the YouTube channel belonging to Becky Stern, who makes DIY project videos about technology and crafts. The way I came to this channel was when someone pointed me at this video of Becky creating a watercolor representation of a RJ45 Crimping tool.  
I don’t know about you, but I really like this style of illustration. Do you recall my Arduino for Abecedarians column? Well, the folks at Hackaday asked me if I’d be interested in creating an entire series of such articles under the banner headline of “Electronics & Microcontrollers for Absolute Beginners” on their Hackaday.io website, so that’s what I’m doing. In fact, I’ve already posted Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. As you’ll see, I’m using hand-drawings created with colored pencils for the illustrations because I think this offers a non-threatening style that won’t scare beginners (I’m not looking forward to drawing the breadboards, let me tell you). I’m only glad I started with the colored pencils before I saw these videos, otherwise I might be wearing my Leonardo da Vinci costume and creating my illustrations in watercolor. How about you? Do you like this style of illustration — either painted in watercolor or hand-drawn using colored pencils — for certain presentations, like beginners’ columns, or would you rather stick with photographs and computer-aided drawings?

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I didn’t realize you could work with that much detail in watercolor. Given the time and skill involved, you may be better off sticking to colored pencils. I do think the hand drawings lend a friendlier air to your beginners series.

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