Perhaps it stemmed from my love of cooking or from the fact that I can not draw from scratch at all, but at some point I started using parchment to conceptualize my designs. Mixing food and art is certainly not a new concept but I am not sure how many people look at parchment as one big roll of creative possibilities.
How it works
Simply tear yourself off a nice piece of parchment paper and lay it out over a digital screen, this is the perfect task for a tablet. Once you have the paper and the screen ready to go you will need to pull up a picture of whatever it is you are about to create. I usually do a simple Google search if I am designing something I do not have a template for, look for pictures with clean backgrounds so the tracing will go smoother. Now you are ready to trace! Once you are done you have a perfect practice template to start sketching out ideas on. I almost always start my designs using this process as it allows me a chance to really think about various design possibilities before getting all digital, if I have not mentioned it before, I tend to like the beauty of doing things by hand and this brings me one step closer to actually drawing something.