Most of you would have already heard that my Sketchbook Design course is returning soon with a Group Run-through starting on Wednesday 4 August.
Update 23 July: Doors are now open again – click here for more info.
But as my blog is where I share personal thoughts and reflections on my work, I thought it would be fun to collect a few thoughts together about how Sketchbook Design changed my work.
During the prep for the course, I looked through my entire collection of sketchbooks (12 years worth – over 250 books) and did a lot of analysis of my own work. And then once the course started in January this year I was so incredibly inspired by all the ideas which were generated by the group.
Another aspect of the course, which made it so impactful for me, was all the live reviews I did of work from the classroom. These helped me analyse my design process and made me realise how many compositional principles from my architectural career inform my page layouts.
So I’ve had a lot of thoughts floating around my head about sketchbook design in the last 12 months!
As a result, I’m finding that I’m…
- Generally spending more time on design and have realised how connected my decisions about an individual sketch are with the overall page design
- Aligning objects even more than I used to – especially on simple pages
- Creating more contained compositions and trying new layouts with white space in different areas
- Drawing lots of maps
- Using more positive shapes and less negative spaces – in particular with skies. I’ve been doing more partial skies for the last few years, but now I’m using taped edges a lot!
- Thinking more about the flow between my pages and returning to an underlying grid for a book. (I first used a three column grid during my trip to BCN in 2013 but it’s been fun to return to this approach)
I still find it harder to create layouts in my everyday sketchbooks than I do when I’m travelling. I think this is mainly due to the subject matter – it’s repetitive and can seem mundane. But when I’m travelling it’s much harder to find the time to design and finish my pages each day.So I’m really pleased with the amount of time and focus I was able to devote to design during my busy trip… but, wow! I had a lot of homework every night!
I have lots more to say on this topic… but let’s get going with some examples!
So here are a few pages in the last 12 months from my 8×10 Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbooks that I think are interesting…
Here are a few of my favourite pages from my recent road trip from a composition point of view.
It was really hard to choose! I’ve mainly picked a lot with smaller images but also a few single-image spreads so that you can see how I vary the shape of the sketch, location of white space and position of text.
Oh ah! Putting this article together is making me really excited to go through this course again and share more about my Road Trip sketchbooks!
But enough about me…
I know that the course had a significant impact on the sketching of many – not just the design of their pages, but also their whole approach to sketching. Here’s an example:
“An inspired course with so much information to be processed! I now have much more confidence now to just sketch – not to worry it’s not good enough. I just have to get something down no matter how mundane and make sure to leave lots of white space with which to add to the story. The class was a breakthrough for me to not just complete an assignment but to take extra steps to provide a visual narrative that I would not be embarrassed to show to others. “
Sketchbook Design has returned – find out more here!
I’ll be hosting a Group Run-through of the course starting on Wednesday 4 August which will include 6 live Q&A sessions. These livestreams are always the highlight of any SketchingNow course so I’m looking forward to going through this course again in this highly interactive way.
If you did the course earlier in the year, you’ll have free access to this Group Run-through. Stay tuned for a separate email from me with more details or simply visit the Sketchbook Design classroom and you will find more there!
Finally, if you were part of the first group to go through Sketchbook Design, I would love to hear from you. How did the course change your sketching and your sketchbook pages?
Please let me know in the comment section below (if you are reading this via email, please click on the link below and add a comment on my blog – thanks!)