Sketchbook Design

 

Build a unique visual narrative of your life

Create beautiful sketchbook pages of your everyday adventures

 

Enrollment for Sketchbook Design is now closed – returning mid 2021

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Why learn Sketchbook Design?

Any sketchbook page can be made interesting by spending a little time
designing the layout, adding notes and other elements.

In this course I want to share with you all my top tips, strategies and techniques
for creating beautiful sketchbook pages.

You’ll be able to use these techniques straight away to
make better pages – even if you are a beginner!


 

Does this sound like you?

“I get bored with my sketchbook pages as they all look the same”

“I’m afraid to add writing to my pages in case I ruin them”

“I’m unsure of where to position my sketch on the page”

“I don’t know which size and format of sketchbook to use”

Sketchbook Design has been designed to address these common struggles


 

In Sketchbook Design you will learn to:

  • think about placement of your sketch on the page before you start
  • add text to your page (including tips for architect-style handwriting!)
  • weave in elements to your pages such as headings, frames, maps, collage etc
  • design contained and open-ended compositions
  • create variety of layouts throughout a sketchbook

You’ll be part of an inspiring community of sketchers from around the world who will share their unique styles. You’ll never lack inspiration!

You’ll have lifetime access to an incredible gallery of sketchbook design ideas inside our virtual classroom.

You can use these techniques for any kind of sketchbook and for a variety of different sketching styles and level of experience. You don’t need to be producing ‘masterpiece’ sketches to create beautiful sketchbook pages!

 


 

When I signed up for my first SketchingNow course, I thought that I would learn how to sketch.
It turns out that I’m learning much more than that, I’m learning a whole new approach.

The “Embrace the wonkiness!” and “Have fun!” that you will hear Liz saying during her courses, are just what I needed to hear to get me started.
Liz knows where we might stumble or feel that we might find some exercises too tedious.
Yet her courses are designed so that we can learn new ways of sketching, step by step.

She encourages me to go further into my sketching at my own pace, following my own style and preferences.

Frannie, Belguim

 


 

How you’ll learn

  • over 9 hours of step-by-step video lessons, each lesson building on the previous, so you can make steady progress in a systematic way
  • theory sections that clearly explain the essential concepts so that you can apply to your own style and way of working
  • downloadable PDF handout so you can quickly review the key elements of each lesson when you need it
  • specific assignments designed so that you really understand and know how to use the concepts from the lesson – these can be done from the comfort of home, from photos or out on location
  • multiple examples from Liz’s sketchbooks explaining how to use the concepts – including discussion of some less successful work and what she would do differently so that you can learn how to assess your own work in a positive and constructive manner

Our classroom environment

  • specially designed private classroom with dedicated assignment galleries and forum so that you can connect with and be inspired with other sketchers from around the world who are working alongside you
  • ability to ask Liz questions about the lessons whenever you are working through the lessons so you’ll never get stuck
  • live Q&A sessions during Group Run-throughs – which will include review of student’s work, mini demos, bonus material and a chance to have your questions answered in real time
  • full transcripts for all video lessons so you can easily follow along
  • lifetime access to all course content and any future Group Run-throughs and bonus material so you can continue to learn as your skills grow

 


Enrollment for Sketchbook Design is now closed – returning mid 2021

please join my newsletter for updates

Signup for updates

 

 


Your courses have been such wonderful learning experiences for me.
The way you have designed them allows students freedom to work at their own pace, yet have structure and support.

 

Being involved in Group Run-Throughs, has been the best because in sharing our reflections and our work
we learn more about our own skills, and from others’ practices, as well.

 

Then there’s the feedback given and received that helps focus us on the elements we are working on, even more.

It’s a very collaborative way of learning.

 

The addition of live streams has been fabulous. You’re giving us feedback to concerns and

questions with demos live, and we can chat about them live!

 

Really powerful…and that’s built community among us, pupils & teacher!

Sandie, USA

 


Who is the course for?

This course will be suitable for anyone who wants to keep a sketchbook – including beginners.

There will be some sketching prompts and you will be encouraged to choose your own subjects to sketch. You can sketch from photos, objects from around the home and out on location.

Sketchbook Design will not include any dedicated drawing instruction so if you want to learn some foundational sketching skills I recommend that you check out my Foundations course!

 


Course Outline

 

Introduction (1 week)

  • Why keep a sketchbook
  • Adding text- handwriting tips
  • Materials List and Tips for choosing a sketchbook
  • Sketchbook Practice: What to sketch, when to sketch, what to include in your sketchbook and how to create unfinished pages in preparation for Lesson 1.

 

Lesson 1: Adding Elements (2 weeks)

  • Adding elements to your sketchbook pages including:
    – Text and Headings
    – Borders
    – Colour Blocks
    – Maps, diagrams and charts
    – Collage
    – Secondary Sketches
    – White Space
  • Demo: Combining a number of elements into one spread including a map of a complex city centre
  • Gallery: Reviewing elements used in two sketchbooks from 2009 and 2014
  • Exercises: Add elements to your page
  • Plus Questions, Feedback, Takeaways and Bonus Material
  • Group Run-through Jan-Feb 2020: Livestream Q&A session including review of selected student work, mini demos and bonus material.

 

Lesson 2: Creating Contained Compositions (1 week)

  • Theory 1: Overview of contained compositions
  • Theory 2: Strategies for contained compositions
  • Theory 3: Using elements in contained compositions
  • Demo: Designing a contained spread beforehand and then adjusting it on the fly
  • Gallery: Reviewing three sketchbooks with a great variety of contained compositions (travel sketchbooks from 2018 and 2020, everyday sketchbook 2020)
  • Exercises: A week of contained compositions from simple grids to more asymmetrical complex layouts
  • Plus Questions, Feedback, Takeaways and Bonus Material
  • Group Run-through Jan-Feb 2020: Livestream Q&A session including review of selected student work, mini demos and bonus material.

 

Lesson 3: Creating Open Compositions (1 week)

  • Theory 1: Overview of open compositions (including overlapping, extending and random layouts)
  • Theory 2: Strategies for open compositions
  • Theory 3: Using elements in open compositions
  • Demo: Creating a spread on location with open-ended and overlapping sketches/elements
  • Gallery: Reviewing two sketchbooks with a great variety of open compositions (travel sketchbooks from 2018 and 2020, everyday sketchbook 2020)
  • Exercises: A week of open compositions
  • Plus Questions, Feedback, Takeaways and Bonus Material
  • Group Run-through Jan-Feb 2020: Livestream Q&A session including review of selected student work, mini demos and bonus material.

 

Lessons 4: Designing on the fly (1 week)

  • Theory 1: Summary of the design principles
  • Theory 2: Design on the fly and how to use the design principles
  • Theory 3: Design a whole book and how to develop different strategies for different sizes and formats
  • Demo 1: Finishing off pages from a day out sketching on location
  • Gallery: Review of various format sketchbooks
  • Exercises: Creating a sequence of pages from a sketching outing
  • Plus Questions, Feedback, Takeaways and Bonus Material
  • Group Run-through Jan-Feb 2020: Livestream Q&A session including review of selected student work, mini demos and bonus material.

 


 

Materials

 

There are no specific requirements – you are free to use whatever you would like.In fact the course will be more interesting if we have a large range of materials and types of sketchbooks.

Suggestions:

  • Your regular sketching kit (pens, pencils, paint, brushes etc)
  • Your regular sketchbook – recommended size approx A5-A4, any format is suitable
  • A ‘H’ or ‘2H’ pencil for guidelines
  • Small notebook – ideas recipe book for thumbnails

 

Download Materials List

 


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is the course live or pre-recorded?

Both! The course contains over 9 hours of pre-recorded videos which can be watched at any time. The only live component is the special livestreams as part of the Group Run-through. There will be one livestream per week at alternating times to suit everyone. (9am and 8pm Sydney time AEDT)

 

Can I do the course at another time?

Yes! If you are not able to join in the Group Run-through, it’s still worth considering signing up now. You’ll have lifetime access to all the lessons and can work through the exercises at your own pace.

 

When will the next Group Run-through be?

I normally only offer one Group Run-through per course per year – though of course you can work through the lessons at any time.

Can I sketch from photos rather than going outside on location?

Yes! This course is suitable for any kind of sketching – from photos, from objects at home, out on location. There will be no specific sketching assignments – the focus of this course is on the design of pages, not the sketches themselves. The goal is to help you fill pages which have a personal meaning for you – creating an unique narrative of your life.

 

Do I need to have any special social media accounts?

Everything you need to access the lessons, post homework and interact with others is contained within the SketchingNow classroom. The only exception are the Group Run-through Livestreams which will occur on Youtube. A YouTube account is needed to interact with the live chat but without it you can still watch the livestream and send your questions via email. Replays will be available.

 

 


Build a unique visual narrative of your life

Create beautiful sketchbook pages of your everyday adventures

 

 

 

Enrollment for Sketchbook Design is now closed – returning mid 2021

please join my newsletter for updates

Signup for updates

 


SketchingNow courses are perfectly structured, easy to fellow and very generous in information.

What Liz knows, she shares and that has helped me
to improve my skills and simplify my personal way to sketch.

Her videos demos are very helpful and PDF transcriptions
have been very useful for me, English not being my first language.

 

I like the Group Run-throughs as there is always an amazing group who are helpful and supportive.

The Livestreams are a highlight for me! I feel the group behind my screen. All participants with Liz and Chantal, around the World! …so far so close in the same time … same interest to share together …It is just amazing! They are such a big boost of motivation where we share ‘LIVE’ by chat, our questions, answers, thoughts and more.

It’s very helpful to see Liz in action in direct, to review some concepts,
or to give us spontaneous demos quite simply and generously,
to give us many tips to help us to do more easier and better.
I love these moments with the group!

Lise, Canada