Let's Get Sketchy! - A quick guide to filling your sketchbook | Jake Olson | Skillshare

Let's Get Sketchy! - A quick guide to filling your sketchbook

Jake Olson, Illustrator / Designer / Storyteller

Let's Get Sketchy! - A quick guide to filling your sketchbook

Jake Olson, Illustrator / Designer / Storyteller

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6 Lessons (9m)
    • 1. Course Trailer

    • 2. Getting into it!

    • 3. Direction / Purpose

    • 4. Art Challenges / Inspiration

    • 5. Can't go wrong with animals

    • 6. Wrap up & Thanks!

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About This Class

This class is for folks like me that love sketchbooks... whether you complete them or not. I myself have had my own ups and downs with maintaining consistent sketchbook habits but lately I've felt great with how much I've been using my sketchbooks and wanted to share what works!

In this class I'll go over some tips that I've been learning and using to fill my sketchbooks up with drawing exercises, completed pieces, and even scrap art journaling.

Ways to jump in like:

Give your sketchbook a purpose & direction

Using visual notes or pasting in work/collaging

Art challenge hashtags & word lists

I want to provide you enough inspiration and exercises to get things going on your own. We'll tackle those blank pages and heck, we might even enjoy the work along the way!

music credit /// 
"Carefree" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jake Olson

Illustrator / Designer / Storyteller


Hey Everyone! 

You can call me Jake or MelonOso! I'm an illustrator, graphic designer, and visual content creator. My approach to work leans toward having fun, incorporating some personal experience, and satisfying a natural need to experiment and work with new methods.

Sharing lessons and making real connections thru my art will always be important to me - that's a big part of why I'm so excited to return to Skillshare with the opportunity to teach. I hope to see you in class!

Instagram /// HitRecord /// Twitter

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1. Course Trailer: what's upscale share? I'm Jake Olson, and I like sketchbooks. In case you didn't notice, I have a couple. So what I want to do is I want to take all of the habits on ideas and practices that I've been learning from, people that I look up to and then inspired me and put them into this mini course. But even though it's kind of like a shotgun, many course it's gonna be filled with a lot of information. A lot of what's the word actionable steps, you know that you can. You can use these ideas as inspiration to take into your own practice and actually use your sketchbook. And by using it, you know you're only gonna get better. So let's grab a sketchbook, Have a pencil, were on, Let's jump in. 2. Getting into it!: so sometimes customizing a sketchbook, you know, stickers you can write on. Put your logo. We're stickers. Yeah, this is what I was getting to, you know, personalized your sketchbook, making yours mess it up a little bit, drawn it. This will help you, you know, feel personalized, but that you want to use it. Sometimes we have a problem with just if we don't like the material that we're using. We don't like the space that were in. Why? How can we enjoy it? So So make make a sketch cook. You know, the way that works best for you. Um, you know, you can personalize it with, Like I said, a logo or any marks on the front. But even, you know, make sure you number it, you know, a year, a month or whatever pace that you go at. And you know that will help you keep track of things. Then when you look back and you have these completely sketchbooks, you'll be able to know that this sketchbook was from 2016 to 2019. This sketchbook was from 2016 to 2017. I have some sketchbooks that air from 2010 to now because For whatever reason, they didn't get completed. But I'm starting to use these hat with more myself, and I'm filling my sketchbooks a lot more. So that's really what I wanted to share with you all. A lot of the techniques and ideas that I've been working with have been helping me fill my sketchbook. Maybe on the on the inside. You right, what the theme is, or, you know you can start up. I was writing your name. Really your contact information. If you travel a lot with your sketchbooks, I am someone that I tend to keep my sketchbooks at home as like a home base. But I'm training myself to take them out into the field with me more because it's more beneficial to use. Write your name and your contact information whatever you feel comfortable with. That way, if you lose your sketchbook, if it's important to you that you have those memories or those the lines or whatever you put in there that you can get it back on top of that, you could also right into the cover or the first couple of pages, a theme you can write a guide or like a legend toe What? You want to use the sketchbook as sometimes These. These are the sketchbooks. They sit because we don't know what we're trying to do with them. We don't have a story, or we We blow up the idea of a sketchbook being this grand thing, but we don't really even know what we're trying to put into that grand idea. So by doing that, what you're doing is you're giving yourself a direction. You might not have an end goal like every piece is gonna be completed. But maybe you just use red pencil and maybe you think those or you don't think those. But maybe you just use red pencil because it feels good to use red pencil. Or maybe one sketchbook is just for animals. Maybe you know things like that. Sometimes we worry about constraints. But if we don't have any guides, if we don't have any direction that we're trying to go in or tell a story, then we might struggle. And that's where creative block comes from. So those sketchbooks will sit on, have blank pages on, not get used, so crack into it. However, it feels right for you. 3. Direction / Purpose: not having a direction with your sketchbook might lead to creative blockages or even burn out. One way to help with this is give your sketchbook of purpose by giving your sketchbook a few creative guidelines. You'll actually give yourself some footing to start. Maybe you choose to do a certain illustration style. Or maybe you could actually dedicate one sketchbook, two robots and watercolors. If you limit your color palettes or subject matter, I can actually relieve a lot of extra work that you might do, just trying to think about where you want to start. And speaking of getting started, um, sometimes one thing that can, you know, hold me back. It holds some people back just having a blank page. So an exercise that has really continued to help me just, you know, get started is draw, frame, draw, border, you know, draw something on the page that kind of takes away that that limitless border that it feels like the blank page has, and it just helps. You already put lines on the paper to get started, but then you're already thinking like a designer, like you're almost looking through a window or a frame, and how can you build a scene within that frame? 4. Art Challenges / Inspiration: There are a lot of different ways that you can find inspiration to use. Your here are book your sketchbook, Um, but our challenges. I find these to be one of my favorite, you know, over the years. Between October, there's online word prompts and, you know, daily photo prompts that people do. There's always inspiration all year round. There's a hashtag that's been going on for a while. Um, I believe it's called. Draw This in your style or just in your style. What you do is you. You know someone will post ah, a character. And then they'll say You have permission to draw this in your style. And if you just tag it, then everyone can kind of join in and see. It's fun. It gives you a chance toe. So I kind of play around with a focal point that a lot of other people are working with. And then you can kind of compare and see all these different styles for one character. And maybe you see features that you like, and then you can kind of, you know, copy lows features to get used to him and learn how to use them. It's just It's really a great way to learn different styles and find inspiration. Remember, Hashtags can be your friend. Sometimes they're a little, ah, daunting. But at the same time, there is some value to using Hashtags. So, you know, check those out when you need some inspiration. 5. Can't go wrong with animals: drawing animals is also a really great way to, you know, get inspiration for your sketchbook. Animals are always fun because you can go from a realistic direction and do studies on anatomy or movement positioning. You know, there's all kinds of ways that you can draw on animal realistically from the different angles. But then you can also get a lot more loose and just have fun with it. And you can give some cartoon features and play around with some characters. You can mix and match animal features. Um, I just I think this is a great place to really think about inspiration because it's almost limitless. There's there's fantasy animals, there's really life animals. And there's just all kinds of inspiration through, you know, movies that we grew up with, his kids that, you know, featured animal characters, and there's just a lot of ways to be inspired. So that's one direction that you could also take 6. Wrap up & Thanks!: I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone to check out the class on that went through the course. Uh, you know, sculpture is is a site and a company that I really appreciate on these classes teach me a lot Every time I do them and being able to reconnect with the students, it means a lot. And sketchbooks, there's something that I've had my challenges within the past. So I'm really happy to share some of the habits and some of the principles and ideas that have helped me start to fill up my sketchbooks with not only sketches but actual work in progress. So thank you again. Everyone on. I hope you have a great day and hope you draw something. Have a good one.