Sketchbook Illustration for All: Draw Your Day with Watercolor & Pen | Samantha Dion Baker | Skillshare

Sketchbook Illustration for All: Draw Your Day with Watercolor & Pen

Samantha Dion Baker, Illustrator & Graphic Designer

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8 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:33
    • 2. What is Sketch Journaling?

      5:38
    • 3. Tools & Supplies

      7:02
    • 4. Composition I: The Hero Image

      8:42
    • 5. Composition II: The Roadmap

      5:22
    • 6. Composition III: The Collage

      10:16
    • 7. Final Thoughts

      1:00
    • 8. Explore More Classes on Skillshare

      0:33
280 students are watching this class

About This Class

Love ink drawing and illustration? Transform your creative practice by keeping a daily sketch journal!

Five years ago, illustrator Samantha Dion Baker started drawing her day, every day, and posting it to Instagram. Now, seventy-seven thousand followers and two published books later, Samantha shares how commitment to a daily drawing practice can push your skill and creativity to the next level — and could even unlock a new creative career!

Throughout the class Samantha will teach you to how to:

  • Get started sketch journaling with 3 unique layouts
  • Cultivate a daily creative practice that you can take with you anywhere
  • Find inspiration in the everyday – no matter where your day takes you
  • Create loose, quick sketches in the moment

Whether you’re looking for a fun creative exercise or want to create a unique physical record of your day-to-day life, this class will give you an arsenal of tools you can start using right away. You’ll learn to get the most out of your materials, experiment to discover your personal style, and find inspiration everywhere you look.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I really love to focus on the everyday ordinary things that we do, that we always take for granted. The same building that we pass, the coffee that we drink in the morning. Really anything can be drawn and it becomes beautiful once it's on the page. Hi everyone. I'm Samantha Dion Baker. I'm an artist, graphic designer and author. Today, we're going to be walking you through my process for sketch journaling. What is sketch journaling? I would say it's a combination of a journal and a sketchbook, is simple as that. It's the idea that you're having an art making creative practice while also recording your memories. We're going to first walk you through a few of my sketchbooks, then we're going to talk about some of the basic tools needed to start your practice. Then, we're going to work on three basic compositions together. One is focusing on a hero image, the second one is going to be a roadmap of my day. Then, the third one is a lot of collage, a lot of color. I'm still using bits and pieces from my day. It's a different way of drawing my day. So, whether this is new to you or you already have an existing drawing practice, I hope this class inspires you in a different way or it inspires you just to get started drawing your days. 2. What is Sketch Journaling?: What is sketch journaling? I would say it's a combination of a journal and a sketch book, as simple as that. It's the idea that you're having an art making creative practice while also recording your memories and keeping a daily practice of your writing and your art making. A lot of people think of sketching as drawing. Sketching can also be just playing with shades of color. It can be collage. It can be painting blobs of color to represent your day. So, in that sense, its really art journaling as well as sketch journaling. I'm going to show you some of my previous journals even the very first square sketchbook. I had already had a practice going for a little while before I found the square moleskin that I have stuck with for over four years now, but I'm going to show you the first one. It's from 2014. I didn't use to paint. Here's some pages that we're highlighting. As you can see, I would draw this vase of flowers so differently today, but I have always played with pattern and topography. Again, lots of type, pattern, really just doodles. This one is not even dated, I don't think. This is one of the first real sketch journal pages where I wrote a little bit about where we were. I just have a few notes here about our day but it's just this moment. I sat and drew by the water in Saint Martin. This page, it was one of the first full composition pages where I just jumbled all sorts of things together at the New York Auto Show where I had my sketchbook with me. I was sort of avoiding the crowds and a subject not so interesting to me, cars, with my family of boys who are very interested in cars. I just made it interesting for myself and I just walked around and drew the logos. This is the first year of my daily practice. You can see that a lot of the playing with composition. I'm playing with lettering and drawing at the same time. All of that was sort of jellying and coming together by the end of this book. I'm going to jump to 2015. This is a little bit later and we're just highlighting one page in here. This is when I started painting. So, it wasn't until a year later that I started playing with paint. Here's the page before. This was done in markers and colored pencils. Then, I decided "I'm going to paint today." So, I was exploring paint, I was exploring color, nothing else. I don't know what else happened on this day. This was sort of that idea of it doesn't really matter what you do as long as you have a commitment and create a practice that's freeing and meditative for you. Really, that's what I can say about May 21st, 2015 was that I wanted color and I wanted to play with my paint. Then, the rest is history with the paint, with the mole skin. This moleskin is not meant for paint, but I paint it anyway. Next, I'm going to show you the sketchbook that I've just finished in September. As you can see, I've started playing with even a pocket. Really pushing and pulling what I can do with these pages. So, here, I'm packing for a trip. Then, we're in Israel. On the pages, while we were traveling in Israel, I really try and tell a full story so that I can try and remember everything because there's so much that happened. Israel is such a rich place with so much going on. You can imagine I just didn't want to forget anything. So, these pages have a lot of information, a lot of little drawings. They're really telling a story. I'm feeling much more comfortable now drawing people, really making a connection through the little images that I tell so that I captured just the right moments. Here's a great example of collage. Taking ticket stubs when we went to the top of Masada with bubblegum packaging, but really not putting them down in a expected way, but really working them into the page and then pulling the color throughout. This color sort of blending into the sky. This pink color, the connection with this pink ticket for the youth tickets. I think my storytelling has developed quite a bit. Mostly, just because of confidence. There were many times throughout these books that I didn't know. I didn't really know what I was trying to say, but I now know that I'm really just speaking to myself. The benefit is that I am speaking to so many other people in the process, but this is for me. These are moments in my life. You can capture a day or a story just by one image or through many, many images to tell a story of your day. So, that was just a little bit of a show and tell of my journey. Now, we're going to talk about tools and materials. 3. Tools & Supplies: As I mentioned before, really all you need is some basic tools to get started. You can even use a ballpoint pen, a pencil, an eraser, a fine line black pen and your choice of color materials. Glue sticks scissors, optional, if you're going to be incorporating collage like we will later on. So, first I'm going to show you a few of my choices for these materials. The first is this Copic multiliner, which is a little bit more high maintenance because the nibs wear out and I have to replace them and you also have to replace the ink. But I just love working with this pen. I love the way the ink sits on the page, just my style and my hand, it is just so comfortable with the weight of the pen and the quality of the line. Another great option, when I don't really feel like dealing with the parts, is the Micron pens. I like them in size of 01 or 005, personal choice. It has a very similar quality in line and it's fully waterproof. It's very important to make sure that you're black pen is waterproof if you're going to be using wet materials. Then I have some thicker pens. If I'm going to highlight a word, this is by Sakura of America and its called an Identi-Pen. I'm just showing you how I highlight the edges of the letters just to help them stand out and has two different sides. One is even thicker. So, I can show you. So, you can see I'm just playing around but very quick demonstration of the different kinds of pens. I'm going backwards here because I usually do start with a pencil. I love Blackwing and I love their mixed graphite. I think they call it, which is the Blackwing pearl, usually it's the white pencil. This one is their special volume. So, it's not white but it has the same lead. When I teach drawing classes, I often tell people to spend two to five minutes, just exploring what the pencil can do. Because it really can do so much, especially if you're working with a softer graphite. So, sometimes we'll just play around with shade dark, making dark lines, lifting the pencil up and then sort of pulling it off the page and pushing it down harder just to create different line weights. You can play with this when you're drawing letters as well. So, I always recommend a good separate plastic eraser and there's so many of them on the market. This one is just a Staedtler Mars but it's just a good basic plastic eraser and it really pulls everything up, which is super important as your, if you want to get rid of your sketching marks underneath the ink. This is a really nice tool. It's a separate eraser that I have and it's very tiny but it also erases really well. It's when you get into little nooks and crannies and this is very broad and big. If you want to erase small details, let's say I just want to erase part of this. So, it's a nice tool to have. I still think nothing beats a big plastic eraser. I use this rarely but it's a nice tool to have. I always have a White Jelly Roll pen in my bag, just for highlights. If I am drawing a piece of fruit and I want to have a quick, highlight on it, I'll add a little bit of this Jelly Roll white. Glue stick very, important for collage making, if you choose to do so, a good pair of scissors and then these are examples of just some things that I picked up yesterday, that I'm going to think about playing with. This is an artist Mike Perry and he did the wrapping and a special card for store that I got a shirt at. Another little postcard talking about New York and then this is a postcard from a little toy company. That happens to be the collage material that I'm using but plain paper, even a craft bag from the store or where you got your lunches, is great material to collage with. The last thing is the paints. These are my collection of watercolors that I keep in my studio. I have a few sets of very transportable, small watercolor sets I even collaborated on creating one. It's really important to me to be able to take my paints on the go but this is a collection that I keep in my studio and it's very special. They're probably four or five different brands here. Some are handmade. If you want to get started with watercolor and you don't want to spend a ton of money, Sakura of America, makes a field sketch box, that is the set that I actually started with and used for a really long time. The colors are beautiful, it comes with a water brush which is a brush that is synthetic plastic and you keep water in the handle and you just squeeze a little bit out as you need it which is great because then you, as you're on the go, you don't need to have extra water. My go to brush is a size three and I can pretty much create everything I need to with just this one brush. It's pretty expensive, I didn't invest in Windsor Newton Series seven. Watercolor brushes I got, just two of them and I thought I would maybe collect more but I really don't need it. It's a personal choice but these brushes that are the finest stable brushes on the market, they're made in England and they're supposedly each hair is hand-picked. They're worth every penny because if you take care of them they will last you forever. I do have another one here just in case, I feel the need as I'm working today. It's a size one just to get into little tiny corners. The other last thing that I always have in my bag is a few extra paper towels. These are stolen from a restaurant because I like the napkin in the bathroom so, I'd stuck a few in my bag. Then it's very important to have a few extra pieces of paper towels, they're highly absorbing and you can just blot your color out and I just, I love the way they look. So, now that we have a good idea of where to start as far as materials, we're going to dive into the first composition. 4. Composition I: The Hero Image: The first composition we're going to discuss is the hero image composition. Really it's just focusing on one thing, one person, one object, one scene or one collage from your day and then writing around it, filling the empty space around it with memories and details. Maybe even small illustrations if you want. But you really have a strong focus on one thing. I really do like to stay authentic when I'm creating my journal pages, I don't like to make anything up. So, even when I was preparing for this class, I prepared using actual images and a record of my actual days. So, I started this sketch on October fifth, which was a few days ago. I chose to highlight this door that I walked by almost every day with my son, sometimes twice, three, four times a day. Just looking at this door, it's very not urban to me, there's something sort of nice and you can kind of almost be anywhere in any city. I love that there's nature sort of wrapped around this doorway, sort of feeling like a little bit of an escape from the chaos and there's a lot of construction around it. So, that's why I chose to focus on this one drawing. Some of the sections that I have out as like little notes to write, I will fill in as I go because a lot of the writing sort of just happens, I don't really sketch that out so much. I just leave sort of designate an area for writing. So, let's dive into the inking process which happens after the pencil sketch. I don't necessarily start at the same place, but it is a good idea to start inking where your hand will not run over it and just in case the ink isn't dry because that will smudge. So, it's nice to start in a corner and work your way away from it. For this drawing, I will be using the same way and I would say 80 so percent of the time, I really just stick with this exact pen in this way. I use the one-way because I feel that it's a good sort of lightest value. Then, as I pull back and look at the page and evaluate how it's looking, then I can add weight later on. I can also paint and then later on add more detail with the pen at the end. Right now, I'm drawing little vines and I'm kind of just making little squiggles. My style is very loose. It's sort of the combination of everything that gives it an overall realistic quality. I do have a photograph on my phone that this was sketched a little bit more in fine detail. I have my sketchbook with me and I planned it out a little bit on the spot, but then I followed up with a photograph. I find it's very important for me to sort of add my own style to my drawings by not referencing the photo in this stage. So, I'm really just going by memory what I feel is happening so that it has just a little bit of more of me in it. The perspective, the placement base, that was all done using a reference photo. But now I'm just adding little bits of details from memory. When I shade with ink, I usually do this sort of cross-hatch kind of technique. It's not exact and I don't have it down to a science, but I find it for me it works really well. This is the whether. I put this in another little box. I just thought it was nice the square door to have these other little squares. It just sort of something that happened in the sketching stage. Again, it's just the idea of filling these empty spaces however you wish. I'm not filling them with drawing, but I am squaring off some little things that I want to highlight like the date and the weather. I decided to draw this a little bit highlighted, so the space around it has its own spot on the page. There's so much construction going on in this door or this house, you might not be there forever. So, I'm just documenting a thought about it. Each day we pass this door at least once on the way to the park. Number three, Doughty Street. Now that I have a good idea of the ink, I might add a little bit more later actually. Also, after I reference the photo I might see a little detail here and there that I missed. I'm going to now erase with a big eraser the pencil lines that are underneath and I'll be careful to erase the last thing I drew last so that I don't smudge any of the ink. Okay. So, now I'm going to start painting and that's when this will all really come to life and I can sort of push and pull things a little bit and make myself a little bit more comfortable with how the finished piece is going to look. Now, I will reference my photograph that's on my phone. So right now, I'm mixing a color for the wall. I don't know exactly why I'm choosing to start here other than I think the natural process of starting light and getting darker and building it kind of works for me. So, I'm starting with this sort of wash of color in the background. As you can see, I can paint right over the ink. It's fully waterproof which I really enjoy being able to do. So, I'm just sort of getting a general overview with color and I will go back in and add more fine details later on but I'm just blocking out areas of color for now. So, I finished painting very loosely areas of color and I think in this particular case, some of the darks and lights will be better captured going back in with my pen. So, I left two areas blank that I knew I would want to just go in and sort of write as like a regular journal entry. Maybe reasons why I chose this, other things that happened during the day just little notes anything that comes to mind. So, this is the designated writing area. I walked the Yoda soccer practice for the second time last week and stopped to capture this doorway. He was a little impatient with me asking me to stop drawing. But I kept on for another five minutes or so. Up here it says, this is the second sketch for my Skillshare class. I chose something simple, but it winds up being a little more detailed. The vines require a bit more time than allotted on camera, cest la vie. So, I think it's important to leave some spaces for your writing around your drawings just to have a space to reflect and have stream of consciousness thoughts whatever you feel like writing about. It can also really complete and hold together a page. So, now that this is finished, I'm pretty happy with it. I would probably go back in and add some more detail, but I think it's time for us to move on. I think that this is a really great example of just capturing one moment. This is something that I pass a few times a week, sometimes multiple times a day with my son and normally we pass right by without noticing. This is just, it's really rewarding for me to really take in a moment on the street that I see every day and just make it special and highlighted it, capture a memory that way. So, now that we've finished the hero image page, now we're going to move on to a map of your entire day. 5. Composition II: The Roadmap: So, the next layout we're going to do, I'm calling it a Roadmap layout, which is really just starting in one corner and working your way up and down, and up and down, or round in a circle. However you choose. Just recording bits and pieces of your day, from morning up until bed time. It's sort of a go to for me. I really enjoy making these pages, people really respond to them well. These little drawings can consist of stick figures. They can just be gestural. These drawings, for me, I barely even have to sketch them. They're just little cute representations of the stages of my day. So, for this page that we're going to finish together, I'm going to finish on camera. I've already sketched the whole thing out. This is usually how I create these pages. Sometimes, I'll just throw my sketchbook, and a pencil, and an eraser in my bag and that's it, because I just don't want to have a lot of stuff with me. So, that's what I did. On October 4th, I carried my book around and I did one of these busy day pages. So, I'm going to lead you through inking it. We'll sort of go through how I fill in spaces that I might not have filled in already with the pencil. Again, it's a loose guide for me. I have it pretty exact in this sketch, just because I was going to let a few days pass before finishing it but then I'm going to add, at the end, just a little bit of paint. Just to have things pop, maybe give some depth to some of the objects. Similarly to last time, I'm going to start in the corner and the upper left corner and work my way down. I might even go back up to the top and work my way down. If I'm working on this quickly, I don't want to have my hand running over areas where I recently inked to avoid smudges. What I like about this layout is that I can work on it sporadically throughout the day. I can start in the corner in the morning when I'm having my morning coffee, put my sketchbook away in my bag, come back to it midday, maybe when I'm having a snack. A lot of times, on really busy days, that sort of just seep into the week and in the month and into the year. You don't even know really what happened, what was accomplished. I find it really gratifying for me to capture those days on paper, so that I can say "I spent two hours at the computer. I met with somebody at this time. I help my son with his homework. What we had for dinner and then I'm in bed." I think it's really nice on these very busy days to have a record and see at the end of the day how much you accomplished. So, I just finished the ink. Keep in mind that this is something that you can easily do without sketching in pencil first. You can just have your pen and your sketchbook out, and you can just doodle along as you go throughout the day. This would also work if you just wanted to do just a few little glimpses of your day, little sections of your day. Especially if you have a vertical size sketchbook, you can just start at the beginning of the day, capture sort of the morning essence through little drawings, the middle of the day and then nighttime. Again, it's not an exact science. It's just something that I enjoy doing and people seem to respond well to. I find it really enjoyable taking my sketchbook around as I go throughout the day. Now, I'm going to add some paint, but I don't really use a lot of paint on these pages. I just use enough to add some little pops of color. I like to always color in my arrows, giving your eye a place to go from step, to step, to step. Then, just little bits to give the objects some depth and some shadow. Normally, I would go back in and with my pen and really correct any little mistakes and highlight certain words, make certain parts of the letters thicker and thinner, so that they stand out more. I think, if you know my work and you've seen these finished pages, they are a little bit more refined. That's usually because I go back in with the pen. Today, I'm not going to do that, just for interest of time, but as you can see, I really just made the arrows stand out the most because I want to sort of capture this roadmap idea. The drawings are really just little doodles. They're not really defined. They're not exact. They're just little fun representations of the little things I did during the day. When you create something out of just this normally like fleeting crazy busy day that just blends into the week, it just makes it special, it celebrates it. Celebrates just those two hours you spent at the computer. The little bit of math homework that your son had, that you made sure he did. There's just something special about capturing those memories as a whole. Specifically, do you really care that you spent two hours at the computer? No. But as a part of a whole day, it add a whole new life and meaning. So, for the last layout, we're going to start playing with collage. 6. Composition III: The Collage: So, for this last layout, I am using the template that I created for you to reference and I'm going to reference it as I go. I don't have a plan, but I'm excited to just explore on camera and share my process with you. I'm not going to be drawing too much, I'm going to be painting, collaging, gluing things down. This process I find really meditative and I just find it's a little less pressure, it's just free. I used to do a lot of patterns, I might incorporate some of that today, I'm not sure yet. I just take it as it comes and I find I'm still using bits and pieces from my day, it's a different way of drawing my day. Today, I'm just going to start with a date in the corner that I marked on the template and I'm going to just do that myself and I'm going to play around with a little bit of letter forms, just have fun with it. So, just in the interest of following my own guidelines here. I've said to do a small spot like a coffee or a food item. So, I'm just going to draw that really loosely. It had some fish in it, so I'll draw a little fish, just some squiggles for the letters. Then here it says the weather or my mood and I might just represent that in color, I'm not really sure. So, I'm going to leave this empty for now. So, we're not going to do any more drawing than that for now, just going to start playing around with some of these items. I've got this white here and I can easily draw this tag but I think I'm going to actually use the real, the actual sticker, so I kind of like it. Building from a corner, I always tend to do this. I get cards and this is by an artist, so I really don't want to use too much of his work on my page and the people who own the store might shutter at me doing this, but I'm going to peel off the layers of this card just to get some bits and pieces of the color. I like torn edges when I'm playing with collage. I might put it underneath this page and you can see through it. I'm just going to play around with how am I going to work through this. There's also this fabulous tissue paper that was in the bag and this was the most fun packaging. I'm going to tear off a piece of it, here we go. So, this is what I did and what I illustrated in my template here. It's just like mountains of color here at the bottom. I mean if you can see, I almost have half my page just now. I think I like the way that looks, so now I'm going to start gluing some things down, and I'm very casual about this process. Later on, I can go back in with some glue, but for now I just want to get the bits down. So, as you can see I'm having things just fall right off the page because when you go back in and trim, it cleans it up, it contains it. So, it's almost like a lens, when you're looking at the world through a camera. There's so much happening outside of your frame. Whether you're drawing or collaging, it really just pulls everything and gives everything life, just having it fall right off the edge. So, I'm turning the page around and I'm just cutting off anything that's falling off the edge. Sometimes, I'll even take the other side of the sticker I think I might actually play with that, lets put that up here, but that's cool. So, I've got some metallic cap in here and then I put that in the top of the page. I think for me it's so freeing, it's like childhood, having pair of scissors, and a glue stick, and different colored papers, and you just sort of glue it all down and layer things on top of each other, it's really so much fun for me. So, look at that, it's already coming together and I haven't even done much. So, this guy Mike Perry's illustration. He's awesome, I love him. I was very happy to get pieces of his tissue paper for this store and I'm going to credit him on this page cause I am using his artwork. But I'm just going to finish this flower. I'm not sure how he made it, I'm not going to even reference it but I'm going to finish that up. I do that a lot with collage patterns and materials, it's fun to just actually redraw some of the pieces. So, another benefit to this kind of page is, sometimes I don't really know what I want to do. I don't really know what I want to draw and we all have that problem. I always say you can draw what's right in front of you but you can also use the materials that are right in front of you, things that you just put in the garbage. Don't throw it away, save it, work it into your page. I bought a shirt at this store, it's one of my favorite stores in Brooklyn, it was almost just as much fun for me to get their shopping bag with the tissue, the collage, and the sticker, and experience that at home, so I'm preserving it. I'm preserving just that little bit of fun and that experience on my page. That was a part of my day just like passing the door on my way to soccer or the road map. This is a different capture. The other thing is just a stepping off point to just add your color. Pink is not something I tend to usually use in my pages but here's a great opportunity to add some pink in my life. I have two boys, I live with three boys, so I don't get a lot of pink. So, while some of the paint is drying, I am inking my day. I'm pretty happy with it. I could erase it. I usually go with my initial sketch for things. I feel like it was meant to be, the marks my pencil made and I'm going to stick with it. Does this lettering go with the rest of the page? Maybe not, but I think it'll work okay. So, what I'm working on here in the corner is just the color of the weather today. It's sort of the mood, sort of just the weather as well. So, I've got great, happy blue but also a little bit of a cloud there because it was cloudy this morning. Now, it's nice there's orange here and I had some salmon for lunch, so I'm going to pick up a little bit of that orange salmon color. In general, that's something I like to do, I like to connect things with color, I might exaggerate it here a little bit, make it a little more orange to pull that together. So, in the middle here, just because I like to do this on pages where I don't want to draw a lot, I'm going to write in a quote that I have found on a postcard. I picked it up at the cafe near me and it's about New York. This is a very New York page, this is a store that I love, an art of a local artist. So, it's all going to be a little New York moment. What I like about including quotes in my journals is that I just simply feel like other people have said things that I want to say and I just don't have the words or somebody thought it and put the words together for me and so it speaks to me and I like capturing them. I also often incorporate quotes for my kids, so that they can look back on these books and read things that celebrated people have said, even members of their family, or people who passed away. It just honors the time and a place and uses in words that I can't say on my own or write on my own. So, this is just an example of a collage page. I definitely would go back into this and add a little bit more detail and fine tune some of the elements, I would probably clean up some areas, and I might actually go back and do that when we're finished. But I find it's super freeing, I just gathered a bunch of stuff together and this to me is just as much a drawing of my day as the road map. It's just a very different expression and I hope it gives you some ideas for your own journal. 7. Final Thoughts: So, you've made it to the end of the class. I'm feeling really good about what we did together, what I created on camera for you and I think it gives you a good idea of my process. Drawing your days however you choose to draw them is really meditative, it's very rewarding, and it's a gift to yourself, it's time to get to know the world around you better and to get to know yourself better. If you can't do it every day, that's okay, you can set a time once a week to do it or you can just set aside just 10 minutes a day and then finish one page a week. If you're comfortable sharing your artwork, we would love to see it. So, please feel free to upload your pages to the project gallery. I really hope you enjoyed the class. I enjoyed making it and mostly, I hope that you enjoy creating your own journal pages. 8. Explore More Classes on Skillshare: