Use Your Sketchbook! Make Drawing an Essential Part of Your Life | Jesse LeDoux | Skillshare

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Use Your Sketchbook! Make Drawing an Essential Part of Your Life

teacher avatar Jesse LeDoux, Illustrator, Artist, Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Intro

      1:04
    • 2. Choosing a Sketchbook

      2:01
    • 3. Your New Buddy

      1:06
    • 4. Drawing is a Muscle, Not a Bike

      2:09
    • 5. Take a Peek

      6:06
    • 6. Here's Where You Come In

      0:43
    • 7. Conclusion

      1:00
    • 8. Bonus

      3:11
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

1,125

Students

1

Project

About This Class

Attention all illustrators/artists/designers/humans! How often do you use your sketchbook? If your answer is, "Daily!" then you're doing great and go use your time on some other incredible class. If your answer is anything else, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS. As a creative person, it's crucial to make your sketchbook a strong part of your life. 

This class is not about sketching technique. It's about the 'how' and 'why' your sketchbook should be a part of your daily routine. (Spoiler: It's easy! Just takes some dedication!)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jesse LeDoux

Illustrator, Artist, Designer

Top Teacher

Born in Portland, Oregon, Jesse LeDoux worked for many years as an art director for Seattle-based Sub Pop Records where he created iconic album and poster artwork for such artists as the Shins ('Best album packaging' Grammy nominee for Chutes Too Narrow), Iron and Wine and Death Cab for Cutie before leaving in 2004 to focus on his client-based and personal work at LeDouxville.

Parallel to working on commercial illustration and collaborative projects for such clients as Starbucks, Nike, Disney, Giro, Rapha, Penguin UK and Target, he has exhibited internationally. His work was included in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial (2007), an installation at the University of Maryland (2008), and has work in the permanent collection of the Experience Music Project (Seattle, WA), R... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

Transcripts

1. Intro: Admit it. As you head out of the house, you grab your keys and your phone but you never think to grab your sketchbook, right? This is a huge mistake. Maintaining a sketchbook helps you see better. It helps you remember better. It helps you think better and of course, it helps you draw better. This class is about changing your habits. It's about living the creative life you want to live. With a few simple tips, you can be filling up the sketchbooks quicker and make drawing a deeper part of your practice. My name is Jesse LeDoux and I'll be the first to admit, filling up sketchbooks are hard but they're important. I'm a professional picture maker with work that's been nominated for a Grammy, work in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, and even a [inaudible] Come with me and we'll make your sketchbook an essential part of your life. 2. Choosing a Sketchbook: Choosing a sketchbook. This is the most important step. With the wrong sketchbook, you'll never use it, but if you find the right one, using it will be easy. There are hundreds of different kinds out there. There's big, small, thick, thin, hard, soft. Think about your life and choose a sketchbook that works with it. If you always carry a bag, you can get away with a bigger sketchbook. If you're a minimalist, try to find the smallest sketchbook possible. There are no wrong answers. I have a friend who even sew a pocket into his favorite jacket that perfectly fit his favorite sketchbook. This one is horizontal, which is cool. The elastic band on Moleskines are nice because it keeps them contained when you're not using them. Just try experimenting with different types until you find the right one. Also, think about the paper inside. Do you like thicker paper with a bit of tooth or is thinner and smoother better for you? Do you like to use both sides of the paper or just one side? Do you prefer to use a pencil, pen, paint, the medium you prefer will help you choose the right sketchbook for you. I prefer a 0.9 millimeter mechanical pencil. The lead is thick so it doesn't snap if I press too hard. With that pencil, I can pretty much use any paper thickness. If the paper is thin, I'll typically only use one side of the page, but for sketchbooks with thicker paper, I'll draw on both sides. Also think about the paper inside, is it blank, ruled, does it have a grid? I personally love blank because it gives me the flexibility to use the page however I want, but other people I know love ruled or having a grid. Experiment and find what works best for you. 3. Your New Buddy: Your new buddy. Now that you've found your perfect sketchbook, or at least found a sketchbook, it's time to put the thing to use. Keep it with you at all times. Make sure it's always within easy reach. Digging for it in the bottom of your bag means it's too far away. If you find yourself with a couple of minutes of downtime, instead of pulling out your phone, pull out your sketchbook, your email, Instagram, whatever, will still be there later. But these thoughts and experiences, they're fleeting, and grab them while you have them. Set a goal for yourself and stick to it. Remember, this is for you, so make sure your goal is realistic. Start small and see where it takes you. Maybe commit to filling three pages a day or even one. When you find yourself with a free moment, instead of pulling out your phone, grab your sketchbook, and find some interesting detail around you to draw or don't and find what's swirling around in your brain at the moment. 4. Drawing is a Muscle, Not a Bike: Drawing is a muscle, not a bike aka benefits. It's inevitable that drawing more frequently will make you better at drawing. Drawing is a muscle, it's not a bike. By that I mean it's not like a bike where you can hop back on after six months and pick right back up where you left off. A muscle takes work to develop and strengthen. Similarly, drawing more will unlock new ideas, thoughts, and directions for you to take your work. There are also some other benefits to filling up those sketchbooks. Sketches make your memories more vibrant. I'll look back through my sketchbooks and can be transported back to the moment I was drawing it. I can immediately remember how things smelled, what I was hearing just by looking at an old drawing. Sometimes the exact opposite can be true. I'll have absolutely no recollection of some of the drawings in my sketchbook. I love these because when they're good, I can end up using the sketch as the basis for a new piece that I'm working on. It's like finding someone else's drawing that you really like and ripping it off which is very bad. But when you're ripping yourself off, it's great. Sketching makes the mundane interesting. When you draw something, you have to understand how elements work together. How do these bricks on the wall meet the window? That signpost is a little bent, did a car bump it? Frequent sketching also allows you the opportunity to experiment more. Nothing is precious in the sketchbook. Try drawing something different and see where it leads. Draw the same thing over and over and see how it changes with each time. These small experiments will give you the freedom to try and fail and learn that sometimes these failures can lead to your biggest breakthroughs. Most importantly, drawing is fun. Creation is better than consumption. What do you have to show for the hours that you scroll through Instagram? A pile of sketchbooks is way cooler. 5. Take a Peek: I put this approach to practice on a trip to New Orleans, a place I had never been. I'll give you a tour of my New Orleans sketchbook. I had the intention of doing five drawings a day. I quickly realized that five was a little too ambitious and it might cut into my sightseeing a bit too much, so I pulled it back to three. I started with the drawing of the view outside my hotel room. But quickly, we needed to head out the door to get some sightseeing done. So this drawing ended up being an amalgamation of a bunch of places that I visited throughout my trip. I would always just go back to this page and add small details of the city, whatever I was looking at at the moment to this page, and it created this really weird and fun mishmash of a lot of moments that I've experienced on this trip. Saw some street musicians. Sometimes you've got to draw pretty quick if you're on the go. Had lunch. Had some beignets. With all of this, I chose to not draw people. I find people a little less interesting than animals, and so I felt like on this trip, it would be more interesting to draw all my experiences seeing humans as animals. I was waiting for a table at a breakfast place, and as I was standing outside the restaurant, this guy on a bike rode by and just yelled out, yeah, Bingo, and if I hadn't put it into the sketch, I would never have remembered that, and now every time I see this drawing, it just brings back this flood of great memories because it was just such a weird moment of this guy riding down the street and he just yells, yeah, Bingo. My friend Dan stole a page. There were moments where I needed to hit my quota of three days, so I did some pretty quick sketches because it was a pretty activity filled day. Wrangling small humans. On this one, I had some time, so I could just sit and capture a more detailed drawing of what I was seeing. If you can believe it, this actually isn't that far off from what I actually saw. There was a guy in a super crazy outfit just walking down the street holding a bucket. Went to a cemetery. That's Nick Cage's Pyramid Tomb in the back. Guy sitting on a bench having a drink. Went to a show at Preservation Hall and then got caught in a rainstorm directly after that. I drew this while we were hoping that the rain would die down quickly. It didn't and we have to make a run for it, which is also why the top portion of the sketchbook is water damaged. But that's the beauty of sketchbooks, is it doesn't matter, isn't it? It adds to the patina of your experiences. Had some lunch, drew the table. Saw a band warming up. At this point, I wanted to add a little bit more weirdness into the scenes that I was drawing. I didn't want to do something totally straightforward. There was a statue behind this wall, and I figured it would be a little more interesting if it were a giant head. The city skyline as I was sitting on a bus waiting for it to take off. Then I went out into the swamp and saw some birds and an alligator. The birds I saw only had two feet, but I enjoyed drawing the feet on this guy, so I just kept going. Then another bird. 6. Here's Where You Come In: Here's where you come in, set a goal for yourself. This really depends on how detailed you draw. If you're quick, go for 10 a day. If you're slow, or you'd like to add it a lot of details to your sketches, then one drawing a day is great. Whatever that number is, stick to it. Don't go to bed until you've hit your goal. Try this for a week. After a week, post your drawing to the project gallery. Let us know your challenges. Let us know what tricks you've learned. Let us know what worked, what didn't work, what you've loved about it, what hasn't worked about it. 7. Conclusion: Conclusion. Here are some things to remember. Find a sketchbook that fits your lifestyle. Make sure it's always within reach. Drawing is a muscle, not a bike. Sketches make memories more vibrant. The mundane becomes interesting. Creation is better than consumption. Finding time is hard, don't get discouraged. It feels really good. Thanks for taking this class. Please share your work in the project gallery. Please document your successes, failures, tricks, and tips in the discussion section, and most importantly, go draw. Thank you. 8. Bonus: Yeah. Okay. Hi.