How to Draw Aliens: A Sketchbook Adventure in Chile | Mike Lowery | Skillshare

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How to Draw Aliens: A Sketchbook Adventure in Chile

teacher avatar Mike Lowery, Illustrator and Author

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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

    • 1.

      Welcome to the Class


    • 2.

      The Class Project


    • 3.

      Materials and Supplies


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Designing Aliens


    • 6.

      Alien World


    • 7.

      Chile Sketchbook Tour


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Are you looking for a fun project to do in your sketchbook? 

Join Author, Illustrator, and Avid Sketchbook-keeper Mike Lowery as he packs his sketchbook and flies to Chile in search of ALIENS. Along the way he'll show you his favorite art supplies and you'll create some drawings in your sketchbook.

This class has TWO awesome projects.
You’ll design some aliens in your sketchbook and then create an incredible home planet where they can live.

Mike Lowery is the New-York-Times Bestselling Illustrator of more than 80 children's books, greeting cards, food trucks and loads of other projects. Oh, and he loves to draw ALIEN STUFF. A few months back, he read an article about a short stretch of road in Chile where more extra-terrestrial sightings are reported than almost anywhere else in the world. So, he decided it would be the perfect place to see a UFO in person.

Wait, did he really go to Chile?

Yep! Included in the class are two bonus videos:

  • Searching for Aliens, the super-short mini video where you follow Mike from Santiago to Patagonia. Did he find any aliens? Watch to find out!
  • Chile Sketchbook Walkthrough, see Mike’s actual sketchbook from his 10-day trip. 

Who is this class for?
Anyone! If you’re a beginner, this is a great, low-pressure class. If you’re a bit more advanced, this class will help you develop some new characters.

What art supplies do I need?
No special materials are required! You can draw with whatever you’ve got at home, like pencils, paper, pens, and ink. Whatever you’d like to use.

See a list of my favorite supplies here.

Wait, can I do the projects on an iPad?
Yep! An iPad is a great tool to use as your daily sketchbook. If you haven’t made the jump yet to draw digitally, check out Mike’s other class, Procreate Drawing Party! It’s the most fun way to learn Procreate quickly.



Students in this class get Mike's incredible guide to social media TOTALLY FREE.

Download Instagram for Illustrators HERE.


Ready for more sketchbook fun?

Check out Mike’s other classes to help inspire you to get into a daily habit of keeping a sketchbook.


See a full list of the art supplies used in this class here.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mike Lowery

Illustrator and Author

Top Teacher


Mike Lowery is an author, New York Times bestselling illustrator, public speaker, and an avid sketchbook-er.

He's been keeping one every day for more than TWENTY years, and he's on a mission to get you to keep one, too.

Ready to learn how to make digital illustration on an iPad? Check out the


Want to watch the WEIRDEST sketchbooking class on Skillshare?

How to Draw Aliens: A Sketchbook Adventure in Chile 


Want to START a daily sketchbook habit? Check out 

ALWAYS DRAWING, part one. How To Start and Keep a Daily Sketchbook

Not sure what to draw? Check out:
ALWAYS DRAWING, part two. 7 Creative Exercises to Jumpstart Your Sketch... See full profile

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1. Welcome to the Class: [MUSIC] Hello, I'm author, illustrator, avid sketchbook-keeper, Mike Lowery. In this class, we're going to fly all the way to South America to draw UFOs in Chile. That's right. We're going to design some alien characters and a fun outer space scene in our sketchbooks, plus I'm going to show you some just general tips for drawing while you travel. Now, I like to draw something in my sketchbook every single day. It's become my goal to get you in the daily habit of drawing in your sketchbook as well. To help, I like to give easy exercises that you can do on your own when you're stuck and you cannot think of something to draw. One of my absolute favorite things to draw is alien stuff, like UFOs and rocket ships, little green dudes, and tractor beams, but illustrating the paranormal can be a really big challenge and the reason is because photo evidence is slim so artists often have to make up how these things look and they just pull features and attributes right out of thin air. But not me. I, at heart, I'm a scientist and I knew that if I was going to draw something, it had to be very accurate. Since there aren't a lot of photos of aliens, I knew that I was going to have to go see some in person with my own eyes. Do you know what the Number 1 place on this planet is for spotting unexplainable events in the sky? If you're thinking Roswell, guess again, it's not Roswell. It's actually a 30-kilometer trail in rural Chile called the San Clemente UFO Trail. In fact, more unidentified objects are reported in that one stretch than anywhere else in the world. Frequent sightings means it's the perfect place to see an alien for me to draw. I pack my bags and my sketchbook, some other supplies, and I flew to South America to check it out for myself. Join me in this class as I go looking for aliens and UFOs and I draw some aliens and I find some new stuff that you can do in your sketchbook to fill it up. This is just the class for you if you've been looking for new stuff to put in your sketchbook. This is How to Draw Aliens: A Sketchbook Adventure in Chile, with me, Mike Lowery. 2. The Class Project: [MUSIC] Let's just jump right in, let's talk about the class project. This is the thing that you're going to actually make during this class. In this class, you're going to do two projects. I'm going to give you tips on how to do both as we progress through the course. Now, you can complete these as you move through the lessons, or you can just watch the videos and then complete them on your own. The first project is going to be to design some aliens. Now, whether your goal is just to get into the habit of keeping a sketchbook or if you want to get paid illustration assignments, character design is a really great and important thing to practice and to eventually show in your portfolio. The second project is going to be to take those characters, some of the characters that you create in project number 1, and create a little world for them to live in. Now, I see a lot of portfolios with just random floating characters, and that's a really great place to start. It's a good thing to do in your sketchbook. But let's give those characters some depth by giving them somewhere to exist. I'm going to show you each step for both of these projects. If you get tempted to skip ahead at any point, don't do it. Don't skip ahead, follow along, watch them in order. These lessons are going to build on each other and we're going to create our final pieces using each step in the lessons. Now, it's going to be totally up to you. Is your UFO going to be funny and friendly? Is it going to be spooky? Is it going to be scary? Does your alien live on a lush planet full of strange plants or a barren, rocky, moon-covered planet with sci-fi pods and machines? It's up to you. Now I have three goals for the class. One is for you to design some of your own characters. Number 2, it's for you to use your imagination to build a world for the characters you create and where they can exist. Here it is, goal number 3, which is my super secret bonus class goal for the class that you are taking with me, author and illustrator, Mike Lowery. Should I mentioned New York Times best-selling? Should I say the thing about New York Times best? Anyway, the main reason, the real reason that I'm making this entire class, is that I want you to have an exercise that you can do in your sketch book every single time you feel stuck. These exercises are exactly the ones that I use when I make that time to draw. I sit down, I find time for my sketchbook, but I don't have an idea. I find that it's much easier to be creative when you have guidelines and project suggestions, rather than just sitting down and looking at a blank page and then being like, "Here it goes, my idea for this page is." That's tough. It's really hard to do it. That's why I made this class. It's the main reason that I put all of these things together so you can no longer say, "I want to draw something, but I can't think of anything." That's the class project and the goals for the class. Go to the next lesson where we're going to take a look at some materials that I like to use when I travel and draw while I'm moving around, and also some of the materials that I'm going to use for this class. I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Materials and Supplies: [MUSIC] Let's talk about recommended materials, some tools that you should use for this class. Now, out the gate, I should say, I really recommend that you draw in a sketchbook for this project because I want you to get into the habit of keeping a sketchbook but if step 1, finding a good sketchbook is going to keep you from drawing, don't worry about it, just draw with whatever paper you have at home or maybe you can even draw on your iPad, I'll talk about that more in just a second but let's look at some of my favorite materials for drawing when I travel and things that I'm going to be using for the projects and I'm going to show you. Now, first, I'm going to show you this is the sketchbook that I carry with me when I travel, I have some stickers from it from different trips. This is a speed ball travel sketchbook. I'll put more information about it in the lesson materials. This is a little bag I carry with me, look, I censored it right here because it's like a product, I guess this one. This is the bag that I carry with me when I travel. Inside it, I've carried this bag for a few years. This is exactly what I carry with me every time I travel, these few little items. You see I'm not taking way too much stuff, this looks cluttered right now. We'll get this stuff out of the way. These are the actual things that I carry with me when I travel, I carry an eraser and I carry a Tombow brush pen, I carry a water brush that's got water and India ink mixed together, I carry a very cheap pencil, I usually carry two or three of these just in case. I got two in here. I carry with me a uni-ball vision pen. Later, when you see my sketchbook, it's all drawn first in pencil, typically with pencil, and then I draw the line in ink and then I erase with the eraser and then I add gray wash with this. So that is what I carry with me when I travel, I take notes with those, you can see I'll do a little sneak peek here. Here's a look at what that looks like, I have got pen and ink here, and I do that gray wash with that brush pen, so here's a little sneak peek at my sketchbook. Some other supplies that I really like are the sketchbook that I'm going to be using in all of my videos is this one from Illo, as they do not sponsor me, they sent me some a few years ago and I've been using them ever since. You'll notice here, I do not have my contact information in the front, I do in the other book, I didn't show you because then you guys would be sending me weird emails calling me and asking me about my home mortgage, or whatever. But this one I don't because I never take this sketchbook on the house, this is the sketchbook that I've used over the years for demos and for sketches for videos. These are really, really great sketchbooks, they've got perfect paper, this weird, soft, interesting finish to the front, but the paper is the best. I will not be using this in this class, but I really like these watercolor sets, just a simple, cheap watercolor set, I don't even know who makes this one. It's not good for the company that I can't say it, but the lid broke off and I've just been using it for a couple of years. I also use, if you've looked at any of my classes before, I love Posca markers. These are acrylic paint markers that you can use. They lay down very opaque, very mat finished, so if you've got a lighter color, you can paint with these markers and then draw right over top of it. Also, later on, I'm going to be using color pencils, I do not do professional work with color pencils. I used colored pencils for this class because I wanted it to be something, whatever you've got around, here's another one, those mechanical pencils, I told you they're everywhere, here's another Tombow brush pen. Here is another type of brush pen, this is an actual more traditional type of brush pen. These are good to play around with, I'm going to show you that one in my sketchbook a little bit later but for this class, whatever materials you've got, whatever you want to use is perfect for these assignments. These are some of my tools, these are my sketchbooks, these are my tools here and here we go, but feel free to use for these projects, anything that you want to use. You can even use an iPad, of course, you can use an iPad, I carry one with me when I travel and if you haven't used one yet, I made another class called Procreate Drawing Party that will teach you how to use Procreate, which is my favorite program for drawing on an iPad. [MUSIC] Now we've got all of our favorite supplies together, you've got a bag maybe or sketchbook, you've picked out some pens that you like, colored pencils, you're going to put those things together because now it's time to fly down to Chile and draw some aliens. I'm going to go too late for this project, so join me in the next lesson where we're going to start drawing in our sketchbooks. 4. *SEARCHING FOR ALIENS!*: [MUSIC] From the second that I landed in Chile, I had one goal and that was to find an extra terrestrial that I could draw in my sketchbook. But as you can imagine, aliens are pretty hard to find. Which meant I had to look all over that country, from the mountains and rivers to the busy mountain passes. I searched everywhere, always with a sketchbook in hand. That meant even if I was exploring waterfalls and hot steam baths, I had to keep my eyes peeled for aliens. [MUSIC] If there was an alien next to this waterfall, I would have seen it because my eyes were peeled. I drew on the entire trip like when I was waiting for taxis or even when I was taking a break eating local foods like these empanadas or these tortillas that we found on a roadside stand. I became totally immersed in Chilean culture. I started reading local contemporary newspapers and buying my produce at roadside stands. But I knew with only a few days left, if I was going to see an alien, I was going to have to get to higher ground. I rode this ski lift all the way to the top of a mountain and looked out over Santiago, but still nothing. I made my way back down and went to a local festival. I didn't find any extra terrestrials. I was starting to think that I was never going to find the one thing that I came to Chile looking for. [MUSIC] Towards the end of the trip, things started getting a little weird. I had the feeling that somebody was watching me. I had the feeling that something was close. But what was it? [MUSIC] 5. Designing Aliens: It is time to design some aliens. In this lesson, we're going to start drawing and design some aliens, some extra terrestrial beings in our sketchbook. Let's just go ahead and open up your sketch book. If you don't have a sketchbook that you're in love with, that's okay. You can just use some paper. I'm going to be using this uni-ball pen. It's one of my go-to pens. I'm just going to start drawing just like, you know, whatever the first thing that you think of when you think of aliens. I tend to make mine look a little bit like bugs a lot of time. When I think about aliens, I don't necessarily think always a big yellow eyes and those weird green heads or whatever, I tend to think about stuff that's a little bit more organic or natural, things that we would see on this planet, but just a different version of it. So the only thing that I'm really doing right now while I draw is to just get something down on paper. You're not sitting and overthinking it. You're not overly concerned about the design of the character. All we're doing right now is just drawing. I started with this bug head looking thing with some antenna and now I'm just adding astronaut body to mine. The entire goal with this whole page maybe even a whole spread is to just keep going, keep your pen moving. You want to make faces, arms and legs. Maybe you want to draw some more stereotypical looking aliens, things that you've seen before. But what I'm really trying to do is to just break away from the way that I normally would just sit down and draw the same thing. So maybe I'll start here on this one with a more typical alien head but I'm going to add these weirdo eyes, just more of an insect looking. Look at this. I'm going to end this little section in here. I'm going to put a little mouth on mine. The more you start to play around with it and alter things, you might think of little things that fit really well with this design that you're making. Again, the idea of this is to just keep moving. I'm using a pen that I like to use. But maybe you want to start yours with pencil, maybe yours has this slug looking eyes. I use these slug eyes a lot because I think they have a lot of expression and they're funny but they right away read as an alien. I'm going to try a lot of different types of mouths as I'm drawing in mine. Your goal should be to just keep things rolling. Maybe you want to just do a whole section on eyes. Let me do a couple of little eyes here. Now this is one that looks a little bit like that praying mantis looking alien that I did. Here's some crazy eyebrows and weird bugs under the eyes. It's just like exhausted alien. But the more that you play around with these eyes and features and arms and legs, the more you're going to start figuring out what your version of an alien is. Maybe right now you're just copying what I'm doing. Maybe you're doing something on your own. Maybe you're really trying something different. But the more that you work on it, the more that you play around in your sketch book, the more that you try different things, the more you're going to find your version, the thing that you'd like to do. Another thing that I really like about this activity, which again, it just feels like playing around. It's not super structured right now. It's just drawing heads and eyes. But the more that you do this stuff in your sketchbook, the more you're going to start finding out these little stories. What I mean by finding out little stories is, I mean, you're going to start realizing that maybe when you're drawing a character, it's got an expression that you think is funny. Look at this, I made this tongue sticking out. You might start thinking of little stories that pop up that wouldn't happen if you were just sitting without your pen moving. I've got this alien here. Let me give you an example. I've got this alien here, but it's got a weird expression. So I'm going to do something that I think about a lot, which is that maybe for mine on this one, I'm going to put some tractor beam light sections here, and of course, I'm going to have some nuts and bolts that are holding my spaceship together. But the expression on this little alien has gotten me interested in what the personality of that alien would be. I'm just going to pretend like this one it's having a birthday and he's off flying on his own for some reason. There's this little expression that pops up. Then what I'm going to start thinking of on that is, is he flying around alone on his birthday, is he happy about it, is he sad, and that might actually turn into a story or a comic or some other bigger drawing that I might do later. Now, I've switched over to this Posca Marker because I like to try different markers and pens and pencils, lots of different types of technique when I'm working in a sketchbook. That's why it's so important to find a sketchbook or paper. If you're just using paper, you want to use something like Bristol board, but you want to find paper that handles materials really well, something that's really strong so that you really can experiment and try new things. Now I'm going to switch over to this brush pen now so that you can see it a little bit better. I will admit that I have sped up this video a little bit. If you're thinking, oh my goodness, Mike just draws so incredibly fast. I sped it up a little bit only because I thought you would get maybe a little bored if you watch this whole thing for 28 minutes. So I sped it up, but I'm using a brush pen now. This is something that I don't use in my professional illustration work very often. But I really like mixing it up because for a long time I used a brush pen because it's immediate, it's chunky, you don't have as much control over the line, and that can add a lot of fun stuff. Now you'll see with this alien, I started with this really simple shape. Both of these on this page, I started with a simple shape and built a character from there. Maybe you've got a story that's starting to form on your page, maybe you've got a character that you're starting to get connected to. Now, I'm only doing two pages in mine. I'm doing a full spread of these alien drawings, but this might be an activity that you want to do over the course of a week. Maybe you're doing a bunch of these every single day and you're really experimenting and really trying new things, new materials, new ways of drawing you're trying. Does your alien have eight legs, does it have two arms, and does it have hair? Is yours a hairy alien? Is yours scary? Is it scary and hairy? Maybe you have a scary hair alien. This is a little, I don't know what that expression is. I think that I end up doing that expression on. Let me do one more. I'm going to do this one a little bit more alligator-influenced or maybe like a frog-influenced. But you know, you can really break away from what you think of as the traditional alien. There's a lot of planets out there. Maybe our aliens live on a planet that's a lot more like ours. Here are mine. I'm going to now move over into the next lesson where I'm going to take some of these aliens and I'm going to start working on a whole alien world where they can exist. Finish yours up. I'll meet you in the next lesson where we're going to draw an alien planet. Let's do it. 6. Alien World : [MUSIC] In this lesson, we're going to design an alien planet. Now, in the first lesson, we created some cool aliens, but just floating around alien thing, it kind of needs a home, right? It needs a place to live. In this lesson, we're going to make our own world and it could be with rocks and lush plants or it could be weird moon surface-y machines like little cranes picking up rocks, stuff like that. Anyway, let's do it. Let's jump right in. Let's design an alien planet. All right. Let's do this again. Let's open up your sketchbook. With mine, I'm going to start with this bounding box. I'm going to start with a rectangle that I'm going to draw all the way around both pages on this spread. You might be drawing your alien world just one page, maybe yours is one piece of paper. But I'm going to start on mine by drawing this long outline all the way around it. The reason I like to do that is I don't really like to have my drawings just start in the middle of the page and then they have this floating aspect to it. I like to give myself a rectangle around my drawings. It makes it a little bit easier to work on your composition. I know that on mine, I'm going to have some planets and some other things that might be going outside of this frame. I'll show you that as I go. Now, I'm just going to jump right into it and I'm using pen right now because it's just easier for you to see it on the video. If I started penciling it out, you might not be able to see it as well. This is something that I have drawn a lot. I like to draw alien stuff a lot. I've said that before. If you saw on the video when I went to Chile, I didn't end up seeing any aliens. I'm having to make these up, which is fine. That was the idea. I didn't think that I was going to see any aliens in Chile. But I'm having to make this a world up, which means I'm going to be thinking about what types of things I would like to work into my alien world drawing. Now, yours might have some little cottages that your alien lives in. This doesn't have to be a standard alien world. It can be anything that you want. Mine is going to have the combination of some of these plants, flora and fauna, that I might find on an alien world. But I'm also going to work into it just what maybe work life would be like on an alien planet. So I'm drawing this guy here who's sitting in some control booth. It's a machine, I don't really know yet what I think that this machine is going to be, but I'm going to add some metal and bolts. I'm going to have it welded together. Maybe over on this side, what could this be? I'm going to add just some pieces. This might have part of a hose to it. Maybe this is some oxygen or whatever the breathing gases that you need on this alien planet. Maybe it's not called oxygen, maybe it's called phloxygen. I don't know. Listen you-all, I'm drawing while I'm talking. Just trying to make this stuff up as I go along. Maybe this is some little shelter. I'll put a little door on it. Maybe in a minute, I'll make a big window for it. But for your alien world, it's just whatever you want to do. I was going to say the space sky is the limit, but I think that that would still be the sky. The sky is the limit in space. Here, look. I'm making a big window on this shelter building. Now, what would your aliens be doing on a day-to-day basis? Would they be playing ping-pong? Some people call it table tennis. Maybe they call it something totally different in space. Now, I jumped right into drawing for mine because the class is short. All of the lessons I'm trying to keep them short. But sometimes, it also helps to just sit down and make a list of some things that you think that you'd like to see on an alien planet. Maybe you would picture what the mountains would look like or a volcano would look like on an alien planet. If I write volcano, then I start thinking about, well, how's the lava going to come out if the gravity is different than the gravity here on earth and that sort of thing? Now, I've turned my little control room shelter thing into this machine that's clearly mining these giant diamonds. Are these diamonds valuable on this planet? Are they not really worth very much? I'm going to start drawing. I was talking about a volcano earlier, I'm going to add this volcano here for the sake of making this video, not eight hours long, I have sped this up a little bit. This is how fast I normally draw. [inaudible] I've sped it up a little bit. What you should be doing is you can either start drawing your own, you can start drawing some of the same characters that I drew. Look, I've made a little Loch Ness Monster-looking alien. My plan it does have some grass and some bushes, some greenery. I'm making this really big giant alien in the back, which is kind of weird, kind of interesting. I'm going to add some typical space stuff, like a rocket ship. You saw that I put a satellite in earlier. These are all things that you could put on your list, they're all things that you can draw on your alien planet. But really, the goal is to just have a good time with it. Use some of the aliens that you created during your first exercise. Bring them over here and give them a place where they can exist. Maybe there's a little machine whose digging. Maybe it's just rocks and not much of anything else. I'm adding a little shooting star here. Look, here's some little bug aliens that I'm just now making up. Here's Saturn, of course, in the background. Again, my goal is just to work with it. None of the individual pieces in this drawing are very complex, they're all very simple. That tends to be the way that I like to make busy images, small, simple pieces that all fit together to look really complex. I recommend that you try this at some point in your sketchbook, something that's really complicated looking but that you're filling up the page with small little pieces that don't really take that much time to do. It would be easy for me to overwork this at this stage and keep adding in lots of little details. I'm going to wrap the pin part of mine up now. I'm going to now move over into using, you might want to use color. What I'm going to do here is I've got water mixed with India ink. This is what I almost always use in my demos because this is what I like to use in my sketchbook every day. But right now, what I'm doing is I've just got a little bit of India ink mixed with water that I keep in a little jar. I'm just painting that on with a brush. Now, you want to make sure that your sketchbook is able to handle wet media like this so that you're not making your page really wrinkly. You'll see I get a little bit of texture in my sketchbook from something to sweat. I've sped this up a lot because it took me a while to paint this. I don't want to lose you. I still want you to hang out and see the end of this video, so I sped mine up real fast. Maybe you color yours, maybe you leave yours alone. You might use colored pencil, watercolor, gouache, anything that you want to do. My suggestion is to really experiment, but here we go, this is mine. I can't wait to see what your sketchbook alien world looks like. That was a good one. We designed our own alien planet. Now you've got a place where your alien can exist, where it can live. It can have its own little alien family. Maybe it has its own little alien job that it goes to every morning. Sometimes it loves that job. Anyway, you get it. We design an alien planet in a world where it can live in. Now, in the next lesson, what I did was I kept a sketchbook the entire time I was in Chile. I'm going to show you every single page of that sketchbook in the next lesson. Finish up your alien planet if you haven't done so yet and whenever you're ready to move on, I'll see you in the next lesson where I'm going to show you my sketchbook. 7. Chile Sketchbook Tour: In this lesson, I'm going to show you the actual sketchbook that I kept on my trip to Chile when I went down and I was looking for UFOs. This is my actual real sketch book on the real trip that I took. Let's take a look.. The actual sketchbook that I took with me to South America. This is the type of sketch book that I typically carry when I travel. I can put all of the information about my sketchbook into the lesson material, but this is it. Here we go. Let's open it up. I'm going to switch pass some of these. Here we go. Let's get started. Look at this. I started to sketch before I left. Never even finished. Here we go. Day 1, Santiago. What I try to do when I travel is make notes. You'll see that in just a second. I try to make notes while I'm traveling around. Then I'm not illustrating a full story. I might just illustrate a few simple moments from the day. Things that I like, something that stood out. Landed in Santiago, walked around the city. There were protests that were happening all over town and there was a small explosion in the restaurant close to metal gates over the windows. I tried to do these. I'm making these notes during the day. I don't sit down every morning. I might make notes throughout the day and then whenever I can find time, I can actually start illustrating some of these notes. Day 2, we went to a canyon that was outside of Santiago, rented a car, we saw goats, we had a burger that I really liked. I made a note and that night there was an earthquake. You'll see here, I'm not going through and illustrating my feelings about an earthquake. I'm not going through and making this story about it. It's like, oh, and then all of a sudden you won't believe what happened. All I did was I wanted to make sure that I remembered to put the earthquake so I put the earthquake there. Day 3, again, making notes, testing out pens. That was a travel day. But one of the things that really stood out was this house that we had rented. I went down with a few friends of mine and the house that we rented had this really great view. I just did one image, one scene. This is Northern Patagonian. Day 4, this was a great day. Chilling Day 4. We went to a thermal hot springs and I loved it. I took a lot of pictures there and then later I did some drawings of that hot springs. The things that we really liked about it, this little path and went through it. All the smoke rising up. It felt really otherworldly, which is very fitting for this lesson where we're talking about aliens. This is my friend Caleb. He and I discussed the entire time there, we're traveling around South America, how great it would be to have a guitar with us. We were driving on the road. We saw a hand painted sign where this lady was selling guitars and we stopped and we actually we were able to buy one. Then we went to a market later. The next day, again, I made notes during the day. We drove, we had a pretty long drive that particular day. I just made notes of some of the things that we did. We stopped and had these tortillas, which we kept seeing on the menu and we didn't know if it would mean tortilla like as a chip or a flat shell, like a taco shell or something. It was neither of those things. It was like a sandwich. I just got one that had cheese on it. Then later on in that evening it was dusk on a rocky beach. This one sandwich takes up at least a quarter of this page here. It doesn't always have to be some exciting things, sometimes it might just be something that you tried, something that you ate, something funny that happened. But also coming in and drawing in a little map, a little section of a map can be a great way of breaking up your sketchbook. Let's take a look at the next page. I kept to some sticker that I got from a coffee shop. This is Day 6. We went through a little town Puerto Varas. I really liked the view, this old looking houses with a volcano in the background. I drew that, I drew a little waterfall that we went to. We went to the top of a volcano and it was incredibly windy up there. I just drew that again. Again, it just says top of volcano Osorno. I didn't write a whole story about it. It's just one little square, one moment from the day that I wanted to remember. The salmon at a roadside restaurant that was not my favorite meal on the trip. But I wanted to remember that it happened. Later that evening, barefoot stepped on my glasses. That was a low point, but I happen to have a backup pair of glasses. Always travel with backup glasses now. Luckily, I had a backup pair. I kept seeing these signs for Tina Caliente and I didn't know what that meant. I was like, who is this hot Tina I keep hearing about and it just means hot tub. I drew a tiny little picture of me in a hot tub. This one doesn't even have that gray value on it. But we decided one morning it had been a long trip so far, this is Day 7. A lot of traveling around. My friends and I decided that we would just stay in. It was really, really wet, really rainy. We just stayed in. I did some drawing. My friend Scott was editing some photos, my friend Caleb was playing with that guitar that I mentioned earlier and Kyler, the other friend that went with us, who also an artist, was planning where we could go on our next leg of the trip. While we were all doing that, we thought, let's take it easy. Then 45 minutes later we got bored and we drove for two hours to do a five-mile hike in the rain. Here's that hike in the rain. Scott, the photographer, had all of his camera gear on his back. You can see that he's got it on, it's like a hunchback looking because he's got a backpack under his wrinkle. It was absolutely pouring down rain. We got soaked and we loved it. Then we drove to La Arena, which is this small coastal village, is the furthest South. We could go in Chile without a boat. Then that's it. Then I got home and I got to see my wife and child. That is a little tour of my Chilean sketchbook. Again, the whole point is not that you would have some exciting trip to start a sketch book. You can work on it anytime. Those are just a few pages from a trip that I took where I made notes and I did some drawing. That's it. That's my sketchbook. It's the sketchbook that I carried with me the entire time. I'll see you in the next lesson where we're going to wrap up this little class. 8. Final Thoughts: Well, you did it. You completed a few pages of alien drawings, you came up with your own characters, you even designed a home planet where that alien can live, it's got all of its friends and family are there, but be sure when you're done, wrap up all your projects, be sure when you're done to upload them so I can see them. I want to take a look at these aliens that you made. I want to meet some of these creatures that you've created. My only hope is that they're not too scary because I'm very sensitive and I will definitely have nightmares if the aliens that you drew are too scary. But are they scary, are they funny, are they silly, are they weird? I can't wait to take a look. But really what I hope that the main thing is that you took away from this entire class every single lesson is that it's actually fun to draw in your sketchbook and that you no longer have to be afraid of that blank page because we can always do these warm-up drawings. When you sit down, you got a blank page in front of you, you can warm up by drawing aliens or monsters or robots. Anything else that we want to draw, you can just sit down and start playing in a sketchbook. The more that we play around, the more that we try new things, the more that there's going to be an opportunity for new ideas to just sneak in. New stories are going to start to emerge, new characters, and that all starts with just playing around in a sketchbook. Now look, as you saw in my lessons, unfortunately, I never actually saw any aliens during my entire trip to South America, but I still had a really good time and I got a lot of drawing done in my sketchbook. I tried new food, I saw new things. But listen, I don't want you to think that you need some exciting international trip to get you started in your sketchbook. Really your goal should just be to draw something, anything that you want to draw, 20-30 minutes a day. Eventually, those 20 or 30 minutes a day will start to turn into a habit and you're going to start feeling a lot more comfortable to sit down and work in your sketchbook. If you liked this class, you are looking for more sketchbooks suggestions, be sure to check out my other classes. I've got two other ones, all about sketchbooking and they've got Always Drawing, that's the first one and it's just how to start and keep a daily sketchbook. I talk more about supplies, materials, things like that. Then in my other class, it's called Always Drawing also, but it's called Always Drawing: 7 Creative Exercises to Jumpstart Your Sketchbook. I give you seven things to do over the course of a week in your sketchbook to get this habit going. Also, if you've been wanting to make a career out of illustration, not just getting started in a sketchbook, be sure to also take a look at my other class. It's an annual workshop that I teach, it's called Getting Paid to Draw, where really I break down how to go from these sketchbook drawings and illustration project ideas to real-world paid client work as an illustrator. Now, that one only happens once a year. You can learn more about that one at That's it. We did it. We did some drawings, we got a lot of sketchbooking done. I had a really good time. I didn't see any aliens, but I had a really good time. I hope that you had a good time too. I'm Mike Lowery and I'll see you next time. [MUSIC]