Sketching Success: Doodling to Spark Creativity | Tim Eggert | Skillshare

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Sketching Success: Doodling to Spark Creativity

teacher avatar Tim Eggert, Freelance Designer/Illustrator

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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.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Class Project Overview


    • 3.

      Exercise 1: More Than One Way


    • 4.

      Exercise 2: Think Outside the Box


    • 5.

      Exercise 3: The Half of It


    • 6.

      Class Closing


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About This Class

This class teaches how to use doodling to create new ideas. By exploring various ways of doodling things, we will find inspiration from within our own minds.   

Who is This Class for?
This class is meant for visual artists but can benefit anyone who wants to push their creativity and think outside of the box. This is a drawing class but more importantly, it is a THINKING class.

What Supplies are Needed?
This class can be done with pen and paper or on a computer or tablet.

This class is for All Levels. Anyone can take this class. If you like to draw you are good to go!

Meet Your Teacher

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Tim Eggert

Freelance Designer/Illustrator

Level: All Levels

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1. Class Introduction: It's time to get serious about doodling. I loved doodling, but it seems to have somewhat of a bad reputation. It's like people view it as something silly or that you only do if you're really bored, or you don't know the answers to a math test. Hi, I'm Timeger. I'm a designer and illustrator. I use doodling as a very important creative tool. Doodling allows me to work through a lot of different versions of one subject to help me find the best idea and something that's new and unique. I teach a lot of students of a lot of different ages, and something I see often is that they get stuck. They either don't know what to draw or they think that a house has to look like this, or a sun has to look like this. It is often difficult to push our ideas further and create unique artwork. Our class centers around our class project, which is a series of three exercises that explore new ways of seeing things. This class can be completed with a simple pen and paper or on a tablet. This class is for anyone who has stared at a blank page and wondered, where do I begin? There is no prior knowledge needed for this class. If you'd like to doodle, you are good to go. When this class is complete, you'll have simple ways to explore your mind and new ways of approaching projects. The more you can expand your imagination and think outside the box, the more unique your work will be. Mr. Rogers said, "You can grow anything in the garden of your mind." I really like that. If your mind is a garden, then think of this class as the soil and the water to help your garden grow. Now let's get started. 2. Class Project Overview: This is how our class project will go. I have created three exercises, each with their own PDF that you can follow along. You can either print out the PDF and draw by hand or you can bring that PDF into Photoshop or Procreate and draw it digitally. In our first exercise, we will explore our ideas by drawing one subject many different ways. In our second exercise, we will think outside the box while drawing a unique house. In our third exercise, I have drawn the first half of something, and you will finish it with something creative and new. A finished class project can be any sketch or series of sketches from any exercise. I wanted to keep this simple so that you really don't need many supplies. I'm doing drawings with Number 2 pencil, very simple. Then this is a Faber-Castell Pitt pen and it is a soft chisel. They make a bunch of different kinds but I like this one. Now, this is a drawing class but more importantly, it is a thinking class. What I really want to get across is the way we arrive at our ideas and how we challenge the norm and come up with new things. Now let's get started on our first exercise called More Than One Way. 3. Exercise 1: More Than One Way: Now that we have heard about our class project, let's dive right into our first exercise. The foundation of this class is to sketch and doodle your way to new ideas. Let's explore our own minds. Pick a subject to draw, many different ways. For this exercise, I'm going to draw a rabbit. First, picture what is commonly thought of for your subject. What's expected? Now let's challenge the expected by doodling different things. Let's do a little sketch of what's expected when we draw a rabbit. I'm going to make this somewhat realistic. Have the ears normal length, the body. Here's what's expected. Now we're going to challenge those ideas by doing a lot of different things. I'm going to start with just shapes. Here I have a triangle and circle and a square, and I'm going to use these kind of a starting point. I'm going to draw a rabbit head with just triangles. Remember, this is just to get things down on paper. They may not look great but you just got to go with it. Circle there for an eye. Now what I'm going to do is just draw a head made Made of circles. I'll do small ears. I do love that. I'm just going to try to exaggerate. These are just circles. I'll draw a rabbit out of just circles, See what I come up with, or ovals. Square root not work. Sometimes a square works better for maybe an elephant. Rabbit has more of curves and things like that. You just want to think about different things. Let's think about the action, like how do we want this rabbit to look? Will it be standing there? I'm going to do one with movement, so the rabbit is moving. Sometimes like it'll be going in this direction. Sometimes you start with, let's just convey, especially for animals, how do we want the animal to be standing? Do we want it to be running? Sometimes I a draw shapes like this and you draw a random shape like a blob, and then you say, what could that be? Sometimes it doesn't work, but then other times, it could work. A lot of this stuff, we just do it quickly. Some work, some don't. Just drawing random shapes like blobs, circles. It helps to just get the mind going. That's what this is all about. I'm going to do one. Let's start exaggerating something, so I'll do a larger head here, and then I'll do a normal size body. I can already tell this is going to look pretty cartoony. It's like a little Pokemon, but that's okay. I like to really exaggerate things. Like, we talked about, these are the parts of a rabbit. I'm going to make the rest of the body normal, but then I'll make the ears really long. This works a lot of times for nature. Another thing I like to do is start with the letter. Rabbit works really well, an R actually looks like a rabbit. Snake, S is always a good place to start. This especially works well if you're doing a logo. Maybe sometimes you want to incorporate the letter that it starts with into the drawing, which is great. Let's see. Now I'm going to try to think. A lot of times I start with the shape and say, this is not only the shape of maybe the thing I'm going to draw, but maybe I want my subject to be inside this shape, like these examples. I have the whale inside of a circle, and that was my starting point. I drew a circle and then I said, the whale, the ocean, the sky is going to live inside of this. Sometimes it is helpful to just draw a shape and then your work is going to be contained in that. Then in this example, I said, I can draw an alligator many different ways. Let's start with a circle and see if I can do it. Sometimes things don't work in some shapes, but sometimes it leads you down a good path. Now what I'm going to do, I'm going to try some different shapes with maybe the ears. Now I'll try one. It's looking like a carrot, which could be helpful. Maybe I'll mix the shape of a carrot. I'm going to have half of it be a rabbit, half of it be a carrot. I'll do a carrot and an ear. Maybe that's nothing but maybe that's something. I like to also think about the objects that are associated with the animal or the subject. Another thing I like to do is to try one line. Another thing I really like to do is think about composition. Especially, if you're working on an illustration, or if you're doing some sort of like, this an art print and it's going to be in this square. Like, I'll think, how do I use this space? Maybe I'll do the rabbit small and then have this large negative space. Or I don't even have to draw the entire thing, and it's like jumping off, and then there's this tension in all these space. You see part of it, it just has movement because it's jumping away. Then I also like to think about the surroundings of this subject. I'll have this rabbit with long ears and maybe that'll be reflected in its surrounding. I'll do trees that look like its ears and have everything built around that shape, which is cool. Composition is always helpful. Then maybe think about its surrounding like, where does a rabbit live? Have this tunnel, and then I'll have this negative space inside, that's the rabbit, and then the rabbit has to fit inside. It's always good to think about the surroundings of what you're drawing. The takeaways of this exercise are basically that doodling should just feel like you're actually exploring your mind. You just doodle and doodle until you find something you like, and think about what's expected and then do something different from that. Let's go on to our next exercise. 4. Exercise 2: Think Outside the Box: Now that we drew one subject, many different ways, we will continue to explore by drawing a house and asking our mind to literally think outside the box. If you open up your PDF, you can either print it out and draw on it, or you can bring your PDF into Photoshop or Procreate. I've got it in Photoshop. I have my layer here of my image, and then I'm going to do a new layer to draw on. For my brush, I'm using Kyle's brushes which come with Adobe subscription. This one is called old brush ink 2, it has a truthiness to it. I like it. I'll dive right in here. I'm going to do a few examples. Let's think about a house and then challenge what a house is so that we can be more creative. Here's a house. This is normally what people think of. Square, square door, square windows. I'm going to do a few things. I'm going to challenge all of these things. It's not going to be a square, it's going to be more round. I'm going to start with the shape of an h. We'll see where that goes. I started with the idea of an h. Now, if you looked at it, would you know it's an h? Maybe not. But here's this part and then it comes over like the h. I'm going to challenge everything. This is more rounded than a normal house. Let's see what we can do here. Instead of a normal roof, I'm going to do these thatched roofs. Remember, this is about the idea, not having amazing, perfect drawings. Let's see. I'm going to do these little towers. Maybe you'll have one coming over here in the back. Here's our door, it's not just a square. We're challenging what people think that one it's a house. It doesn't have to be the normal idea. Then maybe I'm going to do these tall trees to mimic this tall tower. Although a little tower there. We start with an h and then have this funky-looking house. Now I'll do another one. Now, this time I'm going to challenge the location. A lot of times, a house is on land and it's flat. I'm going to think where haven't I seen a house? I haven't really seen one underwater. I don't know if I want to do that. I think I want to do the opposite. I think I want to do something really high. You have to put it on top like this mountain. Put some snow on here, and then we're going to do this. We're going to make it like a lighthouse. You'd almost think, wow, this looks like it would be out in the ocean. We're going to challenge that and do, this is out up in the sky. This mountain maybe comes down, and then you've got these clouds. This is a lighthouse, so let's do a cool unusual beam of light that will want not ships but planes of hitting this mountain. This one is a wild one, we've thought, where don't we see houses and then go from there. This is more about the location, but once again, challenging the idea. Then this last example, we'll do like an object, like a house usually looks like this, so let's make one out of an object. A lot of times people say, let's do like a treehouse. But then the way I want you to explore things is you picture almost a word list in your mind, so like a tree. Let's go even more unusual than that. Let's think either like jungle, forest, bonsai tree, I think I'll do that, cactus, that would be interesting, do a house out of a cactus. I'll actually do bonsai off my brush here. I'll just start with what's holding a bonsai tree, which is usually a path. But then I'm going to say, you know what? This one has been around a while, so it's cracking. This is an old house. Maybe there's little stones and roots. Then I'll say, I want leaves, but I want to do something that I've never really seen before. I'm going to do almost like clouds. Then this will be our actual bonsai leaves. Here's our roots and then we're going to say, let's have all our branches coming up. Then you can have maybe a little more like a normal house, or maybe we have a bunch of these up here. I'll take you through a quick example. I walked by a neighbor's house and they have a little bit of green leaves and stuff growing up on their roof. I'm working on an illustration now where I'm basically saying, it's not really interesting to look at, but let's do something wild with an illustration. Here's my sketch where basically I was inspired by little bit of bushes or leaves growing on top of someone's house. Let's challenge and make it into a forest. You see I used the vertical space of my paper or my art board, and then I really started with this large square and then fit everything. Because if you look at the roof, you say, we could do a side view with trees or whatever, but sometimes a shape will start your idea, or you just say, this is a cool idea that I've seen out in public, but you could pass by it and not notice it, but let's make it into an interesting piece of art. That's what I've done here, just as an example. But here, I'll just pretty much finish up. The main takeaway from this exercise is just because something is portrayed a certain way, doesn't mean you have to portray it that way in your drawing. We tried different things with these houses and you never know what you might find. Let's move on to our final exercise. 5. Exercise 3: The Half of It: We just created unique houses by challenging the norm and now we will continue by finishing drawings that have already been started. This is almost like getting an assignment that's halfway done and then it's up to you to take it across the finish line in the most creative way you can. Now, you're going to draw the second half of this fish. Just like we did in the first exercise, maybe you just start making some marks doing like I'll start with a line and seeing like maybe something very linear or maybe something curved. I think that's what I'll do. I'm going to make this long, maybe something I've never seen before in a fish where it looks more like a mermaid tail. I'll make this tail flame-like, something unusually unique. Then I'm going to continue the scales, but then maybe shift into more of a stripe, almost like a zebrafish, like a real thing. You can play around with like the patterns and the tail and really do something you've never seen. You can make something maybe very jagged like lightning, or just something very flowy like hair of a mermaid. There's really no incorrect way. The plants are fun. I like this, this should be fun. You draw the second half and I'm going to continue this pot and I'm going to make it a curving vase, if you will. Then for this exercise, I would just start marking things you don't have to worry about always drawing the second half of it, just make some marks. Do I want something sharp? Do I want something more flowing? Feel free to mark all over the page and I'm going to start with some lines to make a shape, this is my guide. Then I'll make these flowing lines and I'll make some abstract dots. It's like flowing out. Then I'd like to just keep going. It's good to just be quick and there's really no wrong answers. The more you do this, the more you're just going to find cool things. You do that and you can see if this was reflected, you'd see both sides. Now, this should be fun. Draw the giraffe's neck, but don't make it straight, do anything but what's expected. You can do a curved line or a zigzag. Then I also like to think of this as, okay, what's around the giraffe? I always see giraffe eating, I'll make some leaves. I'll make one here that he can eat. Then I won't make it easy, it's like this giraffe had to stretch its neck through all these leaves. I'll make some more just so it's more dramatic here. The giraffe will have to curve its neck to go through these trees, and then I'll make some marks. There you go. If you look at the giraffe, I'll do one more here, do something more like a loop of a roller coaster. The markings, you can also play with. Just because a giraffe is supposed to have these little square markings, you can do like little dots or circles. Play around with every aspect, challenge every aspect of your subject. Then I also like to think about, especially for a giraffe, it's drawn so well. I think about, okay, if I do an art print, how do I fill the page? You can make the neck like that. I really like to think of the composition. Here, I'm going to go back to the idea for the boat. Draw why the boats upside down. It could be a sea creature, could be anything. I will do a wave, but I'm going to make it unique. I'm going to try to do what I did with the rabbit; made an r, I'm going to make an S here. Wave that's like an S, like the sea, and so then you can just play with this and just make some curvy lines. Really make it dramatic. No, this is not realistic, but that's not the point. Then, like I said, just doodle on your paper, just make different lines. You can always do this before doing the actual boat drawing, but just play around. Maybe your wave is this giant curl, it almost looks like a sea creature. Just make lines, there's no wrong answers and you never know what you'll come up with. Maybe it's like spaghetti or meatballs. I really like just sketch, sketch, sketching. Yeah, the takeaways from this lesson are just make marks. There's no wrong ways and then no wrong answers. Then think about your subject, just like what we did with the rabbit, just exaggerate different features and challenge what's expected from you. Let's move on to our closing. 6. Class Closing: In conclusion, thank you so much for taking this class. I appreciate you taking the time to learn something new with me. Now, I really look forward to seeing what you post for your class project. I want to see some cool new ideas. Remember that it can just be a sketch from one of the exercises or a whole page of sketches, whatever you feel comfortable with. If you have any questions about the class or the class project, feel free to post them on the class page or you can message me directly, timeggert, that's my Instagram handle. Now, you may think, I just took this class and now all of these ideas will just come because I'll flip a switch in my head and you may start getting new ideas immediately, but remember, you have to train your brain to start thinking and asking itself questions: what haven't I seen before? What's not expected? What are things that are expected that I can challenge? All these things will help you get to new ideas, and it may take some time. But thank you again, and I'll see you in my next class.