Pragmatic Sketching Masterclass Series – Live online classes (English)
Build a solid foundation for your drawing skills
You (want or need to) take visual notes during talks, meetings or at school, you create flip charts for presentations and workshops, you capture work sessions on a whiteboard, organise your day in your bullet journal, or draw just for fun but…
- when you want to draw something, you don’t quite know how to?
- you draw something and somehow it just looks a bit off (especially the tricky stuff, like hands and faces)?
- your (stick) figures and people look a bit stiff and you would like to give them more life and expression?
or do you want to...
- get faster, clearer and more confident in your sketching?
- improve your sketching, but you are not quite sure how and where to start?
Then I have got something for you.
A series of live weekly drawing sessions
I designed a series of live sketching sessions where we will lay some solid foundations for drawing (almost) anything in a pragmatic, simple and clear way.
When, where and what?
The sessions are 2 hours long and will take place each Wednesday and the last Saturday in October in the evening from 7:00pm - 9.00pm (Berlin time, CEST) on Zoom.
Session times according to your time zone:
Mainland Europe (CEST): 19:00h - 21:00h
UK (BST): 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
US East coast (EDT): 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
US West coast (PDT): 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
You will also have access to recordings of the sessions if the times are not working for your time zone or to catch-up in case you miss a class.
07 October 2020 – Session 01:
Basic motor skills & Sketching objects
14 October 2020 – Session 02:
Simple stick figures: actions and emotions
21 October 2020 – Session 03:
Different types of people and portraits
28 October 2020 – Session 04:
Hands and full body figures
31 October 2020 – Session 05:
Feedback on your sketches & answering your questions.
(scroll all the way down for more detailed descriptions of each session.)
Who are these masterclasses for?
The classes are for anyone who wants to learn (even from scratch) to draw things in a simple, clear and pragmatic way or who wants to improve their current sketching practice by taking a more detailed view at how to approach sketching things, people, actions, emotions, faces and hands and anything else in a structured but also playful way. (Scroll further down to read a bit more about how and why I teach this and see how this approach resonates with you).
The complete masterclass series
- Attend the live session on Zoom and draw along incl. a short Q&A at the end.
Access to the recordings of all classes (also past classes if you join later in the series) until the 31st of December 2020. You can re-watch the classes as many times as you like or catch-up in case you missed a class or can’t join because of the time being inconvenient for your time zone.
- Your bonus:
- A PDF summary of everything we sketched during a session for you to download and keep as reference.
Important: After buying the series you will receive a confirmation email of your purchase. You will then receive a separate email with all the information about how to log-in to the live session(s).
If you don’t receive this information email within 2 hours of purchase, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number and email address so I can take care of it and send you the information separately. Please also check your SPAM folder first.
Will there be recordings?
Yes, when you book the whole the series, all recording will be available to you until the 31st of December.
What do you need to participate?
The sessions are taught online via video conference with Zoom. You will need a computer or mobile device with a fast and stable internet connection. Once you signed up, you’ll get an email with detailed instructions for how to connect.
To follow along with the sketching, you’ll just need some simple stationary items:
- Plain white paper (simple A4 or letter sized printer paper is great)
- a black pen (that you enjoy writing with)
- one or two pens in a different colour (green, red, orange, blue, whatever you have or like).
- optional: a grey shading pen
Again, you’ll get all the details in an email, when you sign-up.
A bit more on how and why I teach this series
Learning how to draw or to sketch is a bit like learning how to write.
Imagine you never learned how to write. Can you even imagine not being able to express yourself through written words, not being able to note down the things you don’t want to forget, not being able to get a clearer picture by writing down the most important points? Life and work would be so much harder.
Now think about if you could add a similarly powerful and fundamental tool to your thinking and communication… well, that’s sketching for you.
Sketching can help you to observe, analyse, understand and make sense of the world around you and of the thoughts your head. It gives you an additional layer to think through and communicate complex problems with more clarity and explore ideas and solutions in a more concrete and relatable way.
Words and images are like best friends. Together they can do anything. Their strength complement each other and they support each other in tricky situations. The skill to add images to your words, to let simple sketches empower and enhance what you say or write is a can transform how you think and communicate, both on your own and with others.
Sketching is a fundamental skill that can be applied to every aspect of life and work:
Taking visual notes (also called sketchnotes) to structure and remember things you want to learn, stepping up to the whiteboard or flipchart in a workshop or a coaching session to explain your thoughts, planning your week in your bullet journal, capturing fun situations in a visual diary, making your presentation slides more personal and interesting by adding your own sketches, letting a user journey come to life with a simple story board, or drawing just for fun, to relax, enjoy or bringing a smile to someone’s face.
Like with writing, there is a bit of a learning curve to sketching
Sketching is not art, and the action of sketching is more important than the final result. Everybody can sketch. But if you want to feel confident and have fun while sketching, it is good to have some sound foundation to build on.
Sketching is a decision making process.
Good sketches are the results of good decisions that you took with every mark you make: How can I draw this? What is the shape? Where should I place my mark? How big should this part be? Which details would I leave out? Where would I start? How do I get the proportions right? Which thickness of line should I use? Which colour? How do I make it look clearer? How do I emphasise the important part? And so on and so on.
My goal for this series of classes is to lay the foundations with you so you feel confident making your own good decisions when you sketch – decisions that support the clarity of your drawings, decisions that help you create the meaning and effect you wanted, decisions that empower you to experiment and find your own voice and new solutions for your sketches.
Methodical but playful
My approach to drawing is very methodical but also playful at the same time.
I will show you HOW I approach drawing things and explain WHY I do it this way. Through understanding the WHY behind the HOW you will be able to adapt your sketching to the situation you are using it in and to the goal you want to achieve. You’ll build a solid foundation for a thoughtful sketching practice. Understanding the fundamental principles and their effects will open up lots of room for structured experimentation and playful exploration on the way to developing your own voice and style.
Basic motor skills: Making confident and clear marks.
Sketching objects. Dealing with perspective and shadows. Adding effects.
We’ll start at the beginning. What makes a confident line? How do I move my hand to make clear and calm marks? Drawing requires a fair bit of fine motor control of our hand that many of us lack these days (as we are not used to writing a lot by hand or performing other fine manual movements in our daily work anymore). We start by breaking down some of the movements we need, warming-up and paying more attention to how our hand is moving.
We then explore how to draw objects: How to simplify the details. How to see and refine the shape. How to deal with perspective (and a simple and pragmatic way. Don’t worry, we won’t lose ourselves in complicated vanishing point constructions…). How to apply light and shadows to make your drawing clearer. How to add effects to make invisible qualities visible.
Simple stick figures:
Drawing actions and emotions.
Drawing people is core to many sketching occasions. From sketchnotes to storytelling, from system diagrams to user journey mapping: showing how people interact with each other, your product and the world adds life to any visualisation.
And stick figures are a great starting point for drawing people doing things and feeling things. And our stick figures won’t be as sticky as they sound: we’ll give them a body, so they have a bit more substance to them. Using a modular approach, we’ll sketch common postures, expressions and actions. We’ll explore how hand gestures, gaze direction, torso and head position can express what our little people think and feel. Finally we’ll add facial expression to the figures, emphasising, refining or sometimes even contradicting the mood in the physical posture.
Different types of people and portraits:
Drawing specific people by adding typical clothes, hairstyles, facial features and accessories.
In this session we are getting specific: How can we turn our little stick figures into different characters. We’ll explore how to sketch different jobs, roles, genders, cultures, ethnicities, ages, types, etc… We will draw different hairstyles, clothes, headgear and accessories (like glasses, typical tools and objects we use).
In addition, we’ll zoom into the face and draw specific portraits of people. What makes a face look more masculine or feminine, older or more child-like? Which parameters can we play with to try and get or drawings look a little more like the speaker, celebrity, colleague or friend we are trying to portray?
Hands and going from stick figures to full body figures.
Hands are hard to draw. Period. But we can bring some structure to this versatile and tricky part of our body and start to understand how to sketch different typical hand positions: waving, pointing, holding different objects, giving a thumbs up and even a good old handshake (so not 2020, I know, but one day, we might go back to normal…).
Finally, we’ll learn how to turn stick figures into full body figures for occasions when you need some more illustrative and detailed drawings.
Feedback on your sketches & answering your questions.
This session is all about YOUR sketches and YOUR questions. You’ll be able to send in a sketch or drawing of yours and and have a chance to get feedback on how to improve and develop your practice further. Looking at other people’s work and discussion the things that works well and the things that could be done differently is great for learning by a variety of styles and approaches. There will also be space and time to ask any question you have regarding the previous sessions or sketching in general.
We’ll just spend 2 full hours together for more personal exchange and probably some more demos depending on the topics that interest you.
Join me and get drawing this October!
I’d be super happy if you joined me this October to spend the (probably dark and rainy) evenings having some fun, learning new things and practicing a useful and joyful skill together.
Do you have any more questions?
Just send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll try to answer any open question.