Sketchnotes: Building my visual vocabulary

| drawing

Okay, I’ve figured more stuff out in terms of expanding my visual vocabulary! =) Here’s my current workflow.


  • Pick up different ways to draw things by analyzing other people’s sketchnotes
  • Get faster at drawing things through practice
  • Develop a visual dictionary of words and images
  • Draw my own versions and organize them for easy reuse

I get a lot of exposure to other people’s sketchnotes in the process of adding material to, which now indexes 89 artists. I’m slowly working through them in order, clipping rectangular regions that have images that I’d like to file or draw. I started by using the Evernote Clipper, but Greenshot (free and open source) is much better for what I want to do. Greenshot lets me automatically save the results to files in a specified directory, and it adds the title of the page to the file. This is awesome. The next step is to add keywords to each of those files and then move them into another directory. I might import them into Evernote for additional searching, too. The end result is a library of images that I can use to spark my imagination when drawing.

I’ve also been drawing my way through the Bikablo® series of books from Neuland. I’m more than halfway through Bikablo Emotions. The books are pricey, but I thought it was a good investment in a) drawing better, and b) learning how to organize things. It’s a lot of fun sketching the images. If I keep drawing them, I might have more ideas when drawing quickly. I’m starting to get the hang of drawing certain postures that show up a lot. This is good.

Here’s a sample:


I’m looking forward to finishing that and the Bikablo v2 book, filing the individual sketches, and then going through my visual library of other people’s sketchnote elements to draw even more of those… Lots of things to draw!

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