Hatching Free Range Ideas

Sketchnoting 101, Before you begin

In Sketchnoting on May 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm

I can flyI have had a lot of requests from people who see my sketchnotes to learn the process. Well, okay, I’ve heard a lot of people say, “Man, those are cool. I couldn’t ever do that!” But that’s not true because I used to see sketchnotes and think that it would take forever to learn to do that. It does take time but mostly what it takes is a commitment.

For those of you who said you wanted to learn, I’m going to start a series of sketchnote lessons here.


Here’s what you’ll need:

1. A nice sketchbook.

Choose one with nice paper. I prefer a really smooth surface and the classic Moleskin provides a great, thick, non-bleed paper that’s a delight to run a pen across. But you should choose whatever you like. Just pick a size that you are willing to carry around. I use an 8.5 x 11 at home and carry the smaller 8 x 5.5 with me.

2. 1-2 nice black ink pens.

I prefer a gel roller ball pen. Depending on my mood, it’s either a Uniball Signo .38 or a 207. One is very, very fine, the other a bit bolder. Both pens allow the ink to flow smoothly, although the .38 is a bit scratchy, which I like.

If you prefer a felt tip, Micron pens are really popular and come in a variety of widths. I like the .01, which is very fine (but not nearly as fine as they come). The tips on these fine felt tip pens are fragile, so if you have a hard touch, you’re probably better off with a gel roller.

3. Finally, you will need 1-2 pale translucent brush tip markers, one warm color, one cool. Like one turquoise and one pink, for example.

  • ​The Pitt Big Brush markers come in a million colors. They run about $6-7 a piece and last forever.
  • Tombow ABT brush pens are MUCH cheaper and also come in a million colors. But they won’t last as long. However, they seem much more portable to me.

We’re going to start out with black pen. No pencils. We will be adding color strategically, later, but for now, it will only be a distraction. So get your color pens, now where they are and set them aside.

The first real lesson will come tomorrow. Promise!



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