Hatching Free Range Ideas

Lesson 4, the first sketchnote lecture practice

In Sketchnoting on June 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm

You’re going to start to apply your new symbollary in this lesson. First a few ideas to focus you. There are 9 ideas here. You should adopt some version of these as your personal sketchnoting rules. You will develop your own methods and your own styles. And they WILL BE INCREDIBLE!!! AND YOU WILL LOVE THEM. But they require practice. Okay, your first set of rules:


child drawing1. Draw like a child, not only simply but with abandon and joy. This is fun stuff! If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.Draw over and through. Don’t worry about overlapping lines.

2. Pick out key words.  Sometimes illustrate key words and phrases is enough for memory. Try pulling some out from this mini-lecture.

key words


connectors and dividers3. Use connectors and dividers to configure your space and your ideas on the fly. Make them interesting shapes and patterns. Build your library of these line types. These are the easiest ways to add interest and emphasis to your sketchnotes.





bicycle4. Draw the essence. This is true of both subject matter and illustration. You might not need the entire bicycle if the handlebars will convey the idea. If the talk is about world hunger, capturing a startling fact by a bite out of a globe with a percentage might be all you need for that point.




pen5. Focus on recognition and not resemblance. You’re really creating symbols for meaning; you’re not creating a court scene for broadcast. Simplicity counts, especially if it’s elegant. Aim for elegant simplicity. Settle for something much less. And settle quickly.








clothesline6. Rubber stamp images – very quickly you will develop (or maybe you already have) a set of symbols that you use all the time. These are symbols that have become so simple for you to create that you almost rubber stamp them on the page. Grow your stamp collection.






Label7. Use text labels if you need something fast and you can’t come up with an image. Learn to create simple block letters or script that looks good and can be read easily. Then build your hand drawn letter sets. Try italics or bold. Mix it up on the page to make it interesting. Heck, mix it up in the sentence.







information highway8. Adopt visual metaphors — Our language is full of visual metaphor. Go ahead. Adopt them. Or some version of them. How might you sketch the Information Highway? How about customer centered? Or mapping an approach to a problem? Across the board? Throw the baby out with the bath water?







Ready for your first lecture? This will be familiar to those of you who took the Hendricks 3-Day Essentials course. The nice thing about practicing with lectures online is that you can go back through.

  1. Shake your hands out to loosen them up.
  2. Get your sketchbook.
  3. Go to this link.
  4. Ready. . . Set. . . Draw!



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