How (not) to write a bookletPosted: May 14, 2016
At this very moment … my Sketchbook Skool videos are live and I’m checking in every so often to respond to the students’ questions and some of their amazing responses to my ‘draw your food’ challenge.
When I was first asked if I’d like to take part I thought it would be pretty cool if students could buy a little booklet with some of my foodie drawings in – but I couldn’t figure out how to present it. Sketching chum Andrea Joseph has presented a few in the still of sketching manuals and other sketchers who concentrate on urban sketching can get away with presenting drawings showing a particular area.
How could I present food drawings?
At first I thought about presenting it in the form of a menu; with different dishes from starter, main course and pudding. That seemed like a logical choice – nice and organised. But then, where would an ice-cream, or hot-dog, picked up in the park, fit in? (Can I hasten to add that I didn’t pick it up off the floor, but rather from a hot-dog stand!)
I started jotting down some sketches that I particularly liked and realised that I always seem to be playing around with where my drawings are located on the page.
So … I started to jot down all the different ways I could think of.
And that’s where my problems began.
(This was only about five or six weeks ago)
I realised that I could broadly divide these different ways of drawing food into three areas;
Position – So where the drawing is located on the page, or which direction the drawing is going in.
Focus – Which I thought of as how I’m approaching a drawing; such as a close-up, or a side-view
Location – Because sometimes there are elements at the restaurant that you can include in your drawing
… and then …
So I eventually came up with
24 Position cards
14 Focus cards
9 Location cards
Then I realised that they needed a box to live in too – but I couldn’t design that until the cards had all been designed and printed; so that they would fit inside the box properly.
– There are a variety of ways that these can be used;
Take a card from each pile to influence all three elements.
Take one card only as a guide.
Take out the cards with elements that you usually use before you draw cards.
Sketchbook Skool were interested in offering the cards as a free gift to the students of my klass – so I PDF’d a few of the cards from each set for them.
The set of cards on Etsy contains the full set of cards + 15 blank cards to add your own mischief; all printed on lovely, thick 350gsm card and with a handy-dandy cut out and keep box to hold them all in.
Meanwhile I was feverishly trying to complete the three booklets I’d hit upon.
The Focus booklet was the one I started out doing first – it seemed the most interesting and practical and also had the most pages.
or … how are you going to draw this? Not technique, but approach.
Okay – so it’s made up of 14 sections – most of which are double spreads – discussing each of my Focus ideas. Offering some further twists and turns.
So, for example the pages about boxes, suggests other ways you can stretch and bend the definition of boxes to suit your needs.
The Location booklet was the next most useful one.
or … Things to do with your drawing whilst you’re there.
Again, this contains sections covering the 9 Location cards in the card pack; varying between 1 to 3 pages.
I’m still working on the Position booklet – mainly because the subject doesn’t really lend itself all that well to me having to explain what the different positions might mean; for example ‘Drawing in the middle of the page’ is pretty self-explanatory, really.
I’m thinking maybe in terms of this booklet showing off drawings in these different positions, but the text focussing on my own personal positions on various aspects of drawing (Y’see what I did there!)
All-in-all the past few weeks have been pretty crazy! After coming up with my initial idea to having got two booklets and a set of accompanying cards has been about five weeks – baring in mind I have a full-time day-job that keeps me busy during the daylight hours. And all those pages are handwritten (Slowly handwritten!)
But it’s been an absolute blast!