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Sketchbook Fury: The Art Ninja's Guidebook


Strathmore Artists Papers asked me to create a 4 part art instruction series about unlocking creativity through sketchbook work, overcoming the fear of drawing, tips and basic studio skills, and how a project progresses from an idea all the way to a finished piece.

Episode 1: Mojo your Dojo

Customize a plain old sketchbook, wash the pages with color, and get set up to create.


Move into your sketchbook, add accessories, create an inspirational environment for drawing, info page, envelopes, folders, pen holders, and a secret spot for a razor blade. Prepare for training. Materials: Strathmore Sketchbook, any size, spiral bound.


Skills required: measuring, cutting paper, taping and gluing.

Episode 1: Overcome Fear


AKA “perfection paralysis”, by better understanding the creation process. “Let It Go”. Plant seeds in idea garden, grow ideas by layering. Let the force flow through you, young Padawan. Be free. Color wash paper. Collage. Learn to set a routine that fits into your actual life – The Coffee Cup Parable. Materials: Strathmore Sketchbook, any size, spiral bound.


Skills required: dedication and adventure.


Episode 3: Basic Skills


Develop ideas worth fighting for. Chase your dreams strategically, do your skills workout, draw the world around you, find personal inspiration, develop your fighting style, follow a theme, create your own IP. Mixed Media battle practice. Materials: Strathmore Sketchbook, any size, spiral bound.


Skills required: planning, drawing, painting, going with the flow.


Episode 4: Sketchbook Strongman


Execute final art. Sketch to finished drawing strategy. New school solution – Scan, Photoshop, and reprint. Old school solution- grid enlargement, light box, use tracing paper for refinement/ transfer. How to select paper for sketch, and finish. Materials: Strathmore 18″x24″ recycled drawing paper/ Strathmore series 500 mixed media paper, 18×24, drawing board, tracing paper, sketch paper. Mixed Media.


Skills required: measuring, drawing, tracing, planning, and optimism.

This series is not typical “How To Instruction Video” where you follow along step by step, reproducing exactly what is presented, in a predetermined formula. This series is about the big picture, about strategy, about trying new things inspired by the ideas shown onscreen. I want you to do your own thing, and improvise based on the ideas demonstrated. You gotta be you! You got to draw the things you like to draw, and express them in a way that is natural to you. Originality is what is prized here. And participation. I’ll help.

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