Society of Visual Storytelling

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From "ugly sketch" to awesome illustration!

Image by Lee White.

What do you do when you are on deadline and drawing a blank? Panic? Jump online and surf for inspiration? Scarf down a bunch of salty snacks? That might work for some, but what Lee White does is lots of "ugly sketches" 😀

Lee's been a pro illustrator for more than 15 years now, but brainstorming and thumbnailing are still a big part of his process. Sure, every once in a while an awesome concept pops into his head without any effort, but most of the time he is grinding it out before moving forward with the final idea.

Here's an illustration Lee did for the Salem Art Fair & Festival. As you can see, it goes through many stages before it becomes a finished piece! A big part of the process is what Lee likes to call "ugly sketches," which are basically lots and lots of loose thumbnail sketches, so loose that sometimes only he can tell what they look like! They are not supposed to look pretty. This is where he works out various different ideas and layouts before solidifying the final concept. The boat was almost a birdhouse at one point!

You can learn more about how to generate dynamic ideas on demand and under deadline in the Turbocharging Your Creativity class, taught by Lee and David Hohn.

This entry level course will walk you step-by-step through the process of developing good ideas for your images. Starting with the fundamentals, students will build on each ideation technique in a clear and understandable way, eventually allowing you to mix and match techniques in a way that suits your artistic inclinations.

This is a BEGINNER CLASS, all you need are basic drawing skills (either traditional or digital), a reliable internet connection and a bit of moxie!

The class starts July 11. You can take this class no matter what time zone you are in 😀 The classes will be downloaded at noon PDT on Tuesdays to watch at your own convenience. You will then have one week to do the assignment and turn it in to Lee and David. They will give you INDIVIDUAL FEEDBACK on every assignment. You will also have access to a lively forum where you can ask questions and meet fellow students.

This is an interactive class with individual instruction. The fee is $450 for subscribers and $500 for non-subscribers.

Just 6 seats left!


Ugly sketches!

Character studies.

Color studies.

Digital study. Almost there!