Exploratory Sketchbook: Find Your Drawing Style

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Course overview

Course type
Paid course
2 hours
16 lessons
Available on completion
Course author
Sarah van Dongen

An original idea can come in many shapes and colors—sometimes when we least expect them and often when we’re drawing without restraint. Illustrator Sarah van Dongen believes having fun is one of the most important components of the creative process and finds it’s key to being able to create daily. She describes her illustrations as something between reality and imagination, using her life’s everyday moments as prompts to fill her sketchbooks and create illustrations for clients like Tiny Owl Publishing, Adobe, and AWW magazine.

Let Sarah take you on an inspiring journey through her illustration universe. Discover her methods for creating unique illustrations and finding your drawing style. Learn how to use color, composition, texture, and anatomy to draw from observation and tell the stories you want to tell.


Discover fun methods to develop your ideas and draw from observation using gouache, watercolor, and colored pencils

Meet Sarah van Dongen, learn about her creative journey, and discover some of her work. See the illustrators and books that influence her creative ideas and get a quick overview of what Sarah teaches you in this course.

See the materials Sarah uses and learn about the different kinds of sketchbooks available so you can choose one that is best suited to your drawing style. Discover how to use your materials, including how to mix paint and use markers and crayons for detail work.

Time to get started with Sarah’s fun exercises! Begin with color by seeing how to make a color wheel and mix your paints. Next, work on your observation skills with Sarah’s prompts and tips. Learn how to draw people with some simple anatomy theory and finish the unit with a perspective and composition exercise.

Combine your newfound knowledge from previous exercises to create your final self-portrait illustration. Draw thumbnails to establish your story until you have a final image and define the colors you’ll use to capture the mood. Begin with a line drawing, paint your image, and then work on the second layer using colored pencils and markers to add the final touches.

In the last unit, Sarah shows you how to keep sketching and filling your sketchbooks to further develop your style. Finish the course with some advice on how to create interesting content for Instagram and get noticed by future clients.

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