I’ve been lucky enough to get hold of an Apple iPad Pro, and used it this morning in church – not only to do my sermon sketchnotes direct to digital, but also used it for paperless music whilst playing the worship songs 🙂
I’ve not posted my sermon sketchnotes for a little while, so here’s a compendium of some more. These are all completed ‘live’ as the sermon progresses, and I don’t see anything but the title before I start. If you’d like to listen to the accompanying sermons, they are available on the Whetstone Baptist Church blog.
Here are some more sketchnotes that I have done during sermons at Whetstone Baptist Church. It’s a great way to take notice of what’s being said, as well as potentially emphasising different points that develop as the visual language of the sketchnote does its own thing. Working in real time is an interesting challenge, and with nothing more than the title at the start, the rest of the page is unplanned. And if you’ve noted the themes are all similar, that’s because these services were in the lead up to a fundraising weekend when we were all challenged to give sacrificially toward the construction of a new church building designed to meet the needs of a growing congregation and a changing community. We are now so close to our goal of just over £3 million – it’s so exciting. If you’d like to help out, a donation button can be found along with details of our building plans on the church website here.Continue reading
I recently got hold of a copy of Mike Rohde’s ‘The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual notetaking’. It reminded me that notes can be fun, and that linear format notes tend not to be that exciting – either in the writing or indeed the review. I’m always looking for ways to stay awake in church (it’s the sleep disorder and meds I’m on, not a side effect of the service!) and thought I’d give the principles a go. Here are four examples, in date order, from my first go at the process to yesterday’s sermon notes. I say ‘first go’ – I’ve been used to note taking, and doodling in the margins, as well as adding illustrations to mind maps over the years… this is the first time I’ve combined all of them into one method of notetaking.
[Completed during the sermon, in a Moleskine Pocket Plain Notebook with Lamy Safari fountain pen, fine nib with Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink]
I was asked by a friend to help illustrate his message for the evening service at Whetstone Baptist Church last Sunday evening. He used passages from Psalms to describe David’s fall from kingship through despair in a dungeon, to feigned madness and then freedom and release. We were then invited to visualise and recall a walk in the sun, how it felt, and then we were told facts about The Sun itself. Alex then compared the darkness to his faith a couple of years ago to walking in the light now – and moved onto passages from John describing how it is to walk in the light of God.
My illustration used PanPastels as they blend and overlay so well, working onto A3 white card and filmed using an overhead webcam shared to the church projectors via laptop. Unfortunately, I didn’t work out the technology enough to record as I went, so I only have the final still to share. I started by adding a grey swirl around the outside as the walls closed in round David, adding yellow in the centre as the glimmer of escape came. As the description of the sun played out, I added the blue skies, built up the centre and erased the circular lines and the rays. We used a play on words to initially ‘walk in the sun’ as we were visualising that, and then as we moved on, I erased the figure bit by bit, adding the head and hands just before the climax of the illustration changing the ‘u’ to an ‘o’:
Feedback from this first time attempt at live illustration was very positive, and from my point of view, it all worked well! Some top tips: work with the preacher to hone the order of things, especially if the image develops from a previous layer; definitely rehearse timings with something so tied to the sermon material; know your technology and check it’s doing what you expect; and be prepared to go for it 🙂
As previously mentioned, I am clearing out my study – I’ve also cleared out an old PC. Whilst doing this, I came across my original sketches for some artwork I did back in 2008 whilst at Robert Hall Memorial Baptist Church in Leicester. Again, I sketched out the idea whilst the service was taking place, and this time took the sketches back home and created some digital art (Photoshop/Illustrator) which was then printed as A0 poster size. As far as I know, they’re still on display in the church. I also know that one of them ended up being given to Rothley Baptist Church as well. Here are the ‘before and after’ pics:
Possibly one of my earliest surviving artworks, from 1985 when I would have been 14… Later strips weren’t coloured and I used a typewriter to add the text. I seem to remember the inspiration stemmed from the fabulous Classical Studies classes led by Mr Boulting at school, where we were asked to do comic strips to illustrate the mythological stories of Ancient Greece and Rome.