The Advantage of Building a Procreate Sketchnoting Brush Set

Although I most often sketchnote using pen and paper, I also use procreate for digital sketchnoting. When I started I spent a while exploring the different default brushes to learn what did what. That meant I often found myself rooting around and spending vital time searching for a suitable pen instead of actively listening and sketching.

After a while, I started to settle upon a few useful tools including a custom brush or two that I picked up along the way. But this introduced a different problem. I couldn’t quickly get to the brush I wanted.

The Problem with the default Procreate Brush Layout

One brush I used was in the top section of pencils, another in the final imported set I had created. Another was somewhere around the middle in the brushes set.

This added friction and time when sketchnoting and took more mental processing power.

It’s no wonder many sketchnoters prefer apps like linea and paper which have fewer options. In fact, this had been the approach I had adopted for a long time.

A simpler app without the power features except when I was sketchnoting a book or other content where I could take my time.

Saving time and mental energy with a Custom, Sketchnote Brush Set

A month or so ago I solved my transition problem with a simple solution. A custom set of brushes specifically for sketchnoting.

This is the digital representation of my dual micron set up. A thin pen, thick pen and brush pen for a wide variety of basic needs. Then a couple more experiments and textures for other purposes.

This allows me to use the app I really like with creative limits and I can add more to my sketchnotes later.

If you’d like to download my custom set of procreate brushes for sketchnoting. Click this link.

Letting Go of a Domain, Letting Go of a Dream

I got an email today informing me that a domain was coming up for renewal. It was one I grabbed several years ago and – unlike many others– put some effort into. But I won’t be renewing it, that idea hasn’t been my focus for a long time and keeping it would be a distraction from the one or two things I am doing now.

The apostle Paul once wrote “this one thing I do”. It’s hard to argue against his influence even if you are an atheist. I’d suggest that this radical focus was a large contributor for his contribution.

It’s not pursing bad things you need to worry about

When I was a teenager I was worried that I’d not get stuff done because I would spent too much time on bad things (or at least things which didn’t bring value). In my late twenties I realised the issue had evolved. Now it was “good” things that might prevent me from doing good things.

By giving up this domain I’m ending that dream, but giving up that dream is the only way to bring into existence my remaining goals.

Or as Patrick Rhone might say,

Saying no is actually saying yes to other things.

Things I’ve learned this year

my Micro Monday recommendation for today is @bennorris it’s been a delight to get to know him recently.

Okay Pen folks, I want to get a cheap pen with a flex nib to experiment with writing with a flex nib fountain pen. Any recommendations?

Photographing English Cathedrals • Peter Marlow • Magnum Photos 🔗

Photographing English Cathedrals • Peter Marlow • Magnum Photos

This required exposures of between one and five minutes. With that length of exposure, reciprocity failure, where the film requires a much longer exposure than is indicated on the light meter, was a big problem. I discovered that Fuji FP 100 Instant film (used for Polaroids) suffered this effect to the same extent as the negative film, and that the aperture setting for a well-exposed Polaroid would be one and a half stops greater than that for the negative film.

I love the story of this project– a commission which he didn’t want to stop – and the details and problems he overcame (seen above) to get the result he wanted, with the tools he choose. It’s a great example of following curiosity and overcoming challenges that arise (and not just sticking a DSLR to multiple exposure and letting lightroom do the rest).

Very excited to take a peek at today’s Fuji x100t photos. I haven’t had a chance for a good old fashioned photo walk in a LONG time. Probably about 6 months which is just a bit older than my daughter…I’m sure there’s no connection.

A Year of Sermon Sketchnotes

Last year I selected a Field notes dime novel for my sermon sketchnoting book for the year. I had used other field notes notebooks before as I found the pocket size to be good for sermons (especially as it fits inside my pocket leather NIV Bible). The Dime Novel provided a slightly larger size (meaning it didn’t fit in my bible anymore) and a different type of paper.

The texture of the paper (“Natural White” Strathmore Premium 70# according to the field notes website) is a little rougher than most I’ve used. It does mean that there’s very little bleed from most pens I used and it is a little slower to write on.

Over the course of the year I used a variety of pens including

  • Pigma micron 0.3 and 0.8 (dual wielding)
  • Faber Castell drawing kit (including a brush pen)
  • some random red felt pens

I have one more dime novel that I’m using for this year’s sermon sketchnotes too. I don’t know what I’ll move to after that one is finished, I guess that’s the downside of limited editions.