sketchnoting during oprah's lifeclass

MJ Sketchbook | Oprah Life Class Tour Toronto Sketchnotes
I love the concept of sketchnoting. I didn't even know it existed as a legitimate job before I was first introduced to it by YouTuber Kimmaytube. She has a really neat video about hair showing her sketchnoting skills. I was so intrigued by it that I decided to try it out myself using various short YouTube videos.
MJ Sketchbook | Sketchnotes MJ Sketchbook | Sketchnotes MJ Sketchbook | Sketchnotes

Then I decided to take a little more time to think about how I wanted to illustrate the information and did the more elaborate sketchnotes from a presentation by Michio Kaku and another from Joe Rogan. I also started a third one but it's not done yet. These sketchnotes are relatively easy, because you can take your time to come up with ideas. Doing it live is a different story.

A couple months ago, I attended the Oprah LifeClass Tour in Toronto and decided to try it out on an Ipad with a simple software called Penultimate. I managed to doodle here and there but it's not easy! 

Below is a compilation of my nicer notes including a quick portrait of each speakers (Deepak Choprah, Anthony Robbins, Iyanla Vanzant, Bishop TD Jakes and Oprah)

MJ Sketchbook | Oprah Life Class Tour Toronto Sketchnotes

I also managed to illustrate a couple quotes:
MJ Sketchbook | Oprah Life Class Tour Toronto Sketchnotes MJ Sketchbook | Oprah Life Class Tour Toronto Sketchnotes MJ Sketchbook | Oprah Life Class Tour Toronto Sketchnotes

more redditor portraits

There are so many ways to draw a portrait but drawing an interesting one is not always easy. Here I decided to experiment with sketch portraits using various pencils and decided to color the background with a single marker. I just picked a color that seem to fit the portrait. I wonder if it's because of something you can pick up from their personality in the photos, kind of like an aura (not that I know much about that). So just for fun, I decided to check the colors out on some random color personality website, and what the chosen color said about my perception of them :

Portrait no 1compassionate, empathetic and caring. 
Portrait no 2practical, down-to-earth person with a love of nature 
Portrait no 3extroverted and optimistic, courageous and confident.

sketching in the bus

MJSketchbook | Urban Sketchers | Men in the Ottawa OC Transpo Bus #97
A couple days ago I decided to try sketching people in the bus while on the way to the airport. I brought a tiny little book with me and managed to draw four people. The guy (in green) was relatively easy to draw. He was distracted by his ipad and barely moved. The older gentleman (in red) man sitting a couple seats ahead of me was there long enough for me to do his portrait. 

It's interesting to see how some people fidget a lot more than others. The unfinished guy on the lower left kept moving his head and looking all over the place, so I only managed to do draw a basic shape. The one on the lower right didn't move much but I lost my view when more people entered the bus. 

the hair salon

MJ LIKE TO DRAW | Urban Sketcher - Ottawa | Hair Salon pen drawings
A couple weeks ago I was getting my hair done at a hair salon in Ottawa and decided to start on that urban sketching thing, since I was going to be on the chair for hours.  I managed to draw the station in front of me as well as some details.  I made these using a simple black Pilot Fineliner.
MJ LIKE TO DRAW | Urban Sketcher - Ottawa | Hair Salon pen drawings

the guy in the boyband

portrait boy band member colored pencils by Marie-Judith

Honestly, I don't remember the name of the band or the name of the boy, but at the time I liked the way he looked (especially his eyes) and decided to draw him. Does he look familiar to you?

the old grumpy man made me 100$

portrait grumpy old man Marie-Judith
Here's another drawing I made 16 years ago. It's funny how a passion never really leaves you. Even though I was studying Pure and Applied Sciences in school, I would find time to draw portraits like these. This portrait was submitted to a contest at school and I was actually one of the winners. I think the prize was $100. I wasn't aware at the time of the various types of pencils available (the Bs, HB, F and Hs). I believe this was made only with an HB pencil. I think with a couple darker pencils like a B or 2B it would have been even better. Still I was pretty happy with this one. 


I was rummaging through my old drawings and discovered this old portrait of Venom, a character from the Spiderman comics. I did for my little brother a long time ago (16 years ago! O_o). I remember it took me a little while to do it, but I was really happy with the result (I still am). I believe he wanted it as the cover for his notebook to collect signatures and messages from friends at the end of the school year.  Something I also used to do as well back in high school. Colored pencils were my tool of choice back then. 

old urban sketches

urban sketch classroom
I've been sketching all my life, especially during classes as you can see. These are really old sketches I did to pass time in class. It was just a thing I used to do from time to time and I kept a lot of them. I didn't know sketching was "a thing". 

Now, thanks to local illustrator Tom Pokinko, I recently discovered a really impressive group called the Urban Sketchers, an international group of artists from various backgrounds who's mission "is to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel", showing the world, one drawing at a time. The Urban Sketchers' Manifesto got my attention. It states :
  1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation. 
  2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel. 
  3. Our drawings are a record of time and place. 
  4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness. 
  5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles. 
  6. We support each other and draw together. 
  7. We share our drawings online. 
  8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.
I was almost there at the time it seems. These were taking at a school in Montreal. Mind you the little turtle on the top of the door was a figment of my imagination. :)
urban sketch classroom Needless to say, I decided to join as a member and add urban sketching in my artistic skills to do list from now on. Who knows, I might become a correspondent sometime in the future. But in the mean time, it will be a great way to connect with other artists. 
urban sketch classroom