Sketchnotes Soccer Sketch the Match

Football World Cup Sketchnotes: Tips and Tricks

From a German point of view, the World Cup was not ideal. But that did not stop me from sketchnoting at least the first three games this time. You’ll remember that I did that too in the last European Championship. At that time, I approached it quite differently, both from a technical point of view (drawn analogously on paper) and in terms of content.

Since I always emphasize that you can use sketchnotes for everything, I would like to use this opportunity to show how I go about it.

Variant 1: Live sketchnotes of the game

Four years ago, I sketched the games live as much as possible. At that time, still with pen and paper and using a completely different approach. I have to confess that I am not a much of a soccer aficionado. But I like watching soccer games, because I really like seeing how you can tactically organize a game (which of course is not always the case).

In the case of the live sketchnote, the challenge is to capture the game itself »live«, which is not easily done in soccer, because games can play out very differently and of course you do not know that before. A soccer game can be super exciting with many highlights, but also quite boring, and / or ending in penalty shoot-outs. Since, it is impossible to foretell how a game is going to play out, it is also difficult to organize the format accordingly.

Sketchnotes Fußball EM 2016

During boring games, I often listen to the comments of the commentators or the people watching the game with me, so I can build their comments in visually in citation form. Or I can draw the details that are actually in every game, but can be important in boring games: offside, player changes, fouls.
For exciting games, I use the watch as a guide to see how much space is left.

Sketchnotes Fußball EM 2016

Sketchnotes Fußball EM 2016

As a basic structure, I have tried different approaches: Place the title in the top left and run from there, one half on each side, the title and the result in the middle with the game sketched around it.

Variant 2: Sketchnoting the highlights

I have tried another variant this time around, for very different reasons. One is the fact that I have children around me during the game and concentrating is rather difficult. On the other hand, some games can be very emotional sometimes, and then it is not so easy to keep the pen straight or to look away from the screen, because you need to capture a moment.

Recently, I’ve been working with Kelvy Bird. She uses a completely different approach to graphic recording. She tries to capture the mood of a session and visualizes it afterwards. (If you want to read more about what she means, I recommend reading her book »Generative Scribing« – Affiliate Link). You can apply this very well in this case. The advantage is that you can watch the game (in peace would be the wrong word here) and recapitulated afterwards. Something that helps is that there are also online game summaries available everywhere, where you can have a look at the game highlights again and again, which definitely helps.

The result may look like this e.g. I played a bit with the formats and ended up in the wider format. There I was able to pick up a bit more on the game dynamics.

Sketchnotes Soccer Sketch the Match
Sketchnote South Korea – Germany

Sketchnotes Soccer Sketch the Match
Sketchnote Sweden – Germany

Sketchnotes Soccer Sketch the Match
Sketchnote Mexico – Germany

Tips and tricks

Practice faces
When dealing with non-specialized topics, preparation is the be-all and end-all. For instance, I searched the Internet for photos of the players, if I wanted to draw concrete players, and used these as templates. It can also help to refer to existing caricatures of the players to filter out particularities of the players.

Practice poses
Since soccer is a fast game, it is very difficult to quickly draw concrete poses. This should be practiced in advance, e.g. based on photos, because a few typical poses come again and again. I have looked up a few examples and used them as master copies.

Sketchnotes Soccer Sketch the Match

Drawing soccer balls
Oh, I hate drawing soccer balls! It’s not that complicated when you’ve mastered a hack, but the nice thing about Digital Sketching with the iPad Pro (Affiliate Link) is that you just have to draw it only once and can copy it over and over again. That’s what I did. Incidentally, this also applies to faces or positions or recurring elements such as offside flags. This is perfect if you want to go fast.

Sketchnotes Soccer Sketch the Match

Few colors plus country flags
I generally work very reduced with colors for more tranquility. Fortunately, the German jerseys are black and white anyway. I keep this detail, but add the country colors in the flags, which I always have to look up online.

Until the next World Cup!

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