I tend not to use sketches because for me they take a long time. Case in point: Tonight I was working on a single photo layout and was stumped, so I pulled out a few magazines and books and started searching through them for single photo layout ideas. Nothing worked with the photo I had. I put aside the sketches, pulled out some product, spent the same amount of time designing and finished the layout sans sketch. I'll share that layout tomorrow.
Even though I don't use others' sketches, I do make my own. Here's a couple pages from my sketch book:
You can see that I do not draw to scale, so I have to rework them as I do them. When I finished, I write "DONE" on it. And as you can see on the right, I sometimes use my sketchbook for a to-do list.
This first layout is the sketch from the upper left:
I switched where the red photo block would go, dropped a picture, and added embellishments.
The next is the sketch from the upper right:
It transformed from a 12x12 to an 8 1/2x11 layout based on the orientation of the photos.
The next two use sketches, but from pages I didn't show. This first used products from a kit from Scarlet Lime:
I can't tell you how much my son liked this layout. He studied it, and then I found out why: He reproduced his Hot Wheel contraption.
This next is a small page about the five things I do every day that leave me having a good day:
I had some Making Memories Flower Patch papers out to get ready to scrap Easter, but I thought they looked good with my purple shirt. And I never scrap purple, so green it was.
That's my process with sketches. I'll post two more pages tomorrow; I did them without sketches, but I like the end product on them.