Creating sketchbook pages in bitesize chunks

How are you feeling about the change in seasons? Are you an embracer of Autumn and winter as an opportunity to hunker down and dig out your woolly socks or do the dark nights fill you with dread?

I have been thinking about seasonal sketching and how my optimistic summer sketching plans are always a bit over ambitious and never take account of all the other stuff I need to do...is that familiar?! :-)) I have realised that I am an autumn/winter sketcher and love the idea of a cold wet day outside and a kitchen table full of art materials! I addition to this, I need: a good audio book/podcast/Radio 4 drama, a supply of steaming mugs of tea, some nice biscuits, a cat to keep the bits of paper on the table warm (by sitting on them) and nobody asking me what's for tea and when it will be ready!

Talking of podcasts, a few weeks ago I listened to Dr Michael Moseley's fantastic mini series called 'Just One Thing'. During each 15 minute episode, the good doctor reveals surprisingly simple top tips that are scientifically proven to change your life. If time is tight, what's the one thing that you should be doing to improve your health and wellbeing?

The episode which struck a chord with me (apart for the one telling me to eat chocolate!) was about fitting snack sized chunks of exercise into a busy day by just doing a minute here and there working up to half an hour... I wondered if this could be applied to keeping a visual journal or getting going with an art project?

So, I decided to try it and construct a whole page of little autumnal sketches over a period of a week. Adding one or two a day, I gradually built up a really lovely spread which ended up looking a bit like a school nature table. It made the blank page feel a lot less overwhelming and the system works well if, like me, you have a lot of other commitments vying for your time. In short, it felt restorative rather than overwhelming and we all need a bit of that don't we?


Stuck with where to start?

Last month's pebble painting workshop was all about 'snack' sketching and building up a collection page. The constantly fascinating thing is that the resulting spread is so impactful and becomes greater than the sum of its parts. There are some very useful layout tips in this workshop which is available as an instant download recording. You also get some great printable references to work from AND an inspiration sheet to help you delve deeper and add some written content to your pebble pages. Click here for more info


Cabinets of Curiosities

With collections in mind, have you ever visited the Pitt Rivers Museum? A weird and wonderful place that is the treasure of Oxford. Amazing and diversely varied, this museum has everything from a witch in a bottle, ceremonial capes made of feathers to Japanese swords and nose horns! I loved opening the drawers to see what was inside!

My family and I went on a good ol' day out there last Sunday. Whilst they had a mooch around the dinosaur bones, I explored the cabinets full of spells, secrets and mysterious tribal artefacts to get inspired for three very special Autumn workshops full of creative sorcery. Here I am getting my sketch on!


This sketchbook page ended up being informative rather than visually beautiful. I wanted to record the information I was reading as well as the shapes of the ancient communication devices. Imagine sending a message to someone by strategically knotting a piece of string!

I love museum sketching and have plans to do more over the winter. My plan is to create a sketchbook which becomes a papery cabinet of curiosities!

Happy Scribbling! xx


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