Sketchbook Skool: Whimsical Sketchbook

 

This week I started a new kourse with Sketchbook Skool. I haven’t taken one of their multi-teacher kourses in a long time and this one – called The Whimsical Sketchbook – looked like fun so I signed up.

The first teacher was illustrator Rebecca Green and the assignment was to illustrate a character or scene from one of your favourite books. I chose to illustrate a short story from a book by Tove Jansson called Letters From Klara. I didn’t feel confident enough to draw a character so I decided to draw all the details mentioned in the first short story of the book – also called Letters From Klara.

I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out and I felt slightly out of my comfort zone but I was pleased with the finished drawing, although I feel like I could keep tweaking this one for ages.

 

My Current Daily Art Kit

DailyArtkit

At the moment I’m working on the 365 Days to a Portfolio Project, which involves making 3 illustrations each week, and my 100 Days of Hand Lettering, which I do every single day. I usually combine the 2 when they overlap just to make life a bit easier, but it’s a lot of work. And because I didn’t have enough going on (!) I’m also taking the latest Sketchbook Skool klass as well, which lasts 5 weeks.

I’m sharing my work every day on social media so I thought I’d explain here a bit more about the process and the tools I’m using pretty muc every day. They’re not all pictured here. Most of them are but these are the main things I use each day.

An A4 sketchbook.

I’m using a Seawhite of Brighton Creative Casebound sketchbook, which has nice smooth drawing paper and is hard bound. I’m using that to draw out my hand lettering every day. Sometimes I use pencil first and then ink it but mostly I just use a pen (hence the spelling mistake I made in one of the quotations you can see here!).

Micron pens.

I have a selection of Pigma Micron pens, which I’m using for my lettering and they range from 005 to the Pigma Graphic 1 and they work nicely on the smooth paper in this big sketchbook.

Surface Pro tablet.

I’ve been digitising most of my hand lettering so far and to do that I scan the sketchbook and then clean things up and edit things together in Photoshop so the Surface Pro, together with my Bamboo stylus, comes in handy for that, as does my laptop.

A5 Watercolour Moleskine Sketchbook.

On days when I don’t digitise my hand lettering I use a page in my A5 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. These are one of my favourite all-round sketchbooks to use regularly. I like the size, the landscape format and they handle watercolour paint pretty well.

Watercolour Paint.

This is my medium-sized palette from Winsor and Newton which I use most days for non-digital hand lettering and other sketches and drawings. The bright coloured blobs of paint inside the lid are gouache paint which I just mix from the tube and clean off every so often.

Paintbrushes.

I use a whole range of paintbrushes but my favourites at the moment are from Rosemary and Co. I especially like this mop brush for creating big washes of colour for backgrounds.

A5 Mixed Media Sketchbook.

This is the sketchbook I use most often. It’s a Stillman and Birn Zeta sketchbook and I really like the thick paper (although I think my favourite is their Beta sketchbook because the paper has a bit more ‘tooth’). I haven’t tried yet but it’s really smooth so I think it would handle Copic markers nicely.

These are the core of what I use to make my drawings and illustrations each day at the moment. Sometimes I also add in some coloured Uniball pens, Gelly Roll and Gelly Glaze pens, a pencil and watercolour pencils for sketching.

What are you favourite and most useful tools that you use regularly?

How to Improve Your Drawing Skills

Books

A friend recently mentioned to me that she had been working on her drawing skills and asked if I had any tips or suggestions of places to learn from, so I thought I’d share a more detailed answer here in case you were also wondering about this.

Before I start, though, I’d say the one thing that has helped me to build up my own drawing skills is simply more “How to Improve Your Drawing Skills”