I can’t stop sketching, drawing, illustrating and doodling in my sketchbook these days! My goal is to draw more, to draw all the time, to draw something every day, and to some day draw everything. Here’s a sneak peak into some of my favorite sketchbooks. I’m planning to turn many of these illustrations into fun digital art to stay tuned!
Click here to see my Flickr gallery of a few more pages from my sketchbooks.
New in 2016:
New in 2015:
I have a phobia for the first page of a new sketchbook, which can be a bit intimidating, so I decided to go big with this one (July 2015) and the second page too. Both fun experiments in illustrating a looking-glass feeling!
For my month of doodles in May, I continued to take inspiration from our backyard and neighborhood – dandelions, crab apple blossoms, grape hyacinth, bleeding hearts, violets, tulips, lilies of the valley, alliums, petunias and more.
For my April doodles, I took inspiration from what I saw outside in my part of the world, which was early spring flowers – crocus, daffodils, forsythia buds opening, vinca vines and tulips.
These sketchbook pages were inspired by pom daisies, carnations, alstromeria, and roses from recent bouquets. Then I filled the page with a dramatic spray of leaves and a few of the swirls I love to draw. Next up, I plan to turn these illustrations into new surface patterns, so stay tuned!
Inspired by crochet-doily-flowers and repeat surface pattern
Inspired by fresh cut flowers and vines
Inspired by tiny plants at the greenhouse
In order to fill up more sketchbooks, which is on my bucket list for 2015, I have been coming up with lots of drawing prompts. One thing I’m doing is a monthly calendar. But instead of using it like a diary, I’m using it to do a daily doodle. It’s a great way to get started with my drawing projects for the day. I’m hoping to have a theme for each month’s doodles. It’s one of my new favorite things to do!
Also on my bucket list for 2015 is to wear dresses more often!
I’m happy to report this was the very last blank page in my watercolor sketchbook, which I started in 2012. It’s always a great feeling to fill up a sketchbook, another goal of mine in 2015 – to fill up more sketchbooks. I have already started a new sketchbook, which I will share next week.
New in 2014:
Lots of new work lately inspired by a trip to the botanical gardens and hiking the trails:
First page in a new sketchbook, which is great progress for me since I have a phobia for the first page of a sketchbook!
Last page in my summer sketchbook!
I’ve only finished one new illustration in my sketchbook so far this week, inspired by the majestic dahlias that are blooming this time of year.
I finished this drawing that was in progress last week by adding a fancy scroll frame around the illustration of critters and cattails. That fancy frame was really fun to do so I’m hoping to try that on more illustrations.
The first drawing of a bird in a tree is ready to be inked and scanned for digital fun. I still need to finish the second page by filling in a fancy scrolled frame around the illustration of critters and cattails.
This set is ready to be inked and scanned for digital fun.
Bleeding Hearts: One of the most magical flowers in our garden is the bleeding heart. They are so delicate and unique, thriving in the shady, damp spot right next to our front porch.
More Nature Letters with a Bird theme
Nature Letters: These pages started out with a watercolor background, pencil sketches, more watercolor painting, pen and ink details and some hand-lettering. Inspired by the illustrated Paris Letter I received in the snail mail, I purposefully left white space on these pages for room to write a short letter.
Pathway (reminds me of The Secret Garden, one of my favorite books)
I’m looking forward to doing more of these illustrations in my sketchbook, especially as Spring arrives and things come back to life in our gardens and on the trails nearby, providing just the right inspiration I need.
How Do You Take Your Coffee: There are always new designs of coffee mugs for different coffee drinks and occasions.
I filled in some new pages with random, abstract sweeps of watercolor, let them simmer for a few days, and added some pen work for new illustrations.
I did this next illustration on a piece of scrap watercolor paper roughly the size of a postcard. I just swept some watercolor paint across, let it dry, and let it simmer for a few days until I could see an image emerge.
I did a set of similar ink blot illustrations a couple years ago, where you blot ink on paper, let run and spread, and draw out the image hidden within the paint.
“ink blot illustrations”
I recently spent an afternoon hanging out at a coffee shop. I enjoyed a vanilla latte and some quiet brainstorming time.
It was such a great moment that I wanted to capture it in my sketchbook.
In addition to playing around in my sketchbook with watercolor illustrations, I’ve been making time for graphite drawings in another sketchbook. This week, I’ve been obsessed with drawing coffee mugs/lattes.
Here was my photo inspiration:
When I first learned how to draw, I thought coffee mugs were hard to draw because they are a symmetrical shape, which takes practice to get both sides sloped and curved the same. I’m feeling much better about drawing coffee mugs in all sorts of shapes now, so it’s become a fun challenge.
New in 2013:
To get in more drawing practice, I am hoping to keep up with a Sketch-A-Day or Doodle-A-Day project. Here are pages from my sketchbook:
New in 2012
I like the idea of a personal art project each week, so I’m going to do an Art Journal in 2012. I will admit I’m not using the prettiness sketchbook, but I really needed paper that could hold up with not just pen and ink, but watercolor and acrylic experiments. So I’m using a mixed-media notebook. I can always make a pretty cover for it, right?!
January – Doodle Theme
My Words of the Year – Illustrated Words (remaining thumbnails to be filled in as ideas strike me)
Week of January 8, 2012 –
I had the opportunity to spend a day with my mom, exploring the city, so that was on my mind for this page.
We got our first big snowstorm of the 2012 winter season, which was on my mind for this illustration.
Week of January 15
Neapolitan Cake on my mind!
Late January – First week of classes for the Spring 2012 semester.
Recipes as my muse – Green Monster Smoothie
Recipes as my muse – Butterscotch Blonde Bars
I get a good feeling… on Friday afternoons. Graphite, watercolor, pen and colored pencil in white.
February Prompt – Close-ups – graphite, watercolor, pen and colored pencil in white
March Prompt – Flowers – graphite, watercolor and pen
March Signs of Spring – graphite, watercolor and pen
Daisies, just because I like them – graphite, watercolor and pen
Flower Doodle – graphite, watercolor, and pen
Vinca Vines – Verithin pencil, watercolors, pen and colored pencils
July page, watercolor painting of the American flag colors and abstract style…
… turned into my July Calendar
Page of Impatiens
Page of Woodland Poppies
Page of Graffiti / Abstract Doodles
This page forced me to think outside the box because my brain doesn’t do as well with abstract versus realistic and representational imagery. But it was fun and I love the results.
Page of Phlox
Page of Hibiscus
Nature Findings – Another one of my favorite pages I’ve ever illustrated!
Birch Leaves (added a background color and a frame on this page since my last version)
In Progress – Ferns
Up Next – Leaves From Trees in Our Yard
Check back for more sketchbook adventures and illustrations!