Defeat the Blank Page: Discover Inspiration Inside and Outside Your Sketchbook | Anne Butera | Skillshare

Defeat the Blank Page: Discover Inspiration Inside and Outside Your Sketchbook

Anne Butera, watercolor artist, pattern designer

Defeat the Blank Page: Discover Inspiration Inside and Outside Your Sketchbook

Anne Butera, watercolor artist, pattern designer

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17 Lessons (2h 33m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. My Sketchbook Story

    • 3. Why Sketchbooks

    • 4. Finding Inspiration

    • 5. An Inspiration Adventure

    • 6. Tools and Materials

    • 7. Nature in Watercolor

    • 8. Nature in Pencil

    • 9. Pattern in Acrylic

    • 10. Inspired by the Page - Acrylic

    • 11. Gouache from a Vintage Poster 1

    • 12. Gouache from a Vintage Poster 2

    • 13. Gouache from a Vintage Poster 3

    • 14. Gouache Inspired by the Page

    • 15. Marker from a Vintage Poster

    • 16. Collage Inspired by the Page

    • 17. On Your Own

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About This Class

No matter your experience or skill level as an artist, there will be times when you look at the blank page and your head feels as empty as it does.

In fact, inspiration exists everywhere and this class is designed to help you discover it and then translate that inspiration onto the page.

In this class you'll:

  • Identify your own personal intentions for keeping a sketchbook.
  • Discover what inspires you. Although inspiration is everywhere it can sometimes be difficult to find clarity, especially if you’re overwhelmed with inspiration coming from all directions.
  • Learn how to take the raw inspiration and translate it onto a page in your sketchbook.
  • Learn techniques for using any page in your sketchbook as inspiration for another page.

In a series of demonstrations you'll also learn a bit about color mixing, painting with watercolor, sketching with pencil, painting with acrylic craft paint, painting with gouache, sketching with marker and playing with collage.

By the end of this class you’ll:

  • Have created an ongoing list of your goals which will, in turn help when you’re faced with the question “what do I put down on the page?”
  • Have created a list of different sources of inspiration that you can turn to again and again when you’re stuck.
  • Have learned techniques for generating unlimited ideas from your sources of inspiration.
  • Be able to look at every page you create as a source of inspiration for many other pages.

Meet Your Teacher

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Anne Butera

watercolor artist, pattern designer

Top Teacher


The beginning of my story might sound similar to yours. When I was a child I loved to make things, but as I grew up I "learned" I wasn't good at art and stopped making it.

But that's not the end of my story.

As an adult I eventually realized something was missing from my life and I began to play with the idea of learning how to paint. I was encouraged by the example of other artists who had begun their creative journeys as adults with no formal training. Their stories gave me confidence to try.

When I started out learning how to paint I didn't know where to start. I learned by doing (and by failing and trying again). 

It's been a long road, but today I work as a watercolor artist.

My art has been featured in magazines an... See full profile

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1. Intro: Do you look at the blank pages of your sketch book and have no idea what to do with them? When I first started learning how to make Far, I was intimidated by sketchbooks and uncertain about the blank page. Hi, I'm Anne Butera, I'm the artists behind the website and blog, My Giant Strawberry. Eventually, I was able to work past my fear. Since then, sketch books have become an important part of my art practice. In this class, I'll help you identify your intentions for your sketchbook and show you how discover the inspiration that surrounds you every day. I'll share the ways I use my sketch book, and show many examples of my own sketchbook pages. You'll take a little adventure to seek out inspiration. Then I'll demonstrate how to take broad inspiration and translate it into page after page of observation, practice and play. I'll even share how to find inspiration within the pages you create. By the end of this class, you'll understand your reasons for keeping a sketchbook. You'll have created a treasury of inspiration sources that you can return to again and again. You'll have learned how to move from inspiration to action, so you too can defeat the blank page. If that sounds good to you, then I'll see you in class. 2. My Sketchbook Story: When I first started making art, I felt really intimidated by sketchbooks. I had this idea in my head that, to be a real artist, you had to sit down and work in a sketchbook and your sketch book was going to be beautiful and perfect. That's just not the way most sketchbooks are. I know we see a lot on Pinterest and on Instagram of these beautifully styled photographs of people sketchbooks. I think that just put a lot of pressure on us when we sit down to create our own. Although, when I first started working in a sketchbook, it was really difficult for me. I eventually was able to overcome that. I've filled up these, all of these books. I have a whole bunch more that are in process. One of my sketchbooks, which was a collaboration with my friend Dana was even featured in a magazine. So, being able to overcome my fear of sketchbooks really helped me to build my confidence. It happened slowly over time. 3. Why Sketchbooks: One thing I want you to keep in mind is that there's no wrong way to keep the sketchbook. There's also no right way that you have to follow in order to keep your sketchbook. Before I start giving you some ideas of what you can do with your sketchbook, I want you to think about, what you want to do in your sketchbook, how you want to work in it? What sorts of materials do you want to use? What purpose you want it to have? I'd like you to spend a few minutes writing down a list. You can pause this video or you can write along with me, and then in a little bit, we'll come back, and I'll share some reasons that I use my sketchbook. I hope you've come up with some ideas. If you need more time, be sure to pause the video, and then later, I'd love to begin a conversation in the discussion section of this class, so we can help to inspire one another. One of the most traditional ways of using a sketchbook is for practice. You can practice your techniques, you can practice with new media, experiment, and try new things for learning how to draw or paint or to create patterns, whatever it is that you're doing in your sketchbook. Another purpose of your sketchbook is to work out ideas, and I use my sketchbook this way a lot of the time. If for example, I'm working on commission, I'll do a lot of sketches to finalize my ideas of what I want the piece to look like. Well, I do that also for paintings, and then with my surface pattern design, I will work out some motifs, and ideas for my patterns in my sketchbook, and often end up scanning images from my sketchbook to create my patterns. Another great way to use a sketchbook is for observation. If for example you have a botanical sketchbook, you can sit down, and observe nature. You could observe a plant that's sitting on your window sill, and perhaps it's not drawing with a pen or pencil, I'm always painting it. Maybe it's creating a collage from it, but it's taking something that you're directly looking at, and observing it on the page. One really fun way to use a sketchbook is for idea generating. This is something that I often that have happened in my collaborative sketchbooks. I talked about doing collaborative sketchbook with my friend Dana Marbury, and right now, we're working through our second book. I've found that every time I sit down to work on a page, I come up with a whole list of ideas of ways that I could create my page, and answer to hers. We'll talk a lot more about that later. You can also generate ideas from your own pages or from things that you observe, or from things that you paste into your sketchbook. I mentioned sketchbooks being fun. That can be a purpose in itself, maybe creating a page that is just for play. Maybe it's playing with color, maybe it's creating playful images, and thinking of things that are playful, is a wonderful way to keep your sketchbook. Another way you can use your sketchbook is for self-expression. Some people use their sketchbooks almost like a journal, and they do a lot of writing or they work out emotions. Although I don't often do that in my sketchbook, can be a great way of overcoming a bad mood or something like that. Those are a few ways that I'm suggesting you use a sketchbook, but I'm sure that there are ways that you enjoy working in a sketchbook or would enjoy working in a sketchbook, and I'd love to hear them. 4. Finding Inspiration: Let's spend a couple minutes talking about inspiration. Inspiration can sometimes be a tricky thing. We fall into rots ,we feel creatively blocked, but I believe that inspiration is truly everywhere and that if we go seek out exciting and interesting things, then we will never be without ideas for art. So I want to ask you the question, where do you find inspiration? Think about times when you've felt most energized and excited about an idea and just couldn't wait to get it down on paper. So like before, let's spend a couple minutes writing down our ideas and then we'll come back and I'll share where I find inspiration.[MUSIC] Okay, now that you've spent some time working on your own ideas, I'll share the places that I find inspiration myself. My biggest inspiration is nature. Everywhere around me all I need to do is take a walk and keep my eyes open, and I'll find so much inspiration. [MUSIC] Tied to that idea of nature as inspiration, my other big source of inspiration is my garden. I grow a lot of flowers and vegetables, and I enjoy seeing the creatures that come visit my garden all around me, in the summertime, I step out the door and have endless ideas for my art. So other places I find inspiration are museums, books, music, movies, other artists, all of these are wonderful places to look for inspiration and I'm sure you have some other ideas and I'd love to hear them. So be sure to share them in the discussion section of this class. Before I send you on a little adventure, I just want to share some thoughts I have about types of inspiration. I think it usually falls under one of three categories: color, shape and texture. So when you're looking at something and feel inspired to capture it on the page, think about what is it that's inspiring you? Is it the color? Is it the shape? Is it the texture? Looking at things with that sort of filter will help create even more ideas. One more thing, Picasso once said, that inspiration exists, but it needs to find you working. So remember if inspiration isn't coming easily, there are some things that you can do to move it along. In the next lesson you are going to take a little adventure. 5. An Inspiration Adventure: Before we begin playing on paper, I'm going to give you a little assignment. I want you to take a look at the list that you created of your sources of inspiration, and also be thinking about color, shape, and texture. Now, I want you to go on a little adventure. Maybe if you're looking for inspiration from nature, you'll go for a hike. Or maybe you'll visit a museum, or a bookstore, or a library, wherever you're looking for inspiration, I want you to have your eyes open to possibility. You can take your camera, and take some photographs, or maybe you'll take something home, like a leaf, or a seed pod. Then come back, and we'll dive into some fun exercises, and defeat the blank page. See you there. 6. Tools and Materials: I haven't really talked much about materials that you can use in your sketchbooks, although I've shown some examples. Of course, the first thing you need is a book and there are so many different types. If you're having trouble working in your sketchbook, one thing to keep in mind is maybe the book that you've chosen isn't the right one for you. Think about ways you want to work and choose your book accordingly. There are different kinds of bindings. I have some that are spiral bound and some that are not. I like the softcover books, especially these Strathmore books because you can open them and they lay flat. They're perfectly flat. Sometimes it helps to use a binder clip or a clothes pin or something like that to hold the pages if they start getting warped. Both of these Strathmore journals are mixed media books. There are also drawing books and watercolor books. Choose whatever will work best for you. Here's an example of a spiral-bound watercolor book and this other one that I already showed you is a mixed media book. I tend to like the mixed media papers the most for working on because they're fairly heavy and they can take lots of different types of materials. As you can see, there are all sorts of different sizes. When I was first starting, I was very comfortable in the small books but I am finding them a little too constraining now. If a large blank page is feeling a little bit scary to you, then perhaps using a smaller book will work. Or if you have a small book and you're feeling constrained by it, maybe you need to switch to a larger book. That's just a quick overview of a few different types of sketchbooks. As per materials, some of my favorite materials are just simple mechanical pencils. We use all sorts of pens and markers, microns, these calligraphy pens. Use what you have or if you want to ignite some new ideas, pick up a new tool. Watercolors, acrylic paints, squash, all of those are also possibilities. Color pencils, markers, really the sky is the limit and I'll show you some collage too. Use what you have or seek out some new materials and either way, you'll be able to defeat the blank page. 7. Nature in Watercolor: Nature in my garden are some of my big inspirations. Here are some things that I found while on an outdoor adventure. Today we're going to focus on color. I'm going to just instead of trying to draw any of these items, I just want to match the colors I see here. One of my favorite things is color mixing. I like to look at the color and determine what I might mix together to get that. I'm using watercolors, which is my favorite medium. I'm going to start by mixing this deep reddish color. I'm going to start with some of this dark red. I'm just grabbing some of that color onto my palette. This red just looking at it on the palate, it looks very bright to me. If you have swatches of your colors, it can be helpful to look at those to determine which colors you want to use. This looks a little brighter than this red. I'm going to add in, one of my favorite things to darken a red is some green. I think going to use this mossy colored green. This is giving us a nice brown, but I think it looks a little bit too brown, so I'll add a little bit more red. I may try a little bit of this red too, that's a really nice dark deep color. I'm going to use a little bit of this ocher too. You can see on this leave, there's a bit of an ocher color on the end, so add that in. I'm going to just make a swatch here. When your paint is this wet, it's hard to get a deep version of the color. But here is my swatch. I'm trying to get as much paint as I can't onto the page. The reason it's hard to get a deep color is because there's so much water mixed in with your paint. I think I'd also like to put ocher here. This came directly from the pan, so it is a little more saturated. It doesn't really matter what size or shape you make your swatches. I'm going to mix a little bit of that in the red in the ocher, cool. Now, I'm going to look at this. This is a dahlia flower that hadn't opened when frost came and killed my plant. I see a whole bunch of colors in this one flower. I like that really dark color brown. I'm going to use that as a starting point. One of my favorite ways to mix a dark brown is to take some red. I'm going to use the same red, I think this is matter lake. You of course, can use whatever colors you have on hand. To mix brown, you need red, yellow, and blue. But I'm going to skip the yellow and blue and use green instead. You can see this is getting me a very dark maroon. Actually, I think this would be really interesting to add in here, too dark enough, maybe I'll add some here. Oh, that's fun. This is still too red in my opinion, so I'm going to add a little more green. This dark green that I'm using is called Russian green and you can see it's one of my most used colors. I really like the way this looks. I'm going to just make a nice big swatch of this dark brown. If I let my colors on my palette dry and came back wetted them lightly with some water and then added them to the page, they would be much darker because they would not be as diluted. Also, you would have less pools of paint like this. You can see the texture, this is a watercolor paper sketchbook. It's actually not my favorite, it has a strange texture and sometimes the paint dries strangely on it. But I like the size and it works for making swatches. The dark brown of this flower is mostly on the bottom part and on the stem. I want some of that yellowy brown next. Let's see, I'm going to rinse my brush a little more here. I'm going to take this bright yellow. I'm going to just mix it right here on the palette and just mix a little bit of it. Oh, that's a nice mustardy color, I really like that. That's really pretty and it's not a perfect match. Surely it looks pretty close to that petal right there. If you want to be very exact and get perfect matches, that's fine. I am comfortable just being more loose with my matches. This is another leaf also from my burning bush, that's what this one was and I just love that demarcation of these two colors. There's some of that maroon and then there's even some green and some tan. Seeing that green, I have this glimmy color. I'm going to actually put it on here and mix it in a little bit. I'm just going to let that sit there like that and now I'm going to take some of this maroon, make another swatch. You can see I'm not being very neat on my page. Here's my maroon swatch, I'm not trying to get it too dark, but I'm going to come back and pick up some of that green, that yellow and that brown and add this in here, just in the corner. I'm going to try and pick up, this was the yellow I used, some more of that and put this like that just to give us a combination of some colors. Then maybe a little bit of this ocher. A bit of a splash there. To give us a little more darkness in that red, I'm going to try not to get too much water when I mix some more of that in and just dab that. I'm not sure how this is going to dry, knowing that this is very wet. Hopefully my puddles won't move around too much. This is a hardbound book. I'm going to attempt to use a close pin here to hold it open. This is a pretty wide side here. There's lots of pages, so it might not work too well, but it'll keep it a little flatter. You can already see how this is drawing strangely. One of the reasons I don't like using this book, and my beautiful mustard is drying not quite as beautifully as it did when it was wet and that's okay. One thing you could do if your paintings swatches like this, you can write underneath what the color was from. It's a good reference for you then. You could also make notes as to what paint colors you use to mix those colors. Again, it's entirely up to you and your purpose for your sketchbook. We've got some interesting colors going on up there. Another thing you can do, instead of using a watercolor sketchbook, if you want to use water colors, is take some small pieces of watercolor paper. I always have extra pieces from when I trim down paintings, or when I cut smaller pieces for daily art projects or whatever. Something like this will dry better and then you can tape it or paste it into your book. I'm just going to make some color combos on here. Just an example and a test to see how this will dry. I'm not even really sure what paper this is, just a scrap, so I'll put that aside. Now I have this beautiful, sad, dead monarch butterfly that I've found. I'm going to mix some orange, and when I mix oranges, I generally like to start with orange. Maybe that's cheating a bit but that's how I like to work. I think this might be cadmium orange, but I also can brush that off on there. I'm trying to make sure it's not too wet. Red orange is a nice addition. Now that's looking much redder than our monarch here. I'm going to clean up my brush and add some yellow. Trying not to get the yellow too dirty. I didn't do a great job of cleaning up my brush. This is a very, very bright color and if you look at the butterfly, this is more of a brownish, muted orange. I'm thinking, now I'm going to add a little ocher and see where that takes us. Sometimes it can take a while for you to get the exact color that you want and that's okay. We'll seesaw back and forth between too much of one and too much of another, until you get where you want to be. Diluted that might be close, but we want to bring a little more brown into it. I'm going to take a very tiny bit of this moss green and add that in. That was too tiny of a bit. Actually I think I might use this lighter moss green. That is looking very pretty. Let's make a swatch of that. Look how cool that's drawing, that's really interesting. I just noticed the watercolor paper test I did is all mixing together. Perhaps I need to wait for some of these colors to dry. I'm going to paint this orange swatch here. You don't have to make squares or rectangles. You can do any shape that you want. I am thinking I would really like to have some of that brown bleed in with the orange, so I'm going to make another swatch. I'm not doing a very good job of making this even at all, and that's okay. I'm trying to make this one a little less wet, I'm going to take some of this brown and see what happened when I add this in. I like it. Now we've got a very dark black brown for the patterning on these wings. I think I want to take some black and I'm going to just paint it directly on the page here. This is just so beautiful. Then, I'm going to add in some brown. That looks neat. I really love the way the wet paint looks on the paper. It's always so saturated and beautiful. So last step we have my dried rose. We've got some pings, some ochres, and some lovely green. I think I'm going to start with the green. This is a pale, pale green. Let's start with this mossy color. That is too bright, I think, but I have this other color over here. This is an opaque kind of seiji green color. Still very bright. I'm going to take some of this ocher and mix that in. This is a pretty dark color, but if I lay it on the page very lightly with little more water, that's interesting. By that mustard, they're very similar color. I actually, I think I'm going to take some of this cobalt turquoise and add that in there. It's okay that I already have. That makes it very interesting, I think. Now you can see, going back to where some of these are drawing, again, you're getting some strange effects because it was so wet and the water and paint pooled. So in the places where it dried because the pool was not there, it's fighting with where it's wet. That's just the nature of working with very wet mixes and with this paper that I just don't really like very much. Now we're going to go for this pink. I think I'm going to start with this. That is looking very pretty already and very close in color. Of the top of my head, I cannot remember what that color is. I should have labels in the tops of my pellets, but I do not. I keep coming back to this poker. I think I'm going to add that in. So let's paint a swatch of this pinky ocher. I think that made it a little too warm of a pink. But it is a beautiful color. So to cool that off, let's see. I think I'll take a little bit of this and I'll work on it just directly on the page. You can mix colors on your palette or on your paper, or both. I cooled it off a little. Actually I'm going to try something else. We have more room on here. I'm going to take this almost directly from the palette. So that's closer in color, but I want to add some of this green. So that looks to me like that, the way the green is bleeding into that pedal. We're getting a little bit of a fight on the page with the wet and dry. I'm thinking this is a cobalt color because I've found that cobalt does not like to stay mixed and it'll granulate. You can see it separating a bit. That cobalt turquoise I added to this green, you can see it separating out there as well. I have space for a few more color swatches. I think I'm just going to do some combinations of colors that we have here just to see what happens. So coming back to this orange, you'll see there's a cut here on my paper. Will just ignore that. Actually no, I don't want the brown. I'm going to add some of the maroon in there. Then we'll do some green. Actually light like this, this is a lot closer color. Add some brown. Takes more pink, that warm pink. Add some maroon. I think I want something dark over here. So this brown. We'll let this dry and then, in the next lesson, I'll show you how to use this page and these found objects to inspire another page. 8. Nature in Pencil: We're going to come back to this book for a minute. Now things have dried, for the most part this is still a little wet here. I discovered that hidden in one of my found object, was a tiny little caterpillar. You can see how things are dry, the wetter paint has dried very radically. I'm going to move these items here, but get some. Actually I may have to dry my brush a little on some paper towel. No, this is not giving a very good example. Can't see her swatches are a little bit darker or maybe not. Maybe I'm just imagining things. I haven't really given them much time to dry. I'm just painting small swatches and doing some mixtures, other thing was over here. I don't know what to do about that poor little caterpillar. It is the middle of winter, well, you guys technically winter hasn't started yet, but it's December. We have snow on the ground here in Wisconsin and that little caterpillar is not going to survive outside. I often like to paint circles like that of my colors and I'm thinking this book does not work very well with my favorite Micron pens. I'm going to do some pencil sketches and just going to do some rough sketches of these, what a piece of nature that I found. Just as another way to capture them. I think I would prefer using a pen because it'll give you a darker line, but I know this paper is just not very good with pen. Now I could go back and add in some color to this, if I wanted to, but I'm not going to this time. Again, just some rough sketches. There's the rose, little leaves next and these have been Chrome bulb, but I'll pretend that it's not. We can paint some, can draw some hint of some veins in here, can just rough sketches. This one is smaller or shapes are a bit distorted because they are crumpled. You could spend a long time drawing perfect looking sketches, but I'm not going to do that. Then let's see which spot do I want? This have, always sad when I find a monarch that has died that did not make it to Mexico or California before the end of the season. There's something very bitter sweet, about this beautiful creature. Now this inspiration on this page, I'm capturing the shapes yes, but also a bit of the texture, with these messy pencil lines and patterning. I often see texture to really be a patterns. Because when you are capturing the texture of a leaf or whatever it is that you're being inspired by, the actual page that you're creating with your pencil, or your paint, or your markers, or whatever you're using, often does not have a texture itself. So what ends up on the page is not texture so much as pattern. So this is just a regular old mechanical pencil. I like drawing using this for sketching. So that's a rough sketch of this butterfly. Then we're going to put the last piece down and I think I'm going to make this one upside down. So here's the stem. There are different ways to capture the texture on paper depending on what medium you're using, and sometimes the paper itself adds texture and it works with you. I've found especially with watercolor it's almost magical the way that works. Because often it happens in unintentional way. Well, this pencil sketching is about observation. Observing the textures and the shading of these found objects, these bits of nature in my garden. So here we are with my page, and just for balance I think I'm going to add another leaf. I'll make it skinnier. These leaves I've found do not have their veins perfectly opposite one another. I'll go back in and add a little detail. Now, you can write little notes here. For example you might want to say something like, "Object found on a hike," and put the date. Or, "Gleaned from my garden," and the date. You may want to give as I said names to your colors or just leave them be. Adding a little bit more dark lines gives some definition and it helps to step back from your page. My pencil is getting smudged. This is also something that you could do while you're outside when you gather your materials. I often will sketch outside in my garden when the weather is nice. When it's not, it's very nice to bring stuff back inside. Or depending on your medium, it's going to be easier to work inside than out sometimes. So here is two pages that go together that are inspired by my garden and the walk around my yard. As with all of these pages, there are always many different ways that you could go and many different options. I'll share some more options in the next lesson. 9. Pattern in Acrylic: I'm going to use this book as my example. This is feed sacks in uppercase magazine, encyclopedia of inspiration. It's all different types of interesting vintage feed sacks and there's so much inspiration in here, in terms of patterns and designs and textures and colors. You could also get inspiration like this from physical items like a quilt you found in a thrift store, maybe something that was handed down to you. I'm going to take these colors here as my inspiration. We're going to try and mix some of them. I'm just going to move this off to the side. We've got some really nice colors here and I think because it was so these colors are pretty opaque. I'm going to use some craft paint. I've got my craft paint off the camera right now. This is craft smart, just it's cheap acrylic craft paint that I got at Michael's and there's lots of colors. What I'm using for my palette is this disposable plastic plate. Although their disposal of all of these are pretty heavy duty. I got them on Amazon for a painting class I was teaching in person. I've really taken them into my practice at home as well. I'm going to start by mixing a blue. It's like this, turquoise. I'm going to start with this bright blue. Then squeeze a little bit of this on to my palette. I'm going to add a little bit of turquoise or I don't even know if this is called turquoise, ocean breeze. Then I'm going to add some of this dark navy blue. These are cheaper brushes, so just going to mix it a bit and see how close I can get. That's pretty good for the lighter version of that. For this color inspired page, actually, before I paint anything, let me grab a little bit more of this navy blue. I'm going to taking another brush, I mixed a little of the dark in there. Going with this color, I'm just going to do some rough, flowery shapes. That's a little darker color. These are just very rough, flowery shapes. We can add a little bit more, whatever in their later. I'm just going to put a few of them on the page here. Which brush has a higher volume, which happens with a cheaper brushes. I'm just going to do a couple more. There's my page. Next we're going to leak some yellow. This bright yellow. I'm going to mix this with a little bit of this light yellow and then just use my smaller brush to mix and you can see this is picked up, the color. I'm going to add in a few yellow actually starkly shapes. Have lines of flowers here, at a couple more into break that up. I'm just going to put a little dark blue center of flowers. Next we're going to do some brown, and this is just coal brown, imagine that. I think I'm going to add a little bit of this color into this burgundy, to make a reddish brown. We've got some leaves in the original pattern and I'm just going to do some leaf shapes. I see that there is some water on the page, and that is very reddish brown. It's a really big leaf, that reminds me of a begonias leaf. I'm going to do on that a little bit smaller over here, going in a different direction. My brown is a lot brighter than the brown in the book, I could add a little black I think. But I'm just going to keep going where we're going and not worry too much. Again, this is a sketch book, it's not supposed to be a finished piece of art. It's just a rough idea. I think maybe something here, maybe upside-down, we haven't done upside yet. This is inspired by the pattern in the book, but also the colors, my leaves are looking really funny. Can you tell that acrylic paint is not my usual medium? But the thing is though, that it's really fun to play with materials that you don't usually use. But I'm going to do next is just do some dots in this maybe color. Actually, I'm going to forgo the brush and just use my finger. All right, some gray for the background. Oh, that's not gray, right here. Just going to squeeze some onto my palette. What I need is a bigger brush and then I'm just going to go around everything. I may switch to a smaller brush to go more detailed. The nice thing about these acrylic paints is that they don't bleed. Painting really close to the edge of one shape will not give you the mess that it would in watercolor. A lot of paint here, even that out, and take a smaller brush. Not that one, I want this one. Add some closer work around these flowers. I like the way that looks sort of taking the brush around. Here I'm finishing up with a little bit of brown in these blue flowers, and maybe a little bit in the yellow. Now, this is a pretty messy page and that is okay. But if I wanted to add back in some yellow where it's disappeared, I can do that. I can make the blue a little more even, I can add back the spots where the brown got covered, and I can add some other details. For example, adding some navy to these leaves. Really, you could keep going on and on with a page like this, adding details, I think even within the stem. I'm not going to get too carried away here. I do want to do one other thing and that is add some white; I usually have a lot of white in my paintings. Just add backgrounds, but I think I'd like to make some white dots. I'm just going to use a tip of a brush and make some small white dots. I started in the middle, but you can start anywhere. They're not equal size or shape and I'm not making too much of an effort to be even here at all. Now, if I did want to paint a more delicate, comfortable, precise painting, I definitely could, but my purpose is running with inspiration, not creating beautiful finished pieces of art. I think we get hung up on trying to create things that are perfect or beautiful or whatever word you want to insert there. I'm going to add a little bit of white to my flowers. I don't want to go too crazy. All right. But again, I don't want you to put pressure on yourself to create something that is too perfect because that often stops us from creating. It becomes too large of an endeavor. You think, oh, that's going to take me hours and hours and I don't want you to feel like that. We're just going to clean this up a little bit and then go back, even though I'm out of this navy, I'm going to a go back and add some other blues to these dots to give them a little bit more oomph. Some are disappearing on me. Here's the finished page. In the next lesson, we'll create a page on the other side that's inspired by this one. See you there. 10. Inspired by the Page - Acrylic: I'm going to start with some navy stripes. I'm going to make them a little uneven. Then at the bottom, another wide one. Okay. We've got some of those strips. Next we're going to do some brown and I'm going to paint here. I'm standing up. I'm going to sit down, see if I can paint a little straight. I'm going to paint a wider stripe and then one more. You can also paint different dilutions of color, lighter or darker. All right, so we've got our brown stripes. Next. I'm going to paint some yellow stripes. Actually, one thing that I've found which was fun to do when painting stripes is to use a brush that is either angled like this or completely flat. Then you can go like this. It's more of an even rectangle that you're painting. I'm going to paint another thick one here and a thin one down here. All right. I need some gray. Because I really like how this brush is working I'm going to rinse it off and take my gray. I could be more consistent with my pattern but I'm not going to be. What I love imagining, let's say this was going to be a pattern collection. You've got a stripe to coordinate with this floral that would also be a beautiful batting collection. What else do I need? I think I need some lighter blue. My lighter blue has gotten changed here. I'm going to do a thick one right here. Because I'm using paint that's started to dry on my palette, I'm not getting as consistent, nice lines as I would otherwise. Another thing you can do on some of the wider stripes is to add another color. In the middle of this yellow one, I think. That gave a funny wiggly look to it. Paint a narrow yellow. A couple of narrow yellows. That's getting some interesting bleeding. Here I was talking about how it doesn't bleed, but I'm using a lot of water. That could be the reason why. I think we'll go with that. In the next lesson we'll find inspiration somewhere else. I'll see you there. 11. Gouache from a Vintage Poster 1: This page that I'm going to do next is inspired by this vintage travel poster, which I found online on a site that has all sorts of imagery that you can use. It's not copyrighted or there's no royalties involved. So I found this. I loved the colors, the vintage fill to it and I'm going to do a page over here that's inspired by that. We'll work on a couple of pages inspired by this. This one, I want to be a floral and I want that nice dark blue background. I'm going to use gouache this time and I picked out some gouache colors to use. But first I'm going to do a little quick rough sketch and then I will paint the background around that. Then I'll come back and paint the flowers. With such a dark background and using gouache, I think it'd be difficult to paint over with the lighter flower colors. So I'm thinking about whites, a creamy white for some of the flowers. Maybe some citrus in here. Some orange flowers and some yellow flowers. I'm thinking about poppies. I'm just going to sketch out some flowers. Some rough sketches will have an idea of what everything's going to look like. Go on and have a lemon shape over here, slightly these side place poppy over here. I really need to do lot of erasing because I know that we'll be painting over the lines, but you don't want things to be too messy. Say another big poppy. If you study poppies example, I showed you of the poppy studies I did in one of my other sketch books, you see that they only have four petals. So I want these flowers to be big and bold, and then also to have some citrus in here. Lemon and orange would be another orange coming down around here, and some interesting coming over here, and maybe another lemon. You don't want things to be too symmetrical, but I think another one will go this way. Maybe some stems, like that other elements, so we'll try and do it over here. Those are the stems. Si I've got a rough sketch for the flowers. So I'm going put this to the side. For my very dark blue background. I'm working in that flat, soft cover book now. So it's a little more awkward. I'm going to mix some Prussian blue, really nice dark blue with some black, because I want it to be really dark. I'm going to use a flat brush. It's very dark. To get us started here, I think I need another brush. So I want a bit of variation in the background. Neighbors dog is going crazy out there. Now I'm wondering why I painted so many, I drew sketched so many prime lines. Pull out some of the color from here. One of the things that's hard about filming these classes is that I can't really move my paper as much as I would. If I were not filming, they want it to remain in the screen for you. So you can see what I'm doing. Working with gouache is similar to working with watercolor and depending on how much water you use, it will either be very opaque or a little more transparent. I'm going to actually paint over that little element that we had over there and they may bring it back in the painting, but a little bit too difficult to paint around. My lemon is going to be very pointy over here. I'm not going to worry too much about stems either. We'll see how that goes, but I do love this dark color and it's turning out even darker than I think in my example image which is perfectly okay. I'm not trained to match things too much here. This flat book is mixed media paper, so it can withstand a fair amount of water. You can see it's buckling a little bit, I even things out. Oops. Again, I apologize for my neighbor's dog. So as I mentioned earlier, I want to have some variations in color in this background. You don't want it to be a flat background. The example, my inspiration image is fairly flat. I'm going to just paint over all of that right there and that is, the flat image is perfectly fine with the colors, but I want a little more variation. I'm going to turn this upside down. This is an orange, and I'm assuming you'll still be able to see this. I don't put a lot of background images or backgrounds in my art as a rule, and that's one of the things that is so great about sketchbooks is that you can do things that you don't normally do, and I'm not trying to be perfect here as with the other pages that I've created in this class as examples for you. I don't want things to be too perfect. All right. Turn it a little bit more, trying to get paint on me. Still have some areas to fill in here, and although I want things to be uneven, I don't want it to be too messy, the background, for there to be too much lights and darks, too many brushstrokes that are visible. I'm going to just try and even things out a little bit as I go here. Right, one little bit left to fill in around this spot here, move that out of the way a little bit. So I'm just going to go in and even things out a little bit. I know this dark area has a lot of paint, I'm just smoothing it. Again, this is a sketch book, not an important finished piece of art. They don't want us to put too much pressure on ourselves, and I turn it one more time. I'm actually really liking how these white shapes look against this really dark blue. Just adding a little water can help even things out. I flip it again, and now I'm going to let this page dry, and we'll come back and paint in the other elements. On this side of the page after you've finished here, I really want to paint another design and this image blends itself to so many different designs. These tropical flowers could be some fun. I think, tropical shirt pattern. All this citrus could be something fun and these mountains and even the clouds. So there's so many different options, and I'll show you a few ideas later too of different quick ways that we can incorporate some of this inspiration in some more pages. So we'll let this dry, and I'll come back in a little bit. See you then. 12. Gouache from a Vintage Poster 2: This is mostly dry now. Can test the page, if it feels cold, it's still wet. Choose some of our colors, let's see. I'm going to squeeze some orange here and here. Then some yellow on itself and a little bit of white. Then, let's see, some of this flame red, some greens; olive green and leaf green. I'm actually thinking about citrus leaves. They are really deep green. Let's put some Cyprus green here as well and we'll just see how things go. Here is a lemon and here's a lemon. I'm thinking this should be an orange flower. So grabbing one of my brushes, I'm going to mix some orange with some red and paint this flower. I can go back and add some details later. When I'm painting with watercolor, I usually make sure that my petals or flowers don't touch because everything will bleed together then you'll be left with just a big blob. With gouache, things blend a little bit differently. I'm using a fairly thick amount of paint here. Also, this is turning out really red, so I'm going to add a little bit of the lighter orange color in here. Then you could see how the blue is bleeding in a little bit because I overlapped into the blue. That's okay. Again, this is not meant to be perfect, some of the variation here, the red and the orange coming in together. So we can play that up a little bit more by adding some details after this has dried. Our first orange flower, well we have orange on the brush here, I'm going to paint this orange, Citrus orange. The blue mixing kind of gives it some shading actually, it's kind of neat. I'm going to leave that. I think I want a little bit of yellow shading, but I don't want to mix the yellow into the orange. So work on this other orange before switching colors. This one got a little bit deformed. A little bit of the red here underneath for shading, add a little more of the red down here too. I'm liking where this is going. I'm going to switch brushes and work on these lemons. I'm going to do this lemon first because it's not touching any wet paint. Now the tricky part is over here where the yellow and the blue are going to overlap. I'm just going to try and blend this line. I'll just add some more paint, pointy lemon. We'll pretend that that is all intentional shading and we can go back with a little bit of white later. I was actually going to blend in some green, let me rinse my brush. I was going to blend in some green for my lemon but I'm not going to have to because of the blue is kind of doing that for me. I think I want this one to be my yellow flower. That blue is still mixed in here. I'm not going to worry too much though. We'll just keep going, fill in these petals, and then go back to add in some details and to fix things and make them a little neater. We've got the yellow still on the brush, I'll do this lemon or myself. It's funny point now. Try not to lay my arm down on the paper. I think I want to paint the center now. These are going to be the Icelandic poppies. I think that's the kind they are. The ones with the yellow center is paying some really nice in here. On here, I'll come back and get some of that green, which is pretty dry actually. Mixing it with the yellow and that's going to be in the center. We add some of that green in here to both of these lemons and see that's blending a little bit with the blue, which gives it a nice shadow. I think both of these are going to be orange. We'll come back. Maybe make it a reddish orange. This one more reddish than the other one. Again, this would be easier from here if I could move my page, which I didn't have a camera, I would do. So when you're working, don't be afraid to move your page all over the place to make it easier for you to paint. It's more natural way to work. All right. Coming along here, and that is turning out to light, saw I add a little more red in here. Let me come back here and even things out a little bit my lines that I painted in a little too of this. They just don't feel right to me, and we'll come back to that later. This one is also going to be orange. I'm going to make it a lighter orange. Actually, we can grab up some of this orange from the other well of the palette. This flowers seeing from the side here. I think the interior part, I'm going to make it slightly darker. We can come back and refine all of that, and a little bit once things dry. Also, I think I'm going to make a hint that there is a petal. We'll fix that in a little bit too. I think I can do the center of this other orange flower. Come back and get some more and maybe even a darker green, and a little bit to here too just using the tip of my brush. Now, the center of this flower, I'm going to grab another brush because that's pretty green. That's nice. It's going to be an orange or yellow for the center. So we can see a difference between the center and the petals. Don't want too orange, but just enough, and to add a little bit of that in here too. Just to give some texture. Now with my green bit at the center. Add a little more green to these centers, and this is still pretty well. I'll come back and fix that a bit in a little while. Now, we've got some leaves to do, which I will show you in the next lesson. See you there. 13. Gouache from a Vintage Poster 3: This green is going to stray a bit from what's in the inspiration image, but that's okay. The leaves, paint these in. I'm trying to decide, I think I'm going to make the stems for the citrus a brown. I'll add those in a little bit. Put a little highlight on this leaf. Add a little bit more of that dark cyprus green here. This is behind these flowers, so I'm trying to paint to look like it's coming from behind. This is fairly thick and opaque paint. Two more leaves up here. Our leaves became pretty narrow. Our background encroached a little bit. Add some of this light color, which might not really show up. I guess it does. One more leaf. Careful not to smudge my paper. Go back and define anything that needs defining. Now, I'm going to add a little bit. Let's see. Use this greeny mixed with the yellow. Don't put too much of my brush, to give the shading here behind the petals. It's still pretty wet here. I'm going to comeback. It's more of just the yellow, and even that add a little bit. I'm going to take a little bit of shading beneath the center of the flower. You can still see my sketch with the yellow because it's so light. I'm going to come back into these flower centers and add some more yellow. I'm also going to come back to this lemon, because still seeing this line. Now, I'm going to want some of this white just to add a little bit of highlights, so I think I'm also going to paint a few white flowers. So we'll try a little bit of white in here. I think they're still wet. I picked up some of the blue. I'm going to get a fresh brush and get some of this white. Just dab this in, and also dab a little bit. We'll blend then in a second. Good, that too. Add a little bit of the white in here. I think that'll be nice. Now I'll come back on my yellow brush and blend. Blend this. Prints that a little bit, and work on blending this and these flowers centers. All right, I think I'm going to paint a hint of a flower center here. See your highlights, which will blend in a second, don't worry. Because it's looking very bright. Maybe couple of orangey lines here. Right, now coming back to my orange. It's going to blend these a little bit. We don't want them to stick up so much. Just kind of giving some texture to these petals. You're not going for super realistic here. Okay, now I need some stems, and I think I'm going to use a little bit of this CBO. We'll do those stems first. That's not going to show up. So back to the drawing board, we'll use some green. Here too. I use this green. Paint all the away up here. [inaudible] where I'm putting my hand. Green for this orange. Alright, I did not paint this stem. This lemon does not have any leaves which is okay. Now, a few things, work that light green, I'm going to paint some stems for the flowers. Let's see, and go behind here, this flower. On that flower. That's why we can see where it's attached. When I say I didn't blend that, but I kind of like it like that. So behind the yellow flower, and here we go. So I said I wanted to paint some white flowers. These are going to be reminiscent of citrus flowers. I think they're just going to hover them around. So we'll just add them in here and there. Then how can it be attached to anything? I'm going to be okay with that. So these little white flowers, they are almost like little stars. So let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, let's paint one more down here. Generally you're supposed to paint odd numbers of things, which this is not following that rule at all. Adding some white here. It's a bluish white because the blue bled into my paint. In the next lesson I'm going to paint something on the other side that coordinates with this page. See you there. 14. Gouache Inspired by the Page: On this side of the page, I really want to do a plaid. I think plaids are really fun to paint, and it's a quick and easy way to fill a page. I like to start with the lighter colors first. Move near the bottom, I'm going to repeat this. Now like this slightly uneven hand painted nature of these plaids that I do in my sketchbooks. Now I couldn't do across, there will be some bleeding, but I'm going to switch to some orange now. There's some blue right in the middle there, which I'm okay with. Mix a little more and there, there's barely room. Oh, that was a mess, but that's okay. I am going to also, draw some narrow lines here. I'm going to move this slightly, to make it easier for me to paint. I'm going to do some green now, I'll go a brighter green, and put dark green stripe down the middle. So far we don't have any blue in here. We're running out of space. Let's see, I am going to put some green here. I'm not going to fit some green down here, but we'll try. Didn't work so well. So I think I'm going to leave this as it is and let it dry, and we'll come back and paint the opposite direction. Will have some blue in there. This is mostly dry. Paint in some other colors here, and I'm going to start with the lighter colors first. Will be a lot of yellow going horizontally. I'm going to stick with some orange, green, and blue. Not exactly even, but that's okay. Take some of the green, do a narrow strip of green just down the center or I guess I should say narrower. Since that got a little wonky in the middle. My angle is bad. That got fat. Will put some skinny ones down here, along the edges. Now we are going to switch to blue. See how this blue is going to do. Narrow, our line is getting wiggly and I'm running out of paint. Let's see. Trying to salvage as most paint from my pallet as I can and keep my page flat so I can paint less wobbly line. Then, some skinny blue ones here. I think we need to add a little more paint to this. It's really wobbling all over. Trying to fix my wobble. Blue feels very heavy in that direction. I think I'm going to add a couple more blue strips the other way. I think I'm going to do it right down the middle of this yellow, right down the middle of this yellow. Then a narrow one here and a narrow one here. I'm going to call this plaid finished, and I like the way it runs off the sides. Here are two pages that are inspired by this vintage travel poster. Pretty cool. There's lots more that we could do using these colors, using some of these shapes, using some of the motifs, which is really the fun part of inspiration. In the next lesson, I'll demonstrate a couple more options that we can do in another sketchbook. See you there. 15. Marker from a Vintage Poster: Sometimes it's really nice to just do a really quick page. That's not going to take a lot of time. I'm using this coil coloring brush pen in gray, and I'm just going to make a repeating pattern across the page of these mountain shapes. Starting with that, and then I'm going to do some interior shapes, and then repeat across the page. Marker is usually a pretty fast medium for working in your sketch book. Markers glide quickly across the page, and they drive pretty fast. Sometimes I find myself saying, ''Oh, I don't have time to work in my sketch book.'' But there are so many ways that you can create quick pages, and just the ritual of creating in your sketch book. Having a habit that you do every day is so helpful for your development as an artist. If you can find little inspirations that will make it possible for you to quickly work. It doesn't seem like such a big insurmountable endeavor. Here's a quick page. Other things that you could do. You could color in parts of the mountains. The book I'm using is one that I do really like. I use it mostly for collage, because the paper does not take a different media very well. You can see. Markers can be tricky sometimes anyway. But this paper really doesn't seem to like markers, and there's a texture that makes it a little odd working with colored pencils and doesn't seem to like Micron pens. Some of my favorite ways to create don't work so well in my opinion. Just coloring in some of these, to give it a little more interests. You could also do a secondary color, let's see or you could just have left it all with the outlines. I feel like it needs couple more like this one. You could do them all if you wanted to. Like having that empty, but it wants one more somewhere in between, maybe this one. Don't overthink things like that. Really. You don't want to stress yourself out. Here's a page inspired by this. That's a lot simpler, a lot quicker. If you only feel you have a few minutes to create, doing something simple and quick is a great way to use your time and help cultivate a daily art habit. 16. Collage Inspired by the Page: To make a page to coordinate with these mountain shapes, I thought I would do some collage since we haven't done any of that yet and I've pre-cut some mountains shapes out of different kinds of paper. I think I'm going to start at the top for this. Let's find something that's going to go up and then we can just keep layering. These pieces are cut out of catalogs and magazines and there's some scrapbook paper and some paint samples and I'm not even sure how this is going to work but we'll just experiment. We may have to move things around and that's okay. It's part of the fun with it. I stayed with a color palette that has inspired loosely by our original image. We may cut some of this edges off here and that's okay. They move around a little bit if you don't have them glued down, I don't think I want that one there, maybe that opposite one. It's all just a trial and error process here. Just seeing how things will look. Well, I don't want the yellows to touch. I don't think. I guess I could have planned this out a little bit more. I just randomly cut them, knowing I would overlap a lot. Okay. I like that but I think I need something on these edges. Am going to insert them sideways.I don't want the cut edge to show. One more right there. I think maybe a dark blue and since this is overlapping like that, I think I'm just going to cut this and then we'll see. See how this looks underneath here. Angle this. All right. Now all I have to do is glue it down. I'm just using some regular Elmer's kids, school glue stick. I'm going to just smush this down and hope I can keep the main idea. It went back in and added one more shape down here and I think it finished it off nicely and created a little more balance. Here are the two pages together that I created, inspired by the mountains in this travel poster image and so from this one source of inspiration, I created these four pages and there's so many other things that I could've done but my whole point is to show you that taking a single source of inspiration, you can just keep going and going and going with lots of ideas in your sketchbook and beyond. So that's my last demonstration. In the next lesson, I'll talk about what you're going to be doing on your own. See you then. 17. On Your Own: I just want to share one word of advice to you. Your Sketchbook should be, above all, for you. Don't feel any pressure to share it, and don't feel any pressure for your page to look like anyone else's. Don't compare your work to what you see on social media or even what you've seen in this class. I've tried to be transparent and show even my messy, unbeautiful pages, and I hope that it'll inspire you to be your messy self as well. Now, onto your project. With the idea that Sketchbooks can and should at times be private. I'm not going to insist that you share any of the pages that you've created with this classes inspiration. I would love for us to begin a discussion though and a conversation about our inspiration, about our techniques for defeating the blank page. Where did you go on your adventure? What did you find? Share some photos of what you found. Share some photos of the places that you adventured to. Tell us about them. Tell us about your materials. Tell us about your Sketchbook. I hope that we'll begin to discuss and we'll begin to have a conversation about all the different types of inspiration, and all the things that bring us excitement, and that bring us joy. So thank you so much for taking my class. I hope to see you in some other classes as well. I have some others that might help you if you're beginning a daily Sketchbook project or if you just want to create some more arts. Please be sure to follow me here on Skillshare, so that you'll always be up to date about my latest classes. Thanks so much. Until next time, bye.