How to fill a Sketchbook from Start to Finish | Visual Mind | Skillshare

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How to fill a Sketchbook from Start to Finish

teacher avatar Visual Mind, Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The right Sketchbook

    • 3. Making a General Plan

    • 4. First Page Ideas

    • 5. Specific Sketchbook Ideas

    • 6. Where to find Inspiration

    • 7. How to actually FINISH the book

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to fill a Sketchbook from Start to Finish. I'll show you the right kind of Sketchbook, some ideas on how to get started and overcome fears that you might have as well as how to actually FINISH filling the book. This is the place where you can be completely yourself and create whatever you want. I hope you'll have a great time creating.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Visual Mind



Hello there! I'm Melanie.

I'm an Artist and teacher on Youtube and have a big passion for Sketchbooks and Art Journals. I mostly work with watercolor and gouache and create lots of tutorials for these mediums.

I live in Austria, a small beautiful country in Europe. We speak German - in case you were wondering where my accent came from.

I follow my curiosity wherever it leads me. My mission is to inspire others to do the same. Get those paint brushes and start creating. Enjoy every minute of it because life is way too short to do otherwise.


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Related Skills

Fine Art Creative

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1. Introduction: Hey there. Since you're here, I guess you're probably interested in filling a sketchbook or art German in this course. I'm gonna show you everything surrounding the topic off sketchbooks. I'm gonna show you how to actually fill a sketchbook. How to fill the first pages. I'm going to show you some ideas on what you can do. No matter if you're a beginner or if you're a little bit more into violence, I'm gonna take you on a journey into your own sketchbook because it's really what you want it to be about. You decide how you want it to look. You decide what kind of place this sketchbook is for you. There are so many opportunities on how to fill this book, and I'm gonna show you how to do it. And also, why to do it, maybe give you some inspiration and show you why This is a great thing to do and a great way to become better as an artist but also as a person. And to use a sketchbook or art journal like a visual diary. If you're interested in any of those things, don't go ahead and enrolling my course. I'd love to see you 2. The right Sketchbook: before we talk about how to actually fill the sketchbook, I want to talk a little bit about what is even the right sketchbook for you to buy, because depending on medium that you're going to use, you're going to need a different sketchbook. So here are some off my sketchbooks did I have and they're all for different purposes. So the first sketchbook or art journal that I ever filled was this one. And you can see that I've put a lot off different things in there. I did some journaling in there. I did some drawing in there. I used some water color. I did a lot of different things in there, but it wasn't too perfect. You can see that it got very, very sick. This, I think, is a cancel sketchbook, and it's made to lay flat, but the paper isn't too thick. It's more like, ah, sketchbook, in a sense off that you can sketch in deer with pencils and with pens. But for watercolors, it's not too perfect because the paper is way too thin and absolutely not made for wet medium. I also have this one, which is just a collage journal and I also glued a painting in there that I did on, ah, water collar paper. And then I put it in there. So if you can't decide on what kind off art journal you will need and you maybe don't have a lot of money, you can go for a sketchbook with thin paper. And when you do watercolor things or mark when you use markers, you can do that on separate paper and just glued a in. But if you do that a lot of the time, the sketchbook will get pretty thick. And, yeah, it's more off. Ah, once in a while thing, then I also have this Lloyds to him. Sketchbook. This is, ah, classical sketchbook A lot of people have used up before. It has very nice paper. It's not too thin. It's very cool for drawing. But also for watercolor, it's not the best. And for markers, it's not the best, either, because the markets do bleed through to the other page. So here are in my absolute favorite sketchbooks now. So that's my mole skin watercolor sketch book, and I use that one for watercolors. Wash any kind of wet media? Yeah, if Buckles a little bit and it gets pretty thick, but it's way better than a normal sketchbook. It's really made for water collar. It's not the perfect watercolor paper, but it's really nice, and it's not that expensive. So if you use a lot of wet media, I totally recommend this one or something like that by ah sketchbook with paper that is made for wet media. So I also have a cancelled mixed media sketchbook, and it's very cheap and you get a lot of pages. So if you're just practicing and I used acrylic paint two year here for acrylic paint, it's really nice. Andi, some stickers that's about it in here. If you don't really use watercolor too much, it's okay. Absolutely OK, but if you really, really love watercolor Dan, I suggest investing in a mole skin. What a color sketch book. This is one a swell in a different size and now onto my favorite sketchbook. Four markers. This is a render sketchbook, and, as far as I know, those already on Lee sketchbooks, where markers absolutely do not bleed through. So I used markers on this side as well as on this side, and absolutely nothing did bleeds through to the other page. And now I've got this new sketchbook. I don't even know what brand this is, but I don't like it too much, so I'm not gonna recommend this one. But I'm gonna use this in the skill share course because I really want to show you that you can create art in any kind of sketchbook, even if you don't like it too much. Even if it's not the perfect sketchbook, don't worry about it too much. So I actually say that police do invest in good quality products because you don't want to make your life harder as it has to be, and especially if you're a beginner at art, you really, really want to make your life easier and to just have fun with it and enjoy the process. But on the other hand, don't pressure yourself too much that you have to have the perfect product of all time. Just use what you have. And don't let that stop you from creating art because you can have so much fun with so little things. And I really recommend to just try out sketch booking art, journaling, whatever you might wanna call it. And don't let the quality stop you, So just have fun with them. 3. Making a General Plan: before starting a sketchbook, you have to get clear about what are you going to use the sketchbook for? What do you want it to be filled with? Do you want to draw in it and just sketch and become better at what you're doing? Or do you want to just have fun to just journal in it? Us Well, to collage in it. You don't have to have the perfect plan, and you can always change the plans. So don't get Don't pressure yourself into having the perfect sketchbook and having everything figured out. But it's really nice to have kind of a vague plan on what you're want to use your sketchbook for, not just to find the right sketchbook with the right paper and the right size, but also just so that you have a general idea and that you're clear on what you want to get out of the sketchbook. This sketch book, for example, is just for art journaling just for collage ing, and I just put things in there that I think that are pretty and they go nicely together. This is when I totally want to turn off my head and to just have fun when I don't really want to draw and don't really want to create the perfect thing. This is just too dump pretty things onto the page and absolutely no pressure whatsoever. And just for fun and just to calm down a little bid. So in this one, I don't really draw a lot. It's just a nart journal, and that's about it. This one, on the other hand, is for riel pain things. They don't have to be perfect masterpieces, but their paintings and I really, really want them to be kind of finished. Some are more details like this one and others that's not even finished yet. Others maybe aren't as detailed. I have a lot of different things in there, and you can see a lot of those paintings on my YouTube gentle. By the way, if you're interested so you don't absolutely have to have one journal for drawing and the other one for collage ing, you can do that all in one. You can absolutely do that, so maybe your plan is to have just one place where you put everything. Then that's your plan. That's OK as well, because this is a sketchbook or an art journal, and this is your place. It's like a diary, but a visual diary you can do in there whatever you want. It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to show it to anyone. Not every page has to look beautiful. It's just for you. It's your place. It's like a little home that you can take anywhere you want. It's for you to unwind, to relax, to have fun, to learn. You can do in there whatever you want. You can put in there whatever you like, and you don't have to make this perfect. Absolutely not. So maybe make a plan that you want to use this to come down or to study, or whatever it is that you're interested in an art. And I don't mean that you have to write this plan down. Just get clear about it and make this plan up in your head, and you can change it as you go along. Or, if you want to, you can sort of write a short letter to yourself where you write that down so that you haven't in front of you whenever you open the sketchbook, 4. First Page Ideas: Let's talk about the first page of your sketchbook. This is so exciting, your starting and new sketchbook. Really fresh and nice. I think this is so cool. But a lot of people have anxiety when it comes to filling the first page. He absolutely wanted to be perfect, and I can understand that. But you don't have to feel that way. So I'm going to show you some things that I did in my sketchbooks that may be useful for a first page. So in the beginning I like to do something that's positive. And in this one, I put some stickers that just make me happy with some nice quotes, and I just put it on this cover page. You can do that on the first page, just put down some quotes, something that's positive and inspiring in this sketchbook. I did the same thing on the first page. I have all those stickers. I really loved those. And if you don't have stickers just right down something or doodle something, make it a positive space without any pressure, then the second page I used for colors, watches. A lot of people do that, and a lot of people also recommend that those don't have to be super pretty a swell. They can just be fun. They can be super messy. These ones are maybe a bit more messy, but I really love those. That's actually the last page of this sketchbook, and we're going to talk about the Lost Pages this well, But that's a very nice idea for a first page to just do swatches of different products also something that's very useful in the beginning. Like I said, you can write down your plans for the sketchbook. So this time I wrote a letter to myself, and in this letter, I just wrote down my expectations on what I want this book to be about. Also, nice idea for a first page is this type of Kalash where you put things in there like a vision board. So I just put things onto these pages that make me happy. I just cut those out of a magazine, and I really loved this because some of those are actually watercolor illustrations or just other illustrations, and others are pictures, and I mix and match does and really love how this looks. This is so easy and this just sets you in the right mood for this sketchbook. On my general, I also already have a lot off ideas with very, very simple techniques that you can use in your sketchbook to fill it. A lot of those can be used for the first pages. Well, and I'm going to show you even more ideas in this skill share course, because I also want you to watch new content and absorb new information, not just see the pages that I already did in my sketchbook. 5. Specific Sketchbook Ideas: now I'm showing you some specific sketchbook ideas. At first, I'm often starting using washi tape to make some frames and borders, and this time I divided the pages by what she tape and made some paintings with color schemes. So I started off with this purple kind of color, and I went on in a rainbow order. I wanted to do simple landscapes on every picture so purple and blue. And then I'm going more into a green tone and dumb orange and yellow, and I'm leaving everything off with some red tones. So I looked for reference pictures. I think I took all the reference pictures in this case, Frump Exel's. You can use that page to find free stock photos, and you can use them however you want. They are all royalty free, so this picture is orange theme. And then I went more for purple tone on the left side and I while waiting for one off those to dry, I started working on the other ones. So this is a very cool technique. If you're using watercolors and you have to wait for the pieces to dry and you don't really want to use a hair dryer. You can use a hair dryer to make things dry, Foster, but I think that it kind of changes up everything. Um, it blows the water where it doesn't where it shouldn't go sometimes. So I'm not really a huge fan of this technique. So that's why I wait for everything to dry. And I work on another piece in the meantime, and when you're doing more than one at the same time, this is perfect for that. I love how this composition looks. It's so colorful. And it has this kind of hint at rain bows, even though every page has its own color for the next one, I painted some very easy plants, by the way, I used ah, watercolor pencils. Those are from Eva had Fab A. I think you can only get them if you're lived in Europe. I don't know. I didn't find them in the U. S. Unfortunately, but you can use any kind of medium and any kind of watercolor pencils or whatever you have lying around. So don't let this limit you if you don't have the extreme sect, the same exact supplies as me. So I just dueled some plants and made them all overlap each other. I started up with light purple, and then I went for a blue and the darker purple. And then I added some black Indians. And then when I removed the tape, you can really see the borders here, and I really loved this very, very simple composition for the next one. I just painted and drew very random shapes, so you can make those up as you go along on, and it's just very therapeutic. It's super easy, perfect for beginners. Or if you just want to relax on, make a simple page spread in your sketchbook. Andi. I did some lines and some shapes and some patterns and the mixed everything up. You could add everything. Stars, hearts, tear shapes, sent tangles. Whatever your heart desires. I tried to limit my color palette year. I only used pink and purple and green tones on. I think that those colors fit together really, really nicely, and it looks put together in yet because of that on, I added in more and more of those patterns. And then, in the end, I made this kind of simple border just to make everything go together a little bit more So those are the two finished pages off this one. And for the next one, some more plans. Thes ones are super easy as well. I just painted those around shapes. I'm not gonna say, sir, Close Just very round shapes. And I made those overlap each other as well. And I used a limited color palette again. I just used pink, purple and orange for this Born and I really loved the bright colors that it has. And this is so, so simple on. I just wanted to make half off the page and leave the other half wife because I think that this adds a lot of interest, A swell. And in the end, I connected those shapes with some lines on These are plants. I don't know if you can recognize those as plants or not, but I think that it really looks cute. And this is the finished page. And for the next one, I painted some fruits. So in this case, I painted some orange slices. You can also paint all kinds of other fruits. You could do apples. Whatever. The idea is quite general, just do fruits or you can copy my exact same idea. I actually had this idea. I think I saw this instagram somewhere. So it's not my original idea about how original can painting orange slices be. So, yeah, it's just a NY idea. And just because someone has stunted before doesn't mean that you can't do it in your own way again. So don't let this limit yourself. Don't really steal other people's stuff. But with general ideas like that, I think just go for it. Have a great time. It's your sketchbook. Enjoy the process and this is super simple. And here's the finished page spread of this one, and the next one is a general idea. Just try out a new medium every once in a while. For this one, I used wash on most of the time. I used water colors and, well, I'm having this love hate relationship with wash. I really loved the looked at it gifts, but for me personally, it's very hard to handle it because I don't have a lot of experience with it. I should probably practice more, and because of this, I used wash year and I wanted to paint a landscape, but I choose a Quite a complicated one, I think. And I'm not the biggest fan of how this turned out, but it looks okay, I guess if you want to copy this page, go ahead, have fun. Do it. But the idea here is just to try something new every once in a while, jelling yourself and it doesn't have to be a masterpiece. And if you don't like it too much, who cares? Um, just flip through to the next page and start the next painting. Because a sketchbook is also for practicing. It doesn't have to be perfect all the time on. Yeah, I added in more more details trying to save the painting of Then I removed the tape. Once I had removed the pay tape. I quite liked it because this gifts it a more sophisticated look. I think if you don't have to tape anymore and for the last one, I have to admit that I found this on Pinterest and I tried to change it up as much as I could, but it looks so simple. Converted the original. It even has a similar color scheme. So credit to whoever was the artist that did this first because I couldn't find out who it Waas. I'm so sorry. And if you know it, please let me know on this idea is to make a very simple seen with some trees and start off with light trees and then at darker ones and then even darker and darker ones. So you have this more three dimensional look. And on the other side of the page, I just did those simple kind of swatches or Experian mints on. And yeah, I just mix and match the colors and this looks a little bit different compared to the reference picture that I used, but it's pretty similar. So I wanted to tell you that. And this is the last idea that I had. I really hope that you like those ideas and feel inspired to try something out. 6. Where to find Inspiration: Now let's talk about where to find inspiration. I'm going to start with the most obvious ones off course. Pinterest is one of my biggest inspirations. I spend a lot of time there, Andi. I find a lot off drawing ideas there. I would just type in drawing ideas, and when I find something that are quite like the theme off, I might click on it and scroll down and see similar things, because that way you can find even more cool stuff there. I also sometimes search for art journal ideas, and you can find a lot off colorful things there. And you could see that someone clued of flour in there and you can see all kinds of cool things there and really get inspired. Another thing is obviously YouTube. There are so money, tutorials and ideas out there. So many things that you can try improve on on YouTube is a big thing off course. I also have a YouTube gentle if you don't know, and I've got a lot of ideas there as well. And of course, Instagram is a big one as well. I just save all kinds of quotes, pictures and artwork on whenever I need some inspiration. I go back there and look what I have saved. Then the next one is to get inspired by daily events and things happening in your life. You can draw your own city. You can make collages and glue photos in there, just get inspired by your daily life. The next one is to be inspired by nature. And yeah, I just go out. Maybe glue stuff in like flowers and leaves. Whatever you find, paint this guy or paint other nature type of things. Paint trees and flowers just create things that are inspired by nature or get inspired by animals. You could draw your own pets or just animals that you've always admired and considered cool . Or maybe go ahead and do something else that's creative. I also do some photography, and sometimes I do crafting and just other stuff to get inspired again and not just do one thing over and over again. So if you're having some kind of art block, just try a very different thing or get inspired by your old artwork and treasury created. You'll see that you have improved a lot over time, or maybe draw your dreams or put on a song and just draw whatever comes to mind when you hear the lyrics and that a great thing are prompt journals like Rectus Journal. You could do that in an artistic way, or create this book by Morar Elizabeth or just any kind of prompt journal that you confined . This will give you a starting point and ideas, and you will kind of know what to create there and get even more ideas when you have this kind of challenge. Speaking of challenges, there are a lot of art challenges out there like the one market challenge. For example, those are super super fun to do, and another one is to get inspired by a great book. I can really recommend Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert If you haven't read that one yet, and the last idea is to just use daily objects in your sketchbook or art journal, I used tea bags. You You could also use tick gets or receipts, whatever you have in your daily life. 7. How to actually FINISH the book: So let's talk about how to actually fill or finish the book. While I'm working on the last page spread off this sketchbook. I'm going to share my final thoughts about how you actually complete this thing with you. Everyone knows the problem, and you start off with dozens off notebooks, sketchbooks, journals, whatever you have, but you actually never really completely fill them. I have to admit that I have quite a few half filled sketchbooks as well. But there's a certain joy and sense of accomplishment when you fill the last page and you have a book to flip through. So you created this thing. Um, no matter if it's messy or you're considerate ugly, it doesn't have to be perfect because it's thinnest. So how do you actually achieve that? Here's the controversy. You enjoy the process. Make the book your home, your place to be and enjoy your stay while it loves. The purpose of sketchbook is not that you can hold this perfect thing in your hands and be proud of the end product. That can be a nice bonus at best. When you stop obsessing about the thing that you're creating and start being grateful for this beautiful place where you can completely be yourself. That's when the magic happens. Don't pressure yourself to fill it as fast as possible. Take your time. That's why I'm not the biggest fan off in October or the Sketchbooks, Lamb Challenge or other challenges like that where you have to work super fast. If you don't have the absolute best mindset with these challenges, you'll start to resent creating, and you will start to feel like it's work. So I think filling a sketchbook or creating art in general should never really feel like work. That's the reason why people quit or experience art block. In my opinion, they put too much pressure on themselves and burn out their creativity. Trust me, I've been there a swell, so never forget why you're doing it in the first. Please have a good time trying out new things or creating the same stuff over and over again. It's seriously doesn't matter. And please note that nobody's perfect at not being perfect, either. Sometimes you may get frustrated, and there's nothing wrong with the Give yourself a break one day, and with the right approach, you will feel like creating again. And after having an awesome time with your art journal, you'll feel the last page without even noticing it. I like to thank my books were there time, put them on the shelf and open the next one. I hope that you had a good time with this class and feel motivated to create something on your own. Your class project is to upload any page in your sketchbook or art journal that you're proud off. It doesn't matter if you're creating anything that I showed you here. If you're changing it up in your own style or creating anything at all, I just love to see what you guys are coming up with and share your art journals and sketchbooks with us on. I'd love to see you dare. I'll definitely be there and see what you guys are creating. And here you can see a final flip threw off my finished sketchbook. I really left creating in this one, and I'm so excited to move on to the next one Now. I wish you a very, very nice day on and maybe we'll see each other in my next clause. Goodbye