My Sketchbook Magic Class Project | Skillshare Projects

Emma Jane Shaw

Hobby Artist



My Sketchbook Magic Class Project

My Sketchbook Magic Class Project

I will be completely honest - I failed this class. When I started the class I was excited and confident and thoroughly enjoyed the tips and techniques for encouraging everyday art making. But I only lasted two days. I haven't made art in weeks and I failed to follow the class everyday. I continually told myself all the same excuses that have been discussed in the classes; I constantly thought about making art but didn’t do it, and even now I have made another excuse for not starting the class project. I told myself I don't have a creative title or picture or anything interesting to write about. I lost my confidence and became afraid at the thought of sharing my art making experiences. Then I realised, it's not about any of that. It's about starting. So, here I go...

Day One: I have the tools to make art!

Today I closed my eyes and picked up a paintbrush for the first time in a long time. And it wasn’t just any paintbrush; it was a watercolour brush I bought years and years ago and never used. My weapon of choice is normally a lead pacer or pencil because I like line work and shading and spent years doodling in sketchbooks as a kid with them. I feel confident using a pacer (most of the time). I do not feel confident using a paintbrush.

I really enjoyed the idea of “making marks”. Suddenly the fear was gone and the joy returned! I learned that I like to paint =) So, here are my marks…


Day Two: I know what to draw!

As a kid I loved making up and drawing characters. For a long time this was all I would draw. Nowadays I only draw portraits, which I really enjoy, but I want to broaden my horizons. I want to draw landscapes, animals, creatures, buildings, people (not just floating heads) etc. But whenever I sit down in front of my sketchbook I default to drawing a face, because I feel it’s the only thing I can draw confidently (most of the time). I forgot that childlike joy you got from just creating. Suddenly what I made had to look good or it wasn’t worth doing.

Today’s exercise forced me out of that mindset. I learned that I can be comfortable out of my comfort zone and enjoy the process of creating. So, with my faithful lead pencil in hand I drew my magical selection for today, which was "sea creatures". (The shark was referenced from a book.)


Day Three: I have time to make art!

Making time to make art can be quite the mental challenge. I quite often think about making art but don’t do it. And when I want to make art I can’t because I have to go to work or do something or go somewhere. What I learned from this exercise, as you will notice, is that I need more time to make “good” art ;) But I think personally my biggest hurdle is often just starting. Even if I don’t sit down for very long, if I can start making art more often than not I will come back later and continue or sometimes I will keep working then and there. I just have to start.



Day Four: I have space to make art!

I decided not to make the fortune teller for this exercise. Instead, I assigned places to the numbers of a die. My space turned out to be the veranda of my home. I really enjoy make art in different places other than my desk in my bedroom. I’ve taken my small sketchbook to work a few times and have enjoyed sketching on my breaks – it makes work far less dull. Bringing art into my everyday activities, as opposed to setting aside a specific allotted time for art every now and then, enhances my day. It makes me feel good; I’ve accomplished something worthwhile today.


Day Five: I can make art!

This class has really forced me out of my usual habits and challenged me to re-evaluate why I make art. Portraits have become my niche; I’m not great at doing them but I really enjoy drawing faces. However, today I didn’t have my trusty pacer. Today I picked up one of my oil pastels to use instead. I almost scrapped this sketch and was going to start again, but I came back to it a couple of times and ended up having fun with the pastels. I’m not overly happy with the result but I found the process really enjoyable. Before this class I use to only find value in the result, but now I find the process of making art much more valuable. For a while I was afraid I only wanted to create art for the recognition, for the end result. I was afraid I didn’t love making art enough. But now I know it doesn’t matter what the end result is. I love making art; it makes me feel good.


Day Six: 30 days of making art – Day One!

This class is truly magical! It seems to know what I need to work on. I have struggled with making art everyday so, for the final class I magically chose the number 30 and now shall make art for 30 days straight.

My magical selections to get me started this morning were my oil pastels (again) and the topic “song lyrics”. I wasn’t sure how to approach this topic so I just picked one of my favourite songs and wrote out the lyrics (as you can probably tell). I love the messages in this song. They remind me that I have the power to change myself, to improve myself, and find happiness.


Day Seven: 30 days of making art – Day Two!

So far I have stuck with my 30 days of making art challenge, however I have been slack uploading my images because of technical issues.

Today I was not in the mood to make art. I left it until late at night before I went to bed and chose a topic I am not confident with – animals. I almost didn’t attempt to make anything, but I reminded myself that my art does not have to be good. The point of this challenge is to teach myself to make art everyday. So, I attempted an incomplete sketch of a leopard I referenced from the Internet with my black felt tip pen. It is very quick and rough. 


Day Eight: 30 days of making art – Day Three!

Another weak attempt at a sketch done late at night before bed. Again, I was not in the mood so not much effort went into this. But I believe drawing something I’m not happy or satisfied with will be good for me. It’s all practice, practice, practice. I just need to keep at it.


Day Nine: 30 days of making art – Day Four!

I have no confidence in my ability whatsoever with these topics I have chosen, but I am finally doing what I have always thought about doing – broadening my horizons. Finally my sketchbook has more than floating heads in it! Today’s tool was my water colour pencils, which I find quite fun. 


Day Ten: 30 Days of making art – Day Five!

I really enjoy the mystery of these exercises. I love not knowing what my tool will be or my topic or how my art will turn out in the end. It is very refreshing just to see what will happen.


Day Eleven: 30 days of making art – Day Six!

Another quick, rough sketch with my water colour pencils. I’m use to using line work before I attempt any sort of colouring. I like to make sure the image looks right before I add colour, but this challenge is about getting out of my comfort zone, breaking out of my saftey net. 


Day Twelve: 30 days of making art – Day Seven!

An incomplete sketch of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. I used soft artists pencils, that were given to me, which I have not had much practice with. 


Day Thirteen: 30 days of making art – Day Eight!

I cheated today. I had the intention of creating a new sketch, while also doing more on yesterday’s one. However, the only art I did today was to finish the Isle of Skye sketch. I finished it at work on my lunch break. I really enjoyed it – it provided some relaxation and stillness after quite a hectic morning.


Day Forteen: 30 days of making art – Day Nine!

I am really behind with uploading my art, but I am happy to report I have continued to make art everyday. I will endevour to be more prompt with my uploads.

I came really close to not making art today. It was quite a busy day for me. I was out all day and most of the night, but I managed to squeeze in a rough sketch. It’s suppose to be Ed Sheeran because I went to his concert. I referenced an image of the internet but it looks terrible and I chose not to do much with it. But I did it nonetheless =)


Day Fifteen: 30 days of making art – Day Ten!

Another close shave today, but I managed to do a quick sketch right before bed. I drew what I normally draw when I’m bored or don’t know what to draw. But again, I did something, which is better than nothing.


Day Sixteen: 30 days of making art – Day Eleven!

I used magic to make my art today. I’m getting more confident drawing with colour. Normally I would sketch in pencil and then add colour. I really love using my water colour pencils!


*Please ignore that I misspelt 'objects'. I just noticed this myself. I'm normally much better at spelling =P

Day Seventeen: 30 days of making art – Day Twelve!

Today I reverted back to my old ways just to see if I could still draw a face. This picture is a key example of my comfort zone – lead pacer, floating head with one eye (because sometimes you don’t have it in you to draw two symmetrical eyes). Profile portraits are also a favourite of mine to draw for the same reasons. I had fun drawing this =)


Day Eighteen: 30 days of making art – Day Thirteen!

I would like to learn how to do lettering. I have seen a lot of very creative pieces on the internet and find them inspiring. Clearly, I am not very good. I was not very motivated today either. But I am very interested in incorporating lettering into more of my art.


Day Nineteen: 30 days of making art – Day Forteen!

Today I wanted to draw another face. I did not spend much time on this sketch and was quite surprised at the result. Not just the result of the image but the result of my feelings toward it. I’m very happy with this sketch, I think it looks good, but as I look at it I don’t get the same joy as I have gotten from my other magical sketches. Even though my earlier sketches don’t look great, I’m happy with them. I feel they represent my growth as an artist. Whereas, this face represents stagnation.


Day Twenty: 30 days of making art – Day Fifteen!

I am very behind in my uploads. Not only that, I have missed at least three days now of making art. I tried to make up for it the first time by attempting two sketches the next day, but my heart was not in either of them (which you will see in my next uploads). At this point I think I was still on track. I do not have much to say about this incomplete sketch. I referenced another photo from Piniterest.


Day Twentyone: 30 days of making art – Day Sixteen!

Today I attempted to make up for failing to make art yesterday. As you can see, it did not go well. Even magic couldn’t save me from my laziness. Alas, that is what you get from time to time – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nevertheless, onward and upward I go!



Day Twentytwo: 30 days of making art – Day Seventeen!

These little sketches represent the start of a new sketchbook! It’s very exciting! I’m very much looking forward to filling this sketchbook with new and diverse sketches everyday.



Day Twentythree: 30 days of making art – Day Eighteen!

I’m starting to become a little biased toward my watercolour pencils, not to mention trees. I’ve attempted a sketch like this before with pens. It was very fun to draw. I love that I am using more colour though. I’m slowly moving away from my typical grayscale image.


Day Twentyfour: 30 days of making art – Day Nineteen!

I got it into my head that I wanted to make my own Christams cards this year. This was my attempt at handlettering. Terrible, I know. Needless to say I have abandoned handlettering for the time being ;)


Day Twentyfive: 30 days of making art – Day Twenty!

Today was a very exciting day for me artwise. I came up with this design for a T-Shirt that I want to give my boyfriend for Christmas. I love the idea of making a gift! I’ve never really done it before but I want to start doing it more, because I had so much fun coming up with this sketch. The first image is the inital rough sketch. The second is the refined one, but it's not the final sketch. I can’t wait to make more designs!



Day Twentysix: 30 days of making art – Day Twentyone!

Sketching things from Pinterest today in the hopes of coming up with more ideas for designs.


Day Twentyseven: 30 days of making art – Day Twentytwo!

I draw another tree today, but I did it with the idea of turning it into a T-Shirt design for myself. I really like how it turned out but I want to refine it. I have other ideas/techniques I’d like to explore with this image.


Day Twentyeight: 30 days of making art – Day Twentythree!

Another sketch inspired by Pinterest images. Didn’t go very far with this one, but I’d like to come back to it one day.


Day Twentynine: 30 days of making art – Day Twentyfour!

I have quite a backlog of sketches to add to my project. I was unable to keep up with my uploads over Christmas. One reason for this was due to some art projects I undertook. I made some gifts and attempted to make some Christmas cards with the help of another Skillshare class called “Design with Watercolours” by Olga Shevyakova. I hope it’s ok to name drop another class in my current one. The reason for this, though, is that I wanted to share my sketches and paintings. Here is my art that I used to design Australian flora inspired Christmas cards.



Day Thirty: 30 days of making art – Day Twentyfive!

I had an idea in my head today that I wanted to get down on paper. I think it was inspired by a painting I saw once but I can only remember an impression of it. I wanted to experiment more with my watercolour pencils too. I was quite surprised with how quickly I completed this sketch and am happy with the result.


Day Thirtyone: 30 days of making art – Day Twentysix!

Here’s a sketch of a hybiscus flower. I branched out and used watercolour tubes. It was very fun!


Day Thirtytwo: 30 days of making art – Day Twentyseven!

I worked on art projects today. I attempted lettering again. The initial sketches aren’t great but I was really happy with the final result. I’m very much looking forward to incorporating more lettering into my art.



Day Thirtythree: 30 days of making art – Day Twentyeight!

Went for a drive today and drew this at a picnic table amongst the trees. Got caught in the rain, which provided an interesting speckled pattern with my water colour pencils.


Day Thirtyfour: 30 days of making art – Day Twentynine!

A couple of quick sketches – one inspired by the lovely ferns at my parents place and the other by an idea I have for a greeting cards set.



Day Thirtyfive: 30 days of making art – Day Thirty!!!

I made it! I made art for 30 days! I’ll admit not for 30 days straight, nevertheless quite an achievement for me personally. I have enjoyed this class so much! It has helped me reconnect with the love and joy of making art. I am so excited to make art and want to continue making art everyday. I have thought about sharing this on Instagram, however I am still aprehensive about showing the world my art. But I was aprehensive about starting this project and it turned out to be the best thing for me and my art, even if no one ever looks at it.

Thank you Ria for this wonderful class!



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