Sketchbook Magic 1

Sketchbook Magic 1 - student project

Hi, I'm Jo and I live in North Yorkshire, UK.

I studied art at High School and went on to be a photographer for a while. I'm now a stay-at-home Mama and would love to make art again! I have so many blank sketchbooks just waiting to be filled, but I'm such a perfectionist that I never actually have the courage to put pen (or brush!) to paper. I'm hoping to flex my creative muscles, let go of perfection and start filling those pages!

Day 1

I have everything I need. I went around my house and filled up a basket with lots of interesting things to make marks with. I ended up picking a toilet roll tube! :-) Already this is out of my comfort zone; just playing and making marks. After a little while I started to enjoy the process and started seeing what else I could do with the toilet roll tube. 

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 1 - student project

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 2 - student project

Day 2

What I made today. I loved the project today. I feel so intimidated by the blank page but today I was really excited to use the magic bowl. :-)

I picked out houses which hadn't even crossed my mind to try but I loved it! I chose to sketch a row of little houses from Bruges and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I will probably revisit this later and add some colour.

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 3 - student project

Day 3

I have time. Oh my goodness this one stressed me out a bit. I'm such a perfectionist - I really struggled with posting a picture that I didn't feel was finished! But I was actually surprised with how much I was able to accomplish in such a small pocket of time. I rolled a 5 and picked out flowers from the magic bowl.

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 4 - student project

Day 4

Make art anywhere. I picked out food from the magic bowl and dining table from the fortuneteller. The dining table is next to a big window so I loved the light coming through as I worked on this page. Because I had space to spread out, I got out my watercolours and played with them. I really enjoyed the light and the space I had.

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 5 - student project

Day 5

I loved this class! Thank you so much Ria - it's been a really good transition to get me back into making art. I really needed to hear "you are an artist!" today. 

I picked out the number ten so here goes...


Playing with watercolour

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 6 - student project


Ink pen. I'm really enjoying this daily practice of making art!

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 7 - student project


I bought myself some Gouache paints to play and tried them out today. They feel quite a bit different to what I expected but once I got used to it, I loved it! So, a little background for my ink drawing yesterday...

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 8 - student project

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 9 - student project


I really liked playing with the gouache as a background and then layering an ink drawing over the top. I decided to do something similar for today's project...

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 10 - student project

I must say, I am really enjoying this process of making art everyday. Once I let go of my judgments of what my art should be, I really loosened up and am able to have some fun, playing in my sketchbook.


A quick line drawing of my little boy today...

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 11 - student project


Playing with gouache again. I used our wildlife encyclopedia for reference for this guy...

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 12 - student project

Half way there...


Gouache + the wildlife encyclopedia again. I am finding the photographs really inspirational...

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 13 - student project


I love using the wildlife photos for reference! Gouache again...

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 14 - student project


More flamingos...

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 15 - student project


My favourite so far...

Usually I sketch things out first in pencil until it's just.right. Then I add in the paint. But with this guy, I just started painting (using a photo for reference). I love how it turned out! I never would have had the confidence to just sit down and start painting without some sort of plan or guidelines or something. I have definitely felt myself grow in confidence over the course of this class. Thank you Ria! 

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 16 - student project


Another bird. Again, no pencil sketch beforehand. I don't love it as much as the toucan, but I am still pleased with it.

Sketchbook Magic 1 - image 17 - student project

Thank you again Ria, for a wonderful class. I feel much more confident about just opening my sketchbook and making art!