Welcome to the Sketchbooks Classroom. Here you’ll find lots of information and inspiration to create sketchbooks packed with drawing, colour, collage, prints and more. Don’t worry if you’re new to keeping a sketchbook, we have plenty to get you started.
About Working in Sketchbooks
Your sketchbook can become an invaluable resource. It’s a place to house inspiration and ideas that you’ve gathered from myriad sources, maybe with drawing, painting, printing or collage. We love to work into our books with a wide range of techniques and media so you’ll find all sorts of approaches and ideas in the workshops. Most importantly, if you’re one of those people who think they can’t draw, or are nervous of that blank white page, fear not! There are many ways to get your ideas down on the page. Our free video Don’t Draw? Trace!is a great place to get started.
Explore the workshops...
- Mixed Media
- Plant printing
- Sketchbook and Stitch
Page to Stitch: Painterly Poppies
So you’ve been working in your sketchbook and are really happy with the pages, but how can you translate that to fabric? In this two-part workshop Linda will show you how she creates a painterly study of poppies in her sketchbook then takes those pages as inspiration to create a quilted panel.
Mixed Media: Art Journal Pages
We always encourage you to save your scraps, but what to do with all those bits of paper? They are perfect for using in a mixed media art journal page. In this video workshop Laura will show you how to quickly colour your sketchbook page using scraped acrylic paint, create a frame, add collage elements and draw linear details. The pages you’ll make will make the perfect home for your art diary writing, photos and collected ephemera.
Sketchbook to Fabric
We’re often asked how to translate successful sketchbook pages into fabric techniques. In this video Laura demonstrates how easily that can be done with a little sampling and experimentation. She’ll work with ink, acrylic paint and hand dyeing to interpret design ideas from her sketchbook pages.
Stamp and Draw on Paper and Fabric
Some detailed subject matter can be daunting to draw from scratch. In this workshop Linda will show you how it’s possible to use a subtle stamped shape as the base for your drawing. Take all the guesswork out of getting the shapes right and instead enjoy creating a design and drawing the details. Then building on the sketchbook work that Linda did using stamps and drawing, she demonstrates how it’s easily possible to translate those ideas to fabric to make a stitched piece.
Make the most of accidental frames as a starting point for new work. Discover how Laura uses acrylic paints to create exciting marks that provide a perfect place to showcase all kinds of artwork. This is a perfect way to make vibrant borders on your sketchbook pages ready to enclose collage, photographs, drawing or painting – whatever is your favourite medium!
Printmaking: Trash to Treasure
Challenge yourself to make printing plates from materials found in the recycling bin! In this workshop Laura will demonstrate how to make plates from polystyrene, cardboard, Tetra Pak and milk bottles. Working small with this experimental approach you’ll achieve great results from rubbish!
Sketchbook Challenge – Session 7
Let’s explore adding text to your sketchbook. Maybe you’ll use your book as an art journal to document your daily life, as a notebook to jot down reference information, or perhaps you’ll use text as a decorative element. Laura will show you lots of examples and demonstrate different techniques for adding text, from collage, to handwriting and stamping.
Sketchbook Challenge – Session 6
Experiment with adding monoprint to your sketchbook. Laura will show you two methods of monoprint that extend ideas from the drawing session last time. Use your gelli plate to print from your stencils and create silhouettes you can draw into, and use a linear traced monoprint using oil-based inks. Laura also shares ideas for taking work you’ve already done and making it work harder for you by making copies to build new pages from.
Sketchbook Challenge – Session 4
In this workshop we’ll explore collage in our sketchbooks. Work from your stash of made and found papers to add colour, pattern and shape to your pages. Consider working with photographs and photocopies and learn how you can edit them for a more thoughtful result in your composition.
Sketchbook Challenge – Session 3
Let’s start to build some structure into your sketchbook pages. I’ll start with sharing some examples, then show you how you can use stencils and rubbings to add a layer of pattern. We’ll also use larger simple shapes as a compositional device to help with constructing the layout of your pages.
Sketchbook Challenge – Session 1
Join Laura in the studio for the first session in the Sketchbook Challenge. She’ll start by showing you through a few of the many sketchbooks in her collection and share her tips on what to look for when choosing a sketchbook. Next, make a start on your book working along with Laura to quickly lose the white pages by integrating other papers. These will be the perfect background for working onto later.
Oil Pastel Monoprint & Wash
Video Workshop – Using the basic Oil Pastel Monoprint technique, Linda’s developing the process and using it in combination with wash. You’ll already know that oil can work as a resist to waterbased media, see how Linda paints with watercolour adding beautiful fluid washes without losing control of the paint.
Monoprint Image Transfer
Laura experiments with her gel plate and an image transfer mono printing technique. It’s not foolproof, but it’s lots of fun and you’ll end up with a fantastic pile of monoprints and collage papers which can be perfect for your sketchbook, mixed media work, journals and altered books. In this workshop Laura demonstrates working on paper, this technique might work on fabric, but we’ve not tried it – yet!
Inspired by Nature
Find inspiration in nature and see how Linda interprets a photographic source as a mixed media study in her sketchbook. She’ll show you how to use watercolour, charcoal pencils and oil pastel to create rich surfaces sympathetic to the subject matter. Then working from her sketchbook, Linda interprets the mixed media study into a stitched textile. See how she uses opaque and transparent fabric scraps to build painterly layers adding texture with machine and hand stitching.
Be inspired by nature around you and collect leaves to use for plant printing. Linda will show you how to make beautiful contact prints on paper. Laura will demonstrate how to make simply structured, but endlessly creative concertina books to house your prints. Finally Linda shares her ideas for working back into your plant printed sketchbook to edit, refine and add detail. The result will be a truly unique record of the plant material you’ve collected and a fabulous sketchbook for inspiration and further development.
Designing with Collage
Collage is the perfect technique for design work. In this workshop Laura will show you how you can use your painted papers, or create ones from your fabrics, to make designs that could be ideal for informing your next quilt. She’ll show you how collage can be used to make the basis of your design with painting to add extra colour.
Inktense Traced Print
Drawing is often the best way to start a watercolour, acrylic or mixed media painting, but what if you you feel your drawing skills aren’t strong, or maybe you just want a fast and effective way to get your image down on paper so you can quickly get started with your painting? In this workshop Linda will demonstrate her technique for creating that drawing which will be the perfect foundation for your painting.
Work along with Linda to make your own visual diary to document your observations and collections. Linda’s focussing on one of her favourite subjects, moths, but your diary can document anything you like! In Linda’s book you’ll see a selection techniques used in combination to record what you find. There are three workshops in this collection.
Photographs + Sketchbooks
Do you find yourself with a stash of inspirational photo prints, or numerous photos on your phone waiting to be printed? Photographs can be an exciting component of your sketchbook pages. See how Laura’s been using photographs in her books as a layer in her collage and mixed media process.
A traveller’s journal or notebook is an ingenious idea of a refillable cover which can hold a range of booklets. In this collection of workshops we’ll show you how to make your own beautiful fabric cover and binding. Next you’ll learn how to make booklets to pop inside and we’ll share ideas of what to fill it with!
A Glint of Gold
Who can resist a touch of gold? Discover how to add that metallic gleam to your paper and fabric projects. In this workshop collection we’ll show you how to add gold using a variety of media from pens to ink and gold leaf. Learn how to apply gold to your sketchbook pages and to fabric.
Working with Inktense
Do you have a set of Derwent Inktense pencils, or blocks? In this collection of videos we’ll demonstrate a diverse approach to using them in your work on paper and fabric. See how to make rubbings, use them to colour fabric, add colour to your altered books and even print with them. There are four workshops in this collection.
In this archive collection of 3 video workshops Linda will show you how simple cardboard can be used to make a print plate which can be inked in a similar way to a traditional etching. See how to print from the plate without using an expensive press, and how you can finally tint the print to make each one unique.
Are you up for a challenge? How about working along with Linda as she records events, people and places in a visual art diary? It’s a fascinating way to approach a creative challenge – you just let your imagination respond to each day as it happens. In this archive collection you’ll be encouraged to collect inspirational material, write, draw, print, paint and stitch – before you know it you’ll have experimented with a huge range of art techniques and you’ll have a sketchbook bursting with ideas to inspire future work!
Rubbings: Sketchbook and Applique
In this collection you’ll discover four video workshops where Linda will demonstrate everything you need to know to use the simple technique of rubbings in a variety of creative ways to make beautiful pages in your sketchbook. Linda will then demonstrate how she uses the sketchbook ideas to inspire a lovely stitched appliqué panel using the same rubbing technique directly to fabric.
Are you always nervous about getting started in a new sketchbook? Do the pristine pages scare you? Let me reassure you that you’re not alone! In this collection of three videos you’ll learn how to lose the blank, white page quickly and easily. Laura shows how she gets lots of glorious colour on her pages using water based paints, drawing inks and soluble pastels. She demonstrates step by step how she produces fascinating background effects for her sketchbook and art journaling work and how she constantly evaluates and responds to what she’s created on the page.
In this collection of three video workshops Laura demonstrates exciting techniques to design and construct your own unique book forms and decorative covers. She explains exactly how to achieve a simple stitched binding, how to create totally unique folded books from multisided geometric shapes and how to personalise the covers of an altered book using a decorative felt wrap. Watch these step by step instructions and you’ll have everything you need to know to make your own highly individual examples!