When I first purchased my sketchbook I practiced with pattern. Using inspiration I found on Pinterest, I combined, copied* and developed my own style.
Pattern inspiration: Top Left, Top Middle, Top Right. Pasta drawing was just practice.

I started studying other people’s work, and then, I moved on to drawing what I could see. Namely, pasta and fruit. It was really rewarding to see my drawing style develop and to practice different techniques.

Fruit Inspiration: Pineapples, Cherries

Personally, I love ink. Any ink. Ball point pen, biros, expensive flowy ink pens, felt tip pens. I love being able to build texture and detail. Pen has always been my thang.

Then I decided to get brave and start using coloured pencil. Something that I had never really done before. Colour scares me, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed using colour so much that I kept going, I started adding colour to everything and using colour to further develop textures, depth and detail.

I am really enjoying the development that I’m seeing and it makes me really proud. It’s so tricky to start practicing a skill that has been dormant for so long, but it has been worth it.
If you’re liking my style and want to see how you too can buy a little bit of it, head over to my shop and check out the cards I have for sale. My special offer is still going strong, so don’t forget to enter the code at the checkout.

* Personally, I believe copying is a good thing, especially when you’re starting out. It allows you to practice rather than be creative, which are two daunting things when you’re starting to draw again. I am not suggesting that you copy and sell your work or even claim it to be your own, I am saying that you should look to other people’s work, try out their moves on paper and develop it into your own. Never take credit for work and ideas that are not your own. It’s just not cool!

have been busy recently. Sorting out directions, developing hobbies and working on feeling good.
A few weeks ago, I started working on being creative. This is what I did:
We once bought hideous photographs of Paris, they were printed straight on canvas and weren’t particularly good. So I decided to practice abstract painting. I found left over paint samples and developed these three pieces of art. I’m not completely happy with the results but I’m proud of myself for starting to decorate with my own work and having enough confidence to think that my art should be displayed on a wall. Even if that wall is mine.
A few months ago, I came across a battered sketchbook. The paper inside was excellent AND it was on sale for $4. Usually retailing for around $20, it was a steal and I needed it! The ugliness was hard to get over. So one day I just started throwing paint on it until it developed into this. I love it. It’s the first time I’ve mixed paints since I was in high school. One of my biggest limitations is the fear that I’ll get it wrong. After redecorating this sketchbook, I felt confident. This helped me get over my fear of “ruining” something, getting wrong or being embarrassed.
This was so much fun. I was having a stressful day. I took time out to paint the envelope of an important document being sent to a friend. It was so cathartic. It was the first time I’d played with paints since high school. The envelope developed further but not before I wrote out her full address! Eek! So, consider this a sneak peek until I able to edit the photo.
This developed into this:
It still needs work but I’m loving how it’s turned out.
I have been so busy with work (opening night, tonight!), so having a creative outlet has helped me manage stress (and overeating). What do you do to manage stress?

I wanted to start keeping sketchbooks. It was a way to keep track of my development artistically.

I bought a battered sketchbook from Michaels during it’s sale for $5 (originally $16!) and painted the front and spine. This was my first real sketchbook since age 16, so I thought I’d make it count. For me, this book represented so much. I didn’t really have a theme at first, but as it’s developed, I’ve seen one come out. It’s really just a place for me to practice skills and explore my ability to create. There are a lot of handwriting samples, sketches of pill bottles and journal entries about my daily experiences. I come across things that I’ve forgotten about or discover things by looking at them from a different perspective. The far right painting was originally just me cleaning my paint brush and using up paint. I looked over it a few weeks later when I was listening to music and felt that the lyrics fit. This started my passion for Emeli Sande’s song and it developed into something more somwhere else (more on that later).

The paper in this sketchbook is far from perfect for paint, but that’s what I’ve enjoyed the most; painting even when it hasn’t been ‘right’. Breaking rules is a big deal for me, so breaking little art rules means more than what it sounds. It has been liberating and I would suggest that everyone have a sketchbook to write/draw and practice anything and everything. There doesn’t have to be an order, there just has to be ‘stuff’.