This course is about drawing but it is also about processing ideas. I want my sketchbook to be where happy accidents happen that spark ideas for working beyond the sketchbook. For me this doesn't happen with a pencil on a white sheet of paper. It happens when pen meets paint meets collage. 

The first task is to take ownership of your sketchbook - to make it enticing and alive, even before we start to draw.

Our first task today is to get us through the fear of the white page. Are you a sufferer?! I am - I intensely dislike the smooth, glowing, perfection of a new sketchbook. So I challenge you to take ownership of your book and make it your own! 

I use emulsion paint to paint the pages - you can also use chalk paint - or try a mix of emulsion and acrylic. Tester pots are great for this - or any pots of paint left over from home decorating (not gloss).


I like to paint some pages in a mid tone, some lights and some darks. You might want to sneak ahead to task 2 to get an idea of what kind of colour palette you are going to use today. Also paint a few extra sheets so that you can add fold out pages. You can paint some abstract blocks or blobs. You don't need to know what they will be for - we will be working in an intuitive way and allowing for 'happy accidents' along the way.

If you have a few old book pages or maps - now is the time to add them. You can use a dry paint brush to scumble some paint over the top to knock the text back a bit. 

When you have painted your book, stand it up so it can dry whilst you have a cup of tea. Take a photo of your book and add it to the forum before moving on.



Helen Hallows


Nurturing Creativity since....

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Nottingham, UK

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