Welcome to week 3! I hope by now you have started to see the value of regular drawing practice and showing up at the page. Unless we put the time aside those pages stay blank! In week 1 I suggested that you look for quantity over quality - to make as many pages as possible - whether good or bad. Without the mistakes we don't develop, and that is what I wanted you to take from week 2 - allowing yourself to make mistakes, that "perfection is the enemy of good enough" (versions of this saying are attributed to Voltaire, Confucious and others). 

It is easy to get knocked off course, by life events, by comments from others and by our comparing ourselves to others. What I want you to hold on to in this week is overriding those voices, on taking each task as it comes and keep on keeping on. 

In the first two weeks there has been a focus on observational drawing - or on observing and then drawing. The images in your books are influenced by what you saw - the shapes that you encountered and using line to describe those. Now our process gets more playful as we respond to drawings that we have already made. We are going to embellish our books and create narratives that will bring our pages to life and create a vibrant, mixed-media Garden Sketchbook.

Some of this weeks tasks still include drawing but in a more stylised way. You can of course keep up the good work and keep growing your sketchbook with new drawings that you can embellish later. 

You will know already that I love colour in my sketchbooks! Collage is a way of building layers and adding more colour and pattern. In preparation for collaging you will need to gather some resources and create some papers to use in your books. The textures, patterns and colours can be influenced by the drawings and studies that you did in week 2. 

I LOVE COLLAGE!!!! Just incase you didn't know. It's fun and fluid and playful. It's colourful. I think my passion for it goes back to playing with Fuzzy Felts as a child. 

Where drawing is fraught with 'shoulds' and 'not-goods', collage is liberating. No one has an expectation for a collage - you see where it goes. Where there are 'rules' for how to draw, what pencil to use, how to shade etc etc, with collage it's just you, the scissors and the paper. Artists who elevated collage did so precisely because it is bold and playful. So have no fear! Think of the scissors as a different way of drawing - the scissor cut is a bold, strong line and what you cut describes the shape. There isn't much call for finicky either, go strong, big and bold. 

Grab yourself some popcorn - these are long ones!

Collage is also a forgiving process. You make your mark - with your scissors but you have time to decide if you want to keep it...or cut again. You can also use collage to eradicate the unhappy accidents, whilst leaving the happy ones to shine. It's not going to work every time but keeping on layering keeps the flow and may lead to some gems. 

Artists I turn to again and again for their collage inspiration are:

Picasso and Henri Matisse - you can't really be a collage artist without the inspiration of these two!

From a more contemporary perspective I wouldn't create in the way that I do without the inspiration of Mark Hearld. 

For inspiration for this weeks tasks, I have created a Pinterest board. On there are also some links to downloadable labels and seed packets to add to your pages.


Here are some books that I constantly refer to:

The Sketchbooks of Picasso

Henri Matisse - The cut outs

Mark Hearld's Workbook

Mark Hearld's First Book of Nature 

When you have gathered and created your papers and watched the videos you can start the tasks for the week by clicking below. 


Helen Hallows


Nurturing Creativity since....

© 2009-2020 Helen Hallows

Copyright of all art works remains with the artist Helen Hallows 

Online course content, blog posts and all design and written content remains the intellectual property of Helen Hallows. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. 



Nottingham, UK

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