Now is your chance to create a dynamic mixed media sketchbook that captures your garden - the patterns, textures, plants and stories of its daily visitors. The garden offers so much inspiration for drawing - capturing shape line and colour. No wonder it is such an inspiration to artists old and new.


Often we get as far as taking photos but how do you create a sketchbook of what you see? How do you edit what you are looking at and capture the spirit of a garden, the stories and  everyday miracles?


This course is for you:


  • if you want to develop a regular drawing practice
  • if you love shape and colour
  • if you are willing to try new ways of drawing
  • if you would like to loosen up and work more intuitively
  • if you would like to experiment with mixed media collage
  • if you want to bring colour to your sketchbook
  • if you love texture, colour, shape and line
  • if you want to move beyond a camera full of snapshots!


I’m a great believer in using what you have - I like to repurpose old books, and create collage papers. So with that in mind, access to some emulsion paints or acrylics would be useful. After that you can draw with anything….so long as you draw. I will show you how I approach drawing - so that you can be bolder and more confident and find your flow.  You might have lots of experience, or very little, the tutorials are structured to encourage and advise and I create a supportive teaching environment whatever your level of experience.
Drawing is a process of research. It's about training the hand and eye to do the same thing - usually through a series of ‘mistakes’. The great thing about mixed media sketchbooks is that these become layers, to be enhanced and embellished - or covered up - or collaged on to….until they become ideas we can use.
My background is in textiles, and many of my students are textile makers looking to be able to research and design from original source rather than photos. I use mark making in my drawing reminiscent of stitch - dots and dashes. The course could work well for developing ideas for stitch. 
Ultimately the course is structured for enjoyment, with gentle encouragement and to set boundaries and a time for you to engage in creativity. The course assumes no previous experience and even the most experienced artists get the collywobbles when they are in a new learning experience - I have found the group forum to be tremendously supportive and confidence-building (and I am the teacher!).


You will finish the course with:


  • a colourful mixed media sketchbook
  • a range of ideas and techniques that you can revisit again
  • the motivation to carry on drawing and collaging
  • a closer connection to your garden and its inhabitants
  • confidence to get past fear of the white page
  • a sketchbook of ideas that you can develop into art or textile work



This online course offers you:


8 video tutorials (two a week) showing you the stages I use to create my sketchbooks - layering paint, drawing and collage. From the blank page to simple drawing techniques, to embellishing with print and collage - I will walk you through my processes. You can watch these whenever is convenient for you and stop and start them as you follow along. 

30 daily drawing tasks delivered in blocks of 7 tasks - one to do each day though some can be done together - and some might give you ideas where another might get you drawing.  Each task will take approximately 45 minutes.

A 'Welcome' session with studio tour and inspiration from my studio - books and links.

A 'Goodbye' session with a summary of what you've learnt and where you can take your creativity next.

Access to an online group forum for feedback from me and other students - mutual support and motivation!

There will also be a couple of Zoom meet ups so that we can chat about your progress and share ideas and community. 


Course access is for 12 weeks. 


I try to use basic art equipment that most will have already. I provide links to where you can get hold of products and I sell some in my online shop. Mostly I encourage you to use what you have. :)


Suggested kit list:


  • A sketchbook - A5 or A4 or somewhere in between - preferably stapled or bound rather than spiral-bound
  • sheets of art paper - eg cartridge
  • sheets of coloured paper, old envelopes, old book pages
  • chalk paints or emulsion tester pots
  • acrylic paints and/or acrylic inks (or gouache)
  • paintbrushes
  • glue
  • pencils, fine felt tip drawing pens (fine-liner)
  • Posca paint pens
  • Alphabet letter stamps
  • scissors, scalpel, cutting mat


What you will need to have:


  • The materials on the materials list (see above)
  • Access via a PC or laptop to my website where you can access the password protected pages
  • Broadband wifi with sufficient speed to watch video content
  • You will also need a willingness to have a go and try new ways of working - not focussed on the outcomes, but on devloping a creative flow and adapting new techniques
  • Time - regular slots that you can set aside for yourself
  • Commitment to fulfil the tasks and share with others in the group so that we can nurture each other.


What to expect:


  • After signing up you will get email confirmation of your booking
  • On the course start date you will be emailed the log-in codes at 10am. This gives you access to password protected website pages.
  • You can access the course immediately and at any point for twelve weeks. Delivery is via video tutorials that you can start, stop and repeat as you wish. 
  • There are tasks set for you to try what you have been shown in the videos as well as step by step photos of how I created the sketchbook pages in the course
  • You are encouraged to take photos of what you create and upload them to the course Facebook Group.
  • You can ask questions in the group, or by email, or in the Zoom meet ups
  • You will be notified when access is ending


Content filmed in 2020

Garden Sketchbook - 30 day project - June 2021

  • You can cancel before the course starts and receive a full refund. Once the course date has started, no refund can be given.

    Should you have extenuating circumstances, access to the course provision may be extend. This is discretionary.

Helen Hallows is The Nurtured Artist


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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