What’s Inside My Sketch-Pad?

Making this post feels like sharing a part of me that I don’t often share. I haven’t ever really shared anything that is in my sketch pad online before. It’s always been private I don’t always show family and friends it either. I guess I get a bit worried about being judged but I want to document and I think my blog is the perfect place to do this. So, I think it’s time to open up the pad and share it with the internet. I’ve just picked a few pieces to share and I’m going to document them in chronological order.

Abstract Waves

I started this years ago, probably when I was about 16. I kept on leaving it then coming back to it, I only recently finished it. It’s the very first thing in my sketch-pad, I think I saw a tutorial for this online and just made my own version. This was the piece that got me back into drawing.

Green Fairy

This piece is also really old, I can’t exactly remember when I did it. I know I did it free hand after practicing drawing eyes and hair. I’ve never been good at drawing people or figures, I know this isn’t perfect but I’m quite proud of it. I’m deciding whether to frame it as it is or back it on green paper. I just haven’t got around to doing anything with it yet.

Studying Pansies

So one of my biggest regrets was not doing GCSE Art. As part of GCSE art, students create a sketch pad based around a topic and do some research into the topic. I think that if I had done it, I would have done it about flowers. I love flowers and learning all about them. Over the summer I started practicing drawing Pansies and did a bit of research on them, I set myself a challenge to do this for loads of different flowers and turn it into a challenge. As, you my have noticed I haven’t even finished the Pansy page, so this didn’t happen but maybe it’s something I’ll come back to.

Abstract Tree

The last piece I’m sharing is this Abstract Tree. This is one of the most recent pieces in my sketch pad. I drew the tree in a circle and planned to cut it out and back it on colourful paper, however I ended up surrounding it in acrylic paint. I’m pretty sure you don’t use acrylic paint in a sketch pad but oh, well. I really like the end effect and definitely want to get this framed at some point.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at some of my work and thank you for reading!

Ella xxx

17 thoughts on “What’s Inside My Sketch-Pad?”

  1. I love the abstract waves and the tree! Who says you can’t use acrylic paint in a sketch pad? I think you can do anything you want. I especially love the pansies! I hope you keep drawing flowers. You’re very good at it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Ella,

    I think, from the samples you’ve posted, that you definitely have a talent for drawing, possibly a gift, that you should develop if you do want to go down that route. You say you’re untrained – looking at your pictures, if you want to do figure work/portraits you will probably need some training, if you want to go down the flower study route then I’d say you don’t.

    You might like to look at Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings for inspiration if you’re not already aware of them


    The two key things to remember are observation and practice – a lot of practice – and being inspired by other artists rather than dwarfed. You may be on the bottom of a very long ladder but you are on it.

    It’s important to come out of your sketch book and I’m glad you’ve taken the first step. You could try doing designs for greetings cards and selling them to get your confidence up – the abstract tree design is definitely at the right standard for this.

    I talk a bit about drawing in this post which you might find helpful

    Keep drawing and make sure you post more pictures!



    1. Thank you Victoria for the wonderful and thoughtful advice! Your definitely right I need a lot more training for figure work, it not a strong point of mine. I actually much prefer drawing flowers and abstract pieces and I think this shows.

      At the moment art is just a hobby. I’m not really pressuring art as a career (I’m studying psychology) but maybe it’s something I could do on the side!

      I’ll definitely check out your blog and Georgia O’Keeffe’s work! I’ve heard of her but never really studied her work, like I said in the post I didn’t do art as a subject for GCSE or A-level.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

      Ella xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d say focus on the area you’re most interested in, then you’re more likely to put in the work. But your instincts are there for the figure work too, if you look at the way you’ve shaded round the knees, you just don’t know certain tips. (Eyes, for example, are in the centre of a face, not the top quarter. If you think of a skull, you’ll immediately realise where you’re going wrong.)

        I’d also say that it will help to not think about your art as something that has be a career or done in association with an educational qualification. Do it because you love it and you want to get better at it, and learn about how other people did it, for yourself.

        Have as many different areas of interest as you want without having to justify them or apologise to anyone. It’ll make you a much more rounded person.

        Looking forward to seeing more drawings!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks again for even more advice and tips! It really means a lot.

        I’ve been thinking about joining my art society and doing art classes over summer, and your comments have been really useful and encouraging!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Do it, don’t think about it!

        And do it now rather than wait until the summer – you could go into the summer class even better by then, which will give you more confidence.

        If you want to practice figure work for free, use your own body and a mirror. Or your non-dominant hand is always a good one. Looking for interesting faces in magazines to copy is another.

        As for flower studies you can get a tray of cheap winter pansies from a supermarket or garden centre for a couple of pounds to practice with.

        Just don’t let your talent go to waste!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Making this post was definitely the first step in coming out of my sketch pad a little bit. I’d really recommend making a post about it, it helps with your confidence

      Liked by 1 person

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