An Illustrated ‘Manual’

Tea infuser illustrated instructions

Back to the Leuchtturm sketchbook for my second Sketchbook Skool homework. It’s a really bad scan but never mind.

I decided to do what Koosje suggested and keep things simple for this one so to make life a bit easier for my illustrated manual I chose this tea infuser.

Illustrating a Recipe

Illustrated recipe potatoes boulangere

The Storytelling klass at Sketchbook Skool started earlier this month and the first homework was to produce an illustrated recipe.

With the start of a new semester I decided to start a new sketchbook. This is a Leuchtturm A5 sketchbook. Unlike the Moleskines that I’ve been using for a while, this one’s not a watercolour sketchbook but it takes the paint quite well and the paper’s very thick which is nice.

Not sure it scanned all that well, what with the shadows on the edge but other than that I like this new sketchbook.

Sketchbook #5: Sugar Jar

Photo of sketchbook and paints on table watercolour painting of kilner jar

A new klass has started at Sketchbook Skool so I’m underway with the homeworks from this semester on ‘Storytelling’. In the meantime though, I’m just finishing off a few pages in my Moleskine sketchbook.

This one had been waiting for some colour to be added for quite¬† a long time. It’s just the kilner jar that we keep the sugar in and a tiny Bonne Maman jar at the side.

Photo of sketchbook and paints on table watercolour painting of kilner jar

I was planning on outlining it in black ink before colouring it in but eventually decided to keep it a bit softer and leave it as a pencil sketch. I think that was the right decision.

Photo of sketchbook and paints on table watercolour painting of kilner jar

Right in Front of Me On My Desk

Coloured drawing of a desk and all the pens and books on top.

I was flicking back through my copy of Keri Smith’s How To Be An Explorer of the World the other day and not for the first time I realised that some of the explorations in there are quite good drawing prompts.

I may do a series of drawings based on these but for now I’ve done this one. Like a drawing I did last year of 8 Things Right Where I’m Sitting, I started with the first exploration and went with what’s right in front of me.

I have a tiny desk in the corner of one room in our flat, right next to a big window and this is where I do a lot of my drawing now. I suspect it might become a bit chilly in the winter though so I may retreat to the dining table if that happens.

For now, though this is an aerial view of what was on my desk yesterday. Apart from Keri Smith, I’d say this drawing was also inspired a by the work of Andrea Joseph and Tommy Kane.

If you want to see this drawing in more detail, just click on it to view a higher-res version.

2 Full Sketchbooks


These are the first two sketchbooks that I’ve filled since I started drawing regularly again at the beginning of last year.

The top one was my first. Before this one I just drew on pieces of paper but I moved on to a sketchbook pretty quickly. This was the book that I used to test my commitment to drawing. It’s a plain paged journal from Paperchase that I had lying around at home. It had a few scribbles in it so I cut out the first few pages and started drawing in it.

All the drawings in that book were done using the pens I mentioned back when I’d just started this sketchbook. There’s no colouring in because the pens weren’t waterproof and I was colouring in my drawings my scanning them and colouring them electronically.

When I started Drawing August last year I started my first Moleskine sketchbook, the bottom one in this picture. It’s an A5 watercolour sketchbook but even so, the majority of the drawings in it are pen and ink, using Copic Multiliner pens. Towards the end of that book I started using watercolour paints and I went back to fill the final few pages in this book with my tiny drawings for this year’s Drawing August.

I’m now almost at the end of my third sketchbook, another Moleskine watercolour book but this one is full of mostly coloured drawings, some experiments with paint and a few mementos that I stuck in after my trip to New York in April. Most but not all, of the drawings in there are from the two semesters of Sketchbook Skool that I’ve taken part in.

At the same time I keep doing an occasional drawing in a Daler Rowney sketchbook that I’ve so far used just for ballpoint pen drawings. It’s not my favourite book to use because the paper’s quite thin but I’ll persevere with it.

It’s interesting looking back at how many drawings I’ve done in these books. I want to do lots more and I hope I can fill more than 2 sketchbooks over the coming year but we’ll see. It’s also interesting to look back and see how my drawing has progressed and changed. I’m a bit embarrassed by some of the ones in that first book but I know they have value because they sort of map my progress for me as I keep up with my drawing habit.