The Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook


I’ve been working regularly in a new sketchbook lately and so many people have been asking me on Instragram some version of the same question: “WHAT KIND OF SKETCHBOOK IS THAT??” So I decided I’d write a blog post about it!

It’s the Moleskine Watercolor Album. It’s got a durable hard cover, beautiful thick watercolor pages (which are also smooth enough on which to use pencil and other media). The one I have been using is A4 size, but they also make them in a smaller size as well that could fit in your bag more easily. I first used one when I went to Scandinavia in 2012 as my travel sketchbook, but when I returned home I went back to my smaller book. Recently, wanting to use more paint in my sketchbook, I bought a new one. And now I can’t seem to use much else! (And, no, nobody is paying me to say that!)

Here are some of the creations I’ve made in this sketchbook.








Interested in starting your own sketchbook practice but need ideas to get started? I teach two sketchbook classes on Creativebug to help you do just that! Sketchbook Explorations is a basic course and More Sketchbook Explorations is the 2nd in the series.

Have a great weekend, friends, and happy sketchbooking!


CATEGORIES: Paintings | Sketchbook

Recent Sketchbook Roundup



As many of you know, drawing in my sketchbook is how I spend a lot of my time outside of my job as an illustrator. Recently, I’ve begun working in THREE different sketchbooks, all of which have different purposes and different paper — something for every mood! I’ve got my regular square format sketchbook with regular paper, I’ve got my moleskine watercolor sketchbook (which is fairly large) and I’ve now also got my “messy” sketchbook, which is actually just a vintage book about Germany that I’m purposefully painting and collaging in as a way to practice being messier in my art-making. Today I wanted to share some of the sketchbooks I’ve made since December.

You can follow along with all of my sketchbook escapades by following me on Instagram and you can also view past sketchbooks here on my website.

Do you want ideas for drawing in your own sketchbook? I teach two different classes on Creativebug to get you started. The first is simply called Sketchbook Explorations. And the other is called More Sketchbook Explorations. I recommend taking the first and then diving into the second.

Drawing and a book in a book can be a very liberating experience because you are not focusing on making a “finished” piece of art for framing or display. When your book is filled, it’s a wonderful experience to flip through the pages!

Happy drawing. Have a great Friday!











2016 Goal #2: Get Messy in my Sketchbook



Earlier this week I shared my three goals (er, resolutions) for 2016. Today I’m going to talk about Goal #2: Get Messy in my Sketchbook.

As many of you who follow my work know, several years ago, I began keeping sketchbooks for the first time in my life (or my art career). This might sound weird (and I grant you, it is), but I am self taught and never developed the discipline for sketchbooks like many art students do when they are studying drawing in school. To be clear — I sketch all the time, and have been for years — especially for illustration clients; just not in a “book.” And what’s even weirder is that when I did start “sketching” in a book, I felt a great drive to fill the entire spread of the book, as opposed to simply drawing what was in my environment or drawing specific things here or there in the book. So my approach to my sketchbooks has been non-traditional (though I have come to learn other artists approach their sketchbooks this way as well). You can view some of my spreads from the past few years here.

In addition to (for the most part) filling spreads with my doodles, my sketchbook habit has morphed into a lot of line drawing with finer tipped pens (including gel and micron pens), which requires a certain level of precision. Yep, there’s a certain “neatness” that goes into my sketchbook spreads. Perhaps these drawings are an attempt to create some sense of order in the chaos of my life? People often comment when I post the spreads on Instagram: “Your spreads are so neat and perfect looking!” Or “Do you ever mess up?”

I had a conversation last month with my friend, illustrator and comics artist Vera Brogsol about how we both like our sketchbooks to look finished and when we “mess up” we often rip out the pages to start over. We chuckled together over this slightly embarrassing fact, but deep down inside, I also know that I have the urge to get messy in my sketchbooks. I just had to figure out a way to do get messy that felt right for me.

And then a remembered several years ago my friend & fellow artist Danielle Krysa (aka The Jealous Curator) showed me a technique she’d learned from our friend, the great artist Martha Rich: take an old book (something like an old cookbook or out-of-date encyclopedia) and use it as your sketchbook. The idea here is that there are not blank white pages that you must keep pristine. Every page is different. It’s a perfect place to get messy. So a few days ago I found this old book about Germany (no offense, Germany) that I bought for the beautiful photos inside but have never used or looked it much and decided to make it my new messy sketchbook for 2016.

germany book

And then I set to work getting messy on the first spread in the book (the final result, pictured above). And it was more fun than I’ve had in a long time.


So, I’m off to a good start! And I can’t wait to go back for more!

Never fear, however; I am no abandoning my more precise, clean, white sketchbooks entirely. I’ll still be drawing in those regularly too (it’s in my blood).

You can follow along with all of my sketchbook antics over on Instagram.

Have a great Thursday!


Recent Sketchbook Spreads



If you’ve been following along here on my blog for the past few years you know that I love to draw inside my sketchbooks. You can view all of my recent sketchbook posts here, and view many of my sketchbook spreads from the past couple of years here on my website.

Here are some recent spreads made in the past couple of weeks!


This spread was drawn with a Sakura of America gellyroll pen. Here is a post I wrote about all of the pens and other tools I like to use in case you are interested in purchasing some of your own.

I love drawing cute animals! And so I had fun with this spread last week. Also drawn with a gellroll pen.


Drawing in my sketchbook is very meditative for me. This kind of drawing below — which starts with a center point and then is drawn outward — is one of my favorite forms of drawing meditation.


All four of the spreads above are drawn in a medium sized hardcover Moleskine sketchbook. I glue pages together with a glue stick to make them thicker (a handy trick!).

Are you interested in drawing in a sketchbook but don’t know where to start? I offer two different sketchbook classes on Creativebug which give ideas and instruction for drawing in your sketchbook! You can start with Sketchbook Explorations (that’s the first class) then continue with More Sketchbook Explorations. They are great classes for beginners!

Have a great Tuesday, friends!


New Notebook from Denik!



Friends, I am so happy to share with you the release of a new notebook from Denik.  What’s special about Denik is their mission and vision: For every product they sell, a portion of the proceeds goes directly to building schools.

This particular cover came from a design I drew in my own sketchbook earlier this year:


You can purchase the notebook here and visit my artist page on Denik here.

Have a great week!