Wednesday, September 16, 2015

makewells: my sketchbook process

Hi! It's Megan here from Makewells again, and today I'm blogging about my sketchbook process. 

Right now, I'm working through a 365 Project - completing one full page in my sketchbook each day and posting to instagram. So today I wanted to share just one of the (many) ways I approach a blank page. 

As far as supplies go, I use just about anything and everything in my sketchbook. I do tend to use "cheaper" paints, including craft paints that I pick up whenever I pass that aisle in the store. But I also use pens, paint markers, and colored pencils.  
My sketchbook is a Canson mixed media spiral bound book. The paper is not super thick, so I do have to flatten out the pages sometimes when using a lot of water. But I prefer to keep it on the cheap for my sketchbook, and this is a great value for what you get!

To begin, I like to quickly cover the page with acrylic paint. I try to do this without really thinking too much. Same goes for choosing colors. My approach to working in my sketchbook is that it should be loose and a place to "explore", so I often choose colors at random and challenge myself to make them work together. 

My go-to subject matter in my sketchbook is florals. I just love painting flowers, it relaxes me. And I feel like there are INFINITE ways to paint flowers, so it's a subject matter I love exploring. Above, I used a small brush to "draw" in some flowers. 

As I started painting, it just seemed natural to make a floral wreath. So that's what I did, adding leaves and little branches. I started to realize at this point, that this would probably be a page incorporating a hand lettered phrase, so I started thinking about what that would be as well. 

I then began blocking in some color inside the floral line drawings, slowly building up to painting a little bit more detail.

Using my favorite white Uniball Signo Gel Pen, I started adding fine lines on top of the paint.

And eventually, I added some leaves with a polka dot pattern inside. I love incorporating patterns in my sketchbook pieces - polka dots, dashes, etc. are an easy way to add unexpected interest.

I finally settled on what phrase I would draw in: "Make Art. Be Art. Enjoy." This is a phrase that I often draw, but it means a lot to me.  My mom said this to me once when I was having a rough day in my early 20's. She emailed me an encouraging note and said, "Just go make art. BE ART. And enjoy." I just love that, and I often create pieces incorporating that phrase. 
I lightly drew in my lettering with a pencil before painting. 

Because it's my sketchbook and my goal is to be loose and creative, I don't worry about stray pencil marks here and there or "perfection". 

I do love "finishing" a page with colored pencils, however. I love the way Prismacolor pencils work with acrylic paint when it's dry, so I often use a very sharp, darker pencil to give drop shadows to my letter and a little more detail to the florals. 

And then I call it a day! 
So there you have it: a little glimpse into my creative process while working in my sketchbook. As I said before, every day is different, but I always try to "not think" and let the page just "happen". By doing that, I allow for happy accidents and unexpected discoveries. 
I hope you enjoyed seeing my process! Don't forget to post your own lettering projects on instagram using #redefinecreativelettering 
Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)


Madam Dö Gonç said...

Love your style, arts, photos !
Thanks for sharing all of these with us :)
Best wishes.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Megan, for sharing your process! I've been following your 365 project on Instagram and have bought a few sketchbook prints from your Etsy shop. I have been thinking about trying acrylics and you've inspired me to start today!

Ebony said...

Thanks for sharing! I love how you use such a variety of colors in your work. I never thought about using colored pencils on acrylic. Trying it today!

Creative Khadija said...

I love this Alisa, You are sharing so wonderfully! keep sharing dear. Well done :)

studioGypsy said...

so beautiful and inspiring, megan! i really need to work out my letters still! xoxo

Unknown said...


Audrey said...


Unknown said...

Great process!

Pauline said...

Great to see your process---inspiring

Gennie said...

Great to see the process

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