Tuesday, October 27, 2015

365 sketchbook project from makewells

Hello everyone! It's Megan from Makewells here again and today I'm excited to share a glimpse into my personal sketchbook! 

I'm currently working through a very daunting 365 project - meaning, every day for 365 days I complete and post (to instagram) a page in my sketchbook.  This project has been so rewarding so far, and as I write this, I'm currently on day 150! 

Today I'm going to share some of the approaches I take to filling up a new page with art each day. These aren't process and supply tips, as much as they are just little clues into how my brain works each day when I work through a page. 

One thing I love to do, is layer materials. 

I often get asked what materials I use, and to be honest, I tend to use everything. Really, I use a lot of different supplies. 

Some of my favorite supplies are: Uniball Signo Gel Pens, Dr. Ph Martin's Watercolors, Holbein Acryla Gouache paints, Golden Fluid acrylics and high flow acrylics, Prismacolor colored pencils, micron pens, sharpies, and lot's of awesome, cheap  acrylic craft paints. 

There is no better way to figure out how a material will work on top of (or beneath) another than by just experimenting. For me, it's always trial and error. A lot of times, when a page has a lot of layers, it's actually because there were a lot of "errors" that came before! Happy accidents are my way of saying "Eww, I don't like that" and painting over it. 

By experimenting with the materials, I'm able to discover things first hand and treat each page in my sketchbook as a chance to learn something new. 

Another approach I often take is to really experiment with color:

Some days pick random colors (as well as black and white) and challenge myself to make them work together. Or, I'll put unexpected colors in a subject matter (below: the green in the pug's face and violet in the cat's fur). Other days I think of colors that contrast each other and use those. 

Just like my first approach, it's all about trying things when it comes to my sketchbook. It's a place to explore and discover!

I also love exploring similar themes in my book:

If I stumble on a design or floral pattern that I love, I may repeat that for a few days, trying different colors and materials. 

Often times, when I'm "stuck" getting started on that day's page, I'll flip through my own book for inspiration.  The similar themes building in my daily pages are : abstract floral designs, animals, fun phrases, and... more flowers :)

Some days I try something and it just doesn't work. But I use that for future reference.  It's good to push yourself to try new things, but if a subject matter or material isn't enjoyable to you, then don't force it! 

Another approach I take is to incorporate patterns:

Polka dots, dashes, plus signs, and any other little bit of repeated mark. Sometimes I add patterns in the background only,

while other times I let them appear in my subject matter.

And lastly, I try to take risks.

A self portrait? Why not. That crazy flamingo (above) was a huge step away from what I had been doing previously in my book. But it led to a few more pages of experimenting with that style, using the bold black lines and messy brush strokes. 

I hope this helps give a little insight into how I approach my sketchbook and inspires you to see your own sketchbook as a place to experiment and play!  If I had to sum it up in one way, it'd be this: 

Thanks for having me on Alisa's blog! You can follow my progress on instagram under #makewells365. 

Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)

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  1. Inspiring as always....Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much for showing ! As always a wonderful post !

  3. Great post and beautiful artwork!!! I've been working through a month of sketching in ink (Inktober! I love the name!) and posting on Instagram. It is really hard to keep up! You're doing a fantastic job!! I might have to start up a project like this one once Inktober is over! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  4. Anonymous5:56 AM

    Inspiring post. The flowers are so beautiful. I love the colors!

  5. I follow you on Instagram, so it's great to see a little of the behind the scenes inspiration! Love your work + love following along. :-)

  6. Love, love, love this!

  7. Love your project! I wondered what type of book you have found to hold your paintings and also what size. Do you set a time limit on your pieces? And if not, about how long do you end up spending per piece? Thanks for sharing!! You are definitely an inspiration!!

  8. Thank you for sharing! Love your artworks! Very inspiring!

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  10. Thank you for these cues! When I get stuck it's because I'm frozen in time. I have a very little time and want to do s-o-m-e-t-h-I-n-g creative. I just get frozen. I know all I have to do is start, but my mind races and my engine floods like an old car 😉.

  11. Love how you used your own writing as text behind a white wash on half the page with flowers. It is really beautiful with its red bits for a dividing line. Different and beautiful.

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    Great post indeed!
    I always do something new to learn. now I learn something new from here.
    Thanks for sharing such great knowledge with us.

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  16. wow megan, stunning pages, lots of inspiration, thanks so much for sharing them

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