Filling an empty sketchbook with all new drawings doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Learn 5 tips to fill a new sketchbook page by page and remember that the drawing you make will always be better than the drawing you didn’t make at all.
Buying a brand new sketchbook can feel so exciting. A new beginning! Something fresh! Bright white pages that will inspire you every time you open the sketchbook, pen in hand.
With art supplies at the ready, you open your empty sketchbook. But instead of feeling inspired, you feel overwhelmed by the blank pages that stare back at you. How will I ever fill all that?
The key to completing a sketchbook is taking it page by page. Each drawing is a milestone and the joy is in the process, not the end result.
How to fill your sketchbook?
So how do you fill a sketchbook page by page? Here’s are my 5 tips to overcoming the overwhelm of a blank sketchbook.
1. Make a ‘collection’ page of everyday snippets
Capturing details instead of the big picture is such a great way to overcome the inner critic, feeling overwhelmed, or not knowing what to draw or where to begin. Instead of trying to fill a blank page with one drawing, fill it with small snippets. You can do it throughout your day, or come up with a collection of things to draw.
The things you eat in a day, the clothes you are wearing. 10 things from the pantry. Random things around the house. All the clutter you have cleaned up in a day…
Everything goes. All these snippets add up to a wonderful and fun visual story.
2. Look for details in a larger scene
Maybe drawing a whole scene is too intimidating, so look for just a small piece of the scene and start to draw that.
How do you draw a beach? Start by drawing a few shells. Capture your garden by drawing a single flower, or a few overlapping leaves, or the negative space made by fence posts.
3. Don’t overthink what to draw
What to draw? You can find the answer in everyday things: your keys, your wallet, the contents of your bag, a favorite coffee mug. All these very mundane things are actually very personal, and tell a little part of your story.
Don’t worry if the subject of your drawing is meaningful. By drawing it, you make it meaningful.
4. Procrastinate on everything but making art
Draw the clutter instead of cleaning it up. Sit down, take a moment, look at it and draw it.
Get out your crayons and sit next to the sink to draw the dirty dishes before washing them. Paint all the ingredients of the dish you’re about to prepare. Draw your desk before opening your email inbox.
Draw your car instead of washing it. Draw every item on the grocery shopping list – you’ll have a much more fun shopping list once you are going to the store!
5. Don’t be precious about your empty sketchbook
A sketchbook has many pages, so don’t be too precious about them. Sometimes you may feel hesitant to start a drawing, because what if you mess up?
Whenever I feel that way I tell myself the drawing that I make will always be better than the drawing I didn’t make at all.
And even more important: you then will have missed out on the enjoyable process of drawing. If you don’t love the result, just turn the page. On to the next drawing!
I have many more idea starters like these. And I’d love to spend a couple of hours with you to draw together and to share these ideas with you. Will you join me in the next live online workshop, Koosje’s Killer Sketchbook Filler?