Sketchbook Workshops 

Sketchbook Workshops



Weekend Sketchbook Workshop

Dates: 4-5 April 2020

Total Duration: 2 days

Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00

cost £175

Fairycroft House, Saffron Walden



Sketchbook Workshop

Dates: 6-9 April 2020

Total Duration: 4 days

Mon-Thu 10:00-16:00

cost £300

Barton Village Hall, Cambridgeshire



Sketchbook Workshop

Dates: 27-30 July 2020

Total Duration: 4 days

Mon-Thu 10:00-16:00

cost £350

Fairycroft House, Saffron Walden



Sketchbook Workshop

Dates: 3-6 August 2020

Total Duration: 4 days

Mon-Thu 10:00-16:00

cost £475

Lauderdale House, Highgate, London



Sketchbook Workshop

Dates: 10-13 August 2020

Total Duration: 4 days

Mon-Thu 10:30-16:00

cost £300

Framin' Art, Downham Market



Sketchbook Workshop

Dates: 24-27 August 2020

Total Duration: 4 days

Mon-Thu 10:00-16:00

cost £375

Wesley Church, Cambridge

Sketchbook Workshops

Have you ever wondered how to use your sketchbook to its maximum potential?  Learn how to gather and assemble information in your sketchbook, how and what to draw, and how to develop layouts and designs from your sketches.  Suitable for everyone whether you already use a sketchbook, or you’re just a beginner.  These are practical courses with lots of ideas that you can take away and develop on your own.

Sketchbooks, Artists’ Journals, Art Diaries, Art Journals, or Visual Journals are visual notebooks of your ideas.  They contain sketches, diary notes, ideas, rough workings, words, or poems and record your day to day thoughts and activities.

These courses are designed to teach you how to make best use of your sketchbook to document your surroundings and develop your ideas.  There is no easy plan or any hard and fast rules for you to follow.  Instead, they concentrate on introducing you to a variety of approaches: some of which you will find suit you, and others that you may find less helpful.  Together we will look at how to gather and assemble information, how and what to draw in your sketchbook and how to develop layouts and designs from your sketches. 

These courses are suitable for everyone: whether you are a painter, sketcher, crafter or printmaker.  Whether you already use a sketchbook, or you’re just a beginner. 

There are no specific rules that you have to follow, but there are basic similarities to all sketch-booking genres.  Your sketchbook is an opportunity for unstructured thought, a place for curiosity, exploration and experimentation.  Sometimes referred to as creative immersion, it is the place where you process and develop thoughts without a planned outcome.  It is the processes that you use in your sketchbook that are important, not the finished pages. Some argue that a sketchbook page is never finished…

Use of Technology

A smartphone, tablet or camera are listed as essential equipment (see below).  Collecting visual information using a digital device is now a central to this course.  We look at what types of images we might gather in this way, on both the micro and macro scale, and then look at different frameworks/strategies for reassembling this information creatively.   Noting that this is part of collating visual information from multiple sources, you will be discouraged from drawing simply from one photograph.

HP Sprocket Printer

We now offer the opportunity to print some of your pictures from your phone, or IPad, using an HP Sprocket 200 printer.  If you download the app it will Bluetooth to your phone and will print out little sticky-backed photos that you can stick into your sketchbook and include in your drawings.  It works on the majority of devices but, if your device is a little older it may not.  You are most welcome to print out as many photographs as you need.

IPad & Using Procreate

It is noted that an increasing number of students attending these sketchbook workshops are using an IPad to take photographs and that a lot of you are also exploring how to draw on them.  In response to this change we are working towards including some tablet drawing exercises in the near future. 

In the meantime you will notice a migration in the way in which ideas are presented.  The essentials of drawing remain the same, but you will find them increasingly geared towards creating digital art.  We have identified 4 main functions that can be explored via your sketchbook:

  1. working in layers: we will explore what each of these layers might be and how we gather visual information to develop each layer;

  2. structures & collage:  we explore different frameworks for creatively collating visual material;

  3. colour palettes: collecting colour palettes in the field, colour theory, translating colour into digital palettes;

  4. textures: why texture matters and developing your own brushes.

A good deal of the work that we do on these sketchbook workshops is already highly relevant the digital genre, looking at how to gather visual information and how to reassemble or re-present that information.

Equipment you will need
How much walking is involved?

Our sketchbook workshops are centrally located so you will not be required to walk, or carry your equipment for more than 10 minutes at a time.  Some help will also be available to carry your equipment, should you require it. 

You will need to provide your own sketchbook and a few drawing materials for this course.  Some drawing materials will be provided to supplement your own supplies, but the absolutely essential equipment that you must provide for yourself is a sketchbook and a digital device (camera, smartphone or tablet) to collect visual information.   Most sketchbook workshops include regular visits to local coffee shops, so you may also need a little cash to buy coffees.  Lunch is not included.

Digital camera

Smartphone, or tablet to take photographs and view pictures when back at the studio.  Increasingly students choose to use a tablet to take photographs.


My favourite is a 20cm square format, bound Seawhite.  These are inexpensive and bound nicely.  But any sketchbook that has reasonable quality cartridge paper, and which you feel comfortable using, is fine.  Noting that you want it to be small enough to carry around and hold when drawing in the field (recommending A4 or smaller).  Thicker paper keeps the definition of your drawing and holds more water when you use a colourwash (your drawing will automatically look better).  The higher the number, the better the quality of the paper.  Seawhite sketchbooks contain 140 or 160gsm, but a sketchbook with 200gsm will be better.


Use the type of pencil that you feel comfortable using. 

·         Layout pencil: H, B, HB, or F (Koh-i-noor, Derwent, or any make of propelling pencil);

·         General use pencils: 2B (Fabler Castell or any other make).


Any drawing quality rubber.

Fine-liner Pens

We currently provide a variety of Sigma Pigma Micron fine liner pens for student use.  Any pen that you feel comfortable using is suitable, but it is best to check that it is not water soluble in order that you can use it with a colour-wash.  The Staedtler fine liners and the Faber Castell PITT pens are also good.  We now also provide some LAMY fountain pens as part of our standard drawing equipment for student use.

Watercolours/ Water soluble Pencils

Any small set of watercolours or water soluble pencils to make colourwashes.  The watercolour pencils that we provide for the class are: KOH-I-NOOR Progresso Woodless Aquarell Coloured Pencils.  We also now supply a few Ecoline Brush Pens and Faber Castell brush pens for student use.


Any good quality brushes are suitable.  The water brushes that we provide for student use on the sketchbook workshops are Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens.

Telephone  07401 870548 • Email:

© 2020 Debora Cane