Sketchbook Series #7

Last week of my travels and I have a fun Sketchbook Exercise from beautiful Portland Oregon!

I love Portland! The art scene on Alberta Street is fun and the weather is just beautiful in the summer. We have limited supplies again this week but simple is the goal with this exercise. ;)


Your Sketchbook: Mine is a 7x7 Stillman & Birn Mixed Media Delta Series

Painted papers from your stash

Scissors or (X-acto knife)

Glue stick

Watercolor (1 color, mine is Indian Yellow)


When I travel I always carry around a plastic envelope with a stash of painted pages along with extra single sheets of and ephemera like old book pages. You never know when Inspiration is going to strike and small papers with lots of colors of paint on them means I have lots of colorful options. It also means I only have to bring my primary colors when with me because I can mix any color and I have a I already have a good representation of other colors from my painted pages.

For this Sketchbook Exercise we will be selecting painted stash pages and then cutting and tearing out some shapes. Having the option of both precise and torn edges gives your finished page a more complete feel.

We are focusing on exploring shape, color and composition. This is just a study on these elements and concepts, remember we are not making finished art here we are merely studying these concepts and practicing with them. Feel free to use basic circle and square shapes or get wild and cut really organic squiggles and zig zags. Cut yourself about 10 shapes or as many as you feel like. I cut 9 and didn't use all of them for my page.

My shapes are below. I has previously hole punched the circles so I cut around them with my X-acto knife to create a negative shape the rest of my selections are positive shapes. Try to incorporate a negative shape into your compositional study. If you notice each of the shapes that I tore have a soft organic edge where i ripped the paper and a hard line edge where it was the side of the page or where I cut it. I enjoy working with opposites plus I feel it adds interest to the study.

Now that all my shapes have been selected I will narrow down which ones I'm going to use by playing with my them and arranging them on my page in different ways. You can see my final arranged compositional study in the image below.

Once I had everything where I liked it I went ahead and glued all of my shapes down. I didn't worry to much about getting them exactly where I had them in my assembled version, remember this is just a study so a little bit of shifting is fine. If you want to get them arranged more precisely mark them with a dot at each corner before you remove them and start gluing. That way you have a dot guide when resembling your study.

Once everything is glued down select a color from your painted pages and find a similar watercolor hue then add some embellishment. I used my pencil and drew looping lines added my indian yellow watercolor to define these pencilled in shapes and then use my watercolor sparingly in-between the shapes to connect them. I let my watercolor dry and then I went back in with my pencil and mimicked the curves in my composition with a repeating little pencil dash pattern. These marks are subtle, playful and draw your eye around the page.

All done! I hope you enjoyed this quick travel edition sketchbook exercise and I hope are able to find some time to explore! It is never a to late to start creating and exploring your creative process.

I would love for you to share your drawing in Instagram #DrawRiotSketchbookSeries or come join my Facebook group Creative & Caffeinated and share your creation there!

Until next time! Enjoy Your Creative Journey!

XOXO - Tori

#composition #sketchbook #sketchbookseries #sketchbookbasics #create #toriweyers #drawriot #portlandoregon #travel #tipsandtricks #color #watercolor

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