Sketchbook Prompt #1 Creating shapes of color // creating patterns with lines.

Working in my sketchbook has been one of the most rewarding adventures I have had in my art career.  It began over a year ago, and the insight and joy has never ceased.  I am going to share with you over the span of the next year weekly prompts that can get you started on your own sketchbook adventure.  


  • sketchbook (I use a Kunst and Papier, which I love, but any sketchbook that allows for water media is great)
  • gouache, watercolor or makers for creating the large areas of color.
  • sharpie, liquid chrome, white gel pens, or chalkboard marker.
  • brushes, if you are using gouache or watercolor,  I prefer a sable brush.  I used a size 4 and a 1.
  • tray or palette if you are using water media.
  • water dish.

First I want you to lay down big areas of color.  You can do this with just creating shapes of colors.  Like building a brick wall of squares over your paper, or oval shapes that rest on top of each other like cloud formations in the sky.  In my example I created why I call Flower totems, or more traditionally bouquets, I made them using gouache.  Laying down large areas of color, playing with shape and form.  I wanted to be loose, so I wasn't hesitate about making them fast. After you lay down your color, it can be done with marker too.  I want you to get a pen and go back in and add lines.  This can be done by creating repeated patterns of line, circles, dots, parallel lines, dashes.  Fill in this shapes add see how the extra pattern and texture change your initial drawing.  This can be fun to play with different palettes. In my last photo I have laid down shapes in gold gouache and painted lines on top to see how those colors work together.  I use those in the backgrounds of some larger paintings I am going.