March Sketchbook

Reflection Doodle from #Sketch50
One week into April and I did a Reflection Doodle last night as part of #Sketch50 and thought the fact that I rarely reflect on my various creations. March seemed like a good place to start. March brought a lot of new creations and techniques into my creative daily practice. Some actually made it into a sketchbook others are awaiting a purpose.

Embroidery Daily Challenge

blue bird with long needle nose used to thread needles
I started the March #CreativeBug Daily Challenge that was embroidery. I have never embroidered before and learned a lot along the way through mistakes. I started with a number of super thick stitches. Who knew embroidery floss was meant to be separated? It only makes sense and makes threading the needle much easier. My difficulties threading needles led me to my favorite tool, a twitter bird needle threader. This was a lifesaver and I would have been lost without it! Even though I lost steam on this challenge during the middle of the month, I hope to return at some point. I would like to try to "embroidery doodle" something.

#SketchCUE & #Sketch50 2.0

#SketchCUE was a series of daily challenges leading up to the CUE Conference in Palm Springs. The 25 days of prompts included basic elements of sketchnotes such as containers and fonts as well as providing practice on frequent recurring themes like grow and thinking.

#Sketch50 version 2.0 began in March and will continue into May. With the new format of five days a week for five minutes focusing on weekly themes, I am taking the opportunity to experiment with capturing my process. Here's the timelapse playlist so far. Each day, I try something different with the setup, lighting, etc. to see how it goes. I haven't figured out the magic capture technique combination yet but was super-excited on Day 3 when this happened! Total fan-girl moment!! Thankfully, I have many more days to get closer to perfecting my capture techniques.

Screenshot of Peter H. Reynolds liking my #Sketch50 Tweet.

30 Days of Watercolour

This was a challenge that came across my Instagram feed on April 3rd by #FoxAndWatercolour. It's hard to pass up a watercolor challenge. The prompts were varied and diverse. Some focused on a single color, others focused on a subject, while other prompts focused on techniques. I learned a new technique. Who knew that spraying alcohol on a watercolor would create a neat marbling, texture effect? Definitely, something to play around with more.

collage of 30 different watercolor prints of different subjects


During Spring Break, I took the opportunity to sign-up for 2 SketchWalks at the local Apple Store. These SketchWalks are free, last 90 minutes and are a great way to expand your digital sketching skills. The class begins within the store with a quick overview of the subject, signing release forms, and then off we go in a small group with an Apple employee to different locations near the store, one inside and one outside to sketch what you see. The SketchWalks I did focused on capturing movement and watercolor.

It is no secret that I prefer analog over digital because I enjoy the analog process so much more as my mistakes, explorations, trials all become part of the process to create and learn something new. When sketching digitally, I find myself crippled by the undo button. Back in 2014, I blogged about my choice to sketch on paper over digital. During a SketchWalk conversation, I realized an alternative purpose for digital sketching. It's not an either/or proposition. Digital sketching can serve a different practical purpose. It provides an opportunity to practice mixing and layering colors with different brushes and textures all without the expense of materials or paint. Instead of being paralyzed by the undo button and thinking about the final product, focusing on what I'm learning in the process and how it can be applied to analog materials is surprisingly liberating. I look forward to some more SketchWalks with my iPad in the future.

What's next in April?

Hopefully more SketchWalks if it works with my schedule, CreativeBug is offering a 30 flowers in 30 days challenge, more #Sketch50 capturing work, and maybe a class at the local museum but that might have to wait until summer. In any event, the sketchbook will be busy!