Creative Sketchbooks

The Creative Sketchbooks 2-day course will show you how to use and develop your creative ideas. This taster workshop (23.11.2014) offered a little glimpse of what students would learn on the full 2-day course.

What did the students think?

“Really good, working with different textures – new ways to be creative.”
“Simple techniques that can explode preconceptions in all sorts of creative and exciting directions.”
“Wonderful – pushed me out of my comfort zone away from control and precision to enjoy the freedom of not planning, over-thinking and trying to achieve perfect presentation.”

The workshop gave me “freedom to enjoy/experience just being creative and playing with mediums, textures, composition.  Very productive and meditative – I didn’t want to stop.”

This is a small glimpse into what the full 2-day course will be like.  Something definitely to look forward to judging by the overwhelmingly positive comments I received.



The experience

Creative Sketchbooks

The art studio was very social, chatty and friendly.  Everyone got on well and felt comfortable being creative together on this art course – taking risks and trying out new ideas.  The Studio has a very creative vibe filled with creative energy from being in the middle of one of Manchester largest creative hubs with over 75 art studios and music rehearsal rooms.  The whole Mill is a hub of creativity which I think adds to the fun and thrill of attending a Creative Art Course in Manchester.

Techniques and materials

Creative Sketchbooks

We only had  a very short 2 hours during this taster workshop so we focused on some simple techniques that students would be able to use to start to develop their sketchbooks at home.  We started on playing with ideas of transforming our sketchbooks into something personal that would reflect a themed approach around a single topic.  Sketchbooks work much better when they stick to one theme instead of jumping from one unconnected topic to another.

Creative Sketchbooks

I showed students ways of adding in pages which they then explored on their own – finding their own unique way of interpreting the techniques I had just demonstrated.  I love it when students take a simple idea that i demonstrate and develop it further uncovering a dozen more different ways of doing the same thing.  This is a fantastic benefit of creating art together as we all learn from each other.

Creative Sketchbooks

Next I demonstrated a simple technique of using collage and gesso to prepare some background textures and tones.  It’s a great way to prepare a sketchbook for future drawings.  Taking away the blank white paper is a sure way to entice you back to your sketchbook, makes you less precious, more willing to experiment and take risks, and opens up a host of opportunities and ‘happy accident’s that would never occur to you when drawing on pristine plain white blank pages.

Creative Sketchbooks

The most important thing about using sketchbooks as a creative artist is learning how to ‘mess things up’ and find unexpected opportunities to make new drawings and paintings.  I showed students a simple technique I use to help them through this process.  Students briefly went and explored the Mill, did an observational drawing and then developed this drawing into a semi abstract composition using one of the pre-prepared pages they had made earlier.  

There were some stunning results.  Students got thoroughly involved and time simply flew by.

A full 2-days will enable students to achieve some truly amazing results judging from what they achieved today in this Creative sketchbooks short 2-hours taster workshop.