9 Practical Tips for Sketching in Your Art Journal

There’s nothing wrong with getting a refresher on topics we’re interested in, no matter how well-versed we are. I like to take hula hoop workshops, and recently found myself in a class that was meant for beginners. Instead of spending my time elsewhere, I stayed for the class and chose to focus on hooping in my weaker direction, instead of the direction I normally hoop in. Boy, did it make a difference! I felt like a beginner all over again, and yet more comfortable with my hoop dance by the end of the class, I also caught on to some new things as well, because as we all know, there’s always something new to learn.

Art journal sketching tips | Jane LaFazio, ClothPaperScissors.com
Sketches by Jane LaFazio

The same goes with sketching in your art journal. If the tips below aren’t earth-shattering to you, then pick one and tweak it. Even better–share these tips from mixed-media artist Jane LaFazio with a friend who’s new to drawing and offer your own spin.

Jane LaFazio’s Tips for Sketching in Your Art Journal

• Plan on spending less than an hour to sketch and then paint your drawing.

• Select something with a simple shape.

• Draw what you like, not what you think others will like.

• Draw in pencil first, you can always erase.

• Draw from real life (not photos). Your drawings will be so much richer.

• Choose just one thing: One flower, one leaf, one cup.

• When you’re just starting out, it’s easier to depict something about the same size as your page. Then you won’t have to think about enlarging or reducing it as you draw.

• Remember, it’s only a page in your journal; not every page will be a masterpiece.

• Turn the page when you’re finished with your drawing, and plan on doing another page tomorrow. ~Jane

Such great advice! Jane shared these sketching tips and more in PAGES magazine (Winter 2011), which is included in the Interweave store’s Virtual Summer Tent sale. Browse more magazines here, all featuring art journal techniques and feature articles that are geared for artists of all levels.

Looking at your own work, what’s your go-to subject for sketching in your art journal? I enjoy drawing doodled flowers, letters, and I recently began toying around with simple figures. Visit ClothPaperScissors.com and tell us what you love to draw!

Happy art journaling,


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Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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