• Inspirational Sketchbook Pages

    Today’s article hones in on sketchbook pages — both old and new — to examine different ways you can use a sketchbook. From practicing art techniques to reminiscing to making goals, a sketchbook can help you to achieve a lot!

    This is one of my (fairly) recent sketchbook pages. It was inspired by Samantha Dion Baker’s Draw Your Day!

    When I was a freshman in high school, I started my first sketchbook. All freshman students in art class got one, so I never really questioned its purpose. As an adult, though, I do look for specific reasons why I sketchbooked then and why I continue to sketchbook now! Today, I’d like to take you through some of the sketchbook pages I’ve made, both old and new. By doing so, I hope to give you inspiration to start your own sketchbook and perhaps prompt you to try some new lettering or art techniques!

    Technique Sketchbook Pages

    I rarely make portraits anymore, but I’ve always loved drawing them! Pencil portraits make up a big part of my 2005-2006 sketchbook, mainly because I wanted to perfect my technique. The portrait on the right is my grandmother as a young teenager.

    Sketchbooks are a wonderful place to hone your techniques! My portrait-making skills improved tenfold because I drew so many of them in this sketchbook.

    Five years later, I used my sketchbook to experiment with the watercolor technique that led to the Artistic Ornaments-Themed DIY Christmas Card Tutorial!

    This sketchbook page was created in 2011, but I still use this watercolor technique today!

    On-Location Sketchbook Page

    This 2006 sketchbook page was created at a coffee shop. To make it, I asked the barista for a very strong-brewed coffee, and I used that coffee to paint a background. Once the coffee dried, I dropped more coffee on the page to make dark splatters! Decoupage, lettering, and oil pastels finished this page off.

    Starbucks Sketchbook Page
    This color scheme is one of my favorites: vibrant greens, deep reds, hints of yellow, and light browns.

    Friendship Sketchbook Page

    One of the purposes of a sketchbook can be to reflect what’s important to you in certain phases of life! In high school, I had a fun friend group, and several of my pages centered around my friends. The pages featured decoupaged photos, postcards, and little hand-written stories. I haven’t spoken to several of my high school friends in years (life happens!), but it’s still fun to take a trip down memory lane with my sketchbook pages.

    This page was created in 2006.

    Reflection Sketchbook Pages

    In my experience, sketchbooking can help you to reflect on important events, either past or upcoming. In my junior year of high school, a lot of sketchbook pages focused on the next step! The page below features a decoupaged map, letters, and photos. A quote by Langston Hughes on the right side helps to add balance to the spread as whole.

    Sketchbook spread
    This sketchbook spread was created in early 2006. 

    The “reflection” sketchbook page below examines all the different emotions that come with graduating from high school. As an adult, we tend to forget these emotions, so I’m grateful that I kept this visual record!

    This page relies heavily on decoupage and stamping. The muted color scheme communicates a touch of melancholy.

    Memories Sketchbook Pages

    When you’re feeling nostalgic, a sketchbook can be your best friend. After moving away from Lawrence, KS, I decoupaged some of my everyday scraps of paper from my time there– business cards, sketches, and even a yoga fob — onto one page. This technique is great for the little things that are no longer useful, but you can’t quite bring yourself to throw away!

    I really love using my sketchbook to re-live a favorite vacation or day. In 2016, I found a photo from our trip to Brazil and used it as the main subject of my sketchbook page. The Cristo, part of the Brazilian flag, and the map of a small village we stayed in punctuate the background!

    How to Make a Sketchbook Journal (and Why You Should!) | The Postman's Knock
    You can see how I made this page step by step in this article! A light box made it very easy to reproduce a vacation photo as an illustration.


    A sketchbook can be a great place to write down and examine your goals! This 2013 page uses faux calligraphy to highlight seven basic goals for the year. And, for what it’s worth, I saw these goals so much in my sketchbook that year that I did manage to complete them!

    Pretty Projects and Patterns

    Now that I’m older, I notice that I tend to enjoy making “just because” pages in my sketchbook. It gives me joy to make pretty things, like the botanical letter below.

    A Shinola Sketchbook
    I made this beautiful “B” as a tutorial for TPK. It makes me happy to see it in my sketchbook!

    I also enjoy making simple patterns. Patterns are something that can be created while hanging out with a toddler … which is important at this stage in my life!

    I used a Muji pen to draw these little branches. After all the branches were filled in, Finetec gold came to the rescue to add some visual interest!

    My Sketchbook Forecast

    You’ll likely be seeing a lot more of my sketchbook projects on the TPK blog! Since becoming a mom, my sketchbook has become a fun haven for me. It’s something that I can use to explore my creative side while watching my son at the same time. Working in a sketchbook is an example that I feel good setting for him; and it’s a release that helps me to be a happier, more balanced person.

    California State Artwork
    I recently wrote a tutorial over how to create this state artwork, which also appears in my current sketchbook!

    Helpful Information

    First of all, if you aren’t sure what you’d do with a sketchbook, take heart: there’s no wrong way to go about it. If you want to focus on it as a personal journal, you can do that! If you want to take my recent approach of using it for projects, that’s perfect, too. The point of a sketchbook, really, is to give you a place to make progress and grow as a creative being.

    Watercolors + Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

    If you’re looking for a killer sketchbook, try a Shinola! As you probably gleaned from this article, I’ve worked in a lot of sketchbooks. The Shinola is by far my favorite. It’s got a great size, a wonderful paper weight, and is reasonably priced — which is why I named it as an ideal holiday gift for 2019!

    For more sketchbook information, check out the TPK article How to Make a Sketchbook Journal (and Why You Should!). In it, you’ll find step-by-step photos of the creation of a sketchbook page plus additional inspiration! My list of 8 Artistic Books can also help to bring out your inner sketchbooker extraordinaire.

    Sketchbook Journal | The Postman's Knock

    I hope that this little gallery of sketchbook pages encourages you to start your own sketchbook. Keep in mind that maintaining a sketchbook could be a great happiness-boosting goal for 2020! If you have any questions about sketchbooks or sketchbooking, please feel free to ask — I’m always happy to answer. 🙂 Otherwise, thanks very much for reading TPK, and be on the lookout on Thursday for the 2019 Holiday Worksheet!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock