Design Development: Sketchbook Drawings

A look at some of my favourite pages from past sketchbooks using a variety of different media.

An insight into my sketchbook pages...

My sketchbook is as much a part of me as my left hand; I’m never without it. I look at the blank pages and see all the possibilities of texture, colour, print, and even moisture.

Pencil sketches overdrawn with tracing paper and fine pen to create these botanical domes.
A tonal Alstroemeria drawing using water and ink to add depth to the botanical design.
A fox illustration created as part of a Critters wallpaper for Elizabeth Ockford Ltd.

One of my favourite techniques to really get the creative ideas flowing is to start each new design on a textured page. Staining a page with coffee granules or tea gives you a brilliant base of colour and texture to work from and makes starting that new project a little less daunting.

Experimenting with coffee staining, ink and silhouettes to create this blossom design.
A mixed media blend of collaging, tea staining, watercolour and inks creates this shelf drawing.
Tea staining creates an antiqued yellow base perfect for architectural designing.

A sketchbook doesn’t have to be a work of art, it’s a creative outlet to brainstorm everything from small designs to big ideas. I love nothing more than cosying up in front of the TV and seeing where the inspiration takes me. Sometimes that’s creating new concepts, other times it’s developing older ideas or simply jotting down flashes of designs that cross my mind.

A fabric design using pen and acrylic paints with metallic dots to add interest to the ground.
An experimental textile pattern using a mix of charcoal, masking tape and a metal ruler.
This Magnolia design uses a mix of water and inks to create a tonal botanical painting.

A sketchbook is often private and personal but I want to share some snippets of mine with you to give you an insight into my creative workings, and how the concept art of your project might begin.

My sketchbook designs and development work can be used as part of my bespoke design service. We can explore the techniques I’ve used as a base to create something completely unique for you.

See how some of my sketchbook work comes to life through the work in my portfolio.

If you’re interested in working together on your next design project, or you would like to talk further about the content in this post, then you can contact me on