Keeping a sketchbook can be key to successfully learning to paint.

In this fun little video I run through the 3 reasons why that is:

My vlog about what to look for in a sketchbook is here and I also have a blog post review of sketchbooks that can be found here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video! If you’ve had a positive experience learning with a sketchbook, please do share it in the comments below!

Happy painting,

  1. Laurie 4 years ago

    Wow, Anna! Really spot-on advice! Sounded just like you KNOW me! THANKS for the help!

    • Author
      Anna Mason 4 years ago

      Oh great Laurie, I hope you start keeping a sketchbook!

  2. Frances White 4 years ago

    This is a revelation to me and I am grateful for your information. Thank you.

  3. Stephanie Zobrist 4 years ago

    Thank you and have a nice Evening

  4. Chris 4 years ago

    Thanks for this Anna. It would be great if you could just give a quick look at the type of sketching that you do. Do you use just pencil and paints or do you use a black drawing pen or a combination of techniques? I would be interested to see what you call a sketch, especially since your work is so precise.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 4 years ago

      I tend to use it for colour matching exercises Chris – so testing out colours or painting a small section of a plant etc if I’m out in the field (or garden!). Will try to dig out some shots. But of course you can use your sketchbook for whatever you like – but don’t think that it has to be for a ‘sketchy’ style – it certainly doesn’t.

  5. Kim 4 years ago

    Hi Anna, What do you recommend as the perfect sketchbook. I’m never sure which one to

  6. Roselilou 4 years ago

    Thank you for all your advice, I am going to try to hold a sketchbook, I wish you a very good weekend !

  7. Margaret Longbotham 4 years ago

    Thank you for your inspiration. Have used my sketch book for the hydrangea and the autumn maple. Useful to get the colours about right. Am trying to do the pink cosmos at the moment, your advice about painting in the direction of form is spot on. Thank you. Margaret

  8. Angela 4 years ago

    Started using the sketchbook with my 2nd and 3rd paintings in your beginner group. I was told by a prior teacher that I should not keep my painting progress in a book…lol (dropped class). I think it will be so fun to look back on my progress. Love your tutorials!

  9. Katie Roberts 4 years ago

    I tried the hydrangea sketchbook exercise in 2 of the sketchbooks recommended. I really like this approach, since I generally don’t have that much time, nor do I want to attempt to paint a masterpiece. This gives me a chance to practice both drawing and color mixing, Please provide more sketchbook exercises!

  10. Ruth 4 years ago

    Thank you for listing those reasons, I knew it was important but wasn’t aware of all that. I have several, so I have to choose ONE and stick to it.
    Thanks again.

  11. Mrs Bridget Williams 4 years ago

    I have used postcard sketchbooks whilst out and about to jot down ideas in pen or pencil. Very handy. I have not yet invested in good quality large sketchbooks which looks as if that is what you have on the desk in front of you. Could you please supply the name. I particularly like the look of the one which folds out completely.
    Also, I would like to raise another subject: Because I am elderly. my eyesight is not what it use to be. I find these Reply Boxes difficult to use. I have looked for pica enlargements etc. but cannot find them. Also the colour would be better dark gray or black. Sorry to add another worry to your plate, but would it be possible to get your tech’s on to that one? Thanks!

  12. Rosario 4 years ago

    They’re also useful for rough drafts for finished paintings and taking notes of color mixes that you made so that you can go back to it later when you’ve already forgotten how you did the painting…..

  13. Ann 4 years ago

    Thank you Anna, for all the information on sketchbooks – most useful..
    Love the cats! Is there a posability that you may, in the future, make a tutorial on cats?

  14. Jan 4 years ago

    I love your tips on using a sketch book.Never thought about using it for painting smaller work due to time restraint. Like the idea of not wasting paper as well, thanks

  15. valerie 4 years ago

    I keep a log of all my colors in the back of my sketchbook for reference. No more searching through tubes. My cat has a been known to walk through my active pallet, but prefers to paint on the tabletop. How do i teach her to use the easel? Thanks for the tips……love this school.

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