10 reasons to keep a sketchbook

Do you keep a sketchbook?

If you are an artist or someone who is looking to practice your drawing skills and flex your creative muscles, keeping a sketchbook is a great way to develop and grow. Drawing in a sketchbook frequently will certainly build confidence with drawing and give you a place to practice and try things out.

I find that I dive in and out of my sketchbook at different times during the year. When I do sketch everyday, ideas flow more freely and my drawing skills improve, so I thought I would share this post on 10 reasons for keeping a sketchbook to inspire you to explore further or even start one yourself!

shell sketchbook scene 52 weeks of nature art

Collecting shells and conducting a study using watercolors

1. It is a super safe place to express yourself!
With the world of social media out there, we are constantly focusing on sharing any art we are doing and taking a moment to wonder what others will think. Your own personal sketchbook can be kept as private as you want it to be, you can keep it to yourself and use it as your ‘safe’ place to draw and doodle and never share it, ever! Starting with an intention of keeping it to yourself will take the pressure off and you can openingly focus on the drawing and process itself.

2. Develop your ideas

I use my sketchbook to not only practice, but to develop any ideas I may have about a new art series, ecourse or project. I sketch, doodle and jot down ideas. My initial sketch will turn into another, then before I know it, I may have a few pages of preliminary sketches or motifs to use in a painting. Often I will also scan my drawings into my computer to use digitally to create a design or desktop wallpaper for my free creative library.


Inspired by nature in Bali

Using my sketchbook for motifs in my paintings

Taking my sketches to use in a painting.

3. It reminds you to show up {and even take time away from the computer!}

When you have a sketchbook nearby or perhaps next to your computer (if that is the first place you to to in the morning), it reminds you to literally show up and lay down a sketch on a page. Try not to think about it too much, just open a fresh page, take out your brush or pencil and simple draw what you see in front of you. This may be an everyday object that you have not really noticed before! I love to take a walk and sketch on the beach when the weather allows

mandala beach drawing

4. Use it to track progress of a daily project

Why not join a sketchbook challenge or daily project such as #the100dayproject to keep you accountable. It is also a great way to connect with others who are using their sketchbook to create and grow. It is also a wonderful way to see what you created along the way and recognize improvements. Taking part in a project will also build your confident as you share your progress.

5. Practice really does make perfect

When I am taking time to sketch or draw daily, I do find my ideas and creative muscles become stronger. I think less about the “what” and “how” and just dive straight in. Drawing regularly is sure to help you improve your observation and drawing skills. I love to combine both detailed tight drawings with loose drawings on a page, like the magnolia image below {click here for the blog post with the video}

magnolia sketchbook page Louise Gale

6. Put your mobile device away and pull out your sketchbook

Next time you are waiting for a friend or a bus! Pull our your sketchbook, look through your pages and start a new sketch. You may feel pleasantly surprised and happy to have created a new drawing, rather than check newsfeeds on social media.

7. It helps you live in the present moment

Taking time to really look at your subject matter and record the lines, colors, textures and shapes, will enable you to live more presently as your primary focus will be on that one subject. You may find that you notice much more that you would normally do so and this will translate into your daily life too! Sketching will become a meditation for you.

A page of pressed petals collected and glued into my sketchbook

8. Collect things

When I open my sketchbook, little scraps of paper or pressed petals usually fall out! I love to collect from nature and pop little treasures into my sketchbook for inspiration. Once petals are pressed, I will either glue them onto a page or include in an envelope that is washi-taped to a page.

9. Use as a travel journal

When you go on a journey, vacation or away for the weekend, take your sketchbook with you to capture local scenes, colors and the essence of the place you are visiting. Your travel sketchbook is also a great place to pop photos into (rather than keep on your device) so you also have precious memories of places you have visited.

Musings from Morocco

10. An endless book of inspiration

Once you start to fill your own sketchbook, you can use these little gems to spark more ideas, clear a creative block and fuel creativity when you need some inspiration. Sometimes I may browse through old sketchbooks and come across an idea for a project that was not quite right at the time and discover that it is now perfect for where I am on my creative journey. I also LOVE to paint the covers of my journal and below is a timelapse video of me painting my sketchbook for the “Sketch and Paint Spring class

How about you?

Do you keep a sketchbook?

What are some of the reasons you keep one?

If you do not keep one, what is holding you back?


Would love to hear your answers. Leave me a comment below {sorry, my regular comments box is not working so please use the Facebook one for now if you are able to} OR pop on over to my Facebook Art Page and leave a comment there.