Sketchbooks Then and Now (Part 3) AND a BLICK Giveaway!

Editor’s note: The following post is part 3 of a series from Drawing magazine’s Material World column (Summer 2016) and features an article by Sherry Camhy on a timeless friend of the artist: the sketchbook.

Today you’ll learn how to make your own sketchbook and have a chance to win a gorgeous set of colored pencils from Blick Art Materials. Simply comment on this post below and tell us your favorite color! You’ll automatically be entered – it’s that simple.

Happy drawing and good luck,

DIY sketchbooks |

Material World: Getting the Most out of Drawing Media (Part 3)

by Sherry Camhy, abridged from an earlier article

Demonstration: Miniature Sketchbooks from Scratch

Sketchbooks for artists |

Step 1. Sketchbooks by Emily and Arielle Ragals, 2016

  1. Fold an 81⁄2″ x 11″ sheet of paper in half three times so that it is divided into eight sections of equal size. Crease firmly.
Sketchbooks for artists |

Step 2

2. Unfold the sheet to half-size. Make a cut from the folded side to the center crease.


Sketchbooks for artists |

Step 3

3. Gently pull the newly cut segment apart and stand the paper up on the cut ends. Push the folds together to make a star shape.


Sketchbooks for artists |

Step 4

4. Press the folds together, resulting in a six-page “book” with a front and back cover.


Sketchbooks for artists |

Step 5

5. To make a 12-page book, cut to separate the folded edges of each page. Fix the “binding” with staples or by making holes along the folded edge and sewing pages together.


Sketchbooks for artists |

Step 6

6. You now have a miniature 12-page book ready for sketching. You can create larger books using this process by beginning with a larger sheet of similar proportions.

[Read Part 1: Sketchbooks Throughout History]

[Read Part 2: Sketchbooks Then and Now]


Win this set of colored pencils!

You could win this beautiful set of colored pencils from Blick Art Materials!

NOTE: Come back to ArtistsNetwork soon for another chance to win new drawing supplies! And, remember to comment below with your favorite pencils/pens for your chance to win this set of colored pencils from Blick Art Materials! Winner will be chosen March 17, 2017 (must be a US resident).

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114 thoughts on “Sketchbooks Then and Now (Part 3) AND a BLICK Giveaway!

  1. brupell

    I really do not have a favorite color, I know I am weird. If I had to say, I lean towards the blues and greens, but truly don’t have a favorite, they are all beautiful.

  2. Mark

    I love Prismacolor Premiere pencils for thir creamy laydown and broad range of colors.
    One of my favorite colors is Light Aqua, #992. Is there anything as delightful as color?

  3. DeenaS

    Thank you for the tutorial. I have done soap-painting workshops and this will be a great addition for creating color combos. My favorite color is yellow-orange – in all shades and tints and especially when paired with blue-greens.

  4. Moni

    I subscribe to drawing and really like this tutorial on making my own sketchbook, thanks again for showing it. Prismacolor pencils have been my favorite since I first started using color pencil in my art. They are very versatile and have a vibrant color which brings out the best in my drawings. Really like the many choices available.

  5. pastelpaint16

    The technique for making a sketchbook is a great way to customize the size and paper type. Thanks for showing a fun approach.

    My favorite color is green.

  6. Ohlookhowpretty

    Such a nice idea for a personalized little sketch book. My favorite pencils are Royal Langnickel Mettalics. Nice and buttery. Make interesting pops of color and nice for drawing metal objects and have the actual metal colors. Cra-z-Art are my usual go to for other colors. I love any Pink from petal to fushia. And ocean wave blue. This would be a great pencil kit to win.

  7. slyfoxer

    I have a passion for green and Prismacolor has some awesome greens!!! I’ve used them for years now and my students loved them too!!! Wish I would have thought of this project for my students when I was teaching….great idea!!


    I just ordered a set of prismatic color soft pencils and I can’t wait to try them. I honestly have not seen these color pencils but am always ready to try a new brand. The little tutorial on making your own sketch book is great. Thanks

  9. hcwi

    like prismacolor as they were my first pencils. also love faber castell pastel pencils for about everthing as they blend so nicely with all other mediums favorite colors are almost all warm colors

  10. Kay s

    I’m a member of an art group and always lo looking for program ideas. Making our own sketch books sounds like a good one to try and expand upon. My favorite color(s) are greens and blue greens.

  11. artistold

    Love quick sketchbook, just right for leaving home and having something to sketch on while out.
    My favorite color is Light Cerulean Blue by Prismacolor.

  12. lilliekb

    I am new to working with colored pencils! It’s a challenge to get familiar with the various papers, blenders, erasers, etc., and I enjoy every minute that I can spend working with it. In the past I have used Micron pens for drawing, and it is my desire to combine them with colored pencils.

  13. KrisC

    Great idea for artists on all levels. Love it.
    My favorite pencil color is violet made by Prismacolor. Prismacolor pencils are so smooth and yummy.
    How can I tell violet is my favorite? I keep a ziplock bag of the stubs (pencils I can no long hold) for my granddaughters and violet out numbers all the other colors.

  14. Lisa Gibson

    Wonderful idea for a quick sketchbook, especially when you live so far from any store & don’t want to wait for shipping. 🙂 My favorite color is reddish-orange or orangey-red. Not sure of its proper name!

  15. Speedbumpism

    I love the earthtones, but have just started working with toned papers, like Strathmore grey, and tan, which is giving me a whole new outlook of working from dark to light in my shading, and really making use of the lighter shades of yellow and pink, and especially my white and light grey.
    Would love to give those Blicks a workout.

  16. art4artssake

    Just put together a liitle sketchbook using your directions – the folding technique reminds me of origami. Perfect purse or pocket size! It fits well in a snack size clear plastic double zipper bag too, which would be great for on-the-go watercolor sketches (so they don’t get paint on your pocket or purse lining). My favorite color is turquoise and its related family – cerulean blue, aqua, teal. Enjoy Dick Blick branded products – haven’t tried the pencils, but use the brushes, markers and paper.
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  17. BeckyEileen

    My favorite colors are red and turquoise, especially together! And my favorite pencils are the Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils. I enjoyed the sketchbook tutorial, and I’m thankful for the chance to win a set of the Blick pencils! 🙂

  18. MARGENE14

    Thank you for the sketchbook ideas. I will try that out. Thanks for the opportunity to enter to win the colored pencils. I love the purpls thru the blues.


    Thank you for the interesting tutorial. I’ll be making a couple of these this afternoon for myself and a friend.. It’s so nice to find these little bits of happiness on this site.