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. chellemm

    So far the only artist grade pencils I have used are Prismacolor, but I want to try Blicks pencils, and all the different brands. It is hard to choose one favorite color, when they are all so beautiful, but magenta pinks, and indigos are probably in my top 5.


    Awesome idea! Green has always been my favorite color since I was a little girl!! I have been using the prismacolor pencils, I think the must have gottenough banged up in the mail though because they break easily… kind of frustrating!

    1. chellemm

      When they are dropped, the wax they are made with shatters, so you sharpen just to have tip fall out. You could try placing one in the microwave for 2-5seconds, just enough to warm it, then let it cool before sharpening.

  3. Pambo

    This sketch book is priceless! Both literally and figuratively. I can’t wait to make one for each of my Grand daughters! I believe I will use ballet pink satin ribbons for their binding. As to pink being my favorite color? I’ll have to give that one a thumbs down because that quirky affinity goes to a close first cousin in the girly world PURPLE! I must go get started on those sketch books now so they will be ready for a certain birthday party this Saturday. Hmmmm birthday party? Great idea for give aways, perhaps with a small box of primary colored crayons.

  4. Bridgitb

    I love watercolor pencils (Derwent Intense are especially nice), and a good 2B or 3B drawing pencil, and my favorite colors are shades of blue-violet, chartreuse, and coral reds.

  5. Don

    I am just starting. I have all the stuff; paper, oil pastels, water colors, pens, color pencils, watercolor pencils, chalk, inks, brushes, and all kinds of books and videos. I just have an overwhelming fear of failure. The odd thing is if I make a mistake I’m the only one who knows. I just don’t want to “break” anything.

  6. mjmarmo

    Such a fun dyi! I am currently loving pink because we have our first grandchild – a granddaughter – arriving any time! I am hoping to get to Phoenix before she makes her appearance!

  7. ahmed salah aref

    Marvelous idea where have you been years
    ago before wasting much money ahah

    My favourite colours has been always from the top turquoise , white , red and gray .

  8. Ladyfville

    My current colored pencils are Crayola…. STOP LAUGHING…. aaaaand, I have to share them with my granddaughter – not quite 5 years old, and terrible about sharing….. and I put’em back when I’m done with’em *she never does*…..

  9. JanyceB

    My favorite colors are magenta and turquoise blue. I have gravitated toward those colors since I was a child, though now I have added others to my favorites list as well.

  10. enthusiastic_crafter

    I like to draw with an assortment of materials. I mostly have crayola and roseart colored pencils. I also use regular HB pencils, pens, and watercolor pencils. I love all colors but I think my favorite is yellow.

  11. Mafalda

    I love making my own journals since I can use my favorite papers. Prismacolors and Derwents are my favorite but I like to try everything possible. 🙂

  12. CRome

    My favorite color changes depending on whether its a bloom in the garden (vibrant red), or its the color of a bathroom (pale blue-green), or the color of the car I’d chose to drive (neither vibrant red not pale blue-green).

  13. Norelle

    Prismacolor are of the highest quality. Extensive range of colors enabling the artist to draw the human body, animals, plants and abstract art. The creamy texture of the pencil allows one to blend with exquisite texture. I wish I had a set.

  14. SegwayGirl

    I enjoy a clipboard, cardstock white bristol paper, and a zip lock bag with pilot G-Tec C (.25, .3, .4), Pilot G-2 ( .38, .5, and .7) a kneaded eraser with pencil! Handy to carry in my backpack-and then I can color when I get home- you can never have enough colored pencils!!

    1. Courtney Jordan

      Lisariley33–Congrats! You have won the free giveaway! I will email you all the details right now! Congrats–we hope you make some fabulous art with your new swag! Hehe!

  15. jmicek

    Nice journal idea, too bad I just bought a small one! My favorite pencils or Prismacolor, because they have the right amount of wax and pigment!

  16. JL Illustration

    Not bad for a quick sketchbook, but I would recommend a few staples and cutting the rest of the pages free. That way you cannot be bothered by folded pages blocking a full length pencil.

    As for a favorite color… I have many colors a hues I really like. I would have said black and white as I have done a lot of Graphite and Pen and Ink work in the past. Honestly though, now I am excited to be adding in color with the Pen and Ink and
    though I have used prisma and derwent in the past I have wondered how blick pencils stack up. I have some artist friends who wonder that as well as they are cheaper and we are all nearly starving artists.

  17. kdizne

    Love this DYI…i am always looking for inexpensive ways to create 🙂

    And to answer your question…

    My favorite color is PURPLE.

    I have always loved it though I am not sure why 😀

  18. Isabelcarmen

    Great idea. I had used the little book before with my students, but not as a sketchbook. I love colors in general but I favor pink, red and blue.

  19. clonmacnouse

    I find myself picking up whatever paper is at hand to sketch on. I doodle a lot and am fascinated with creating connecting random designs. I doodle pretty much all the time, especially when talking on the phone. My hand has to stay occupied with a pencil or pen

  20. DeborahCoates

    I taught simple ok making to my middle school students and we did creative warm up exercises in them each day at the beginning of our art class. It helped them get their creative thoughts going.

  21. DeebytheSea

    My favorite color is ultramarine blue. Love to, use pencils, pens, fingers, brushes, whatever to draw and sketch, have done so since I was a little girl.