It's hard to pass up a sale at the art supply store right? So when I saw a large mixed media sketchbook on sale at my local store for about $8 I obviously had to buy it... even though I have 2 other sketchbooks on the go right now! But I love the size of this one and the fact that the pages can really take a beating. It's a Canson 9x12" Mixed Media sketchbook, if you're interested. The paper on the Strathmore Mixed Media sketchbook is another one I really love.

But that got me thinking about the dreaded first page. Why is it so hard to fill that first perfectly white page in a new sketchbook? You want to start the book out right with a fun first page! A good start like that always motivates me to keep going. So here are some easy ideas to help you fill that first page with something you'll love.

A Simple Pattern

It's no secret that I love a good pattern. There's something so meditative about taking a motif and slowly filling the page. It's also a really simple way to ease into a sketchbook page when you're not feeling the most creative. A "tossed" pattern is my favourite to play around with since it takes absolutely no planning. Think of it like you're taking some shapes and just tossing them on the page. So start with one scattered motif and build from there, taking it one step at a time without thinking too much about what to draw next.

The Date

This is another one of my favourite ways to start a sketchbook. It's also useful for when you want to look back at old sketchbooks. If you put the date you started and finished the book in the front, you'll be able to see a progression in your work and that's really fun. I usually start by just laying down some colour for a simple background. Then, since I'm terrible at hand lettering I'll Google a hand lettered alphabet and try my best to copy the letters. You can leave it as is or fill in the background with some doodles and mark-making. Make sure you leave room for the end date!

A Quote to Motivate

If you can't think of anything to draw, why not just write out a favourite quote! Whenever you open your sketchbook you'll get a little boost reading those words. I like to start with a really simple background of one or two colours and then pencil my quote in over that. Once you have the layout right, use some markers, pens or paint to add your quote. I like to add a few simple doodles around the edge at the end.

I hope those tips will help you break in a new sketchbook. Once the first page is filled in, it really gets a lot easier from there.

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