Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Sketchbook tutorial: Adding texture

How to use paper to add texture and 
interest to a sketchbook page

  I have always been fascinated by the look and feel of texture. I was one of those kids who couldn't stop touching different surfaces (actually I still find it hard as an adult not to touch.  I have just got a little more discreet)  I particularly love fur and leather.  

This sketchbook tutorial today is how I create that leathery feel.

Finished Sketchbook page :Unfurling browns and golds


  • An old book or junk mail or paper
  • Scraps of paper in the colour of your choice
  • Paint. At least 3 colours 
  • One metallic paint
  • White glue
  • Paper towel
  • A selection of stamps and stencils.  
  • Paintbrush
  • Stencil paintbrush
  • Gold pen

1.  Smear Watered down glue over the whole page.  (half water half glue)  You could use a brush or your hands.  The book That is being used in this tutorial is an old seed catalogue.

2.  Tear up small strips of paper and stick to the glue. Layer the paper over each other so none of the the back page is visible.  It is good to create as much texture as possible with the paper.  Put a layer of glue over the top to keep the paper flat.

3.  Let the glue dry.  Then smear paint over the whole surface.  Use 3 colours that are close to each other on the colour wheel.  This page has red brown,  mid brown and chocolate brown on it.  Take a paper towel and wipe a little paint in selected areas to see more of the papers underneath.  Press a stamp into the wet paint to create more texture.

4.  Let the page dry.  Then choose a stencil that you like.  Stencil it randomly over the page in the metallic paint.  Rub a little metallic paint on your finger and smear that over selected areas of the page.

5.Chose a stamp and sequin waste (or something similar)  Stamp over the page in your metallic paint.  Then put some brown paint on your finger tips and smear randomly over the page. 

6.  Choose another stencil and print over the surface.  In this example a maple leaf stencil was chosen.  You may like to use 2-3 colours in each leaf to add more texture and interest.

7.  Chose a large stencil as a focal point. Using a mixture of gold and red brown paint stencil it over the top of the page.  

8.  Finally add details with a gold pen.  

Try to Experiment 
  • With different colour ways  
  • Different stencils 
  • Other papers 
  • Working in fabric
  • Different paintbrushes
  • On different book surfaces

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