Friday, 21 December 2012

All the latest

What's happening lately?

I haven't blogged for a while - my excuse, like everyone else who has good intentions that don't come to fruition, is the hectic run up to Christmas. Here at DesignMatters there's always a lot of admin to deal with as soon as everyone realises the holidays will start any minute now! With all that finally up to date our own preparations for Christmas are well under way. In true Kemshall fashion the first two batches of mince pies have already been eaten and I have to confess we sampled one of the Christmas cakes this morning when relatives dropped by unexpectedly. It's no good saving everything for one day is it? The tree is up and decorated but Amelie seems more interested in cuddles than twinkling lights.

It's unbelievably distracting to have a new grandchild but I am still making a few of my presents. Whether this rather fetching leg warmer will become one of a matching pair by Tuesday is in doubt! I may have to giftwrap it with an IOU.

With more important things in mind, we recently started a new Creative Sketchbooks course. Some of you reading this might be new to my blog having signed up since enrolling. A warm welcome if this is your first visit. I tend to chat in general about stuff I'm working on at the moment but from time to time I'll also be posting occasional words of wisdom about working into a sketchbook and illustrating them with examples of wonderful work produced by our students. I hope that this will be of interest to everyone whether you are a student or not. If you're taking the course, all you have seen so far are our sketchbook pages - I'm sure you're dying to know what everyone else is doing! I'm not mentioning individuals' names alongside the pictures but many thanks to all who share their work here.

For a number of reasons the first module is probably the hardest. Unless you have taken an online course with us before you don't know us yet and are probably wondering what we expect from you.

There is no right or wrong way to work. I recognise that there is a big emphasis on drawing in the first module, and that is intimidating for beginners, but there are also little tricks and cheats that will enable anyone to create an attractive sketchbook page. If you are prepared to have a go and try things out you will eventually find your favourite methods and media.

With any sketchbook work you have to begin with an idea. That may be the first stumbling block if you're not used to working in this way. A cutlery drawer or the contents of a kitchen cupboard may seem unusual subjects but they are familiar, available and a challenge to draw!

Whatever your level of experience, most of all we want you to have fun!!

Often people feel the need to know exactly where they are going with a project. They want to know what the finished thing will look like. I know this of myself only too well! If you can try to relax and go with the flow, I think you'll find it will be a more interesting journey!

I hope this post has been useful or at least you are interested to see some examples of the sketchbook pages. from Module1. I'll sort out a few more for next time.

Thanks for dropping by - I'll be in touch again soon. Linda


  1. Amelie gets more beautifful every time we see her! Wishing everyone on the sketchbook course much fun and success- I'm quite envious!
    Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas x

  2. Thank you Dotty. Happy Christmas to you too.

  3. I agree with Dotty. Amelie is such a beautiful baby and I love seeing her beautiful eyes, so expressive. Wishing you and your's a very Merry Christmas and much love, joy, laughter, and creativity in the New Year. Thank you and Laura for always inspiring me to stretch and try areas of creating that I never thought I would try. You are both blessings to my creative soul.