Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Special Guest Sketchbook Participant Profile:Lily MacRoberts

Meet Sketchbook Challenge participant Lily MacRoberts...

How has the sketchbook challenge influenced your sketchbook keeping practice?
It's really helped me branch out into different mediums. Seeing all the wonderful tutorials, I have to rush to my craft table to try them all. Sometimes I'm not successful (I don't post pics of disasters), but most of the time I learn a new trick or technique that helps in all areas of my artwork.

Tell me how you're approaching each challenge - do you jump right in and start sketching as soon as the new challenge word is posted or do you reflect on it first? 
It depends on the challenge. I just started participating in March, but I sat so long reflecting on 'spilling over' that I ran out of time. I just couldn't jive with it. Either that, or I was too busy playing with all the new styles and tips I was finding all through the site. But for this month's challenge, I just kind of took a big leap and started pasting and collaging in my journal, something I don't normally do. 

Do you work in just one at a time or do you have several going at once?
Right now I have two main journals, and one little mini-journal that I keep in my purse when I want to test out new art supplies. One of my big journals is a sketch/drawing book only, the other is for anything that catches my eye but I allow myself to make a huge mess in it. 

What's your preferred format (sketchbook size, type of paper, single sheet,spiral bound etc?) and have you found your preferred medium for using in your sketchbook? watercolor, pen, pencil, crayon, collage etc?
My 'messy' catch-all journal preference is spiral-bound, 8.5 x 11. I love the ability to just rip out a page if it's not working or if I need to make room. I love the Strathmore series with the recycled covers. My sketch/drawing journal is bigger, 11 x 17, with a nice bristol paper. It was a re-gift from a friend, so I'm not sure of the make or exact type of paper, but it's roomy enough for all my flowing experiments. I love using watercolor crayons, but recently discovered the effects I can get with the Tombow markers and a water brush. I'm also in love with Golden Fluid Acrylics -- I love how they can pool up and spread out when painted wet-on-wet, or the opaque deep jewel-tones that can be achieved when brushed straight on. 

Anything else you'd like to add?
I love how inspiring and educational this site is and all the blogs and sites I've discovered through the Sketchbook Challenge. I've learned so many new techniques, patterns, and projects from trying out the suggestions, it's like being back in school but better because I can do most of it while still in my pajamas! While in some cases I do exactly what I see on the tutorial or blog page (and I admit, it feels like I'm copying someone else and I know I can't claim the work as solely my own), it does help me to learn what to do for later projects and ideas. Other times, I "get" exactly what is being demonstrated and I can take it and run with it right away.
Want to be a special guest on the Sketchbook Challenge blog?  Email Sue at


  1. Absolutely stunning work. Original and inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  2. Ditto Kelli!!
    Your style would be perfect for illustrating books...I can just see it!!:)

  3. I'm honored to be featured here. :) Sketchbook Challenge has been my favorite blog ever since I discovered it!


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