Ideas & Advice
My Sketchbook Routine

My Sketchbook Routine

Drawings in Sketchbooks | Techniques & Inspirations

With pen in hand and a sketchbook in your pocket, embark on a creative journey! With pen in hand and a sketchbook in your pocket, observe the world attentively, capturing fleeting details and ephemeral moments that surround you. Whether in a bustling café, on the streets of a city, or amidst nature between two trees, the pen becomes an extension of the artist’s eye and mind.

My Sketchbook Routine

Drawing freehand may seem intimidating, but if you dedicate time and take every opportunity to practice this technique, you will undoubtedly improve your drawing skills!

Since September 2022, I have been spending nearly 20 minutes every evening drawing before going to bed. This regular habit has had a significant impact on my drawing skills and graphic style.

As a result, I feel much more comfortable practicing sketching from life, drawing from memory, or even creating imaginary scenes.

This activity is a source of relaxation and genuine pleasure for me.

Tools in art studio – Picture by Amylee

Drawing Lightly

When you’re on the go or not in the ideal conditions of your studio, it’s best to gather some small supplementary materials to express your creativity.


Choose a compact and high-quality sketchbook that suits your practice. I prefer sketchbooks that open flat, allowing me to draw in the centre without any difficulty. I prioritize sketchbooks with thick pages as thinner sheets tend to have poor ink retention.

  • My favourites: Moleskine sketchbooks. For their paper quality, sturdy binding, and size. The square one is a bit pricey but worth it! 


The constraint of using pens will push you to be inventive and fully explore the potential of the tool. Hatching and lines can be used to represent shadows, contours, and details.

Additionally, pens have the advantage of being less messy than pencils. With the use of liquid or gel ink, pens create precise and sharp lines on the paper without the risk of excessive smudging. Even if our hand accidentally rubs against the drawing, the ink generally leaves little to no undesirable marks.

  • My favourites: Roller pens. For the smoothness of the ink, vibrant colours, water resistance, and their ability to easily adjust line thickness based on pressure. Uni-Ball pens are top-notch. 

Uni-Ball Gel Ink Pen


The absence of an eraser encourages the artist to embrace imperfections and incorporate them into the creative process. There is no right or wrong way to draw. Every bold or slightly trembling line contributes to the authenticity of the final artwork. Mistakes become opportunities for exploration, adding a touch of spontaneity and vitality to each sketch


You can find a great range of art supplies in GreatArt store in Shoreditch (London) or on online shop.

Pen and ink drawings and illustrations in a sketchbook – Picture by Amylee

Inspiring Topics to Draw

There are numerous interesting subjects to draw in your sketchbook, here are some suggested ideas.

  • Urban landscapes: Draw buildings, bustling streets, and scenes of city life.
  • Nature and landscapes: Explore the beauty of nature by drawing trees, flowers, mountains, or beaches.
  • People and animals: Capture the gestures and expressions of people you see in public places or during your travels.
  • Everyday objects: Focus on simple yet interesting objects, such as fruits, musical instruments, or kitchen utensils.

Freehand Drawings – Picture by Amylee

Take The Plunge!

In this article, I’ll share with you 4 exercises that will help you develop your drawing skills.

  • QUICK SKETCHES: Practice drawing quick sketches of various subjects in just a few minutes.
  • CONTRASTS AND VALUES: Practice using different values to create contrast in your drawings.
  • PERSPECTIVE: Exercise representing perspective by drawing buildings or streets with converging lines.
  • MOTION: Try to capture movement by drawing subjects in motion, such as animals, dancers, or vehicles.

Notebooks filled with drawings.  Picture by Amylee

The art of sketching is a wonderful way to document your travels and express your artistic vision spontaneously.

By following the fundamentals of drawing from life, choosing comfortable materials, and practicing regularly, you will be able to develop your artistic skills and create memorable sketches.

Personal and creative exploration without judgment, perfection is not sought in a sketchbook. Have fun and let your imagination flow through the pages of the book!

Illustrated Samples from My Studio

Pictures taken from Amylee’s sketchbooks. 

Picture by Amylee

Picture by Amylee


Picture by Amylee

Picture by Amylee

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Content provided by Amylee Paris

The passion of Amylee, fine artist and author is to share her paintings between galleries, art collectors and her community. Amylee is also recognized as one of the most influential French artist-entrepreneurs. Since 2009 she has mentored thousands of visual artists guiding them to thriving their art career.

You can visit her colourful portfolio, her Instagram, or find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazineby clicking here!


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