Limited Palette Sketchbook Tour

Limited Palette Sketchbook Tour

Limited Palette Sketchbook Tour

Field Sketchbook

Last month I bought a field Peters Pauper Press field sketch book from my local bookshop.

This sketchbook is quite dinky and measures around 10cm x 14cm, A6 or 4 1/8 inches by 5 3/4 inches.

I thought it would be a good idea to have a sketchbook that I could take with me everywhere I went.

At first, I had no idea what I would draw in my shiny new sketchbook, but I had high hopes.

Evening Art

I sat down in front of the TV that evening and drew the cover page, and admittedly, this has color.

The next evening, as I had left the little sketch book on the coffee table in the living room, when I sat down again after dinner, I picked it up.


Angel Drawing

I drew a little Angel which I had done often in the past.

I thought I would colour it in like a stained glass window, but by the time I went to bed I’d only done the black outline.

The next night I drew another stained glass window with three angels.

At this time, I was still planning to add vibrant colour, but it was not to be.

Limited Palette

I began to enjoy how the pages were simply inked in black and white.

I realized that this is the ultimate limited palette, actually one color really, the black, as the white was the paper after all.

And so, it went on.

Each evening I picked up my little sketchbook and created a drawing of something in simple black and white.

Supplies Tray

After a few days, I set up a wooden tray on my coffee table with three different thicknesses of black pen that I would use in the drawings.

I had 0.3mm, 0.5mm and 0.7mm black pens.

I started each artwork with a pencil sketch and then added ink, so I added my pencil and an eraser to the now officially called, “Art Tray.”

Right Hand Page

When I work in sketchbooks, I only like to draw on the right hand page.

I am right handed, and it is more natural to work this way.

I really never draw on the left hand page as that is the back of the page before’s drawing.

I live in the hope that some of my art will be good enough to frame, so I don’t want artworks on both the back and front of the paper.

Also, it stops the ink bleeding from the first image through the paper to the second drawing on the other side.


Daily Drawing Practice

I pushed on, drawing every night for about six weeks and still the sketchbook is not yet full.

When I’m finished all the pages, I’m going to flip through it so you can see what I created.

I hope this inspires you to start another field, or mini sketchbook, for yourself.

I may do something else in the next one, or I might make it another theme, perhaps with black, red and white like the color palette that cave painters had.

Using a limited palette is a fun way to make simple art.

Benefits of Sketchbook Art

The benefits I received by doing this daily art practice are immense.

  • I feel more creative in general.
  • I am now a productive artist.
  • I have stretched what can be drawn in under an hour.
  • I have really got to grips with pens and their thicknesses.

Sketchbook Themes

My subjects have been quite varied, although there are a few definite themes that developed in the completion of this sketchbook.

The main themes that emerged during this sketchbook practice are:

  • Angels
  • Shells
  • Leaves (flowers, plants and botanicals)
  • Portals (doors, stairs and windows)

My Art Supplies

The art supplies I used for this sketchbook project are listed here and include an Amazon link for each one if you want to purchase them yourself.


Here is the full list of my art supplies in my creator studio..

Aspiring Artist Activity: Limited Palette Sketchbook

In your creator studio, do the following:

  • Get a fresh sketchbook and create the front page to be your limited palette sketchbook.
  • Consider which three things (people, objects or places) inspire your daily art practice.
  • As you create artworks in your sketchbook note which themes emerge naturally.


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