Thursday, March 8, 2018

Back to the Sketchbook

I recently read a blog post by Alice Sheridan about how to make a "mood board" for your art. This sounds suspiciously like planning out your painting, which for me is a totally useless process. In fact, I find that planning only gets in the way. But I found Sheridan's approach interesting in that she insists that it is pretty open. It is not a "study", or a composition layout, but a collection of visual ideas you may want to play with in a painting.

Maybe this is a good role for my sketchbook, besides a place to off-load paint.

Here is the sketchbook page spread.

This is the page that is intended as the mood board.

I've started a couple of large paintings using these colors. I'll post them as they progress, and see if they bear any resemblance to the mood board. Another thing I'd like to try is to make a series of small pieces based on this mood board. If the paintings veer off into new directions, I will consider the mood board has done its job as a starting point, and we can part company.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!


  1. Always fascinating & inspiring. Thank you Jane!

  2. Love this! Thanks so much for being so generous with your talent, Jane, it's greatly appreciated.

  3. It's certainly a way of working through ideas. I'm with you tho' that too much planning is at the expense of spontaneity.

  4. Hi Jane - I use my sketchbook in similar ways... no sketching but lots of color and texture studies. And the best place to use extra paint, clean brushes & brayer. I love the combination of turquoise and the yellows that you used - I will be trying that out soon.

  5. Thanks, Jane. I just started a new art journal just for abstracts, and this has given me some great ideas.

  6. What a great way to capture color and concept ideas!

  7. I've been doing exactly that, but on loose pieces of papers and not calling them "mood boards" but this is exactly as you say, a way of remembering colour combination I liked on a blouse, or a painting, or shapes, or textures. What a great idea to do that on a sketchbook! My loose ideas will be all gathered together. Thanks again for the tip, I'm going to start collecting my thoughts ;-)


I have had some spam comments lately, advertising of stupid stuff. So I am moderating comments until I can figure out a better way to prevent spam. THANKS!