Sketchbook Explorations: Keeping a Sketchbook Practice

April 8, 2019 Camuy, Puerto Rico

Jennifer Maldonado Watercolor Workshops The Artsy Boho

Hello Creatives! I'm back with my "Sketchbook Explorations Series", having a sketchbook practice is so important to develop your style and artistic voice + is a great way to explore with different materials and different techniques. 


I have to admit that when I began this art journey 3 years ago, I got stuck with just painting galaxies, landscapes with galaxy skies, zodiac constellations with galaxy backgrounds, and everything that I could just turn into a galaxy painting. Don't get me wrong, I still love it and is a big part of my identity, and painting those constantly for so long made me really good at those kind of night sky - moon - galaxy paintings. But the problem was that I got too afraid to experiment a different style of painting, and even to incorporate different materials to my work. Between feeling that my blank piece of paper was too precious, the need to create a masterpiece every time and the overall fear of failing at a new art technique kept me from growing and to find my artistic style.

When I discovered the power of keeping a sketchbook practice, I started to explore more with different drawing techniques, different mediums and different styles of painting. As time went by with my sketchbook practice I started to evolve and branch out on the different subjects I was painting, the sketchbook was a place that was not too precious, I just draw and laid out art ideas that were only mine. I got to say it was a game changer, I refined my artistic style and developed a more clear artistic voice. It is very humbling when someone says to you, "Hey, I knew this art was yours, because of the style", that's when you know that your work reflects your voice and point of view as an artist. I strongly suggest that if you're an artist and are struggling to find your artistic style and voice, start a sketchbook practice, its worth it. 


I love illustrating cacti and desert landscapes, they have become my favorite subject to paint. I have been playing with different hues of blush pink lately, so at a meeting (that I will talk more about it very soon) I started illustrating this desert. I just took a circle pin that was on the table to draw the sun and the rest was just some sort of wavy lines to illustrate the mountains, imperfect lines to divide the mountains from the green land and the sand, and some long inverted "U" shapes to create the different cactus. Then I painted the piece very loosely with my watercolors (I sort of felt like Bob Ross), and that was all it took to create this gorgeous "Pastel Desert" landscape. Its amazing how some simple organic shapes on a sketchbook could turn into actual pieces of artwork, because when you are painting by intuition and you let loose your creativity, amazing things happen, and in this case, amazing artwork. I love how perfectly imperfect this dreamy desert came to be. 

Cacti & Desert Mountains Sketch by

Watercolor Cacti & Pink Desert by


  1. Field Artist Watercolor Journal Size 5 x 5 inches
  2. Van Gogh Watercolor Set of 12
  3. Aquash Watercolor Brush

Watercolors, sketchbook and brush

Hope you find this Sketchbook Explorations Series helpful, write me an e-mail if you have any questions, I'm here to help! And don't forget to join The Artsy Tribe Newsletter, its jam-packed with exclusive freebies for subscribers, discounts on art and a lot of artful informative content. 

Happy Sketching!