Monday, August 22, 2022

Stenciling In My Sketchbook

Have you ever watched sketchbook flip throughs on Youtube or Instagram? I enjoy them as they inspire me to create and to strive for a higher level of art but they are depressing at the same time because my sketchbooks are not as pretty.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved collecting things and keeping them in book format. Words, inspiring pictures, color swatches, souvenir receipts and brochures (otherwise known as a scrapbook) name it. For me, the fun was flipping through these books and feeling joy in what I created. But when it came to keeping a sketchbook, it was something that I did sporadically. I have never been an individual that welcomes failure and in order to become a better artist, failure is essential. For the past year, I have been diligently keeping a sketchbook. I don't draw in it every day, but I include it as a part of my weekly routine. 

When it comes to what to put in my sketchbook, I am stumped most of the time. Of course, I want the end result to be a masterpiece, so I start the process by limiting my subject matter to something that is familiar. As the year has progressed, I am challenging myself to subjects that I am un-familiar with, in an attempt to grow.

Stencils were not something I would ever think to put in my sketchbook but I love that they take the guess work out of where to start. I trace the stencil and then find a reference photo.

One of the ways I find a reference photo is to search online. For example, to search for this rabbit, I searched, "rabbit on hind legs side view." There were lots of pictures to choose from but this one was the closest to what I was looking for.

Animals are not something that I usually paint so this stencil offered a variety of subjects to choose from.

As you can see, I traced in pencil and then added color using watercolors. I put several of the images together to create a scene.

That carrot is a little large compared to the chicken but art is subjective, right?


From this stencil, I chose the giraffe and tiger but I didn't complete the tiger. Remember I mentioned failures, well, the tiger was a fail. At a later date I plan on going back and giving it another try.

For this sketchbook page, I started off using the grid to create a photo frame. This one is my new favorite stencil as I found the grid customizable and a great way to layout a page beforehand. I found some photos on Pinterest as inspiration to work off of. I sketched them out and made a quick painting, spending no more than 30 minutes on each. Afterwards, I stenciled the words and called it complete.

I hope you are inspired to give stencils a try in your sketchbook. It can be really fun and the possibilities are endless, especially if you have an imagination.

Until next time,


  1. You've made really beautiful watercolors using those stencils as inspiration. Not sure I would have thought of using them this way, but now I'm inspired - thank you!

  2. For a person scared of drawing, this is such a great idea.

  3. Love your style. Thanks for sharing your sketchbook!

  4. Amazing, Kate! Fabulous painting of the stenciled objects. TFS!

  5. Hey Kate, I love what you did with the stencils and the watercolour, They look amazing, hope you finish that tiger soon too! Elle xx


If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

marybeth (at) stencilgirltalk (dot com)

Thank You!