Get off the cross we need the wood

About Me

Maybe-not-really-20-something-anymore from Norway who likes to scrapbook and take photos documentarystyle and dreams of photojournalism when not working as a photojournalist and that's pretty much what this blog is about. And I like it this way.

My Scrapbooking

Been scrapbooking since late fall 2005. Currently fortunate enough to be a part of the design teams for Hambly Screenprints, Fancy Pants Designs and Pencil-Lines. ♥


~~ 5th bloganniversary tutorial: How to use a sketch ~~

Posted by Ania On Sunday, March 14, 2010

Edit: the giveaway has now been closed & winner picked. Comments still open though, in case of question and stuff :)

I’ll be the first one to admit that uh, sketches isn’t really my forte. Not if I *have* to follow it step by step (although in some cases it’s the most simple and actually the best solution). But – if you can allow yourself to handle a sketch quite freely without really feeling you have to do this and that because it’s on the sketch then it can be a wonderful startingpoint. And that’s what it is to me.

It’ll tell me how many pictures and elements I’m supposed to use, then it’s up to me to see during the process depending on what I have for hand if it’s actually necessary having this and that on the layout or if I’ll just ruffle it up and flip and add and deduct and put together and whatever.

Now, that being said – if you’re entering a sketch-contest you might want to double check what’s allowed to do with the sketch – some allows you to flip or mirror the sketch, others are more rigid. If it’s a contest then the rules laid down needs to be followed imho, and you really ought to be able to see on the layout that yeah, it’s the sketch alright – to make it just for everybody.

But if you’re creating just for yourself, just to get your project a flying start – then be my guest – do whatever you want with the starting point!


I’ going to share my process of working with a sketch from start to end. My starting point here is this sketch found at page 88 in the new Pencil-Lines Sketch Book by Anna Bowkis, the founder of Pencil-Lines. (You can purchase the book from here and yes, you can also find several of my layouts in the book so yes, this is a bit of self-promotion :) ) It’s a pretty three-photopager with nice elements which can be interpreted two ways – either with the scalloped border as your 12x12” base, or with the larger frame as the 12x12” base. I chose the latter. You can see from Annas example on the same page in the book that she chose the first.

Here’s the original image of the sketch, courtesy of Anna:

lo1 Picking out my photos from an awesome photo-assignment I had last fall for the job (I got to enter&ride a helicopter to shoot some photos of a couple of oil-rigs) – I decided I wanted a neutral-ish background to allow the colorful photos to really shine. I grabbed one of my favoritepapers ever – the grid one from Scenic Route (which’s gone now – the manufacturer. Bleh, so my stash of these papers are getting thinner and thinner :( Luckily Basic Grey have similar papers though – I guess I’ll check them out when my SR-stash is gone :p) Also note that I don’t really follow the orientation of the photo-elements that closely – I do try to follow the sketch but if the photo I want to use is landscape and the sketch says portrait - well – I don’t let it stop me if I like the photo or the sketch.

lo2 Now that my photos and base is decided, it’s about time to figure out what else to add to the layout. For these kind of photos I had a feeling Hambly would be a better match (from what I had on hand). And as mentioned – I did not want the photos to be overshadowed by the papers & patterns and stuff, so I opted for a transparency.


And some glimmer mist to add some more interest to the background. But ofcourse :) Grabbed a brush, shaked and opened the bottle and soaked the brush so I could spray larger splotches on the paper with my fingers running through the brush (not sure if I’m explaining it correct, but I hope you understand what I mean. I mean – this is kindergarten-stuff :) )

lo4See? Large, yummy splotches. This is Patina by the way. I't’s a bit lighter than Jazz Blue, but otherwise pretty similar in shade/color.

lo5 For more darker, vivid/opaque splotches I decided I whip up my distress ink reinker (demin blue), soak my (smaller) brush with it some and quickly dip it in a bit of water to dilute and make it easier to actually get the ink to get off the brush :p


For the square background (the scalloped one on the sketch) I decided to go with an oldie but goldie from Hambly Screenprints – a mini graph transparency in black. It would provide a nice background to the pictures I thought, without really taking any focus from the pictures themselves plus still allow the lovely splatterfun on the background to show through. I also decided to handcut the green “Hanging Heliconias” paper – I cut out three strips of them. I like how the Kelly-green color (note to self: obtain more scrappy papers in Kelly-green! Such a lovely color!) compliments the layout.

lo7 I ended up using two of the strips only though, because it seemed a bit overwhelming with three green strips. Swapped one for orange transparency though – it’s nice sticking to odd numbers when decorating.


I decided to staple the strips to the transparency before continuing. (I like to use my staples for pretty much everything. Especially when attaching embellishments that I want to still be a bit loose in the ends sort of. lo9

Pulled out my Luxe-labels. lo10

Decided that my title needed help to stand out on the layout, hence the label. lo11One seemed to be a little bit small on the layout, so I ended up layering two.


Threw a quick glance on the sketch and thought mkay, I can do something indicating the horizontal strip of paper. But I didn’t want it that broad (repeating: because I didn’t want it to steal too much attention from the pictures. I had a feeling solid patterned papers would in this case.) Ended up whippin up my Hambly Kraft stickers for this purpose.lo13

Only, I’m so cheap that I measure and cut stuff in two where it’s supposed to be covered anyways. What can I say. I love my Hambly! :p lo14Time to adhere the rest that hasn’t been adhered yet. Which was when I saw it missed something (apart from the journaling), did another look on the sketch and decided to add an orange strip across the main photo (notice how there was an “empty” space/square between two of the photos and the labels/title, where you could see the background-transparency? It felt like it needed to be covered – and it ended up covered – see below). When satisfied it was time to add the journaling. Which I intended for the right bottom of the layout. Only. Ended up with so much journaling that I think it skewed the whole focal point for the layout in the end – if I had been aware I’d write that much I might have tried to “move” the central focal point (the whole area w/transparencies and photos) a little more to the upper left. Ohwell.

Here’s the sketch again:

sketch07 And here’s the finished result:


I think I did an ok job keeping most of the elements as they were on the sketch. When I work with a sketch I look at it in the beginning, trying to memorize how it looks – then while working on the layout itself I try to not look too much on the sketch, but rather pull the elements from my memory. It feels it’s easier then to not be stuck on something on the sketch that you might not agree with/doesn’t work for your project, and rather than getting annoyed or frustrated, just move on and do stuff on your own.

Materials: Scenic Route, Luxe Designs (labels and alphas), Hambly Screenprints, glimmermist and distress ink.

Hope you enjoyed todays walkthrough on working on a sketch/layout. Figured I’d do such a post on Sunday, as that’s when the Pencil-Lines sketch of the week is posted. And since we split the DT and it’s my Sunday off today I figured I’d post this one instead :)


Also – as you might have guessed – there will be a copy of the Pencil-Lines Sketch Book included in the giveaway :) It's a mighty fine book (how can I say otherwise - I'm in that book *wink* ;) ) - spiral bound (HUGE plus imo), 40 sketches (including single and double ones) and three different interpretations of each'll also be guidelined on how to use sketches and so on in the book.

So. Simply just drop me a comment (if you're not sure what to say, how bout - what's your stance on sketches? Yay or nay?) on this post and you’re in for the drawing of the huge giveaway occurring on March 18th (to see what else is in the giveaway scroll to the previous tutorial-posts :) ). For more chances on the giveaway, just add my blog to your reader/rss-feed and drop me a second comment. If you already do have my blog in your reader, and want a second ticket, just comment away :)

Also, if you’re new to this blog and missed out on the previous tutorials, just scroll down and comment away – they’re still open for new comments :)

See you all again soon with new tutorials and new winner-chances :) And thank you all so much for celebrating my bloganniversary with me :)

58 intriguing feedbacks to '~~ 5th bloganniversary tutorial: How to use a sketch ~~'

  1. heather Said,'> 4:55 PM

    gorgeous layout and interesting to see how you put it all together from the sketch! :)


  2.'> 5:01 PM

    What fun! I love the page--what a great tutorial! You really broke it down in detail--awesome job!


  3.'> 5:16 PM

    Nice LO - Interesting to se how you work :)


  4. Jennifer Said,'> 5:19 PM

    thanks for showing us how you work the sketch ... that was fun! Sketches always help when my mojo is stuck, or when I just don't want to think of a starting point. :)


  5.'> 5:41 PM

    wow! thank you for showing us this. love the step by step.. your lo is fab as always.

    and you know what, seeing the clutter behind the step by step photos makes me miss my own..used to have those when i was still in the philippines, lol! :D don't have a table now where i am... and don't have that much to clutter anyways hehehe


  6.'> 5:42 PM

    oh and im a follower as well... aside from subscribing to your feed... ;)


  7. Haberdawoman Said,'> 5:52 PM

    Thanks for sharing with us how you work a sketch and for the "paint brush + ink tip" Love your take on the sketch.


  8. Lilo Said,'> 6:22 PM

    Vad kul att se hur du tänker när du skapar efter en skiss! Och snyggt som bara den blev det! =)


  9.'> 6:27 PM

    Gorgeous layout and I love your take on the sketch! Thanks for your step-by-step walk through!


  10. Lythan Said,'> 7:14 PM

    I used not to get sketches but now I love them. Sometimes the intial jumping off point is all I need - sometimes I follow slavishly but the inspiration is always great


  11. Nora Said,'> 7:19 PM

    Veldig gøy med sånne step-by-step med forklaringer! Supert hvis du fortsetter med det på bloggen (med og uten skisser) :D Og LOen ble kjempefin, jeg synes ikke det gjorde noe at det var mye skrift nederst, bare fint:) Tror jeg klarte å bli follower av bloggen din nå.. :)


  12. Ann Hedvig Said,'> 7:21 PM

    Herlig Ania!

    Skjønner ikke hvordan du får tid til dette, ved siden av jobben :o)


  13. Scrapamum Said,'> 8:02 PM

    I like to use sketches if I'm going through a scraping block and I have no idea what to come up with. Usually my layout turns out nothing like the sketch but it got the creative juices flowing. Love your layout.


  14.'> 8:06 PM

    What a lovely sketchbook page, thanks for showing a beginner the process. Glad to see you work in the same way as me - a small space in amongst the crafting clutter! :-)


  15.'> 8:15 PM

    I tend to do my own design on a layout, but I do think following a sketch is easier.


  16. UlrikaT Said,'> 8:34 PM

    Så artigt att se hur du gjør når du tolkar en skisse! Så lekkert resultatet blev! :)


  17. Catrine Said,'> 10:04 PM

    Stilig! Moro å se "trinn for trinn" hvordan du tenker ang. skissen!
    Og resultatet ble råkult!
    Jeg har et litt blandet forhold til skisser. Noen ganger får de meg igang, mens de andre ganger hindrer kreativiteten.


  18.'> 10:20 PM

    I do like sketches to kickstart me over the getting started hurdle which is my thing sometimes. The book looks good. Thanks for the tutorial as well, I love getting a breakdown of how you get to the finished product.


  19.'> 11:59 PM

    love your take on this sketch! and loving all the inspiration this week
    hugs xx


  20. Rebekah Said,'> 12:08 AM

    Great LO! The book looks fab. Might just have to get myself one of those :)


  21. Heidi Said,'> 12:20 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!! Digg Ania!!!!! Herlig forklaring!!!!


  22. Joanna Said,'> 1:32 AM

    Nice work! Would love to win the sketchbook!


  23. pammc Said,'> 1:34 AM

    I love to work from sketches and it's so interesting to see your process. Thanks for sharing.


  24. Blooberry56 Said,'> 2:13 AM

    love love love the idea! multiple ways to utilize beloved sketches is my FAVE way to work.


  25. joyce rodli Said,'> 2:36 AM

    Hi Ania. I've commented in one other post and so this one might not count as far as the give-away and that's okay. Just stopped by to see what you were up to and to tell you that I now have a 2 inch braclet in black and pink. After doing the gesso I used Mars black and than used magenta using a top to bottom stroke with a brush and it gave me a wood-grain look with a purple hue as well. From there I cut two 1-1/4 inches of pink with black polka-dots fabric made a 1/4 inch fold and glued it down with white glue and added a scrap of paper to cover the one inch gap...I just ordered some glue for metal and other stuff so the two little buttons and three sparkles are waiting to be at home on the bracelet. I decoupaged it- I used 3inch post-it notes cut in half as the inside covering. I haven't done a scrapbook page in awhile- guess what I will be gathering and doing in just a little while? Happy happies.


  26. Jana Eubank Said,'> 2:52 AM

    I *need* to order that book! I love sketches for the same reason you do . . . as a starting point. I also like to create sketches based off of layouts I've already completed for others to use. LOVED reading your thought process as you put together your page! :D Awesome! Makes me want to pull out my spray mists and Hambly! Thanks for sharing your amazing ideas! ;)


  27.'> 3:29 AM

    That was mind-opening. Thanks. I don't often do sketches because I find I tend to interpret them exactly as they are (which doesn't feel very creative). This has given me a new perspective.


  28.'> 3:31 AM

    Gosh - I so need to get some Hambly in my stash!!


  29. Zoa Said,'> 4:42 AM

    thanks for this- I have always struggled with sketches too- instead of making it easier for me, it always seems to restrict me. I need to work on not being so literal with the interpretation! Loved the idea to use the paint brush with the glimmer mist too!!


  30. Zoa Said,'> 4:43 AM

    I also added you to my blog roll (
    thanks for the fun giveaways!!


  31.'> 9:49 AM

    Lovely layout, I tend to use sketches sporadically myself.


  32.'> 12:11 PM

    Du er bare den flinkeste til tutorials!


  33. chksngr Said,'> 3:00 PM

    LOVE sketches! I adore the starting point...since starting is the hardest part, if I have a sketch, I can then get down to being creative!


  34. Claude Said,'> 4:44 PM

    I love sketches as a starting point. It helps with the blank page syndrome!
    Your layout is gorgeous!


  35. Rita Said,'> 4:46 PM

    what a great tutorial! I especially like the tips on how to use the spray ink... am always curious how you guys use those to get such neat backgrounds. I love sketches - I like to start with a sketch for placement ideas.


  36. Jill Said,'> 4:53 PM

    Super skisse, kjempegøy at du viser hvordan den kan brukes :-)
    Masse flottte tutorials hos deg for tiden!
    jeg har hatt deg i bloggrollen min noen år allerede :-)


  37.'> 5:17 PM

    I LOVE sketches as a jump off point for when my mojo is playing peek a boo!!!


  38. Malin/malwa Said,'> 6:53 PM

    This was a really interesting post! I'm a sketchaholic myself and love to see how other interpret sketches.
    Myself, I always use sketches - even if it's very often that the result isn't very much as the sketch... :)


  39. bethchien Said,'> 7:09 PM

    that was really cool seeing you put that page together! I am really bad at layouts, so I am starting to find that sketches are a good starting point for me.


  40. Lene Said,'> 8:38 PM

    I love sketches! Lately I haven't really had time to scrap much and what I do seems to all be Skissedilla sketches. I used to do PencilLines every week for about a short year I think, don't know why I switched...
    And I think I spy a fellow Fiskateer! My fav pair of scissors EVER!


  41. LRH Said,'> 8:58 PM

    Great sketches and layout!! Would love to win the book!


  42. LRH Said,'> 8:59 PM

    Also, you're in my reader already!!


  43. Sue Lui Said,'> 7:38 AM

    Thanks for the tutorial, Ania. I'm not much of a sketch person but when I do attempt sketches, i do it pretty much the same way you do,ie I remember generally the key points and take it from there. My layouts never end up looking like the sketch. ;)


  44. Irene Said,'> 11:48 AM

    Thanks for the tutorials!! They are great!


  45. Ann Cicilie Said,'> 1:47 PM

    Lekker layout ble det, så gøy ut med den turen ut til oljeriggene!

    Jeg elsker skisser, synes de er en genial kreativ kickstarter. Av og til (okay, ofte) er den ferdige layouten min så langt fra skissen som man kan komme;)


  46. Ann Cicilie Said,'> 1:48 PM

    Og du har vært på blogglista mi omtrent siden jeg laget bloggen min :)


  47.'> 2:52 PM

    I am a big scraplifter and sketches help me so much!


  48.'> 3:01 PM

    I have added your blog in my google reader.


  49. Mermaid Said,'> 4:48 PM

    Sometimes I work with sketches. Your LO is so nice, I like the photos and the colors...thanks for this tutorial. You are not in my feedreader, but your blog is on my blog-list. Does that count too?


  50. Jingle Said,'> 5:11 PM

    This is stunning! I have found sketches to be more and more useful as of late. I am starting to really like them!


  51. Jingle Said,'> 5:11 PM

    I totally follow your blog!


  52. Jinny Newlin Said,'> 7:29 PM

    I LOVE what you did with this sketch. I'm a HUGE Pencil Lines Sketch fan :)! Thanks for another chance to win!


  53. Sonja Said,'> 9:32 AM

    Hei Ania!

    Kjempeflott tutorial :) Du er så effektiv at jeg nesten blir svett *lol*

    Ha en fin uke, Klem


  54.'> 1:52 PM

    Jeg er veldig glad i skisser som utgangspunkt for mine LOer og denne boken hadde ikke vært dum nei ;)


  55. Ellis Said,'> 2:47 PM

    I'm beginning to like sketches more and more, so doing my best to try the ones I see. =)

    Hugs, Elenor


  56. Kathrine Said,'> 2:55 PM

    *skjønner ikke hvor overskuddet ditt kommer fra*


  57. Kristine Said,'> 9:38 AM

    Kjempefin side! Jeg vil være glad i skisser, men jeg får det rett og slett ikke til. Jeg tror kanskje at jeg blir litt for "streng" med meg selv, alt må være som på skissen, og da blir det bare tull..


  58. Pink Heather Said,'> 7:44 PM

    I love sketches. I often go through my albums and find a layout I make and create a sketch with it for a new layout.


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"But the bad news," he said "Girl you're a dandelion."
Dandelion. Hey I need to think about that.

-Tori Amos

    -Get off the cross we need the wood-