By exploring the different artists’ sketchbooks, I have gained a better understanding of how to use the sketchbook as a functional tool as well as a creative/ emotional outlet. I have been inspired to try new ideas, to explore a variety of mark-making tools and mediums. Out of all the artists’ sketchbooks I looked at, I was most inspired by Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso’s sketchbooks. I was excited to try and create some illustrations inspired by their sketchbooks.


By starting an Instagram sketchbook circle, I have been motivated to also start an ‘every day’ prompt list for myself to complete in a separate sketchbook. It has been a great way to generate new ideas and characters. I liked the illustrations I created for the ‘heart’ prompt on the Instagram sketchbook circle. It was a completely different style than my usual doodles. I am hoping to try a variety of different drawing styles in the future in order to create more diverse illustrations.

I think out of all the ideas I’ve worked on so far, I might continue to expand on the following themes in the future, while also exploring new ideas and other themes:

The everyday life of a penguin

Colourful trees

Alien adventures


I completed illustrations and exercises from Assignment 1 in a variety of sketchbooks (Mixed Media; Moleskine research inspired doodles; Moleskine Everyday prompts; illustrations sketchbook). I hope that will not be a problem. Before I bought my sketchbooks, I had a look at what kind of sketchbooks other illustrating students prefer. A lot of them enjoyed working in Moleskine sketchbooks, but after using them myself, I am not sure whether they would be my preferred choice in the future. I don’t like the way the colours look on the cream coloured pages. I might have to continue to try different sketchbooks until I find one I absolutely love working in.


Although I prefer drawing with micron pen and koi colouring brush pens, I have enjoyed using other mark-making tools to create different effects to match an idea or concept. I have particularly enjoyed incorporating photographs previously taken to create collages or mixed media illustrations. I hope to continue to gain more experience in using collage as a medium of illustration.


Although I am slowly getting used to keeping a blog, I need to start blogging earlier for the next part of the course. For the first part of this course, I saved most of the blogposts as ‘drafts’ until I was ready to edit them and upload all the photographs of my sketchbook entries. In the future, I will try to keep up to date with weekly updates, instead of saving them as drafts to post later. I also need to figure out how to use ‘widgets’ to embed my Pinterest boards onto my blogposts, instead of just adding the link. Hopefully, my blogging skills will improve with time and practise 🙂


I have really enjoyed this first part of the course. It has been a fun creative process of exploring new techniques and different ideas. Although I love being creative, I struggled at times to be disciplined when I came home from work. Sometimes it’s hard to choose between having a nap or doodling. Hehe. I hope that with time, I will manage to get into a better routine to balance work/ study/ nap/ fun times.

Thank you for having a look at my learning log. I am looking forward to hearing from you and getting feedback 🙂

I am also excited to start Part 2 and to move onto the next assignment.


NAME: Juanita du Toit


COURSE: Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks

The Open College of the Arts (University for the Creative Arts)

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