Confident Sketching PreClass

The supplies for this class are *so* simple: a sketchbook and pencils! The video shows my materials, and I’ve added some extra notes in the text below.

I retain the copyright to the content you are learning in class. That means you cannot sell or give away the concepts from my classes – no re-teaching of my specific lessons, nor posting a video with your re-draw of the class lesson; especially not sharing any downloadable handouts with others.

You absolutely are encouraged to post and gift your creations made with these techniques, of course! Please DO make your own designs with any techniques you learn here, adapt these lessons, and develop your own style. I love to see students making strides and personalizing lessons! Tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you’re making!


I recommend finding a “fun” sketchbook that’ll make you WANT to draw every day. I picked one up at my local craft store – it’s not the greatest sketching paper (it has a little odd texture), but I loved the cover and then deckled edges of the handmade paper! (See it in the video.) I found mine on Amazon if you like it.

My book is 8 x 11, and I recommend getting that size or larger. You could work small, but I’m recommending filling up at least one page a day, two if you can – if you use a tiny sketchbook you’ll want to multiply that to get enough sketch time in.

Pencil does rub off, and as you put pressure on one page, the graphite on the back will transfer to the opposite page. Spraying can help with some of that, but it won’t fix it permanently, usually, when you’re pressing on the back. My solution: I use Delacroix fixative, let it dry, then put a sheet of copier paper between pages. Once I’m done drawing in the whole book, the fixative is enough to keep it from becoming a mess – but while working in it, having paper to protect it works decently. Remember, it’s a sketchbook – it’s not meant to last forever. We’re practicing!

If you plan to do sketching aside from pencil work, you might consider getting a “mixed media” sketchbook that can handle pen or light watercolor – but in this class, it’s alllll pencil. Even thin paper will work great.


Many companies make pencils in a variety of weights….and I haven’t found any art brands that are “bad” at pencils. (That would be a heroic effort!) In class I’m using several:

  1. Caran d’Ache set of Grafwood pencils
  2. Staedtler set of pencils
  3. Tutto 3 mechanical pencil

If you buy just a couple individual ones, I’d recommend something at the lighter, mid, and dark end.

Things you don’t need

This may go without saying but…you don’t need rulers or erasers or any other special tools. You of course can cheat and use them – but I’m hoping you won’t!

2024 update!

Four years after creating this course, I decided to try something: to “take” the class again myself. Completing the excrcises again, review the notes in the lessons, and see if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years that will help you learn better!

I’ll be uploading anything new at the bottom of each day’s lesson, starting on February 1 for Day 1, and onward. Not likely to include videos but you never know! 


Quick links to share your work wherever you like:

Artventure Community

Artventure is an active art community of thousands of artists that I run on Mighty Networks via an app or the web. You’ll be right in my pocket for quick feedback and answers to questions and bonus zoom calls! Free to join.

Social media & blogs

Post wherever you like to share, and tag @sandyallnock – I love to see your work!  Posting lets your friends know which class you’re taking. They might enjoy learning as well!