top of page

Wed, 07 Jul


Online Interactive Workshop

Wednesday 07 July 2021: Online Workshop (Making Marks)

Gary Mills hosts a 90-minute Online Interactive Workshop in our Creative Sketchbook Series, entitled Making Marks & Mini Sketch Books!…

Registration is Closed
See other events
Wednesday 07 July 2021: Online Workshop (Making Marks)
Wednesday 07 July 2021: Online Workshop (Making Marks)

Time & Location

07 Jul 2021, 19:00 – 20:30 BST

Online Interactive Workshop

About the Event

Gary Mills - Wednesday 07 July 2021 - 7.00pm to 8.30pm (BST)

Online Interactive Workshop: Creative Sketchbook Series - Making Marks & Mini Sketch Books

We're absolutely delighted to unveil our new Creative Sketchbook Series of workshops & classes, safe in the hands of multi-talented designer/artist, crafter and tutor extra-ordinaire: Gary Mills! Gary has tailored a block of THREE Creative Sketchbook classes which students can embrace as a set of one class during each of May, June & July 2021 (for this we have a reduced rate for a block-booking of all three classes - see our Pay Online section for that special deal!).

Alternatively people can choose to attend just one or two of the classes as they prefer - no pressure from us, but once you've read all about what Gary is delivering across his Colour & Tone, Collage Doodles and Making Marks workshops, we're pretty convinced you'll not want to miss out on ANY of what's on offer!...

Introduction by Gary:-

Have you always wanted to feel more confident in creating a sketch book or exploring mark making ideas on paper? We are not all given the natural ability to draw and yet we love to get creative, but that blank sheet of paper or a drawing in a sketch book can seem so daunting.

Let me introduce my creative sketch book workshops designed by me, Gary Mills, that can help develop creative ability in anyone. You do not even have to consider yourself the next Picasso, as all the activities are about making a response rather than an accurate representation of what you see or want to communicate.

The exercises (chapters) are on “How I create a sketch book”, or more accurately how I carry out a series of engaging and fun activities which I then later curate into a 'book',sketchbook, journal or portfolio.

This is not your conventional art drawing lesson, far from it; but rather a textiles-based sketch book to inform and work alongside your practice but that a quilter, a textile artist, or someone who just enjoys all aspects of textiles and sewing.  This workshop helps you to make a response to moments in time or from observations that you can use to apply to textiles. Be that colour, texture, form, and line; but also details and little scenes captured in time.

This first workshop concentrates on colour and tone, which is one of the fundamental foundations of good design and creative outcomes. Each chapter has a series of fun and accessible exercises that inform and open-up the mind with bite size knowledge to later build upon if you wish. Each chapter ends with a mini conclusion or project outcome: in Making Marks & Mini Sketch Books you you make 3 mini sketch books from recycled papers!

Note: You do not have to do all three as each chapter / workshop runs independently so you could do just colour or you could do all three. Please see also Gary's Footnote towards the end of the briefing!

What You Will Learn in this MAKING MARKS & MINI SKETCH BOOKS Online Interactive Workshop:-

MAKING MARKS & MINI SKETCH BOOKS: starts off by making a simple little folded book from one sheet of paper. Next by cutting a simple view finder to the same size as the book pages you place the view finder over pages of a found magazine to explore interesting shapes and lines to then translate by your marks using a marker pen & cocktail stick dipped in ink into your mini book. This mini book folds out to make an abstract image which later could become a starting point for an improv quilt or even an appliqué design. Two more mini sketch books are demonstrated and made for future use for mark making or using as a scrap book journal.

Skill Level for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Gary has many years’ experience as a professional practitioner and teacher of art and textiles; his workshops are so enjoyable, fun, and very well organised with his clear and patient guidance. This workshop is suitable for all; if you are a beginner this is a great way to learn and explore the rudiments of art-based design processes and for those with some confidence and experienced you could further diversify your approaches to sketch booking through your artistic ability.

Material requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

All the materials are easily accessible. Such as found and recycled papers and inks and paints can be sourced from local shops or online and most other materials can be found around your sewing box or in your desk draw.

For your Art box start with the basics and build upon as you go…even things found around the home can be used.

You will need for this workshop:-

  • Something to make black ink permanent marks with, such as a fine line pen or a gel pen, ball point pen, fountain pen ink pen.
  • Some black ink or water based black paint and a cocktail stick to draw with.
  • Craft knife
  • A Glue stick such as a Pritt Stick or similar (but not runny glue such as PVA)
  • Papers: 6x sheets of A5 reasonable quality 150 -180 gsm cartridge or water colour paper.
  • You will also use found and recycled papers, to make your mini sketch books A4 old envelopes work well but other papers in A4 size will work also.
  • Small haberdashery buttons such as laundry or shirt buttons
  • Thread, machine, linen, button, and embroidery thread (any colour but I have used in my examples black and brown)
  • Sellotape or scotch tape and masking tape
  • Bradawl for making holes or a compass point will work.
  • Bone paper folder or a very blunt dinner or butter knife
  • Large needle or Chenille needle
  • Paper and embroidery scissors
  • Sharp blade such as a craft knife or Scalpel
  • Ruler or quilting / crafting square
  • Pencil and rubber
  • Something to cut on such as a cutting mat.
  • Optional: a simple child’s block letter printing set for printing numbers and letters

Additional Information relevant to this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Those attending the workshop will receive Gary’s guidance notes to download prior to the session.

Gary's Footnote!:-

I used to struggle with using a sketch book or even producing one of worth which could support my creative work….


I had to find a solution that worked for me and my way of working through the creative process. To me, a brand-new sketch book can be daunting! They always look so beautiful in ‘Paperchase’ (or any other well-known quality stationers!) all shapes and sizes, with different covers, looking very chic and each knowing they are destined for the most articulate of written words or the finest line of a drawn sketch. Of course, you cannot make a mistake in it, that is the law… the law of the new sketch book… especially on the first couple of pages which always seem to warrant your absolute best concentration and your most trained and honed artistic skills. That pressure to produce perfect pages, it always got to me. That is why I have had in the past so many empty sketch books sitting on my shelf unused and still in pristine condition, just because I was too frightened to use them, in case I made a mess of them.

The solution to this phobia for me I found was to work on loose sheets of papers, completely mixed papers of varying weights and textures. I even make up my own papers by painting white emulsion paint onto magazine papers and brown wrapping papers. I make up my own pages from all sorts of papers, I even use wallpaper lining paper to make fold out books!

A blank page; a white sheet of paper…. it is so new, so clean - so minimal. If you are going to make a mark on it; it had better be good! Oh no, flippin' heck…. here I go again! Aaaaarrrrgh!!!!


I quite often pre-mark my papers and pages. I may take just one swipe of colour across the page; the colour may relate to the environment I am in or it may not; sometimes I just stick to a neutral colour; a dash of grey or a smudge of beigey brown.

Or if the day is bright and sunny, I may go for more pops of vivid colours on may pages. Apart from colour I may layer my page through collage, adding torn pages from old textbooks stuck down or even newspaper tears stuck down. You can always add a thin coat of white emulsion over the top to dumb down any vibrant text coming through…although sometimes I do not mind that as it adds another dimension to my pages. One of my most favourite journals was a sawn in half telephone directory which I thoroughly enjoyed using to record as a pictorial diary, the 3 months in Holland studying at the Royal Academy.

Apart from pages and papers, I use anything I can find at hand to either make a mark on or stitch into, wrap or stick.

Large luggage/parcel tags are great, bits of cloth like calico and canvas which have been primed with gesso or emulsion paint. Cardboard and some packings are great alternatives to papers for making marks on or even give a texture to.


Leave the graphite pencil and rubber at home!!!

I much prefer to make a spontaneous mark that is a permanent mark, be that ink, paint, ball point pen, or crayon. Back to those old phobias, would have me doubting that mark I had just made and rubbing it out and starting again; only to miss that opportunity of making an error which turned out to be something quite inspirational and beautiful! I like to use brushes with wet media, in foam, bristle and even from found material wrapped around a stick dipped into ink. Felt tip markers thick and thin work well, as just drawing directly from the pipette of the ink bottle.

So, the rule is… BREAK ALL RULES ON YOUR SKETCH BOOK PAGES!!! Work spontaneously, be impulsive, be intuitive and just relax, play and not 'give a damn’ to what  might transpire on YOUR pages!!!

I very much hope you'll feel inspired to join me & "give it a go!"...

​Tickets for this Online Interactive Workshop (via the Zoom platform) will be limited & allocated on a first-come/first-served basis! If applicable, any free pattern, or other information, relevant to this course will be forwarded to you after booking and approximately 5 days before the course date. The ticket price of £15.00 is based on ONE person attending this crafting class.

This CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Workshop is being broadcast from the United Kingdom and the class time given is based on British Summer Time (BST). We advise you check via Google Search (or similar) to see corresponding start-time in YOUR location!

Ordering MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT Online For Any Class/Workshop! In light of current uncertainties regarding potential lockdowns in some/all parts of the UK due to Covid-19, please ensure you book your place & order any materials/equipment online in plenty of time ahead of any course dates.

Enjoy This Class/Workshop Again on YouTube! A link to a recording of this workshop will be sent to all who buy a live ticket for the Zoom broadcast approximately 5 working days after the event; the video will be available to view for 30 days from the video release date.

Are you not able to attend this class due to living in a different time-zone? Are you otherwise engaged on the date of this workshop? Well, we have excellent news! This class will be available to view via Pay-On-Demand via our Online Shop for 30 days following the video release date (approximately 5 working days after broadcast on Zoom).


  • Online Workshop: Making Marks

    This ticket is for the CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Workshop with Gary Mills on Wednesday 07 July 2021 (7.00pm-8.30pm, BST)

    Sale ended



Share This Event

bottom of page