art & design

Sticks + Ink | Get Painting Workshop

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Here is something you probably don’t know about me. I love creating textures. And turning it into art. Creating texture is an essential part of my design process. If you’ve seen some of my work like my David Bowie book you probably already know that texture plays a huge part in that design. So when I saw the new Get Painting 5 day workshop from Sticks + Ink I knew I had to try it out. Today I’m going to share my process from every day of the workshop.



Day one of Get Painting was all about buying supplies. I was quite fortunate that I already have most of the things I needed. The workshop recommends using a 250gsm paper so I went out to buy a pack of the Clairefontaine paper from The Range. Though after using it I moved back to regular printer paper. This is what I was already using to create textures and in my opinion, it’s just as good as the thicker cardstock.

I also went out to buy a palette knife. This wasn’t something listed in the supplies. But I have used a palette knife before to create texture and I really like the effect you get when moving paint on the page with it.


Day two was all about colour. I realised this day I had unintentionally chosen a similar colour palette to the one Kia of Sticks + Ink uses. I had bought the tubes of Liquitex paint last year and wanted to get rid of them (the neon pink was from my last big project).

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Today I had to play with the colours, trying to see how many different shades I could create from the four colours I was using. This day I moved back to using regular printer paper. I much prefer using this. It’s easier to stick into my sketchbook and holds up pretty well to acrylic. At first I was just creating colour swatches but ended up with a few sheets of abstract shapes. Most of these sheets just came from me trying to get paint out of the brush, but I know from experience it’s a good idea to keep them.

You can tell I do this a lot because my first instinct with these sheets was to scan them. Just in case I needed a digital copy.


Day three was all about putting paint on paper. Like my lecturer says, so long as you’re doing something you can’t be wrong. I really enjoy this. Especially when I’m using the neon paint. I may need to buy another tube of it. My rule when creating pages like this is to continue until I can’t stand the mess on my desk any more.

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I managed to get around 10 pages done. Most had some interesting shapes. I started experimenting with washi tape to mask off some areas. Though that doesn’t work too well with the printer paper I’m using. But I should still be able to cut out some parts and make an interesting composition. I think I was supposed to start the collage phase on day four. But I started cutting up a few pages today to include in my 2018 sketchbook project where I’m aiming to create graphical compositions with scrap paper. I’m hoping this will save me from throwing so much paper in the bin.


This was the hardest part of the workshop. Collaging all the bits together. About a week had passed between me doing days three and four and I think it got me out of that creative mindset. It was really difficult making something I was happy with because I was putting all this pressure on myself to make something good.

Whereas when I was creating before I was doing just that. Creating without any goals in mind. Part of the problem could have been that I didn’t use enough different colours. But in the end, I had a few collage pieces in my sketchbook which I was happy with.


I didn’t like day 5 of Get Painting. On this day you were to take the collaged sketches and use them as inspiration to create a final piece. And I did that. But again I wasn’t happy with the result. The thing with abstract art is that it doesn’t just come from nowhere. Abstract art is usually an artists way of conveying something. An idea, a message. But these are usually based on some real-world object.

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Even if the finished art doesn’t resemble it at all. Using a physical object as a basis gives the abstracted version form and structure. And as a result, you create a better piece of art. It’s all well and good saying take a sketch then use it as inspiration. But if there is no intention behind it, it can just appear like some paint on a page.

I’m not saying this workshop was terrible. But recreating my sketch wasn’t enough for that final step. By taking that page as a place to begin. Then taking inspiration from my surroundings the final piece I created was pretty interesting. I liked it. It’s balanced, it looks right. But I wouldn’t have got that just from looking in my sketchbook.


I think the great thing about doing a workshop like Get Painting is the fact it forces you to create. When making art like this it’s easy to feel like it has to be perfect. But it doesn’t actually have to be good. You just need to make marks. And the final result can still look really nice. If you’re just starting out. Or you’re like me and have confidence problems when it comes to your art. Doing a project like this really helps. Your art is as good as you think it is. You don’t need other people saying if it’s nice or not.


  • northernplunder

    this (and your david bowie post) has made me realise how much i’ve missed being creative since i’ve left school. my bullet journal was a good re-entry but its no longer cutting what i crave..
    i definitely need to set time aside to be creative again 🙁

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