I've recently been running some evening sketching workshops at Koda coffee shop in Scarborough; they're informal, fun and relaxing sessions for all ability levels. Observational, on-location drawing is a great activity for mindfulness, as well as in my opinion being the best way to improve your drawing skills!

Sketchbook spreads at a drawing workshop, one is being held up to show what was drawn, the other is a top down view of a table with a sketchbook surrounded by art materials, paints, an empty coffee cup and some shells.

I start by getting everyone warmed up with some quick drawing exercises, where I give a time limit, drawing prompt, material to use and a twist! The twist could be continuous line, blind drawing or using your non-dominant hand - all designed to make you just start drawing and take the pressure off.

I've also made a printable drawing prompts fortune teller which has all the prompts I use for these warm up sessions for you to try when sketching at home! Read more about it here.

Two sketchbooks from a drawing workshop, both with ink and watercolour illustrations of a leafy green plant in a blue pot.

We then move on to making our own simple sketchbooks using some thick watercolour paper; it's nice to have a hand-drawn record of the day to take home, or maybe work in again later if you're feeling inspired! For observational drawing I find line and wash techniques work great - this means firstly drawing in pen (waterproof ink is a must!) and then using watercolour paints to add washes of colour over the top. Once I've demonstrated this, we all get to work sketching what we can see around us - it's so interesting to see how people interpret their surroundings through drawing!

A line drawing of a coffee machine in a sketchbook, being held up next to the real coffee machine. A person sketching at a table, next to an empty blue coffee cup and a set of paints.

Koda seems to be the perfect spot for these sessions, it provides a comfortable, chilled out atmosphere for just sitting and drawing, and there's loads of interesting things to sketch, like the huge collection of plants, quirky decor and even the coffee machine! Plus speciality coffee & cakes whilst we draw? Perfection!

I'm currently trying to run one session a month, and really enjoying seeing people who haven't drawn in years get back into it, or those who love to sketch as much as I do but want to start a sketchbook habit - it's great to make some time to just sit and draw.

Keep an eye on my InstagramFacebook or sign up to my newsletter to hear about future sessions, or get in touch to chat about booking me for workshops!

Two sketchbooks on tables being drawn into by hands holding paintbrushes. One is sketching a leafy plant, and the other is sketching a coffee shop scene.