If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know I am a BIIIIIG fan of ‘filling the page’. 

So many of us, beginner sketchers and painters in particular, just paint the thing. And leave it floating there, in mid air. Thinking we’re done.

But please know it feels so good to fill the page. Even if you’re sure this isn’t the style you want to end up with, experiment occasionally, give yourself the opportunity to experience the joy of filling the page.

Here are some tips to help you fill the page:

Draw BIG!

This is easiest when you have a large reference photo or image. Fill the page with one subject and everything else is secondary. You’ll have filled the page before you know it. 

Add pattern.

The background doesn’t have to make sense. Fill it with colour, then add some spots and stripes. Maybe clouds? Stars? Look around you for pattern inspiration… on your clothes, on your walls, in your bag. It’s everywhere!

Use a BIG pen or brush.

Fineliner pens will often find you doing detailed work, that takes a LOT of time, and a LOT of work to do in a large/page sized scale. So start with a biggish pen. You can always add more details later.

Do an underpainting.

This will work if you’re using acrylics or collage. But you can start with a page full of colour and marks and create your own subject… give it a go and see how it feels to you.

Copy the work of someone you admire.

Preferably someone who knows how to fill a page! I have lots of examples of exactly how to do that in my Demonstration Collections and “Shiny Happy Drawing“, so you don’t have to look far.


Tablescape sketch

I have so many more tips to share, so keep in touch… but most importantly, get out something to draw on and something to draw with… and have a draw! It feels good!