3rd completed sketchbook tour

by | Oct 20, 2021 | Art, Artistic Endeavors, sketches, Watercolors | 15 comments

I actually finished my 3rd sketchbook back in August, but I haven’t taken the time to film a little sketchbook tour video.  I like doing those because they hold me accountable, but I’ve also received wonderful feedback from people who have shared how it’s encouraged them.  Keeping a sketchbook really has changed me as an artist.  It’s helped me to loosen up, try more mediums, experiment, and explore in ways I didn’t feel as free to on a panel or on a piece that was supposed to be “finished” and good enough to sell.  I’m falling in love with watercolors, pen & ink, and charcoal.  I think oil will always be my first love with it comes to art mediums, but I’m enjoying the growth in other mediums.  I’m also learning that growth in one medium helps you grow in others.  I’m getting better at interpreting what I see in different ways.

If you’d like to see my first two sketchbook tours and read about what I learned filling them, you can read those blog posts here…

first completed sketchbook tour

five lessons I’ve learned from filling a sketchbook | 2nd completed sketchbook tour

sketchbook tour | john sell cotman watercolor study | miss mustard seed

The third sketchbook is a Pentalic Aqua Journal (affiliate link), which has wonderful, thick pages that accept watercolor and acrylics well in addition to ink and graphite.  I customized it by adding my own woven ribbon marker.  You can read about how I make little customizations to my sketchbooks HERE and HERE.

In this sketchbook, I wanted to purpose to do more with color, so I added watercolor and acrylics to some of my pencil sketches.  I love how some of them turned out!

sketchbook tour | louvre watercolor study | miss mustard seed

Here is a sketchbook tour video, so you can see all of the pages and get more details on the mediums I used and the artists I studied.

Master studies are my favorite to do in my sketchbook.  I learn so much from them!  This Caillebotte study in acrylics is one of my favorites in the sketchbook.

sketchbook tour | caillebotte study | miss mustard seed

I haven’t had time to be at the easel or in my sketchbook as much lately as I would like, but the book launch and other freelance projects have kept me pretty busy.  I hope to get back to them as we move into the holiday season.  Last Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks were filled with art classes, painting, and creating, and it was such an enriching and joyful time.  I hope to get that again this year.

sketchbook tour | berthe morisot watercolor study | miss mustard seed

Whether you keep a sketchbook, daybook, journal, gardening notebook, a project book, etc. it’s important to keep a record of something.  Our memories just aren’t rich or accurate enough to show us our true growth and it’s a valuable thing to recognize, even if it’s just kept for yourself.



  1. Monica Duelley

    Hi Marian – I’ve been watching you grow as an artist since you painted the first watercolor and I’m curious if you think you would have enjoyed that medium as much if you had started with oils or acrylics first. Watercolors require beginning with light colors moving toward the darker ones, whereas with oils and acrylics you start with dark colors and end with light ones. I hear many oil/acrylic artists say they have such a hard time working with watercolors for that reason.
    Your first watercolor paintings inspired me to start painting and your classes and videos have given me confidence to enjoy the process and see what happens! Thanks for sharing your many gifts and knowledge.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! I think it’s actually helped me to work from both ends – light to dark and dark to light. I do have to plan things out differently, but it really forces me to think about my values. I don’t think there is a right or wrong medium to start with. I think you should just start with what you’re most interested in and curious about and then grow from there.

  2. sandi m

    Love Caillebotte’s works. Some of them are in our local museum.
    Being a French name makes for some letters not pronounced as written. Here the double L is pronounced like a Y. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBc5dTEYHLQ
    Luxembourg Gardens was one of my favorite places in Paris.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I looked it up after I made the video! Poor planning to not do it before. 😂

  3. Fonda

    I looked up Caillabotte on Wikipedia, and there is a French pronunciation of his name. There’s a link to how to pronounce it in French by using words we English speakers know. So, that’s how you could learn the pronunciation. I also learned that I was born on his birthday! August 19th.

    I loved looking through your sketchbook.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! And yes, I looked it up and realized you don’t say the Ls. I knew I would butcher it!

  4. Ann Collver

    Love this 3rd sketch book. Would you consider selling it or some of the pics out of it? I’d love the landscapes, especially the one with the cows in the river. You have my address if you would sell, send me a price and an address to send a check.

  5. Vicki

    Marian, I’ve enjoyed watching you grow as an artist. I’ve always loved watercolor and have made a couple of disastrous false starts to teach myself. But after watching you really pursue the artist path and how you’ve dedicated yourself to classes and books and your love of the tools, it gave me a push and with a bit of a roadmap. It has become somewhat of an addiction, but one that gives me tremendous happiness. I’ve been so immersive that my husband asked if I was seeking a doctorate in watercolor. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Oh, it seems I might have a bit of talent for it too! 😊

  6. Sandy

    Lovely!!!! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. Gay Bofill

    I might have missed the beginning. Did you mention whose sketchbook(brand this is? Interested in knowing the paper quality. Love your paintings, your home decor, you are so talented.

  8. Gay Bofill

    Someone mentioned here that you give classes and tutorials? Are you on You Tube? Where do the classes take place and the videos? I got connected to facebook for this one.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! There are nine free oil painting classes you can take here – https://missmustardseed.com/course/free-courses/ I also have free painting tutorials and videos on my YouTube channel -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGjzo70gPpPNWrrCsH3fNWQ

  9. Margarita W.

    I love looking at artist’s sketch books! I remember going to museum exhibits where they include the artist sketch books and it’s always fascinating!

  10. Alida Strydom

    Thanks for sharing your sketchbooks- I only started my journey with watercolour of botanical of Fynbos in South Africa ( the southern Cape area). – and this is so inspirational in how to approach sketchbooks.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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