Creative Concertina Sketchbooks 1 (Buildings)

Please note that after 10 years Coursecraft has decided to close at the end of April 2022

This will not affect the courses that you have purchased.

I am in the process of moving my courses the Kajabi platform. In due time you will be sent another login and access to your courses on kajabi. Meanwhile plase carry on using coursecraft.🙂 

Please use this new link to sign up to this course

Hello and welcome to my online concertina sketchbook course.

I am a professional artist and teacher who loves nothing more than travelling and collecting in my sketchbooks. I have taught 1000's of people on workshops, art holidays and in the classroom. I truly enjoy sharing the sketchbook techniques that I have learnt through the years, which have developed from my own collage paintings and observation drawing.  

On this course I will share with you these techniques using drawing and collage in concertina sketchbooks. In each lesson I will introduce new materials and you will build on the techniques learnt in the previous lesson. I want to give you the tools and confidence to develop your books in a loose, creative collage way. For this course we will work on the theme of buildings, but you can apply these techniques in an open ended way to any subject.

The course is divided into six lessons and is suitable for beginners and those who are experienced artists who want to learn new techniques. 

For a free sample lesson click here. You will see a lesson showing how we start to draw, after preparing pages with many techniques.

You will benefit hugely from the online community using a closed Facebook group where you can share your work with other participants as well as  myself.

You will see a lesson showing how we start to draw, after preparing pages with many techniques.

If you would like to find out a bit more about my art practice and studio time I do have a monthly art newsletter Arty News

Is this course for you?

Are you...

Stuck?...Not even opened your lovely new sketchbook and don't know where to start on those pristine white pages?

Wanting to add more interest than just a drawing?

Desperate to loosen up but don't know where to start?

Too busy to attend classes and cannot find a suitable sketchbook class?

Happy to work around your own commitments?

Ready to fall in love with the concertina book that enables continuous 'drawing' - page after page of changing scenes?

What you will learn?

  • How to use mixed media in your sketchbook
  • Lots of creative techniques and exciting mark making.
  • That you don't have to be able to draw perfectly!
  • How to free up and respond to the scene around you
  • How to easily fill page after page with exciting images

Course content

Please sign up here

This link will take you to my Creative Concertinas 1 - Buildings (hosted by Kajabi)

Lesson One - Let's get started with materials to break up those clean pages

Lesson Two -  Applying inks and collage papers

Lesson Three - Materials and techniques for rubbings

Lesson Four - Knocking back and more collage

Lesson Five - Ready to go sketching

Lesson Six - Drawing into your pages


   'I dove right in with the videos and note taking and I am sooo excited to start my sketchbook tomorrow. Thanks for offering such a great course Karen' Jackie

  'Just a fantastic, relaxing and informative course thanks so much for sharing can't wait to get started.' Sue

   'So inspiring to get an insight into your process. those rubbings are delicious!' Beth

'Wonderful and all our concertina sketchbooks are so different.' Lynda

  'Thank you! I have finally had a moment to go through the course. I teach sketching as well and LOVE your approach. I have told all my students about your work and could see having you come to Texas to teach at some point :) Meanwhile, I am going to play with all the techniques that you showed us in this marvelous, user-friendly course. Can't wait to sketch with you sometime--in the UK or here in the USA. Thanks again,

   'So pleased this online workshop has taken off. It’s really transformed my mindset to sketching' Gillian

 'I have been looking at everyone's work and it all looks fabulous. I have only got as far as inking as I have been opening my garden to the public, but I can't wait to start the next process. I can see I will never ever do sketchbook work onto a plain page again and have given one of my garden journals 'the treatment'. Thank you Karen.' Carol

"I've been looking at Karen's work for quite a while and wondering how she achieved the effects in her concertina sketchbooks, so when the opportunity to find out came up, I jumped at the chance.

"And it was well worth the effort! I won't give away Karen's secrets -  but I will say that she starts slowly to get us over the natural trepidation most of us feel. Dribbling ink and squirting it with water while it runs down five or six pages of  the concertina must be a proven ice-breaker. After that it was just one bit of fun after another, involving PVA, gesso, frottage, markers, collage and some hard thinking.
"I ended up with six pages of an abstracted townscape full of references to Crete. One of the fascinations of the concertina sketchbook is that as it's folded, new compositions come into view." ( Harry Bell )

"Karen is truly a star teacher and artist.The one who got me started". (Karen D)

"I don’t know what you did to Trudi, she hasn’t stopped since her day with you!!!" (Sue F)

"Loved every moment. Karen is such a generous tutor - so informative and helpful. One very happy student - thank you. xx " (Jude B)

"I was eagerly trying to soak up all the great techniques and info that you are willing to share with us." (Bernadette O)

"Thank you for a very stimulating lessons. It Is very interesting how everyone  interprets your instructions differently. I was somewhat out of my comfort zone as I normally like everything very ordered but there was an fantastic freedom doing the collage and I will definitely develop it further. So thank you for your time and enthusiasm." (Jane B)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?

Forever! Once you've enrolled and paid, you'll have access to the course material for as long as you need. So devour it all in one weekend or take things slow. It's your choice!

What materials will I need? SEE FULL LIST in the last question

You will use quite simple materials such as ink, collage papers, pva glue. The most expensive items are your sketchbook (you can make your own), posca pens and gesso (mainly because of the pot size!). The materials list is based on my demonstrations and what I use, but of course you can develop these ideas with other materials. Following is what you will need to buy and rough prices. Links to suppliers are given on the course. Concertina sketchbook ( or make your own) £10 Posca pens £15 Seawhite ink £9 ( or another cheap ink) Quink ink £4 Indian ink £3 Gesso £7 Spray bottle £2 Pva glue £3 Artgraf £5 Equipment that you will need, but probably have - scissors, brushes, kitchen roll, sandpaper, pencils, magazines, masking tape, pritt, water soluble felt tip, sticky labels.

How much time will I need?

These lessons are based an an intensive day workshop. In this online version you have the time and opportunity to actually sketch on location, so it could be completed in a weekend or an hour for each lesson = six hours.

Are the classes weekly or can I have instant access to all the lessons?

The course is self paced; you can complete it when you have time. It may be a binge for a day or spread over 6 weeks. You have life time access to the course.

Do I have to be able to draw?

Not at all. My sketchbooks are much more about mark making and exciting surfaces, with as little or as much drawing as you like.

What is included in the course?

There are six lessons and each has 2-4 short videos, lists and pdf examples to print off. There is the also a discussion group with feedback.

Can I share content, videos, notes from the lessons?

As I am sure that you will appreciate it takes a lot of time and energy to prepare online courses. Please do not share any of the content. All the information is for the sole use of the individual subscriber and not to be used in any form without written agreement from Karen Stamper. This includes direct teaching to others. I am happy for you to share your work on social media so long as you tag/give me a mention.

I still have a question, how can I contact you?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. As part of the course you will be invited to join a closed group on Facebook, this is where you can share your work and ask questions - to me and the concertina sketchbook group.

Will there be more sketchbook workshops to follow?

Yes! I am planning them right now!

What if I'm unhappy with my purchase?

Once you have signed up, I am not able to give refunds. But if you're really unhappy with the course email me.

This sounds just what I wanted. Where do I sign up?

Right below, just press the signup button. Happy sketchbooking!

What materials will I need?

Here is a list of the equipment that you will need to complete the course.

I have added links as suggestions of places to buy( just click on the link) You will find many items on the high street ie. masking tape, labels, spray bottles. My apologies, this is mainly UK based, please feel free to email me with suppliers for other countries.

  1. Concertina sketchbook A5 + 2 big elastic bands. I do love Seawhite books as the paper is perfect I have tried others but I always come back to seawhite for the quality and price ( if you add the code KS10 I do get a small rebate)

You can also try Hahnemuhle, Moleskein, Sennelier and Great Art have started making them ( May 2019)

  1. Pencil case
  2. White sticky labels - address labels sticky labels

  3. White gesso gesso

  4. Pritt stick and PVA glue

  5. Collage papers - old envelopes, stamps, patterned papers, photocopies, photographs, tickets, labels, wrapping paper. You will only need small amounts. Start collecting!

  6. Magazine pages, thin pages and lots of print. In the UK, the Guardian magazine with the Saturday newspaper is the best. You will need dark areas of print; I find that car adverts and portraits often have a lot of black around the subject. (not in the photo)

  7. Scissors or scalpel

  8. Soft brushes for water based wash

  9. Inks.

    Indian ink - any stockist. ( Waterproof when dry)

    Quink ink ( has lovely qualities but not absolutely necessary)

Seawhite ink - (not waterproof when dry) or another ink that is different to indian ink. They label their black as Indian Ink ( although it is not.) You need to order 'seawhite indian ink'. The image shows coloured ink - to make it even more confusing. The bottles are big- 7 inches high, so you do get a lot of ink for your money. You may find another ink very similar, really it is just an INK THAT HAS DIFFERENT QUALITIES to the other two.

  1. Posca pens in two sizes ( small and big) in black and white plus other colours of your choice.

  2. Berol fineliner pen berol fineliner (Pilot fineliner, Papermate Grip Roller and Bic Grip Roller are also water soluble pens)

  3. Art graf ( you could also use inktense or water soluble crayons)

  4. Spray bottle small

  5. Fine sandpaper

  6. Water container - I use a wide mouth plastic jar

  7. Kitchen roll and/or wetwipes

  8. Old credit cards to use as glue spreaders, or stiff paint brushes

  9. Water refillable brush pen

Please sign up here

This link will take you to my Creative Concertinas 1 - Buildings (hosted by Kajabi)