Online Sketch Sites

Reported by Mary Chong

This review is on two online sketch sources: Pencil Lines Sketch Blog and Becky Higgins Sketches of Creative Keepsakes Magazine.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the word Sketch is defined as:

  • a rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study

What I love about sketches?
I love the fact that half of the work is already done for you leaving your mind free to concentrate on the paper, colors, and embellishments. Sketches are perfect if you are in a hurry or if you’ve lost your mojo and you are trying to get it back.

Where does one get a sketch online?
There are lots of blog sites and websites to chose from on the internet and they are easily found by doing a simple Google search. Sketches can also be found as sketch challenges on scrapbooking forums or if you subscribe to a kit club, you often get sketches to inspire you within your kit.

Speaking of inspiration….sketches are just that. Now that’s not to say that you can’t just copy the sketch exactly. That’s what they are for after all. But another option is to mix it up a bit – rotate the sketch, mirror the sketch, use a 12×12 sketch on a 8.5×11 layout or vice versa – let your imagination go wild. Sketches are just a base to kick start your creativity.

Becky Higgins
Becky Higgins is part of Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooking Magazine. Her sketches are featured in the paper version magazine, the website and a multitude of books including her own authored books.

According to the Creating Keepsakes website “Becky Higgins’ sketches are the little black dress (LBD) of scrapbooking. Whether you dress them up with embellishments or stick to the basics, they work for all occasions.” So true, so true…

Becky Higgins has been around for quite a while. I know that when I first got into scrapping I turned to her website for sketches. That was back oh about 5 years ago before the rise of the BLOG. There were few sources for sketches online and this was the mother lode for me at the time. I must admit that after blogging got big and I discovered other sources for inspiration…I stopped visiting the website.

Now I must be truthful, when I came up with the idea to review sketch sites for Craft Critique I instantly thought of Becky Higgins BUT I should have done some fact checking first! (my bad) As I quickly discovered, the Creative Keepsakes online sketches haven’t been updated since 2006!! Not sure why this is but I can only suspect that its because they want you to buy one of the books that Becky Higgins has written instead.

I do like the sketches that are on the site especially because they are all multi-photo. I know that this is an old trend but hey – we take a lot of photos right? – why not put them all on one layout?? The sketches are all clearly defined and easy to download, well organized by number of photos per layout. But I do find them a little too simplistic – but that may be because they are outdated. If you are a beginner scrapper – these may be perfect for you because they aren’t overwhelming at all.

This is one of her sketches from March 2003.

Here is my interpretation of the sketch. (I only used the left side)

(Supplies are My Minds Eye Garden Party from the August Scrapbookers Clubhouse Kit)

I should add as well that Becky has her own website. On it she has a blog, a store, and a recipe site….no sketches however.


  • well organized, easy to navigate
  • multi-photo layouts
  • clear drawings with clearly defined areas for title and journaling
  • sketches appear with a short paragraph of introduction as well as a layout showing an interpretation of the sketch


  • sketches haven’t been updated since 2006
  • all sketches are multi-photo
  • most sketches are very basic and linear
  • only 1 interpretation of the sketch is shown
  • no where to provide feedback or chat with others about the sketch or to upload your interpretation

Rating: 5 out of 10

Pencil Lines Sketch Blog

Pencil Lines got its start in October 2006, and is a new discovery for me. They have a really neat concept and a well laid out website. There is a core International Design Team that interprets each weekly sketch and either a guest designer or one of the Design Teams designs the sketch. A new sketch gets posted every Sunday night. They have over 100 sketches at the moment available for download.

According to their website “Pencil Lines is a blog all about using sketches to expand your artistic horizons, get you outside your box, and lift you out of scrappers block and to help you get more layouts done. It is about thinking outside your normal processes to create something wonderful.”
There is definitely a lot of fabulous eye candy on this site. Each month the Design Team chooses the best layout from readers’ submissions for a prize plus they often have sponsored prizes from manufacturers. All submissions get loaded into the readers’ gallery (more eye candy!)

I really enjoyed my visit and use of this website – and I plan to return again and again.

Here’s the sketch that I chose to use – It’s Sketch # 52 by Emeline Ng.

Here’s my interpretation of the sketch.

(Supplies are Pink Paislee Vintage Moon PP, Kaiser Rub-ons, Stickers are Pink Paislee Fashion Script – all from Scrapbookers Clubhouse October Kit)


  • lots of finished interpretations of the same sketch
  • its a blog, so you can comment on a sketch or layout
  • contests/prizes
  • opportunity to submit your own layout into the reader’s gallery
  • new sketches appear weekly
  • sketches are available to download in pdf format
  • sketches are organized numerically – there are currently over 100 sketches available
  • international design team


  • No Canadians on the Design Team eh?
  • (sorry I could only think of 1 as I really liked this site)

Rating: 10 out of 10

All in all, I love sketches and I love using sketches from different sources – variety is the spice of life after all. Check out some sketch sites and find some inspiration.

What sketch sites do you use? Do you have a favorite source that you want to share with other Craft Critique readers? We’d love to hear from you….

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4 Responses to Online Sketch Sites

  1. Avatar
    Nevis September 12, 2008 at 9:10 am #

    I like “Sketch This”

    and “Category Stories”

  2. Avatar
    vickiparker September 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Would have to agree with you about Becky’s sketches – maybe I’ve “outgrown” them. Love Pencil Lines.

    Also like Zarahs Sketches

    Little Shop of Sketches

    and can’t forget Becky Flecks Page Maps

    I love sketches.

  3. Avatar
    Ann(i)e Hafermann September 15, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    great write up about both sketch sources….of course I might be a little biased…hehe
    from Pencil Lines

  4. Avatar
    domestic goddess September 15, 2008 at 10:38 am #

    love the write up and the comparisons, makes for a great reda!
    Pencil Lines founder