The Art of Keeping Sketchbooks with Merlin Strangeway

For everyone who loves the idea of keeping a sketchbook but doesn’t know where to start.

When, Where

If you love the idea of keeping a sketchbook but don’t know where to start, this six-week course is for you. Merlin Strangeway will guide you from that first daunting blank page to a sketchbook full of visual inspiration.

Sketchbooks are useful for illustrators for numerous reasons: to develop an idea, to record, to play, to capture, to reflect, and crucially, to have the space to try things out and make mistakes.

If you’re new to the practice, this course will demystify the art through a series of practical examples and inspiring ideas. If you’re a former sketchbooker but have fallen out of the habit, it’ll provide a supportive re-introduction this most rewarding of creative practices.

During the course you will:

  • See inspiring examples of sketchbooks kept by other artists and illustrators.
  • Explore a different way to approach using and filling a sketchbook each week, and learn how to make it work for you.
  • Explore a variety of media and methods including location drawing, collage, observation and concept development.
  • Start with an empty sketchbook and finish with a full one!

All materials, including a sketchbook, provided by House of Illustration.

About the tutor:

Merlin Strangeway is an award-winning illustrator, scribe and educator, who has taught at House of Illustration since 2011. Merlin specialises in scientific illustration and is the current Medical Illustrator in Residence at Guy’s Pathology Museum in London. She has lectured internationally and taught at numerous art colleges, schools and universities across the UK. Previous clients include Tate Modern, British Library, Design Museum, Central Saint Martins, NHS, John Lewis, Bloomsbury Books, Latitude Festival and Time Out.

Testimonials from Merlin’s Pleasures of Illustration course:

Loved all the short exercises… thanks for the fab session lead and calm atmosphere.

I learned new skills, gained confidence and had fun… A huge thank you to Merlin, a wonderful tutor.

Course dates:

Runs weekly for 6 weeks from Sunday 22 September – 27 October from 2-4.30pm


The price refers to the whole course, not to individual sessions.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Adult ticket with gift aid£286.00 £286.00
Adult ticket£260.00 £260.00

The price refers to the whole course, not to individual sessions.

- Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. All tickets sales subject to our general terms and conditions.
- This ticket entitles you to gallery entry for the duration of your House of Illustration course.
Please note that your confirmation email may go to the email address associated with your Paypal account. If you do not receive a ticket confirmation, please contact

Gift Aid

The Gift Aid prices include a 10% voluntary Gift Aid donation. This enables us to claim an extra 25p in every pound, which makes a huge difference. Thank you!

You must be paying enough income tax and/or capital gains tax to cover the amount of tax that all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs you donate to will reclaim for each tax year (6 April to 5 April). Council tax and VAT do not count. If you are not a UK taxpayer, please select non Gift Aid tickets.