Sketchbook Club: Sardines in a Tin

Paint and collage a masterpiece with a touch of sparkle, in our latest art tutorial with illustrator Jennie Maizels

To help fill your days with creativity, we asked a group of our talented artist friends to share workshops, draw-alongs and more.

In this step-by-step painting and collage tutorial, illustrator Jennie Maizels will help you recreate her colourful, vintage-inspired sardine tin at home.

You will need

An HB pencil
A rubber
Size 1 and 6 paintbrushes
A set of watercolour paints
A pair of scissors
Coloured pencils
Some sparkly things
A sheet of tracing paper
A glue stick
Gouache paints (optional)

Step by step instructions

1. Start by having a good look at the reference sheets above for inspiration and then roughly sketch out your sardine tin.

2. Next, either draw in your fish freehand or transfer the large fish from the reference sheet (DOWNLOAD IT HERE). Do this by drawing over the sardine with a pencil on the printed side, then turn the page over and position the fish on your page. Holding firmly and being careful that the paper doesn’t move at all, scribble firmly over the back using the side of your pencil. It needs to look really black not too gentle and pale. The sardine image will appear on your page. You can transfer this 3 -4 times without having to draw over it again, so layer the sardines in the tin and draw over each one before you transfer the next, as otherwise it gets quite confusing!

3. Next, using watercolours, start to paint in all the backgrounds before painting the details and lettering on the tin. Anything goes really, feel free to use coloured pencils, a fine liner, whatever takes your fancy! I used pencils to do all the shading and to accentuate the tin shape. I also drew in all the fish scales and additional lettering.

4. Next, start to add collage to your fish. place tracing paper over your fish transfer and draw around it, then, hold the tracing paper over your chosen paper – old books or maps work well – and cut the shape out (so no need to draw on the chosen collage paper). You may want to collage a couple and paint the rest or add metallic fins or heads.

5.After you have added all the details and all the lettering, you might like to add a few sequins for eyes or elsewhere too?

This is quite a free one, experiment a bit and have fun trying out new styles.

About Jennie

Jennie Maizels is a Hampshire-based illustrator who makes art accessible through her brilliant online Sketchbook Club®. She studied illustration at Central St Martins and went on to create fantastical window displays for Harvey Nichols, illustrate numerous pop-up books and design beautiful iron-on patches – or clothes plasters – to repair and personalise clothing and interiors.

Jennie has previously hosted art workshops in our Seasalt shops, so we were delighted when she agreed to share some online tutorials for our customers and staff. Her virtual art classes are suitable for all ages and abilities and you’ll learn lots of useful tips and tricks along the way.

Find more tutorials from Jennie below and over on Jennie’s Sketchbook Club®.

We’d love to see your sardine paintings! Show us what you create on Facebook or Instagram using #SeasaltArtsClub.