REVIEW – Sketching Stuff Activity Book: Food

This is the second book in Charlie O’Shields Sketching Stuff Activity books. The theme for the first book was Nature and this time out the theme is Food. Gather up some snacks, because you’ll be hungry by the time you’re through with the book, lol.

Before I forget, there is a Sketching Stuff Facebook Group for people to share their work from the Sketching Stuff Activity books!


  • Series: Sketching Stuff Activity Books (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Doodlewash (March 20, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0960021949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0960021949
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces

Who is this Book for?

Anyone who likes to do puzzle activities. In the first half of the book, you’ll find activities similar to many found in puzzle books, such as Spot the Difference and Drawing in a Grid. You’ll also find drawing activities that will tie into the puzzle types.

Anyone who wants to draw better but for fun. The book uses time-honored techniques for improving your drawing, but disguises them as fun activities!

Anyone who wants to learn more about using color. In the second half of the book, Charlie shows you photographs along with his painting of them, and tells you the colors he used. This part of the book is more like a how-to, but it ties into what you’ve learned in the first part of the book.

What Tools Do You Need?

You could do the whole thing with crayons if you wished!

But you’ll have more fun with pencil, eraser, pen, colored pencils, watercolor paints, palette, brush, watercolor paper, a cup of water and your imagination.

Not all of these items are needed. The exercises in the second half of the book do require that you have your own paper. Charlie uses watercolor, but the exercises can be done with any color medium.

Look and Feel

Walkthrough Video

If the video does not work for you here, you can find it on my YouTube Channel.

Look and Feel

The book is published through Kindle Direct, so it is a softcover with glued binding. I’ve never had pages come loose accidentally from a Kindle Direct book, but I’ve found that I can fold the book back, press along the inside edge, and easily tear pages out, if I wish.

The glued binding means the book doesn’t lie flat, but the slope didn’t cause me any problem with drawing or coloring. I did remove pages so I could scan them more easily.

The paper isn’t really formulated for artwork. That said, it handles pen, pencil, colored pencil and marker quite well. While I wouldn’t recommend it for watercolor, you can use it. I’ll discuss the paper further in the Performance section.

The Activities

I’ve listed the contents down below, so I’m only going to discuss the types of activities here.

The book starts out with extremely simple exercises, such as this scribble art exercise. These are easy for any age group. Advanced artists may find them too simple, although I enjoyed going back to the basics, and used them as a warm-up before doing something more complex.

This first section trains you to look for shapes and details. Trust me – this is THE first ability you need when drawing. Charlie’s scribble, doodle and spot the difference exercises will help you learn it.

Then the activities have you exploring techniques that will help you draw those shapes and details, such as using a grid.

Up to this point, there are pages in the book meant for you to do your art. In the last part of the book, you need to work on other paper. Watercolor paper is recommended if you are going to use paints.

I’ll go into more detail on this in the Examples section.


The paper in this book is better than you would get in a Crossword puzzle book, and not as good as you would get in a glossy print book.

But you can get some surprisingly nice results.

My favorite medium to use is technical pen and colored pencils. In this activity, you’re asked to look for the shapes in a photo. I looked for ALL the shapes, even the teeny, tiny ones and then I colored the heck out of them with my mechanical colored pencils!

The colors don’t come out bright, but you can get many layers and depth.

For this grid drawing exercise, I used marker pen.

There was some bleed-through on the back of the page, as you can see above. The amount you would get will depend on how juicy the markers are, and how much ink you put down. If you aren’t sure, I recommend testing your markers (and pens etc.) on the last page of the book, before using them for an activity.

Watercolor isn’t the best medium for this book. The paint absorbs quickly and doesn’t move at all, so you have to keep picking up more paint after each stroke. The paper dimples and the more water you use the more dimpling. I didn’t have any bleed-through, but I know that I would have if I’d used more water.

So, it isn’t the best medium to use in this book, but if you do, you can get decent results.

This is one of the exercises from the latter part of the book, done on watercolor paper (not done in the book itself).

Charlie doesn’t specify brand names and specific colors for his paintings, just saying blue, or light red, etc. That means it would be very easy to follow his instructions using another *medium. If fact, you could do the same exercise more than once using a different medium each time.

*medium – the tool you use to draw, color or paint with. Watercolor is one medium, colored pencils would be another and so forth.

I’m not as good at leaving white space as Charlie, so I used a white gel pen to add highlights. My goal for this book is use his instructions to get better at leaving my whites showing!


  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Let’s Sketch Food
  • Sketching Stuff – What You’ll Need
  • How I Sketch Stuff
  • Coloring Fun!
  • Scribble, Doodle, Color
  • Let’s Scribble!
  • Scribble Art!
  • Scribble Lines!
  • Scribble Shapes!
  • Scribble Plate! 1-2
  • Seeing Clearly
  • Spot the Difference! 1 – 4
  • Find and Scribble the Shapes 1 – 3
  • Doodle Bowl!
  • Doodle Table!
  • Doodle Dessert!
  • Doodle Grids! 1 – 3
  • Doodle From Life!
  • Doodle With Just One Line!
  • Doodle From Imagination!
  • Complementary Colors
  • Analagous Colors
  • Let’s Color With Crayons!
  • Let’s Color With Colored Pencils!
  • Coloring With Watercolor
  • My Coloring Set
  • What Color is Whipped Cream?
  • Let’s Make a Cupcake!
  • Bananas
  • Ice Cream Cone
  • Mixed Vegetables
  • Submarine Sandwich
  • Colorful Donuts
  • Watermelon
  • Waffles & Fruit
  • Broccoli
  • Shiny Spoons
  • Painting Glass
  • Ice Cold Lemonade
  • A Shiny Dessert
  • Sketch Something Delicious
  • 60 Things To Sketch
  • Photo Credits
  • Answers to Spot the Difference
  • About the Author


Sketching Stuff Activity Book: Food

Zebra Pen:

Daniel Smith Watercolor

Disclaimer: I bought my own copy of Sketching Stuff Activity Book: Food and I received no considerations for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Published by Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

4 thoughts on “REVIEW – Sketching Stuff Activity Book: Food

  1. Its beyond what I had expected. Its awesome from what I’ve seen here, so glad I ordered mine today. Way to go Charlie, a another book superbly done 😍

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