Sketchbook Assignment Ideas
Sketchbooks are an indispensable part of every artists life! Your sketchbook is where skills are strengthened, ideas are recorded and designs are worked through. Sketching is essential in honing your skills and developing creativity! Often sketchbooks are used in preparation for upcoming projects and practicing various skills. It should be a place where artists are completely free to experiment and find their visual voice.
Current HS Sketchbook Assignment Handout: SB ASSIGNS-ADV HS ART Q4 2017-18
SB ASSIGNS-ADV HS ART Q3 2017-18
SB ASSIGNS-ADV HS ART Q2 2017-18
SB ASSIGNS-ADV HS ART Q1 2017-18
Sketchbook Ideas to Boost your Creativity FREE PDF -Sign up for my Create Art with ME Newsletter!
NEEDED Sketchbook Supplies:
My favorite student sketchbooks are Mead Académie Spiral Sketchbook / Sketch Pad, Heavyweight Paper, 70 Sheets, 11 x 8.5 Inch Sheet Size(I LOVE that they have a pocket for handouts!), Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph, 12 Pieces Set, General Kimberly Watercolor Pencil set
Great books on building creativity:
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Requirements for my HS Art Sketchbook Assignments:
You must complete a minimum of 4-5 assignments listed below in each 9-week period.
- Drawings should fill the ENTIRE sketchbook page (points will be deducted for small drawings.)
- Include DETAILS (include textures & value, unless otherwise specified.)
- Spend a minimum of 45 minutes on each assignment.
- Each sketchbook counts as a QUIZ grade!
- Sketchbooks handed in late will be accepted but 30 points removed for lateness, 2 days late will receive a “0”.
- DRAWINGS NEEDS TO BE FROM DIRECT OBSERVATION ie: you LOOKING at the objects! That means NOT from memory, photos, or imagination. (except where otherwise noted). Pay close attention to proportions (size relationships)
YOU MUST LABEL EACH PICTURE at the top with the appropriate title(ex: SB #1: Black & White Design)Grading: Total 25 pts. Each
Title 0- 2
Below are just some of the sketchbook assignments we have done throughout the years. Not listed are the essential contour line & gesture drawings that are required throughout the year.
SB #1:Black & White Design: Using only simple geometric shapes (circles, squares, rectangles & triangles) create an interesting composition with a focal point. Without outlining any shapes use parallel lines to give different values for each shape. Use only horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. You can also use Solid black or solid white to fill a shape. Use a ruler & circle templates!! Medium: Sharpies
SB #2: Juxtaposition Drawing: Create a new object by combining 2 unrelated objects-one needs to be from nature, the other needs to be mechanical. Render with full shading. Medium:colored pencil
SB #3: Contour line: Look in your backpack or purse, pull out 5 things you use on a regular basis (phone can not be one!) arrange them in an interesting way, then draw a contour line drawing (outline only) of the composition. Medium: drawing pencils
SB #4: Scissor Metamorphosis: Use a pair of scissors as a beginning point, creatively transform the scissors into something else- a monster, a robot, a machine, a vehicle, an animal. Change its scale & it purpose. Render with full shading. Medium: colored pencils
SB #5: Student Choice: Choose your own subject and complete a drawing using skills & techniques learned in class. Medium:Your Choice
SB #6: Preposterous Cross-links: Choose any 2 words below to combine together in one image:
Turtle Octopus Snake Bird Bee Rat Fish Cat
Pencil Saw Hammer Pliers Scissors Tire Clock Drum
SB #7: Futuristic Mutation: Take an everyday object and use your imagination to redesign it with a futuristic look. Medium: colored pencils
SB #8: Small world: What if you were the size of an ant, draw the view you would see if you were in a forest looking at ground level looking up. You can have it look cartoon-like, add fantasy creatures (keep them appropriate!) Medium:colored pencils
SB #9: Shoe:Draw one of your shoes from your closet. Or a shoe that you think is very interesting (ballet, boot, etc.) ADD FULL SHADING Medium: colored pencil
SB #10: Wheels: Draw something with wheels (Real or imaginary). Medium: your choice
SB #11: 2D & 3D Arrows: Create a full page composition using a combination of 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional arrows. Use overlapping to break up the spaces into interesting positive and negative shapes. Medium:Outline with sharpie and fill the shapes with markers
SB #12: Non-objective: Create a non-objective drawing using lines, shapes (geometric) & color-use a color scheme! Look at artwork by Wassily Kandinsky for inspiration. Medium: Markers or colored pencils
SB #13: Pet Portrait: Draw a picture of your pet or the pet you would LOVE to have. Medium:Colored Pencils
SB #14: Skateboard Deck Designs: create TWO designs for the bottom of a skateboard. You can use realistic, abstract or non-objective designs. Keep it CLEAN & appropriate. Medium: Sharpies & Markers
SB #15: Hand Value Study: Draw your hand in 2 different appropriate positions (both on the same page). Render with full shading. Medium:drawing pencils
SB #16: Eye Study: Find 4 different eyes in magazines. Cut them out & glue them to your sketchbook page. Draw the eyes underneath the picture & render with a FULL range of shading. Medium: pencils or colored pencils
SB #17: Color Scheme:Choose your own subject, create an obvious focal point and complete the drawing by coloring it in a color scheme of your choice. Label what color scheme you used next to the title. Medium: Colored Pencils, Paint, or Markers
SB #18: Realistic VS Abstract:Choose one object to draw (an interesting one! NOT simple!) Divide you sketchbook page in half with a pencil line. Label at the top of one side “Realistic” & on the other side label “Abstract.” Under the Realistic side, use a pencil to draw the object as realistically as you possibly can. On the Abstract side, distort your object so that it is still somewhat recognizable-use abstracted colors to color it. Medium:Colored Pencils
SB #19: Crushed Soda Can:Draw a crushed soda can, include details like the logo. Render with full shading. Medium: drawing pencils
SB #20: Worm’s Eye Point of View:Draw your choice of subject matter from a worm’s eye point of view. From below looking up at the subject. Add shading to indicate highlights & shadows. Medium: drawing pencil
Sketching Improves Your Skills
SB #21: Bird’s Eye Point of View:Draw your choice of subject matter from a bird’s eye point of view. From above looking down at the subject. Add shading to indicate highlights & shadows. Medium:drawing pencil
SB# 22:Paper Airplane: Fold a paper airplane, place it in front of you & draw from direct observation as accurately as you can. ADD FULL SHADING Medium: drawing pencil
SB #23: Creative Hand Drawing: Trace you hand -yes I said Trace your hand on your page (tracing is usually forbidden). Use your imagination to turn you hand into something totally different. Add details-make it creative and interesting! Medium: colored pencil
SB #24: Cloth Drawing: Draw the cloth that is hanging on the art room wall. ADD FULL SHADING Medium: Drawing pencil or Charcoal pencil (spray when finished)
SB #25: Interactive Drawing & Photo: Fine a photo either of yourself or someone else (can be from a magazine). Cut the person out & brainstorm how you can create a drawing that combines the two so that they interact with each other. ADD FULL SHADING Medium: drawing pencils
SB #26: Flat to 3D- Come Alive: Look at the two examples below of a flat drawing-mostly lines/no shading that slowly transforms to become 3D with full shading. Design your own drawing that morphs from flat to 3D. Medium: drawing pencils
SB #27: Visual Puns: Illustrate 2 two-word phrase using drawings of objects related to their meanings. Example: hot dog, hair brush, two face, fish face, bone head Medium:colored pencil
SB #28: Procreate Or Sketchbook App Drawing: Use your iPad to create an ORIGINAL drawing of subject matter of your choice. Medium:ipad
SB #29: Botanical Study: Find a flower or plant from nature. Study it carefully before drawing. Draw the whole plant on 2/3rds of the page. Select 3 areas to “magnify” & draw smaller, partial up-close drawings of those 3 areas including all the details. ADD FULL SHADING Medium: watercolor, watercolor pencil, or drawing pencils
SB #30: Morphing Transformation: Choose 2 two objects (one animal & one man made) to slowly morph into each other. You should have 6 drawings illustrating the transformation of one object into the other. ADD FULL SHADING Medium: drawing pencils
SB #31: Mixed Media Experiments: Have fun experimenting with mixed media techniques. Do the experimenting on other paper, then cut out the different experiments & glue them in your sketchbook. Label each experiment with a brief description of how you created it. Try at least 6 of these different experiments. Use up a minimum of 2 pages in your sketchbook. Medium: various art supplies
SB #32: Collaged Music Sheet Drawing: Glue a music sheet onto a page in your sketchbook-Let it dry completely (do at least one day in advance). Choose an image or two to draw with India ink & draw it directly onto the music sheet. Add color with watercolors or colored pencils. Medium:collage, ink, watercolors or colored pencils
Sketching Challenges Your Design Concepts
SB #33: Wooden Mannequin Sketches: Use observational drawing skills (DIRECT Observation-right in front of you) to draw a wooden mannequin in 2 different positions. Pay careful attention to proportions–goal is accuracy in proportion! See Body Proportions Lesson & Project Medium: Drawing pencils
SB# 34: Line Inventory: Draw two rows of four squares; one row of four vertical rectangles; and one row of four circles. When you have drawn your blank template, place four different kinds of lines in the first row of squares. Refer to the example below, but do not copy — come up with your own kinds of lines. Then, invent a series of variations on each line in the remaining columns. Medium: ink or sharpie
SB #35: Tool Metamorphosis: SeeIdea from Stan Winston SchoolChoose a tool (hammer, ax, wrench, pliers, drill) as a beginning point, creatively transform the head of the tool into something else– a monster, a robot, a machine, a vehicle, and instruments, an animal, etc. Change its scale & it purpose. Render with full shading. Medium:colored pencils
SB #36 Balance Sketchbook Assignment: Draw 3 squares or circles. Use shape templates & rulers to create non-objective design examples of each type of balance (symmetrical, asymmetrical, & radial). See Types of Balance Lesson. Use Shape templates to create designs that illustrate each type of balance. Fit ALL designs on one page. Label & color them with colored pencils or markers. Medium: colored pencils or markers
SB #37 Adult Portrait: Find a frontal view of an adult male or female. Cut it out or print it out. Open your sketchbook so it is showing 2 pages (a spread), glue onto the left side your sketchbook. On the right side use what we learned about adult human facial proportions to draw the portrait from the picture. Use light shading to indicate major values (highlights & shadows) or to lightly shade the nose. Medium: drawing pencils
SB #38 Refraction Drawing: Refraction is the visual distortion that happens when an object is viewed through a glass container filled with water (or some liquid). Find an interesting glass container (drinking glass, vase, jar, etc) and place a spoon or fork inside. Fill the container only half way with water and place it on a light colored surface. Carefully observe the distortion. Use observational drawing skills to draw the glass, spoon, water & any lights/ shadows you see on the table surface. Medium: drawing pencils
SB #39 Illuminated Letter: Choose a letter to draw. Go on a computer & play with the letter in different fonts- choose one & print it out. Look up examples of illuminated letters for inspiration. Draw the letter large in your sketchbook in pencil. Add decoration to the letter, possibly even a border Medium: colored pencils, sharpies & markers
Sketching is an integral part of the creative process
SB #40 Fantasy Landscape: Use your imagination to draw a fantasy landscape. It can be anytime period on earth, in space or some other world. What type of plants, flowers, and trees would you see? What does the typography look like? can you see other worlds from the planet you are on? Are there buildings? What is gravity like in the land you are drawing? Medium: colored pencils
SB #41 Sign Language Hands:Choose either a short word (3-4 letters) or your initials. Using the sign language alphabet, finger spell each letter and draw YOUR HAND in each hand position. SeeSign Language Chart Medium: drawing pencils
SB #42 Color Mood-Know about colors and their effect. Certain colors inspire certain emotions; learn to use them! Choose a color to explore, compose a realistic, abstract or non-objective drawing based on the emotion produced by a single color. Use thetints and shades of a color to add different values to the drawing. Medium: colored pencils, watercolor pencils, or markers
- Black – authority, discipline, strength and promoting independence.
- Blue – cool, calming, relaxing, and promotes feelings of tranquility and peace.
- Green – balance, refreshing, normalizing, and promotes emotional growth.
- Orange – cheerful, commanding, and stimulates goodwill, conversation and appetites.
- Pink – calming, accepting, and encourages affection and socialization.
- Purple – comforting, spiritual, and generates mystery and a good sense of intuition.
- Red – empowerment, stimulation, drama, competition and passion.
- White – purification, energy, unity, and gives vigor to other colors it is used in combination with.
- Yellow – cheerful, expanding, and increases energy.
SB #43 Cast Shadows: Choose an object that has a lot of broken negative space (like a bike wheel). Using either natural light (Sun) or a lamp, position the light on the object so it creates a long and interesting cast shadow (see bike example). Compose a drawing that shows only a portion of the object & MOSTLY the cast shadow. Add value to the SHADOW, the rest can be contour line only. Medium: drawing pencils
SB #44 Steampunk Drawing: Being inspired by the age of Victorian Futurism, create a steampunk drawing by making a natural object have mechanical features. Draw the object from nature (person, animal, something from nature) first, then add mechanical features such as goggles, gears, rivets, bolts, winders, etc. Medium: watercolor & ink or sharpie
How to Draw Steampunk Books:
SB #45 Broken Object Drawing: **ASK parents for an object that is not valuable. Break the object a little and then draw it showing all the broken fragments, tears, and loose debris. ***If you break something glass or metal, please wear protective gear (gloves and goggles)See Example by Armin Mersmann Medium: drawing pencils or colored pencils
SB #46 Travel Drawing: Draw a place you want to visit. Find a reference picture and create your drawing from that. Idea is from Art is MedicineMedium: colored pencils, drawing pencils, or watercolor pencils
SB #47 Origami Drawing:Create 2 origami cranes or other animals. Draw them large on your paper. (Draw accurately-check proportions/size relationships) Render with full shading. Medium:Charcoal Pencil
SB #48 Merging Animals: Combine 2 real animals to become a fantasy creature. Use characteristics of both and colors of both in the new design Medium:colored pencils
SB #49 Animal Eyes:Choose an eye to draw from these 4 types of creatures: Animal (land or sea), Bird, Reptile, and Insect. Draw 2 per page so they take up approximately ½ the page. Render with full shading. Medium:colored pencils or Pen & Watercolor
Sketching brings new ideas & techniques to the surface
SB #50 SmalltoLARGE Enlargement Drawing: Choose 1-2 small objects to draw (less than 2”). Draw 3 preliminary sketches focusing on an interesting composition that enlarges the object (s) so much that it goes off the page on at least 3 sides of the paper. Medium: drawing pencils
SB #51 Magnification Drawing:Using a magnifying glass, look at an object or insect very closely. Draw the details of what you see. SeeThe Helpful Art Teacher: Drawing Magnified LeavesMedium:colored pencils
SB #52 Sculpted Paper Strips Drawing:Credit-A Faithful Attempt-Curled Paper DrawingsGive each student 2 strips of paper (½x11” & 1×11). Have students twist/bend/manipulate them into some type of curl or even add zig-zags. Tape them onto a sheet of paper so they are spread apart. Draw lightly with a HB pencil until they get the proportion just right. Use Drawing pencils 4B to add shading. Medium:Drawing Pencils
SB #53 PVC Pipes:Choose 3-5 PVC pipe joint connectors and arrange them in an interesting composition. Draw the PVC pipe composition. Use drawing pencils to add shading-pay close attention to value changes. Shading should include the “5 Elements of Shading”. Medium:Drawing Pencils (Optional full project: PVC Pipe Charcoal Drawing)
SB #54 Types of Composition Sketches: Divide your sketchbook page into 6 sections with a pencil and ruler. Label the top of each section with these titles: Rule of Thirds, Triangle, L-Shape, S-Shape, Circle, & Diagonal. In each section sketch out a drawing that illustrates the use of that composition structure. (no shading) Medium: drawing pencils
SB #55 New & Old:Find 2 objects to draw something new and something old or vintage. It would be most interesting to find an old and new example of one type of object (like phones, computers, mixers, anything that can show the progression of technology) Place them side by side or slightly overlapping each other and then draw them with full shading. Do research on the internet if neededMedium: drawing pencils
SB #56 Grid Journal: Read MilliAnde’s What is Grid Journaling article, watch her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmlEY5TK1zo, and view her examples. Choose a piece of architecture to explore (best to be physically present, but if you cannot then find several reference pictures to work from). In NONE of the grids will you draw the whole structure, you will focus on smaller sections. Following her instructions draw your first box and one detail from the architecture. Next choose another detail to draw, make sure to draw the box to fit the detail. All the boxes should be different sizes. Continue to draw until you have between 7-10 boxes on one page. Medium: Pen & Ink
Submitted by: Amanda Linn,
Harmony Grove High School
ADVANCED PLACEMENT SKETCHBOOK IDEAS
[ Sketchbook ideas K- 8 | Sketchbook Advocacy | Sketchbook Labels ]
Lesson Plans: Make a Sketchbook (6-12) | Sketch book Choices and Ideas | H.S. Sketchbook Ideas
From Amanda Linn: I thought these might be useful to others. I am sometimes stumped for meaningful sketchbook ideas. Many of these are ideas I have "sponged" and modified from other people. Others were designed to prepare my students for specific art experiences we will have in the future or to support themes and ideas we are exploring.
· Select an above or below point of view in a specific area (your room, kitchen, bathroom, outside, in a car, etc. Complete this drawing paying attention to details. You may complete the drawing in pencil, colored pencil, pen, etc.
· Choose a portion of a magazine or newspaper picture. Glue that picture on a page in your sketchbook. Create a drawing that incorporates that picture into a story. You may use more than one magazine or newspaper image BUT the artwork should be made mainly from your added drawings. This artwork should span 2 pages. You may use color or shading. OR you could use a color scheme (monochromatic, etc.)
· Choose an enclosed space- a kitchen cabinet, a television, an oven, a refrigerator, in a drawer or closet. What human qualities do the objects in the enclosed space assume when no one is watching? Do the mustard bottles dance? Do the socks play cards? This can be one page with details…be sure and show the interior of the space as well as the objects.
· Over 2 pages show the gradual transformation of a pair of scissors into another object- example: scissors into a shark- DON"T USE THIS EXAMPLE- it was my idea. Details are needed in the drawing- color is optional.
· If you got a holiday card from one of these artists what would it look like?
Vincent Van Gogh
· Arrange three related objects (3 kitchen items, 3 shoes, sports equipment, etc.) into a composition. Draw on one page using a light source and shading
· Create an image using only found images (from magazines, newspapers, worksheets, etc.) The image should communicate a message or tell a story
· Practice drawing anything from observation- the most common things are good practice
· Look at yourself in a spoon- draw the distorted image
· What happens when a 6-foot tall squirrel shows up in your yard?
· Identify an object that relates to your identity. Create an artwork that uses the image of that object (or the actual object) as the SINGLE FOCUS of the artwork. Open media.
· Fill in the blank… "I am a _________ in this world." Use the text of the completed sentence to inform the artwork. Open Media. This should be a 2 page spread
· Answer these questions with an image:
At age six I was ________
At age twelve I was _______
Now I am ________
At age 25 I will be ______
At age 75 I will be ______
Arrange these images in a composition that communicates your identity. Open media. Should span at least 4 pages in some order that communicates the answers to the questions.
· Illustrate a dream you have had using only 5 symbols (single images that communicate ideas) This may take one or two pages. You may use color or black and white to complete the image. Consider what you know about composition, emphasis, etc. as you build the images.
· Make a detailed drawing of your hand holding something related to the fall season OR related to school. Make the drawing large enough that it touches all the edges of the page. You may add color or use shading
· Your choice- create a one or two page drawing that demonstrates several of your strongest art skills. This is your chance to create your own assignment as many of you have requested,
· What does the holiday season really mean to you? Your image can be abstract or realistic; you may choose the media. AVOID common images- meaning if you choose to show holiday gifts- SHOW THEM IN A CREATIVE WAY! I
· Create a design using elements from magazine or newspaper images. Cut and paste the images onto the page in your sketchbook to create the design.
· Practice observational drawing skills by drawing from the following list:
Corner of a room in your house
Create an arrangement of objects, use a lamp or other light to make dramatic shadows,
Creative views of your car, bicycle, skateboard, etc.
Make the image reach all the way to the edges of the page. Demonstrate what you know about point of view, emphasis, composition, positive and negative space, etc.
· Practice drawing from your imagination by drawing from the following list:
What would you see if you grew wings and flew over our town?
What if your big toe became its own person?
What if you suddenly became very very small?
Advanced Placement Sketchbook Ideas
Submitted by Robert Teslow:
Appropriate an image from magazine/newspaper/web-image that illustrates/demonstrates an unusual point of view of common objects, space/place, architecture, or group of things/people, other.
Draw a same size line drawing from your image.
Draw an enlarged scale version based on your same size line drawing (don’t be concerned about some changes in image… current drawing compared to a previous one).
Use oil pastels to enhance enlarged line drawing. Select among the following color relationships to be a guide to using color for expression and emphasis.
Warm hues with cool accents
Cool hues with warm accents
Submitted by Heidi Praff:
Homework assignment: Shadows as Connectors
This assignment will also be done in your sketchbook.
You may draw from a HIGH CONTRAST photos, or from direct observation, harshly lit.
DO NOT use any magazine photos of models, which are meant mainly to showcase makeup.
Draw the face, at least twice, summarizing it into shapes of shadows and light.
Observe and record how the shadows connect features.
Media: Your choice of Graphite Sticks, Oil Pastels, Charcoal, or any media you feel will give you the high contrast you are seeking.
At least 2 faces. If it is your own, you can just change pose or lighting.
Date all entries.
Homework Assignment - #3 The Eye:
This assignment is to be done in your sketchbook.
It involves drawing your eye twice in two very different ways. Both are from direct observation, though.
TWO DRAWINGS, DIFFERENT APPROACHES, DIFFERENT PAGES
Please read the directions carefully. As always, date your entries.
Make a DETAILED drawing of your eye and the area around it. Include everything you see when observing closely in clear, even lighting.
For the second drawing, make a drawing in HARSH lighting, showing the shapes of the shadows only. SUMMARIZE, don’t itemize. This drawing will not contain detail, but will accurately represent the shapes of light and shadow on and around your eye area.
Submitted by Ken Schwab:
Sketchbook for A.P. Art #1
You will be keeping a sketchbook for the entire year. This sketchbook will be a series of drawings and mixed media pieces that you will use for your portfolio. Each one should be considered a complete art piece. This means that composition and principles of good design can and should be utilized.
These are the sketchbook requirements for your first grading period. They can be in any media unless specifically designated. These 4 drawings will be due in 6 weeks and will be given 80 points, (20 for each one)
1. Draw a portrait using light and shadow. In order to achieve strong gradations and a sense of form, place a light from different angles than normal. These can be under the chin, behind the head or from the top. This can be in graphite pencil or colored pencil.
2. Study your feet and shoes. Create a strong thick and thin contour drawing of your shoes drawing from different angles. Include more than one drawing on the same page over lapping and filling the format. Pen or pencil
3. Draw a place around the outside of your home. This can be a plant, part of the building or objects on the porch. Use ink and watercolor to create a strong contrast between the color and the ink. Crosshatching as a style is suggested but not required.
4. Draw bottles and cans. Have them crunched up for details in the reflections and folds of the metal. Include lots of detail and only show a small area instead of the whole can or cans. If it is a bottle, find an area that shows off the reflections and surface quality of the bottle.
5. Create a series of positive and negative space designs. On your desk at home stack a few objects into a pile. With a light shinning from the back look at the space that is white (light) and draw the shapes as a contour line shape. Use black paint or ink to fill in the spaces as a flat shape. The silhouette of the object should still be seen but new shapes created.
6. Draw a piece of furniture in your house. This can be in color or black and white. Sit in an area and observe the lines and shapes of the piece. Create a format around your observed area and look for textures, gradations, wood grain or interesting shapes and make a detailed study.
Submitted by Ken Schwab
Sketchbook for A.P. Art #2
This is the second round of sketchbook assignments. Choose 4 of these to use and have them completed before the next grading period. Remember to use good drawing skills and composition.
1. Pop some popcorn. Take a few kernels and look at the shapes and shades created. With pencil and smudge shading, study a few of the kernels and fill the page with them. This drawing should show a good sense of drawing skill and soft grays with a Tortillons or some blending device.
2. Draw or design a vehicle. This can be a car, spaceship, airplane, boat, motorcycle, bicycle or anything you want. Include details and make it big! Any media
3. Draw yourself using a strong light source on one side of your face. Use a mirror and try to have some expression. Focus on the strong shadows created by the light. Use pastel for blocking in large areas with a lesser amount of detail.
4. Using color (Cray-Pas) create an Impressionist Landscape drawing. Use Van Gogh, Manet, Seurat, Pissaro, Sisley, or Cezanne as your guide. Use the internet and look up these artists to observe their work. Find a landscape on the net as well and draw it as a n Impressionist.
5. Draw a series of animals in motion. Such as a cheetah running, a rabbit hopping, a bird flying. This can be in any media and you can use just three views or images in a row.
6. Divide the page into three areas with a ruler. Create a very involved contour drawing with pen of a small object of your choice and put it in one of the areas going outside the shape. Next, in another area, draw the same object with pencil using good shading and proper proportion. For the last area, distort or abstract (like in cubism) the same object using three values or colors.
Submitted by Nicole Brisco
Ideas for the first day to engage creativity in any advanced class. I begin in Art 2.
1. Once I hand out Sketchbooks (or have students bring or make them) I have the students prepare the pages in a variety of creative ways, like paint washes on the pages, collaging, writing, cutting holes in some of the pages, creating patterns. This is just to alter the pages before we begin any sketchbook assignments/observational drawing... I know some people alter books and that is a great way also but I like the idea of the kids taking ownership of their sketchbook as a process oriented tool for thumb-nailing, drawing, doodling, writing, documenting, etc. It is a good first day activity especially if you give them a list that is open to interpretation, this challenges them to use their time wisely, be creative, use good craftsmanship, and follow directions. It is also a no pressure assignment that allows the kids to get to know each other. What I like about this is that it removes the white pages from the book and allows students to be more expressive with the drawings on the pages. It also make the sketchbook less intimidating and helps students to understand that every page does not need to be perfect and is more about learning and exploration. We look the sketchbooks of Wayne Jiang at http://www.waynejiang.com /sketchbooks/index.html
2. Another good idea is to print out a variety of sketchbook assignments on address labels and give them to the students. I have printed 30 different assignments on one page of sticker labels and printed one (each student receives the same problems) for each student, there is some initial cost for the labels but you will not have to give out another assignment sheet for the rest of the year. I created open ideas that instill good observational, creative, and compositional skills. Give each student the same printed page and they can chose what problem to tackle for their sketchbook for the week and stick the one they selected to the back of the page, or you can have them stick them to the prepared pages and they would be forced to move through the sketchbook in an unordered way. This gives the student options and allows them ownership in what they draw each week depending on their mood... but also keeps them focused on the skills they need to work on during the year. I have them staple the label page to the back of their sketchbook so that they do not lose it. I saw this idea and loved it and decided to adapt it to my art 2 and 3 classes and what kid does not like stickers?....even high school kids have a fascination. See list of ideas.
Here is a sample label file created by Gloria Rabinowitz
Suggestions from Ruth Wilson
• Draw a pile of shoes
• looking from an interior space to an exterior space (IE: a doorway)
• a figure drawn in an unusual perspective
• still life objects
• reflective objects
• self portraits with expression or mood
• pasting a piece of a magazine on paper and then drawing outward
• painting or drawing in an artists style
• distorted reflections
• shaded 3D forms showing strong contrast
• architectural drawing
• art history prints & Design elements
• draw on Mylar over an art history print with graphite to show the shapes, then another sheet of Mylar the directional lines, then the 3-5 local colors, and shading values
Suggestions from Donna Rodeghiero
A grouping of seashells
A single flower with all its leaves, etc.
A cluttered place close-up
A pile of dishes sitting on the sink
Your favorite food with the wrapper included, and product showing
A close up set of 3-5 pieces of popped popcorn
A close up of the various pieces from a game, the board, box, etc.
A set of keys and a couple other items from your pocket or purse
Your shoes or sandals (off your feet)
Your sunglasses and what they reflect
Your digital camera with the last image showing
Your computer from an angle you do not usually view it, cords and all
A view out a window of your choice (with motion or still) showing inside and out
A shiny Christmas ornament and the view it reflects
A magnifying glass and what it is magnifying as well as the space around it that is unmagnified
A grouping of photographs of you, your family or friends in collage form
Your school books positioned in an interesting manner
A single object of choice drawn from several views with significantly different light sources in each view
Something you view from a prone position looking up at whatever it is
Your pet or favorite object from 3 distinctly different views
Suggestions from Patty Knott
I like to give words or phrases for idea spawning. I don't grade sketchbooks. I believe they are personal places of exploration for not only practice but journaling and questioning and sometimes, even doodling, but especially creative thinking. I just always hope they will discover mixed meanings, irony, metaphor, and symbolism.... just how to get ideas. This summer I am going through 5 years worth of art , fine crafts and photo magazines that I subscribe to, and I am listing word, phrases, titles, media and techniques that catch my eye. I like to have the kids make arbitrary picks from the list ( pull from a hat, a spin wheel, etc.) and take a day a week that they do the sketchbook exploration without the pressure of projects and grades.
Here are just a few of words and phrases I am currently compiling: (I always have them mind map and web all the possibilities for all the words)
Conflict of interests
More than meets the Eye (I)
Me, myself, and I (eye)
Food .. You are what you eat (still, after 36 years, my most
biggest art challenge was the RISD portfolio requirement - Draw your
family at breakfast. )
Lonely -- L (one) ly inspired by the e.e.cummings poem "1(a"
I get around
Home is where...
All that glitters...
Pretty -- as a picture
Layer it on
A touch of __________?
Over the edge (this one led to a student doing his concentration on Robert DeNiro film roles)
It's my nature
It's not easy being green
Color outside the lines
Hot and cold
Black and White & red all over (so glad a student made red - read)
A sketchbook should be a fun place, not a chore or another "have- to." If I judge and grade the sketchbook, then where do they go to make free ideas? If we all had i-pods and camera phones, I would include those too.
Suggestions from John Steiner
Where is Waldo? Students take one sketchbook page and fill it in with miniature drawings of everything that relates them and their lives… gum, braces, football jersey, soccer and footballs… etc and endless… the page must be filled, no blank space and all items are reduced to the same or nearly same size… could a 2D as well as drawing assignment... teachers complained that my students were drawing in their class!
They were fabulous!
Draw a chess set set-up and partially played - do the same with other board games- use your favorite game from childhood.
Take a page from the notebook for another class and draw over the notes
Draw on white Mat board, cover with several layers of gloss medium, cover this with oil paint- release the drawn image, the paint and the medium.
Landscapes with and without man-made structures.
Draw buildings and man-made structures with character- bridges- the interior of old churches or old theaters.
Fill bottles with colored water and use in a still-life.
Fill plastic bags with objects and draw - draw bags of candy or marshmallows.
Play the Password Game. Divide the class into groups of five or six. Use one painting each group comes up with five descriptive words from the same work of art. The students share their words with the class and everyone must then take all the words and write a piece of poetry. The poetry must use all the words, words that are repeated must be used as often as they are repeated. Students then illustrate their poetry.
Draw small architectural, mechanical things tiny may be very small drawings only 3 or 4 inches
Contour drawings of insects like a bug collection... (or dead flies off the window sill)
The skeleton of a small animal or bird really small or really big.
Tape a pencil or marker to a yardstick or long dowel; use this to draw on papers attached to a large wall.
Every night for I week draw the same object in a different media on neutral ground paper
Botanical drawings especially pine or spruce twigs w/pinecones.
Wash drawings from real life
Wash drawings taken from paintings, esp. of groups of people
Use a slinky or tubes to demonstrate circles and ellipses in perspective
Five views of the same object or objects.
Rather than just drawing hands, draw the same hand rotating and changing with each view...
Draw on objects or surfaces not usually used to draw on... these may be primed with tempera paint.
Stretch an old pair of jeans or flannel shirt. Prime with tempera if necessary, use this as a drawing surface for chunk charcoal or graphite sticks.
Stain plaster with tea, coffee or other natural materials... let "dirty" snow balls melt on drawing papers... draw or 2D over the dried color
Use a small picture frame, 8 x 10" (20 x 25.5 cm) or 10 x 14" (25.5 x 35.5 cm), stretch dampened paper by gluing the edges with Elmer's Glue; it will shrink and tighten when dried. Use this as a drawing or 2D design surface. The surface is "soft" and will not allow much pressure and for sure no erasing!
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