Engaging Creativity - Sketchbooks

Sketchbooks - Engaging Creativity

Submitted by: Nicole Brisco
Sketchbooks - Engaging Creativity
Ideas for the first day to engage creativity in any advanced class. I begin in Art 2.

See also this page and this page!


Make your own sketchbook!

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 thumbnailing, 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

 

sketchbook Handout for students:

Drawing II Honors and Drawing/Design III Pre-AP
First Day Activity
Sketchbook Surface Prep

 

Sketchbooks are an amazing opportunity to draw, visualize, write, thumbnail, or fill countless hours doodling and relaxing. Part of the problem with sketchbooks is that artists see them as the enemy. They are white pages that command a perfect image. Consider using your sketchbook as an extension of your personality as well as continuing to improve your artistic skills. Remember your sketchbook is a tool to better yourself and not viewed solely as a grade.

 

Directions: Using the list below prepare pages in your sketchbook using your own individual flare. You will be graded on the completed steps, your inventiveness, and craftsmanship. Each page can now be "used" and hopefully the white page syndrome of the sketchbook will fall by the wayside. Remember you are not creating finished works, but creating interesting surfaces to draw onto later. "used" and hopefully the white page syndrome of the sketchbook will fall by the wayside. Remember you are not creating finished works, but creating interesting surfaces to draw onto later.

  1. Create a two color wash on the page.

  2. Collage text on the page and wash over the page to subdue the texture.

  3. Scribble on the page with pencil; blend with a paper towel to create a value.

  4. Create a one color wash on the page.

  5. Cut squares in the page.

  6. Draw a childlike drawing on the page and paint over it.

  7. Create a repetitive pattern on the page using a geometric shape.

  8. Find a simple object and cover the page with simple contour drawings of it.

  9. Using muted colors paint a page.

  10. Create a texture on the page with paint by lifting paint with a towel.

  11. Create a negative space painting with a wash.

  12. Cover the page with writing about your first day and summer.

  13. Collage random pieces on the page.

  14. Cut strips of colored paper and glue to the surface.

  15. Doodle on the page with a pen.

  16. Trade books and have another student treat the surface of a page

  17. Tear a page out and re-collage onto another page.

  18. Find a leaf outside. Represent the leaf in some way on the page.

  19. Other media exploration.

  20. Prep 5 other pages any way that you would like.

Remember that the pages should not be overwhelming. Be neat, use good craftsmanship, and beware of pages sticking together.

 

FINALLY...
A sketchbook is a journey, not a destination!!!

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.

Sample Word file from Nicole Brisco created for Avery 5160 Labels

Here is a sample label file created by Gloria Rabinowitz

 

Ideas and Assignments

Here are some old and new ideas... the earlier ones in the list are more simple than the later ones.

  • Outside vs Inside

  • Object suspended in colored dish detergent

  • Pile of pillows

  • Fabric with a pattern

  • Childlike drawing made into fine art

  • Close up to abstraction

  • Insets, drawings within a drawing

  • How it works: Inner workings of a machine

  • A word and visual description

  • Contour line drawing using only letters: Repetition

  • Masking tape patterns and color

  • 2 old drawings torn apart and made new

  • Draw on top of an old drawing

  • Insects

  • Man made vs natural

  • Opposites collage

  • Less than an inch (small objects in repetition)

  • Mechanics of an object…create a drawing as a designer would have first drawn it

  • A chair as a self portrait

  • Mundane

  • Accidents…random acts of art

  • Exaggeration

  • Value study with dried up markers

  • 5 Drawings on top of each other

  • Numbers: How many ways

  • Geometric COLLAGE:

  • Linear Line Drawing of Organic Objects

  • Jim Dine: TOOLS

  • Negative Space Only

  • How do I love art: Let me count the ways!!

  • I hate these things!

  • Dirty water drawing with Sharpie (weighted line)

  • Drawing with colored paper

  • Only object I found at this location_____? Collage Design only, No other media.

  • Dots to Drawing: Only a pencil eraser and ink... Stamp your heart out!!

  • Non – Objective

  • Oops, Wrong Color?

  • Lonely…Object

  • Messiest vs cleanest

  • Contradiction

  • Ballpoint pen only!!

  • Everything in my backpack... Wow me!!

  • Music to my ears.

  • Normal

  • Not Normal

  • Plugged in.

Interior: Non-traditional, no buildings... more like the inside of a purse
Extreme light source
Shoes as a portrait
Refuge
Extreme perspective
Organic
All that and a bag of chips
Reflective Identity
One of these things are not like the other one
Hanging or suspended
Free Space
Yesterday
Do you dream in color?
10 things I love about you. (take off of the movie... they are to merge 10 objects that express who they are)
I also like to give the words that they do not know as a prompt and they have to look up the definition

Additional Sketchbook Assignments

 

Assignment 1: Five things I Love About You

DEPICT OBJECTS YOU LOVE. EACH WEEK, CREATE A STRONG COMPOSITION UTILIZING INTERESTING IMAGERY. AT THE END OF THE SIX WEEKS, YOUR SKETCHBOOKS SHOULD REPRESENT AN OVERALL VIEW OF WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU LOVE.

Week 1
Create a drawing that uses expressive line. Be bold. Work the piece until it has a free, but finished look.

Week 2
Create a drawing that utilizes strong contour line and color. Create a center of interest.

Week 3
Create a drawing that utilizes strong contrast. Use media of choice.

Week 4
Create a drawing that utilizes repetition to achieve rhythm. Think creatively.

Week 5
Create a drawing that utilizes mixed media. Do not overwhelm the drawing. Be graceful with your media and allow it to direct you to the drawing.

COLOR, FOOD, CLOTHS, MUSIC, PATTERNS, CHILDHOOD MEMORIES, FRIENDS, CHAIRS, OUTDOORS, BOOKS, CLASSES, HATS, SHOES, FAMILY, CUPS, CLOSET, ROOM, UTILITARIAN OBJECTS, PRESENTS, SUPPLIES, GLASSES, ARTISTS, THINK, THINK, THINK, THINK, THINK, THINK, THINK, THINK, THINK.

 

Assignment 2: Reflective Surfaces

DEPICT OBJECTS THAT HAVE REFLECTIVE SURFACES. CREATE A STRONG COMPOSITION UTILIZING INTERESTING IMAGERY. AT THE END OF THE SIX WEEKS, YOUR SKETCHBOOKS SHOULD REPRESENT A VARIETY OF INTERESTING AND CREATIVE SURFACES.

Week 1
Create a drawing that uses expressive line. Be bold. Work piece until it has a free, but finished look.

Week 2
Create a drawing that utilizes strong contour line and color. Create a center of interest.

Week 3
Create a drawing that utilizes strong contrast. Use media of choice.

Week 4
Create a drawing that utilizes repetition to achieve rhythm. Think creatively.

Week 5
Create a drawing that utilizes mixed media. Do not overwhelm the drawing. Be graceful with your media and allow it to direct you to the drawing.

All objects must be from life. BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR SURFACES AND THE REFLECTIONS THAT ARE CREATED.

 

Assignment 3: Do you Dream in Color?

DEPICT OBJECTS THAT DEAL WITH COLOR. EACH WEEK CREATE A STRONG COMPOSITION UTILIZING INTERESTING IMAGERY. AT THE END OF THE SIX WEEKS, YOUR SKETCHBOOKS SHOULD REPRESENT AN OVERALL DIVERSITY OF COLOR AND ITS USE IN ARTISTIC COMPOSITION.

Week 1
Create a drawing that uses expressive line AND COLOR. Be bold. Work piece until it has a free, but finished look. FOCUS ON INFORMAL BALANCE

Week 2
Create a drawing that utilizes strong contour line AND COLOR. Create a center of interest. FOCUS ON VISUAL MOVEMENT

Week 3
Create a drawing that utilizes strong contrast AND COLOR. Use media of choice. FOCUS ON VALUE

Week 4
Create a drawing that utilizes repetition to achieve rhythm WITH COLOR. Think creatively. FOCUS ON MOTIF AND PATTERN

Week 5
Create a drawing that utilizes mixed media AND STONG USE OF COLOR. Do not overwhelm the drawing. Be graceful with your media and allow it to direct you to the drawing. FOCUS ON SURFACE TEXTURE

ALL DESIGNS SHOULD BE NONO-OBJECTIVE, ABSTRACTED FROM LIFE, OR FROM LIFE. DO NOT USE 2D IMAGES. PUSH COLOR, AVOID TRADITIONAL COLOR SCHEMES. DRAW WHAT YOU ENJOY, BUT THINK OUTSIDE OF WHAT TRADITIONAL BEAUTY IS. WORK TO CREATE BEAUTY IN THE UNAPPARENT.

 

Assignment 4: Figure Drawing

Week 1
An easy way to learn to draw the full figure is by drawing the figure from a back view. Drawing a figure from the back minimizes details, stresses shape and contour, and eliminates the face. To make your composition interesting and exciting, emphasize an element or principle of design.

Week 2
Draw a person’s head and face using exaggeration to communicate emotion. Work from a live model. First use a pencil to make a general drawing. Note the shapes and planes of the face and how they fit together. Then continue over the drawing with a darker media. Utilize strong contrast to greatly exaggerate the areas you want to emphasize. Work from a live model and do not use a front or side view.

Week 3
Create a drawing of a small group of people. Utilize your skills in design to emphasize the negative space between them. Be creative when dealing with line and shape. Draw from life.

Week 4
Create a mixed media collage and then use figure drawing to add line, value, and color. Make sure the media does not overwhelm the drawing. Focus on strong weighted line, value, and contrast to pop the image. Draw from life.

Week 5
Use a brush and coffee to create a simplistic drawing of shadows (Do not work too wet or the paper will wrinkle). Once dry, come back in and emphasize line, shape and value with a dark contrasting media. Push darkness in the back in an exaggerated way to push the figure forward. Be expressive and work from life.

Spend a minimum of 1 hour on each drawing.

Assignment 5: The Power of Themes: A Diary of Shoes

Week 1
Look at the historical relevance of shoes. Think about their uses during a variety of time periods. Select a time period and create a drawing of shoes that reflects that time period. Examples: Roaring 20’s, Civil War. Draw from life and use the full composition.

Week 2
Look at the differences in gender. How are how their shoes are different. Create a drawing using a man’s and a woman’s shoe. Create an interesting design using repetition. Work from life.

Week 3
Select an artist that appeals to you. Create a shoe that would belong to this artist. Begin drawing from life and then go wild. Use your creativity. Example: Picasso, bright colors, wacky laces or Van Gogh, Subtle colors, pattern in swirls. Create an interesting composition.

Week 4
Create a mixed media collage and then use a shoe from an unusual point of view to add line, value, and color. Make sure the media does not overwhelm the drawing. Focus on strong weighted line, value, and contrast to pop the image. Draw from life.

Week 5
Use a brush and coffee to create a simplistic drawing of a pile of shoes (Do not work too wet or the paper will wrinkle). Once dry, come back in and emphasize line, shape and value with a dark contrasting media. Use darkness in the back in an exaggerated way to push the focal point forward. Be expressive and work from life.

Spend a minimum of 1 hour on each drawing.

 

Assignment 6: Interiors and Environments

Focus on line and design within your compositions. Refer to the principles of design: rhythm, movement, unity, variety, etc, to enhance your images.

Week 1
Create a drawing of the interior of your bathroom. Focus on angles and lines. Use modified contour line and focus on composition.

Week 2
Create a drawing of the interior of your kitchen. Utilize a full range of value 1-10. Be creative with your mark making. Expressive.

Week 3
Create an interior drawing of your bedroom. Include yourself in the image somewhere. Focus on composition.

Week 4
Create a drawing looking down a hallway. Use color to extend the mood. Focus on some small in this space and make it spectacular.

Week 5
Create a drawing of an unusual interior. Read the definition of interior and work from that. Be creative.

ALL INTERIORS SHOULD BE DONE FROM LIFE. DO NOT USE PHOTOGRAPHS.

 

Assignment 7: Four Slides and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Each week you will take a slide and create a small work of art out of it. Each slide should fit a theme that you have selected. Choose a theme that is interesting and could be well illustrated in a small area.

Consider the following:

  • How can I use media in an interesting way?

  • Will my theme and style promote unity?

  • How could my slides be deconstructed in an interesting way?

  • Is my craftsmanship strong?

  • Are my designs compelling and strong?

Within the slide you will have to create a small work of art that would emphasize the theme, you would work directly on the foam core or on a small piece of paper of your choice.

When you have completed 5 slides, you will then mount them onto a piece of black foam core. You should mount them in an interesting and unique way.

 

Assignment 8: Objective: Objects

Week 1
Draw a person holding an object. Be creative with the object they are holding. Use contour line and make the object the focal point. Use modified contour line.

Week 2
Create a drawing of your favorite object in your room. Place it in your favorite spot inside of your house. Use contour line and focus on composition.

Week 3
Create a drawing of the messiest section of your room. Think about composition and balance. Make sure you have a focal point. Use modified contour line.

Week 4
Select an object from life. Create a contour drawing of the object and put it in an abstract setting. Be creative and focus on composition.

Week 5
Draw a chair. Repeat the drawing to create an interesting composition. Use modified contour line. When you are done use a sharpie marker to create an design using positive and negative space.

Assignment 9: Around the House

Week 1
Subject: Breakfast. Still life of a breakfast setting Example: bowl, spoon, cereal, etc. Work large, go off the page. Focus on Composition

Week 2
Subject: Art Supplies. Still life of art supplies. Example: Pencil, Crayons., scissors. USE MODIFIED CONTOUR ONLY. Work large, go off the page. Focus on Composition

Week 3
Subject: Interior. Select an interior from an unusual point of view. Example: Corner, hallway, child’s view. Focus on Composition

Week4
Subject: Candy. Create a still life using penny candy. Example: Peppermint, bubblegum, suckers, etc.. USE MODIFIED CONTOUR ONLY. Work large, go of the page, Focus on composition

Week 5
Subject: Messiest Drawer in the House. Remove the drawer and draw from a birds eye view. Enlarge objects and go of the page. CREATE A FOCAL POINT WITH ONE OBJECT

Spend a minimum of 45 minutes on each assignment.

 

Also see Nicole's lessons

 

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