Easy Sketchbook Assignments

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





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:

*Affiliate links-products that I love , use, and recommend

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

Size                 0-5

Effort             0-10

Creativity       0-8

Title               0- 2

                     25 pts.

Sketchbook Assignments:

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

Medium:colored pencil

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 proportionsgoal 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

Often times it can be difficult brainstorming ideas for our sketchbooks. We can all agree that the more we draw, the better we’ll get. This is just one of the many reasons that keeping a sketchbook is important. But deciding what to draw in those sketchbooks can sometimes be a challenge.

I decided to do some of the brainstorming for you and create a list of 101 sketchbook ideas. The items on this list are meant to challenge you a bit, but can still be completed in a short amount of time, making them perfect subjects for any sketchbook.

101 Sketchbook Ideas

1. draw old shoes

2. draw a glass of water

3. draw a pile of unfolded laundry

4. draw your non-dominant hand

5. draw a scene in a restaurant

6. draw a stack of books

7. draw a view out of a window

8. draw your art supplies

9. draw wine bottles

10. draw children’s toys

11. draw a person laying down

12. draw a person sitting in a chair

13. design a typeface

14. draw different types of trees

15. draw objects in your pocket

16. draw game pieces

17. draw a caricature of yourself

18. draw the same object drawn with different techniques (hatching, cross hatching, stippling, etc.)

19. draw your favorite pet

20. draw a copy of your favorite Master’s painting

21. draw a crumpled piece of paper

22. draw a brown paper bag

23. draw an old chair

24. draw a person from history in which there is no photo reference

25. draw an old person’s face

26. draw a stapler

27. draw an old radio

28. draw an old car

29. draw an old camera

30. draw a pair of glasses

31. draw an open book

32. draw a bicycle

33. draw anything made out of metal

34. draw a hammer

35. draw tree bark up close

36. draw ocean waves

37. draw a pile of rocks

38. draw a cup of pencils

39. draw hard candy

40. draw any fruit (sliced open)

41. draw any vegetable (sliced open)

42. draw a reel mower (tough one)

43. draw a pine cone

44. draw a seashell

45. draw a banana peel

46. draw an old cabin

47. draw an old factory

48. draw flowers in a vase

49. draw simple forms (cube, sphere, cylinder, etc.)

50. draw old farm equipment

51. draw a sailboat

52. draw people standing in a line

53. draw a bowl of peanuts

54. draw a bowl of nails

55. draw bushes or shrubbery

56. draw several eggs on a surface

57. draw your favorite insect

58. draw a flower up close

59. draw a thumb drive

60. draw an exotic fish

61. draw a scene from history

62. draw a feather

63. draw any detailed machine

64. draw the insides of a watch or clock

65. draw a skull

66. draw an apple

67. draw a portrait of someone that is a different race from you

68. draw water coming from the faucet

69. draw a creek in the woods

70. draw a pair of socks

71. draw an object that is moving

72. draw a Cubist portrait

73. draw a view from a window

74. draw a candle in the dark

75. draw three random objects from your refrigerator

76. draw a bowl of popcorn

77. draw a set of keys

78. draw someone peeling off their skin

79. draw your hand holding an apple (or other object)

80. draw your feet

81. draw yourself as a cartoon character

82. draw a patterned cloth on a table

83. draw a wine cork

84. draw a face in profile

85. draw a candlestick

86. draw a fictional woodland creature

87. draw a close up of grass

88. draw an object three times in different lighting

89. draw a pile of  jewelry

90. draw a close up of someone’s hair

91. draw a doorknob

92. draw a bird in flight

93. draw a video game controller

94. draw a pile of yarn

95. draw a stack of dinner plates

96. draw a trompe l’oeil image

97. draw hung drapery

98. draw a water sprinkler

99. draw calm water that is reflective

100. draw a person falling

101. just draw something!

This course is for beginner and intermediate artists and features over 300 minutes of HD video instruction and 178 pages of eBooks covering the true essence of drawing including the elements and principles of art, and a variety of drawing media and techniques.  (28 Modules)

Last updated by Matt Fussell at .

Posted inDrawing, Educationpermalink

0 Replies to “Easy Sketchbook Assignments”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *