The Sketchbook Project is a record of how my sixth grade students used sketchbooks during their art class to record art information and create projects. Learn how I used sketchbooks instead of individual sheets of paper to teach art & creativity.
Week One: The Beginning
Week Two: Creating Value
Week Three: Atmospheric Perspective
Week Four: Tree Line Drawings
Week Five: Sonia Delaunay Abstract Art
Week Six: Portrait Journalling
Before I get into the project, this is a good time to point out the importance of creating a project calendar. There will be some projects you teach that will consume a lot of time both in demonstrating the lesson and the actual art-making process. Try to balance simple projects with the multi-step projects (like last week’s portrait journalling). You all know that some kids will finish a project in the time allotted while others won’t. Easier projects like this one, offers kids a chance to catch up.
All this project requires is the sketch pad, some markers and colored pencils. That’s it!
You’ll need to find two or three simple, graphic drawings for the kids to use as drawing prompts. I took an old zentangle hand project I did many moons ago plus this giraffe I found through Pinterest. The kids loved these images and dove into the project.
PATTERN IDEA DOWNLOADS
You’ll want to demonstrate some lines and pattern ideas for the kids on the white board, just to get their drawings started, or you can download a few free patterns from sources on the internet.
I didn’t go into very much detail with drawing instructions. These are 6th grade kids who pretty much know what they want to do and how they want to proceed.
If you have never down the hand drawing before, it’s super easy. Kids place their non-dominant hand on the paper and trace around the hand with a marker. Then, draw a rainbow/echo line around the hand contour. I find that this border separates the hand from the pattern detailing that will come later.
After the hand or the giraffe’s head/neck are drawn, the kids use their imaginations and creativities to draw shapes, lines and patterns. The only rule is to NOT draw a scenic background.
I must admit that last year I was able to splurge on purchasing six, 24-marker sets from Prismacolor for my art room. We had a few disappointing duds (meaning they were dry) but the kids loved using them.
If you aren’t using a sketchbook and want to try this project, I would recommend using white cardstock. Here’s a video where I show you why I like cardstock when using markers.
Note: Because the Sketchbook Project is designed to be open-choice, some of the early finishers took to opening the art cupboard and embellishing their patterns. See the picture above in the bottom right hand corner? This girl used glitter and glue to embellish a small portion of her drawing. I must admit, I love her initiative!
Missed the last installments of the Sketchbook project?
Week #5 Expressive Self-Portraits
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