The Sketchbook Project: Line & Color Drawings

Sketchbook Project #6: Line Drawings

The Sketchbook Project: Line & Color Drawings

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.


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.

The Sketchbook Project: Line & Color Drawings


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?

Intro:  The Sketchbook Project: The Beginning 

Week #1: The Sketchbook Project: Creating Value + Free Worksheet

Week # 2 The Sketchbook Project: Atmospheric Perspective (Landscapes)

Week #3 The Sketchbook Project: Tree Line Drawings

Week #4 The Sketchbook Project: Sonia Delaunay Circles

Week #5 Expressive Self-Portraits


Make sure to sign up for the free Deep Space Sparkle weekly newsletter to receive updates on new projects, handouts and announcements when new episodes of my podcast Art Made Easy are published.


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  • klosowsky1@gmail.com

    I LOVE THIS! I would like to download and print this entire series of lesson plans but I only see a few of them available to place in my cart. Is there a link or a bundle?

    • Patty Palmer

      I’m almost finished off the series and will probably bundle them up to sell in the shop. Not available yet though. The free handouts that are in the shop are all I have right now. Stay tuned via the newsletter and I’ll let you know when the group is abatable for download.

  • First School of Desert

    Sketchbook Project is a easy and nice activity for kids during their day care. Color activity enhance kids imagination and creativity potential. You can also try some outdoor or physical activity, which can increase kids health and intelligence strength. Sharing a blog related to it with you all. Click here to read it. http://goo.gl/ed16tY

  • Erin

    Your “Good Source for Patterns” link is broken! Thanks for any help! 🙂

    • Patty

      Thanks so much for letting me know. Unfortunately, when a website removes a link, I have no control over the content. I think there are tons of source via pinterest. Good luck!

  • vowens

    thanks! been waiting to have the op to join…. and now this is first thing i see, so happy.

    • Patty

      If you are a Sparkler, you have access to a private site, The Sparklers Club. Make sure you login at the top right hand corner of the websire (members login).

  • patcoots17@yahoo.com

    Thank you, I will be using in my classes.


    You are just amazing ! Love all your lessons
    So helpful. I’m so glad I have joined and have a membership.
    Thank you.


    You are just amazing ! Love all your lessons
    So helpful. I’m so glad I have joined and have a membership.
    Thank you.

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