3d Art Sketchbook Assignments
If you’re anything like me, you can never get enough good sketchbook ideas. I’m always looking for ways to engage students so that they truly want to work in their sketchbooks. Whether you use sketchbooks for project planning, skill development, brainstorming, or something else, you’ll find ideas here that will work for you. My sketchbook assignments and prompts take an “all of the above” approach, making the following list well-rounded.
The list covers many bases and is organized by category. There are prompts about animals, food, people, and other things that will spark interest among students. This list is geared toward secondary students, but you’ll find a lot here that will work for younger students as well. Take a look and see what will work best for you and your students. Add your own favorite sketchbook assignment in the comments below!
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100 Sketchbook Prompts Your Students Will Love
- Draw someone you sit by in an odd pose.
- Draw family members with things that are important to them.
- Draw yourself (or someone else) painting toenails.
- Find a quiet place in a crowd. Draw the crowd.
- Draw a relative by the light cast from a TV/Phone/Computer or other screen.
- Make a portrait of yourself in twenty years. Or in fifty years. Or both.
- Draw a masked man (or woman) that is not a superhero.
- Draw the ugliest baby you can imagine.
- Draw two sports figures–one in a dynamic pose, one in a static pose.
- Draw two self-portraits with odd expressions.
- Draw something or someone you love.
- Draw hair. A lot of it.
- Take a picture of someone near you on a bus or in a car. Draw them.
- Draw an animal eating another animal.
- Draw your art teacher in a fight with an animal.
- Draw an animal playing a musical instrument.
- There is an animal living in one of your appliances. Draw it.
- Draw a dead bird in a beautiful landscape.
- Draw something from a pet’s point of view.
- Draw an animal taking a bath.
- Draw an animal taking a human for a walk.
- Combine 3 existing animals to create a completely new creature.
- Draw a family portrait. Plot twist: It is a family of insects or animals.
- Draw an animal playing a musical instrument.
- Draw the most terrifying animal you can imagine. Or the most adorable.
- Draw a pile of dishes before they get washed.
- Tighten a C-Clamp on a banana. Draw it.
- Draw a slice of the best pizza you have ever seen.
- Draw junk food and the wrapper.
- Draw your favorite food.
- Create your own restaurant. Draw the restaurant, your executive chef, and a 12-item menu.
- Draw the ingredients or process of your favorite recipe.
- Draw salt and pepper shakers.
- Draw fresh fruit or vegetables, or something fresh from the oven.
- Draw a salad.
- Draw the oldest thing in your refrigerator.
- Draw a piece of fruit every day until it becomes rotten.
- Draw everything on a restaurant table.
- Draw what is in the rearview mirror of the car.
- Draw moving water. Draw still water.
- Draw an object floating.
- Make a drawing of all of your drawing materials.
- Find a trash can. Draw its contents.
- Draw tools that belong to a certain profession.
- Draw three objects and their environments. One of the three should be in motion.
- Draw the interior of a mechanical object. Zoom in, focus on details and shading.
- Create three drawings of messes you have made.
- Draw five objects with interesting textures: wood grain, floors, tiles, walls, fabric, etc.
- Draw a collection of purses, wallets, or bags.
- Draw your favorite well-loved object or childhood toy.
- Draw a watch or another piece of jewelry.
- Draw something hideous that you keep for sentimental reasons.
- Draw something with a mirror image.
Technical Skill/Skill Development
- Draw all the contents of your junk drawer with one continuous line.
- Make a detailed drawing of a rock.
- Draw a dark object in a light environment.
- Draw a light object in a dark environment.
- Make a detailed drawing of five square inches of grass.
- Draw a transparent object.
- Draw a translucent object.
- Do several studies of eyes, noses, and mouths in a variety of poses.
- Draw an interesting object from three different angles.
- Value Studies–Draw three eggs and part of the carton with a strong light source.
- Draw three metallic objects that reflect light. Focus on highlights and reflections.
- Refraction–Create two drawings of separate objects partially submerged in water.
- Make three drawings (your choice of subject) using materials with which you are not familiar.
- Draw a piece of patterned fabric with folds.
- Draw a bridge and all of its details.
- Draw yourself as an original superhero.
- Make a drawing that looks sticky.
- Draw a mysterious doorway or staircase.
- Draw an empty room. Make it interesting.
- Draw a flower. Make it dangerous.
- Draw an object melting.
- Draw an imaginary place, adding all kinds of details.
- Draw a gumball machine that dispenses anything but gumballs.
- Danger! Draw yourself in a dangerous situation.
- You are on the back of the bus. Figure out who is with you, where you are going, and why. Illustrate and explain.
- Draw what’s under your bed (real or imagined).
- Draw the most incredible game of hide-and-seek you can imagine.
- Create a new sport. You can improve an existing sport, combine two existing sports, or come up with something completely new.
- Make a drawing that is totally truthful.
- Make a drawing that lies all over the place.
- Make a drawing that is completely and utterly impossible.
- Story Illustration: Fix a story that you don’t like, or reflect/improve upon one you do.
- Let someone else choose your subject and tell you what to draw.
- Draw your greatest fear.
- Use song lyrics, quotes, or poetry to inspire a drawing.
- Find the three most useless objects you can and draw them.
- Draw an interesting form of transportation.
- Draw something for which you are thankful.
- Go somewhere new and draw what you see.
- Draw something that can’t be turned off.
- Draw something soothing.
- Draw something you think sounds or smells incredible.
- Draw something that needs fixing.
- Draw something you’ve always wanted.
- Draw something out of place.
- Draw something that should have been invented by now.
- Draw something you keep putting off, or something that causes you to procrastinate.
Does this list inspire you to take some sketchbook assignments head on in your art room? Or maybe the opposite is true and you are finding that you feel underprepared to teach drawing skills. Maybe you fall somewhere in between and you just need a little more inspiration to tweak your drawing curriculum. These are all great reasons to take a peek at AOE’s Studio: Drawing Course. The class is jam-packed with hands-on learning experiences, advanced technique tutorials, and opportunities to share and learn with art teachers just like you.
What are your favorite sketchbook prompts to use?
How do you use sketchbooks in your classroom?
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.