Sketchbook Starters

These are ideas for when you want to work in your sketchbook, but either you can’t think of anything to put into your sketchbook or you want to do something different than you have been doing.

Close you eyes and turn your head randomly. Open you eyes and draw a picture of the first thing you see. Your picture can show the thing as it really is, as you would like it to be, as it might look to an ant or to a giraffe, as it might look if it were underwater or if it were made of a different material or if it came from a different time.  Let your imagination go and draw that.

Open your sketchbook and put a drawing tool in your hand. Place your hand on the sketchbook and close your eyes. Listen to the sounds around you and draw what you hear, smell that air, draw what you smell, feel your clothes or the table or chair and draw what you feel,  imagine a taste of a lemon or a piece of chocolate and draw what you taste.

Go into the recycle bin and pull out a magazine or catalogue, cut out parts of magazine that have a colour that you like. Glue these colours onto your sketchbook page.

Go into the recycle bin and pull out a magazine or catalogue, cut out letters of your name. Glue these colours onto your sketchbook page.

Go into the recycle bin and pull out a magazine or catalogue and find a small part of a picture (use a viewfinder to pick out an interesting part). Glue it into the centre of your page.  Draw images around it to complete the picture, but to make it look different than it did in the magazine.

Go into the recycle bin and pull out a magazine or advertisements and find as many examples of a thing as you can. For example, find as many photos and drawings of a dog or a square or a vegetable or whatever you want to look. Glue these colours onto your sketchbook page.

Draw pictures of the thing you decided to find in the previous activity.

If you have a camera or can borrow one from your parents (ask first), take photos of interesting textures in and around your house.  Print these out and keep them in your sketchbook. What do each of the textures make you think of  other than the thing that they are part of. For example, the skin of a cantaloupe might make you think of the surface of the moon. Write these thoughts down and use them as a starting point for a drawing, painting or other expression.

Collect wrappers from your favourite treats. Make sure to clean and dry them thoroughly.  Arrange them in your sketchbook so that you like how they look. Glue them down.

Draw something very slowly and very lightly. Use as little pressure as possible. Draw as slowly as possible.

Draw something very quickly. Take as little time to draw it as possible and still capture the essence of it.

Fill a whole sketchbook with drawings, paintings, collages, and other representations of one subject. Try doing several pages in one session. The more you draw an object, the better you understand it.

Look back through your sketchbook and find something that you have already done, use a viewfinder to choose a small part of that page, enlarge it on your new page and change it.



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