ARTS 073 Sketch Book Assignments

  • Refer to this page for information about keeping an artist/designer Sketchbook

For each of the weekly assignments below the choice of media is up to you. (pencil, pen, marker, charcoal, etc). The size is also up to you and the number of images per page. Since a major focus of most of these assignments is based on accurate observation draw large enough to be able to do this. Too small and you will simply have more difficulty.

Regardless of the object you are looking at, your actual subject is light. This means that you should:

  1. look very carefully where the main source of light is coming from
  2. at how the surface of the object reflects the light
  3. the range of value across the entire object
  4. at how shadow shapes are created
  5. find the very brightest highlight (this will be the only place(s) where the paper remains pure white.
  6. find the very darkest shadow area (these few places are the only places that are black)
  7. shade from light areas to darker ones, not haphazardly or without purpose



week 1: draw at least six drawings from direct observation (real things only) that you pass by each day on your way from home to class. These should be things that you normally don’t notice yet you pass by them each day without seeing them. If these objects cannot be moved from their location, plan your time accordingly so that you can spend sufficient time to slowly and carefully examine every inch of their surface. Your goal is to accurately capture a likeness of each object.

week 2: animate each of the six objects that you drew last week. Give each of the objects life. This does not necessarily mean to simply add legs and arms, but instead “distort” the original drawing in a way that it now looks like it could move about, or is alive. This may include arms and legs, etc. but that should not be the main aspect.

week 3: focus on one object only. A different object from any you have previously worked with. It must be something mechanical (not digital) that you can see how it works, the gears, the springs, the moving parts, etc. Draw these inner workings 6 different times. (examples; inside of a clock, bicycle gears, engine, motor, conveyor belt, etc.)  Focus on a detailed, realistic representation of how these parts interact with one another.

week 4: focus on one object only. A different object from any you have previously worked with. It must be something organic (not man-made). Objects with 3D form (examples; bones, vegetables, fruits, branches, roots, not flowers, etc.) Concentrate on shading. Make it look real.

week 5: