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Mocko Sketchbook Assignments

3D Students can either create a drawing in their sketchbook or make a "sculptural sphere"

Sketchbook Assignments, one due EVERY Wednesday


Create at least one drawing or painting that depicts evidence of your existence on this planet. Think about how the world would be different if you were not here, for instance. Or consider what elements of the world prove that you exist – an unmade bed, for example, or your breakfast dishes, text messages from your BFF, etc. Begin by making a list of things in your sketchbook that provide “evidence” that you exist. 

What's in Your Trash? Self-Portrait

What we eat, drink, write on, read, buy and throw away all say something about ourselves. Create a work of art in a medium you feel comfortable with depicting what is in your trash.
Draw, paint or photograph a ribbon.

Create an optical illusion by drawing something looking like it is coming off of the page. 

Draw the same object using at least 3 different drawing techniques. Write the technique near the drawing.
example below by Carol Sun

Draw at least 2 pieces of a face. Use value and shadows on the ground to make them feel 3D.

Glue a photo or magazine picture into your sketchbook. Extend the photo out by drawing the rest. You can draw it realistically or illustrate it cartoon-like.

Draw or paint a weaving using values to make it look real. 

Hands! Draw more than one hand on a page.

illustrate a symbol
Select a computer symbol (*&^%$#@!?+=-_<>,./) and draw it inspired by another form. Create two drawings (one a week for homework) as seen in this example. One shaded with values (using pencils) and another using black & white demonstrating contrast (using pen, marker or printing ink). 

Create some cut paper designs using an Exacto knife. You can create multiple layers as seen here. Think about the negative space patterns in lace or doilies, or patterns found in leaves. Also consider what will be seen through the negative space.

Glue or tape something from nature into your SB and add some drawn/painted or photographed studies around it. Text can be included

Lay down a few pieces of painters tape. Fill in all the spaces with doodles. Remove the tape!

saved from devueltaconelcuaderno.blogspot

Draw a landscape or architecture and do something different in the background like watercolor or stippling (dots!).

Fruit Studies- Fill a page with fruit doodles or detailed color studies.

saved from
saved from
photo by cordelia jones on flickr

Take a photo of yourself on a school copy machine (closing your eyes!). Draw back onto of the photograph and put it in your sketchbook.

Draw or cut designs into leaves. Glue them into your sketchbook.

Create a double-page-spread illustrating a quote. Be sure to include the quote on one side and try to write the author of the quote.


What do you see?

Create a study of one small object by repeating it on one page. Text can be included in this study.

Fill a page with overlapping leaves. Color each leaf using any medium but experiment with mixing or blending colors together

Layer two photographs on top of each other in your sketchbook. The photos should be different (one old the other young, one in color, the other black & white, one of one person the other someone else, etc.). Tear select areas of the top photograph to reveal the photograph underneath. Try to get the facial features positioned the same so that when you tear part of the mouth on the top photo, the mouth is what is visible on the bottom photo.

I'm not sure what this is but it looks fun to draw! Remember to use darks for the background and get progressively lighter as you get to the foreground layers. This will help create an illusion of depth.
Create a "figure" by juxtaposing different creatures top of the head- eyes- nose- mouth- and chest together. Use this format of strips to look like a cut-photo collage.
Trace or draw the outlines of a figure in profile. Fill the shape in with something interesting! 

Create a negative space design using a word. Sketch out the letters first in pencil and fill in the space around the letters with a design in pen. Erase the pencil when finished.

Photocopy a page in the dictionary. Select one word that is on that page and illustrate it LARGE on that page. Have the word emphasized as well.

Surreal Hand
Draw your hand made out of objects, woven paper, people, buildings, fabric, etc.

Draw a pencil splitting up into letters! Don't forget to shade the inside of the letters to make them look 3D.

Recreate a famous artist as someone else. The example here is Frida Khalo as a modern day hipster.

Illustrate a grocery list

Draw an object in water. 

Bring an inanimate object to life

Place your face and hands on a photocopier (be sure to CLOSE YOUR EYES!!!) and make a copy. 
To draw that photo, fill an entire page with vine charcoal. Then use your eraser to bring out the grays and highlights. 

Create a double-page-spread where both pages (left and right OR top and bottom) are working together to create a unified work of art.

Build a sculpture out of play-doh and PAINT it!

Create a collage in your sketchbook then draw objects from observation. Change the material you are drawing with when you are drawing on top of a different material.

Don't forget to include a shadow!!!

Create a NOTAN design. Start with a small black piece of paper. Draw designs on the sides of the paper going off the edge. Cut the design out using an EXACTO knife. Then flip that cut out piece out. Every piece of paper that is cut is to be used in the design! Check out the link below for a video on how to make a NOTAN.

Draw a room! It can be where you work, your bedroom, kitchen, inside of your car, classroom, etc.

Sketchbook Assignment 5:  Halloween/Autumn Drawing

This is a drawing from imagination assignment.
Students are able to choose their media for the drawing.
Grading will be based on time and effort put into the drawing (minimum of 50 minutes).

Sketchbook Assignment 6:  Doodle for Google!

Sketchbook Assignment 10 :

Twenty "artist" signatures.
Any medium.
Variety... twenty DIFFERENT signatures:
  • TEN experiments in types of font, handwriting, size, shape, etc.
  • TEN experiments in logos, symbols, initials, etc.
Search for uniqueness that carries the weight of a recognizable "brand" (you!).
Circle three that are your favorite or that you might actually use on your art.

DUE Friday, December 4th

Sketchbook Assignment 11:  Present Bow

Draw a Christmas bow from observation.
Colored pencil on black paper.
Paper can then get taped into your sketchbook.
  • Begin with contour
  • Value:  highlights and shadows
  • Gradation:  smooth transition between values
  • Texture:  creating a shiny illusion

Due Tuesday, December 15th

Sketchbook Assignment 12:  Compass Composition

Begin layout of composition by using a pencil and compass
  • use the compass to create overlapping circles of various sizes
  • use the whole page--some circles should go off the page
  • use a sharpie marker to color in shapes created by the overlapping circles
  • consider composition:  balance of positive and negative space, balance of "busy" and "restful"
Due Friday, January 8th

Sketchbook Assignment 13:  Key Value Study

  • Divide your sketchbook page into six, 3" x 3" squares
  • In each square, draw a different section of a key.  You may use different keys.
  • Work from observation.
  • Use graphite/pencil.
  • Shade in each square (using a full range of value) in such a way that you create contrast between the squares (See examples).
  • Due Friday, January 15th--Last sketchbook assignment of the semester!

Sketchbook Assignment 14:  Mandala

Mandalas are radial designs, often using repetitive, geometric patterns starting from a central dot and working outward.
  • Your mandala may be black and white, or you may add color.
  • Craftsmanship is important:  neat and careful work.
Due Wednesday, January 27th!

Sketchbook Assignment 15:  World inside a Lightbulb!

Due Thursday, February 4th!

Sketchbook Assignment 16:  What is in you heart?

Sketchbook Assignment 17:  Painted Value Scales:  
​Tints and Shades

  • Draw two 7" value scales either in your sketchbook or on a separate scrap of paper.
  • Divide value scale into 1" sections
  • Designate one value scale for tints and one for shades
  • Strive to make each section a different value!

Sketchbook Assignment 18:  Dry Brushed Sphere!

In this exercise, students will experiment with the dry brushing technique.
Trace around something circular.
Paint the circle a flat color.
Add highlights and shadows using the dry brush technique so that the circle begins to take on the illusion of a sphere.

Sketchbook Assignment 19:  Non-objective Mini Paintings

Choose a color scheme for each mini-painting. 
Experiment with color, shape, line and texture.
These paintings should be non-objective: no attempted to create anything recognizable!  The focus is on art elements and overall composition.
Possible color schemes:
  • monochromatic
  • analogous
  • complementary
  • split complementary
  • double complementary
  • triadic

Sketchbook Assignment 20: Snapchat Selfie!

Take a selfie and alter yourself using a snapchat app or other photo editing filter/app/program.
Draw and embellish using your own choice of medium/media!

Sketchbook Assignment 21:  Hand Holding an Object!

Draw from observation:  your own hand!
Start with a contour line drawing.
Shade:  use a full range of value to help describe form.
Don't forget to use the eraser as a drawing tool!

Sketchbook Assignment #22:  Watercolor Techniques

Practice a minimum of eight different watercolor techniques on the strips of watercolor paper provided in class.
These should be non-objective studies.
Possible techniques (See Weebly page:  Art I, Watercolor Techniques for more information):
  • wet on wet
  • wet on dry
  • salt
  • rice
  • rubbing alcohol
  • plastic wrap
  • stencil
  • dry-brush
  • wax resist

Sketchbook Assignment #23:  6 "Drawings in the Round"

Draw 6 circles in your sketchbook.
Create a drawing within the circle boundaries.
Challenge yourself with the idea or concept of the drawing.  For example, don't draw obvious round things:  apple, basketball etc...

Sketchbook Assignment #24:  Crumpled Paper!

This is an observational drawing.  You must draw by looking at an actual piece of paper, not a photo of one.
  • Partially crumple up a piece of paper and decide what angle you are going to work with.
  • Lay out your composition by "clocking angles" you see in the paper still life.
  • Shade the drawing using a FULL range of value, making sure to make your darks, DARK!
  • Over exaggerate highlights and shadows so that you create contrast in your drawing.
  • Eliminate most lines from your drawing, using value to define the form.

Sketchbook Assignment #25:  "Slice of Heaven"

This is a drawing from imagination assignment.
Draw your version of what you consider to be "a slice of heaven".
You may choose your media:  graphite, colored pencil, ink, watercolor, mixed, etc...
The main objective of this assignment is individual creativity.

Hand holding an object!

Draw and shade a hand holding an object as realistically as possible.

Sketchbook Assignment 1:  
​Value Scale

Students will create a graphite value scale using a full range of value and intentional surface texture.

Student Examples

Sketchbook Assignment 2: Personal logo

Students were asked to think about at least three interests or aspects of their personality and incorporate them into a drawing.  Two important considerations of this assignment are:  
  • creating a cohesive, dynamic composition
  • using a full range of value 

Student Examples

Sketchbook Assignment 3:
​Facial Features

This sketchbook assignment gives students practice drawing facial features.  With this 15 point assignment, each student will work from reference photos and will draw one eye, one nose and one mouth.  Drawings should be as realistic as possible and should show a full range of value.

Student Examples

Sketchbook Assignment 4:

This is a drawing from imagination assignment.  Students were asked to use their imagination and draw what they think they might see if they looked through a keyhole.  There is no "right" or "wrong" way to approach this assignment.  Grades will be based on effort, imaginative solutions and demonstrating an understanding of how to use a full range of value in a graphite drawing.
Students are asked to imagine what they think the future will look like using font and imagery to spell out the letters G-O-O-G-L-E.
Students may choose media (art materials).
First draft due:  Thursday, Nov. 17th


Sketchbook Assignment:  Pop can

This is a drawing from observation assignment.  Students are working on drawing what they see--in this case, a pop can sitting right in front of them.  Students will start off laying out the form of the can using directional and contour lines.  They will then add detail and shade using a full range of value.

Sketchbook Assignment 6:

Go to this link: PHOBIAS
Create an interpretation or representation of a phobia. Have fun or be scary! 
Fill a page of your sketchbook. Render shading and detail. (May use color.)
Minimum of 50 minutes spent on drawing. 
Write the name of the phobia on your drawing.

Due Friday, November 6th. 

Student Examples

Sketchbook Assignment 
Food Observation
​Due Tuesday, Nov. 29th

Observational drawing of food item(s) or food wrapper.

TEXTURE is very important in this assignment because texture will be the real "selling point" for the convincing realism of the drawing.
Spend a minimum of 50 minutes on drawing.
Render realistically - color or graphite shading.

DUE Friday, November 13th.

Sketchbook Assignment 9:
Magazine "Springboard"

Start with a cut-out image or pattern from a magazine.
Complete an imaginary drawing based off of that magazine cut-out.

Try to think creatively about your cut-out : such as a surreal environment, unusual combination, or creative interpretation.
For example, if you cut out a banana... I want you to draw something less obvious than a monkey holding the banana. Unless that monkey is radioactive and the banana is his crime-fighting weapon...

Render. Spend a minimum of 50 minutes on assignment.
Full page.
DUE Friday, December 4th

Internet examples:

Students examples:

  • Draw an imaginary world inside a light bulb.  
  • Use graphite or colored pencil.

Draw a human heart and embellish it with imagery related to what is in your heart (what you hold close to you/what is important to you).

Students may choose their media.
  • graphite 
  • ink
  • colored pencil
  • collage, watercolor
  • mixed media

Due Friday, February 12
A tint is a color + white
A shade is a color + black
Complementary:  Colors across from one another on the color wheel.                            
Monochromatic:  One color + black and white
Triadic:  Colors equally spaced from one another on the color wheel.  In this case--secondary colors.