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Sketchbook Basics

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What is a sketchbook and why is it necessary for an artist to have one?

A sketchbook is simply put, a book with empty drawing pages in it.

This book is however your personal growth factory because you are going to sketch, draw, write, paint, experiment, mess and make mistakes in it.

Generally you never even show anybody your sketchbook. It is your private art journal in which you, and you alone, can document and watch how you progress.

As only you will see the inside of your journal, there is no pressure on your part to perform or get anything perfect. Nobody will see your mistakes so you can lose your abandon and play to your hearts content.

In the process you will improve your art beyond anything you ever imagined.

Then in a few years time you will be able to page back through your sketchbooks and relive your artistic journey and see how far you have come.

In my opinion every artist should first be given a sketchbook and a pencil (no eraser) and be sent out to sketch at least 10 pages full before they ever follow a single tutorial or buy any more art supplies. That way they will always have some before sketches to look back on - something very few artists have.

sample sketchbook sketches of plant pots

Sketches from my Sketchbook

Sketching Equipment

Let's start off by looking at the equipment you will need to start your sketchbook.

1) Sketchbooks

They are available in a variety of sizes, paper types and makes. I will mention a few, but in the end, you will have to make your own choice depending on what is available in your area and to suit your own pocket. I always recommend that you try to buy the best you can afford.

Things to look out for when purchasing a sketchbook are:

a) Sturdy : You will be taking your sketchbook with you everywhere you go. In the car, on holiday, hiking, you name it so ensure the cover is sturdy enough to handle the rough and tumble it is going to endure.

b) Paper Thickness : You don't want the pages to be too thin for two reasons. The first is that you don't want any of your harder pen / pencil strokes to score the sheet of paper below it. The second is the problem of bleeding. If you are using inks or paints and the paper is too thin it can bleed through the sheet onto the one below. I recommend ensuring the paper is at least 160gsm thick.

c) Size : The size sketchbook you buy will depend on where you are going to use it. If you going to only use it in the studio then one with larger pages will allow you the freedom to either make multiple sketches / studies of the same subject on the same page or one larger study per page.

Smaller sketchbooks (A4 / 9" x 12" or smaller) are better for working outdoors as you generally need to hold the sketchbook in your hand as you work so anything larger tends to be unstable in your hand.

d) Paper Colour : Most sketchbooks come with white paper inside, but you can also get ones where the paper is off white, as well as coloured. (Strathmore have a good variety of paper colours from tan to grey to cream)

If you are wondering why you would want to use off white or coloured paper then here is your answer : To save you adding a heap of colour / tone to the paper you choose a paper that is already the base colour you need. You then only need to add the shadow and highlight colours to complete the sketch.

Standard Sketchbooks

Mixed media sketch pad

Click to buy on Amazon

(This tutorial contains affiliate links to products we recommend you use when sketchbooking. If you purchase through our affiliate link we will get a small percentage of the purchase price for the referral. This helps us to create more tutorials. It will however not affect the price you pay. All products are the ones we personally use. To purchase the product you can click the photo of the product.)

Standard sketchbooks normally come in three different styles.

  • Hardbound Similar to a hard cover book these sketchpads are very sturdy. You will however find that they often want to close on themselves while sketching because of the stiff cover. Open it in the store at a variety of places (front, centre, back) to make sure the cover will remain open while drawing.
  • Paperbound This type does not have a hard cover. Generally the cover is little more than a thin cardboard which does not give much protection to the papers inside the book. Only use these sketchbooks in light duty situations, like in studio.

The advantage of wirebound sketchbooks is that you can flip the whole book open and back on itself. This takes up less space and is easier to hold than a glue bound book.

Using these are also recommended if you want to remove the pages for framing, etc. later as individual pages can be removed without affecting the integrity of the rest of the book.

I like the mixed media sketchbook shown above because you can use it to add watercolour, acrylic, gouache and a variety of other media over your sketches to give them colour and make them look interesting. The pages will however not bleed through like many of the other sketchbooks do.

Moleskine Sketchbooks

Moleskine watercolour sketchbook

These sketchbooks are normally made from quality heavy paper that is perfect for outdoor handling.

The paper is suitable for pencil, pen and ink washes and gouache. Many are reasonably priced and have special hard covers for durability. They are available from large to convenient pocket size.

Moleskine sketchbooks are very popular with Urban Sketchers who like to use pen and ink for the sketch and then add colour over it using watercolor washes.

Tombow pencil set with mono eraser

When sketching we don't need a lot of pencils. You basically need only 3 pencils - one hard, one medium and one soft. I recommend a 2H, B and 6B.

If you are working outdoors and have more space in your bag, then by all means take more with but I seldom use more than these three, In fact I will often use only one pencil.

The pencils I recommend and use are the Tombow pencils shown above. I have also successfully used and can recommend the Faber-Castell, Staedtler and Derwent brands. I just find the Tombow pencils have smoother lead so they glide better over the paper.

The set shown above also comes with a Mono eraser which I constantly use for erasing fine detail into a sketch.

2) Sharpener

Carpet knife and pencil sharpener

You will also need something to sharpen your pencils with. For this a simple little sharpener will do.

If however you want different shaped tips to your pencils, then a carpet knife works well to trim them.

There are many other bits of equipment you can use, but they are not required in order to start sketching so let's move on to learning how to sketch. We will then revisit the equipment later to see how we can expand our options beyond the basics.

The Rules of Sketching

Rule #1 - only you see your sketchbook.

As you are allowing yourself to make mistakes and experiment inside your sketchbook, your sketchbook is a place for your eyes only.

There must never be a penalty for what is inside your sketchbook. You don't want people to see your sketchbook and you feel bad or them judging you for some horrible artworks inside.

Your sketchbook is a place where you are allowed to create horrible artworks, and believe me in the beginning there will be many of those. These horrible artworks will allow you to later create the amazing artworks that will stun the world.

Rule #2 - There are no art rules in your sketchbook

Your sketchbook is your play area where you mess around with ideas, practice and learn without abandon or restriction.

If you want to doodle, then doodle.

If you want to do a super accurate drawing of a local landmark, then do it.

If you want to test out a new paint colour by making a few swatches, then do it.

If you want to practice freehand sketching, then go ahead.

Heck, if you want to see what happens when you mix acrylic and oil paint together, test it in your sketchbook.

In your sketchbook you follow the rules when you want, break them when you don't and sometimes even make your own rules.

Rule #3 - No Fear

Take all the preconceptions, misconceptions, misguided road blocks that people have drilled into your head about how you are supposed to do art and throw them out the window.

Free your mind and allow yourself the space to make mistakes, flops and outright disasters inside your sketchbook.

Out of these flops and disasters you will learn something every single time. Each flop and disaster is a stepping stone along the way to becoming the artist you envisioned when you first started.

Rule #4 - Sketch Often

Drawing and experimenting inside your sketchbook is going to allow you to grow incredibly fast as an artist, but only if you are consistent.

Let's look at an analogy – driving a motor vehicle.

For the beginner there are many things to remember, do and to look out for when learning to drive.

The big L plate displayed on the vehicle warns other drivers to be cautious as anything can unexpectedly happen. It is so easy to become mixed up trying to do many things at the same time, such as engaging the proper gear, pulling off correctly, watching the traffic in the front, sides and rear, traffic lights, pedestrians, etc.

Fortunately, the time arrives when all these actions become so natural that you do them automatically without even thinking about them.

What has happened? Without you realizing it, the subconscious mind has conveniently stored all the relevant information in order to do the thinking for you.

How has this happened? By repeating the actions over and over again. Repetition is the key to success. I cannot stress his enough.

The more you practice the easier drawing becomes. Repetition is a large factor, so sketch regularly.

The Basics of Sketching

Watch on the table

In the beginning start off by drawing simple things. Whatever is around you.

Draw your watch for example. Don't even bother with shadings, just draw the outline and add the numbers and the hands.

As an example let's draw the watch above:

Use your B pencil only. Gently sketch a circle. Correct the circle as you go along until you are happy with the shape. Don't bother erasing the wrong bits, just leave them there.

Now indicate the 12, 3, 6 and 9 marks on the watch face.

This makes it easy to judge the marks indicating rest of the hours so add them in.

Next draw the watch straps. Roughly indicate the stitching.

Finish off by adding the numbers and arms.

Well done, you have just completed your first sketch.

You will probably end up with something like this:

Watch sketch in the beginning

Does it look like the photo?

Probably not because your judgement is well off, but it doesn't matter. You have started to train your eye and hand co-ordination.

Do the same for many more seemingly simple items around you.

Concentrate on getting the shapes and proportions correct.

Don't be shy to use whatever means you need to help you - like using your pencil to estimate lengths or using a proportional divider or redrawing using common shapes. There are many methods like this to help you.

I recommend you follow the How to Draw Quick Sketches Class to learn all the methods.

When you are starting to feel confident that you are estimating the shape and basic features correctly start to add some cross hatching or scumbling to the sketch in order to show some shading and depth.

Hatching is when you use a series of parallel lines to indicate shading. The closer the lines are to each other, the darker the area appears. The further apart the lines the lighter the area appears.

Cross hatching is when you add multiple series' of parallel lines in different directions. You can see examples of hatching and cross hatching below:

Hatching and cross hatching examples

Scumbling is when you use random scribbles to create a shading like in the example below.

To the left you can see a single scumble. Your scumble technique will differ, but it gives you a good idea of how I do it.

Scumbling example

Continue practicing this for a few weeks.

After a few weeks come back here and redraw the watch above.

It will now probably look something like this then because your eye hand co-ordination will have improved dramatically:

Watch sketch after practice

As you gain more confidence start to draw more complex subjects, like your portrait in the mirror or venture outside to sketch objects in the garden.

What to Sketch?

Anything. Anything you see, or imagine, can be sketched.

There is no need to stare at a blank piece of paper. There is more than enough inspiration around you to last for years of sketching. Even the most mundane of objects make for excellent sketching practice.

Just look around you. What do you see? Kitchen utensils, flowers, ornaments, trees, animals, birds, hills, mountains, furniture, clothing, clouds, buildings, rocks, workshop tools, and thousands of others. Even a simple feather has much to teach you about drawing.

Try different angles of the same object, from the side, from slightly above and so on. You will be amazed how drawing the same object from different angles can pose completely different challenges.

Sample sketch of an ostrich drawn using a sharpie

Monotone sketch of an ostrich

The Secret to Good Sketching

What is the biggest key in drawing?


Most see an object, but they don't look at it. What do I mean by that?

You see a mug on a table. So what! But have you really studied it? Have you observed it properly?

What type of lettering is printed on it? How large are the letters? What other features are there? What type of flowers are printed on it. How about their colours?

What shape is the mug and is the ear large or small? What are the different textures on it and how will I represent it on the paper?

So often we just glance over an object. Oh! It is only a mug. As an artist you need to look and observe all the details that make up the object more carefully than the average person would.

Train your mind to look at the object, and not just see. Get this right and you will be well on your way to excellent sketching.

Make Sketching a Habit

Sample sketches of army equipment

Some sketches I did in 1952

We have already discussed why you need to sketch often, now let's take a look at ways that you can turn sketching into a habit.

The most important thing is to :

Make time for sketching.

No matter how busy your lifestyle, if you look at your schedule you will find intervals where you can slot in a quick sketch or two. For example on your lunch break, while waiting for the bus, while on the bus, while watching TV and so on.

Once you have found the time in your schedule, stick to. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you so that you don't get carried away with other things. This is your sketch time. Your time to relax.

In an ideal world you would give yourself at least half an hour to sketch in the beginning as you are not as proficient at judging accurately yet, but if you only have shorter spells available, don't let that stop you.

Choose a subject to concentrate on.

I find that if you concentrate on one subject at a time you learn quicker than when you jump around.

You could for example start by drawing small common items and only worry about sketching the proportions correctly. Once you feel you are happy with your proportions, you may decide to concentrate on your shading work and do a series of shading exercises.

After that you may decide to do a series of hand studies, then figures and so on.

You will find that as you start to gain confidence in a subject you not only work quicker and more accurately, you start to enjoy it more so look forward to your next sketch session, which is a great motivator to keep it a habit.

Carry a sketchbook with you.

No matter where you go make sure you have some form of a sketchbook with you or within easy reach.

It could even be something a small as a notebook and pen carried in your shirt pocket or handbag which you can whip out when the opportunity presents itself and do a quick sketch or doodle.

You could keep a small bag with some sketching equipment permanently in your car so that you have them available wherever you are.

Challenge yourself.

Keep challenging yourself when you start to become too comfortable with a subject. You don't want sketching to become boring or you will lose the habit.

There are endless ways in which you can keep things interesting. Start by changing the subject you are concentrating on. You could add a new medium to the mix like sketching with a pen instead of a pencil. You could start to add colour to your sketches. You may decide to set yourself a time limit on the sketch and so on...

Take Your Sketches to the Next Level

Sample line and wash sketch of a path

Line and Wash Sketch

That brings us nicely to taking your sketches to the next level and the optional equipment I mentioned earlier.

Starting off with simple little pencil sketches opens up the door to an incredible array of new opportunities for you to grow as an artist.

You will find that you will be able to transition to more intricate forms of drawing like photorealistic or pen and ink drawing.

You can start to add colour to your sketches by adding watercolour washes, gouache or acrylic paints.

Your sketches can become the study used to design a more complex painting or drawing done in the studio.

It can open up the door to en plein air (outdoor) drawing and painting.

The easiest and most common add on to sketching is usually pen and ink with watercolour washes, also called line and wash, so let's have a quick chat about that.

Line and Wash

With line and wash you will initially sketch your drawing outlines lightly using pencils. Once you are happy with your sketch, you will go over the lines using ink pens to establish the drawing. You can also add shading and detail using the pen.

With the drawing finalised you then whip out your watercolour paints and a basic brush and add lose layers of colour over the drawing to suggest the colours.

This style is fabulous as it lends itself perfectly to indoor as well as outdoor work on any scale.

You can take a look at our Pen and Ink Lessons for more info about this fabulous method.

To get started with line and wash all you need to add to your equipment are a few different size Felt Tipped Pens and a portable watercolour set like the one shown below.

portable watercolor paint set for outdoor sketching

Click to purchase this set

I hope this tutorial has given you a good feel for what is involved in sketching and wet your appetite to give it a go.

You will not regret making sketching a habit. Good luck.

Sketchbook Basics for Artists. Learn how to start your own sketchbooks and how making sketching a habit can help improve your art tremendously. Online art lesson for Paint Basket and Dennis Clark. art class, art lesson, painting, drawing, sketching

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Concept Art Empire

Top SketchBook Pro Tutorials For Beginners

The Autodesk SketchBook Pro software is a fantastic alternative to Photoshop and other painting programs. It’s a cheap yet usable program that runs on all platforms including tablets.

Learning the SketchBook interface comes with time and practice but tutorials can really speed up that process.

So I’ve curated the absolute best tuts online both free and paid options. If you’re looking to dive right into SketchBook then this guide is sure to have everything you need.

Free Tutorials

It makes sense to start with free video lessons because not everyone wants to invest time into learning a program. But free lessons can also feel limited so they should be just the beginning.

These are some of my top recommendations if you’re unsure of where to start and don’t have a budget for learning.

Basics to SketchBook Pro 6

sketchbook pro 6 tut

I’m a big fan of all the Toonboxstudio videos and this one offers a complete basics intro guide to SketchBook Pro 6.

As of this writing the current version is SketchBook 7 but all the lessons still apply.

It’s a one hour video and it covers a lot of material. You’ll learn how to edit preferences, rotate the canvas, and work with all the various tools along with some handy keyboard shortcuts. Definitely keep this one saved if you’re looking for a strong start.

SketchBook Pro For Beginners

sketchbook pro beginners

Concept artist Trent Kaniuga teaches this detailed guide to the SketchBook software. It’s also a fairly lengthy video totaling just over 30 minutes with plenty of visual guides for beginners.

The goal of Trent’s video is to teach SketchBook from a practical perspective. You’ll learn how to use the software for real-world situations and it’s a fantastic exercise for getting into the details.

You can find lots of similar videos on Trent’s YouTube page and they’re all pretty detailed too.

Coloring A Character

coloring character sketchbook

For a much more specific tutorial check out this tut explaining how to color a character design using SketchBook.

Note this starts with a digital sketch and the whole hour-long tutorial explains how to color that sketch. It’s not a complete guide from scratch so it helps if you already know how to sketch and have some ideas down in B&W.

The techniques are fantastic and should apply to pretty much all coloring projects from cartoons to concept art.

SketchBook Pro 7 Coloring

sketchbook pro 7 coloring tutorial

Wacom’s YouTube channel actually has a few guided tutorials and lessons on popular painting software. This one covers tips & tricks for artists just starting to learn the SketchBook Pro 7 software.

It’s a quick video only 11 minutes long but it’s a great resource once you know the basics.

The video instructor Kevin Mellon is a storyboard artist on the animated show Archer. He covers a lot of the best tricks for coloring accurately and getting the most out of this software.

SketchBook Blend Modes

sketchbook blend modes

Here’s one other Toonboxstudio video and this one goes a lot further into detail on coloring. It talks about blend modes for artists and how to use these blend modes to your advantage.

Artist Paris Christou shares real-world ideas and even uses sample artwork to show how blend modes fit naturally into an artist’s workflow.

Honestly not a super long tutorial but it’s just one of many in the series of SketchBook Pro videos on their channel.

Sketchbook Pro 7 FlipBook Tutorial

sketchbook flipbook tutorial

This one is probably a lot better for animators than concept artists but it’s still a fantastic guide.

The flipbook tutorial video teaches how to work with this new feature in SketchBook Pro 7. It’s a great skill to pick up if you can learn to master and put it to good use. But of course this will take time.

Premium Tutorials

To get real detailed with Sketchbook then you’ll want to premium lessons. There aren’t too many paid courses out there but I usually recommend the ones from Pluralsight because they’re detailed and very easy to understand.

Feel free to check Google and see what’s out there but these are my top picks and they’re all fantastic.

Professional Tips for Creating Thumbnails in SketchBook Pro

pro thumbnail sketchbook pro

The process of thumbnailing is crucial to concept art, animation, and really all forms of visual art.

In this video course you’ll learn how to create thumbnails rapidly for all types of projects. SketchBook Pro has some great features for this and since you’re working digitally it’s a lot easier to fix mistakes.

It lasts about 2 hours long and contains a bunch of tips for sketching creatures, characters, and lots of unique ideas visually.

Drawing Character Model Sheets in SketchBook Pro

model sheets sketchbook pro

All entertainment artists use model sheets from 2D animation to 3D character modeling . But artists usually start with drawings because they’re easier to craft and they work as a base idea for designers.

Digital artist Eddie Russell explains these concepts in his premium course on designing model sheets with SketchBook Pro.

It has a ton of video content totaling over 3 hours of lessons and guided exercises. You’ll learn how to create different views for models and how to best showcase your character model designs visually.

Creating Rapid Character Concepts in SketchBook Pro

rapid character concepts sketchbookpro

Looking for a great course on designing character concepts from scratch? Then this one is a great place to start.

It comes with the Pluralsight package so if you sign up for a free trial you get access to this course along with all the others.

It’s an intermediate-level course so it helps if you already know how to draw/paint and maybe know your way around the SketchBook software too. But you’ll learn a lot about rapid prototyping and working fast, two things you’ll need if you want to go pro in the concept art industry.

Creating Copic Marker Illustrations in SketchBook Pro

copic marker illustrations sketchbook

SketchBook Pro has features that let you transfer your digital designs into traditional mediums and in this course you’ll learn to master that process.

It’s not a classic course but it’s perfect for anyone who likes to draw manga or create their own cartoony character styles.

Anyone who loves traditional art will enjoy this course. And it’s a great resource because you’re learning about shadows, lighting, and color selection along with SketchBook Pro’s many tools.

Creating Automotive Concepts in SketchBook Pro

auto sketchbook concept course

Vehicle designers are in high demand for quality concept art. If you love vehicles or props in general then it helps to specialize and build your skills.

This video course spans 3.5 hours long and teaches you step-by-step how to design auto concepts in SketchBook Pro. It’s not meant just for concept artists but it works incredibly well for anyone in that field(or anyone hoping to break in).

It claims to be an intermediate course but the early videos teach a lot about the basics of the software, so really I think anyone could follow this and learn a lot.

SketchBook Pro 7 Essential Training

sketchbook pro 7 lynda

I wanna make one honorary mention to this course because it really is fantastic for beginners.

All of their “essential training” videos cover a lot of ground and this one’s no different. It’s over two hours long and focuses on the most recent version of SketchBook Pro.

The only trouble is that Lynda’s library does not have many other SketchBook tutorials. Since you’d be paying for monthly access to the whole library it makes way more sense to go with Pluralsight because they offer so much more.

Still if you’re already in Lynda or if you might want to study other Lynda courses then totally give this one a chance.

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The Sketchbook Project: The Beginning

sketchbook lessons book



This was my question:

Would a self-guided approach to art-making work with my 6th grade class?

I always wanted to offer my students their own sketchbooks to bring to art class. They could be used for practice drawing, experimentation with paint-mixing and free choice. But when you have a small art program (15 weeks a year), there isn’t enough opportunity to justify the purchase of a product that would consume a third of your art budget.

But, what if the sketchbook was the only thing you offered the students? Then it began to make sense.

After discussing the idea with the 6th grade teachers, they agreed to partially fund the sketchbooks. This was huge. I could now proceed with the Sketchbook Project without compromising the art budget for the rest of the grade levels.

The idea was for each student to have his own sketchbook but they would leave the sketchbook in the art room. I cleared a few drawers to make room for the 75 books and dove into creating a few starter projects to engage the kids.

This is the brand of sketchbooks I used: Sketch for Schools


If a student owned his own sketchbook, my hope was this:

  • Take more pride in their work
  • Be able to see their efforts throughout the year
  • Have a place to record art observations
  • Work on past projects

Would students like a sketch book compared to a larger piece of art?

Turns out they did. At the end of the year, after we filled up the pages in the sketchbooks, most students reported that they enjoyed working on their own sketchbooks compared to the larger format papers that we typically used in art class.

Some students missed the larger pieces of art (I know I did) and some students were non-committal with their opinions. The classroom teachers were the ones who reported the biggest benefit: they claimed the students talked about their sketchbooks and art class more than in the previous year.

Over the course of 15 weeks of art (50-minute classes) these are the projects we did:

The Sketchbook Project Lesson #1

Each week I will post the lessons above so that you have the opportunity to see how I approached the lesson, what the children experienced and how I might approach a lesson differently.

To received notification when each post is published on the blog, make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter:


The 6th grade teachers encouraged me to store the sketchbooks in the art room as they suspected that if the students were expected to bring them to art class every week, they might forget them. I agreed.

When the students entered class, I had the sketchbooks on a table in the back of the room. They would find their book and sit at their table. The art supplies that we would need for the particular lesson would be on each table with one exception. I would add the supplies needed for previous lessons on another table in case students finished the current project and wanted to work on an old project.

I soon got tired of this extra prep and trained the students to get their own supplies and put away the supplies. Most of the class LOVED this self-serve approach. I found that although many art projects weren’t the frame-worthy finished art piece, most children took a great deal of pride in their pieces and were thrilled to be able to use whichever art supplies they felt they needed.

The drawbacks to this approach is that there is no specific steps for each art project. I would outline a technique, drawing concept or guidelines, but the students needed to be self-guided and motivated to complete their own art subject. This didn’t happen for every lesson, but for the most part, I needed to be very active making sure that each child was progressing forward.

Often a child was stymied with having to choose what subject he wanted to use. If I noticed this happening, I would sit next to the student and work through a few solutions or starters just to get the ball rolling. I’ll talk more specifically as I work through the lessons each week.


Do you use sketchbooks in your art room or home art studio? Do you use them exclusively or for another purpose? I’d love to hear how you use them. Leave a comment in the section below and share your thoughts and ideas.

Next week: Project #1-Creating Value 

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 E xpressive Self-Portraits

WEEK #6  Line Drawings

WEEK #7  Farm Animals

WEEK #8  Animal Eyes


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Patty, I’m along time follower and love DSS lessons.This is a great post about sketchbooks. I have always used sketchbooks/ journals with my upper grades 6-8. The kids love them. It gives them a sense of personal space. We not only use it to draw and have small projects for art elements and design principles but for artist statements, doodling, weekly art quotes, poems, writing thoughts, planning outlines, etc… It is usually a 5×7 (50lb) paper book, what size and paper weight do you prefer? Thanks again. Thanks.

sketchbook lessons book

Hi Laurie, My vision was that the sketchbooks would be filled with all that you said above but I don’t see the kids often enough. I love what you are doing! Sounds exactly what art class should be like. I have only used the 8 x 10 size. The larger format works best for elementary as we did all of our projects in it. 5x 7 would have been too small for my use. Perfect for yours though, right?

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At times the 5×7 Is limiting. I’m liking the bigger size idea! And la great idea using a bubble wrap envelope for backpack trips!

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My daughter is in 8th grade and her art teacher had her students purchase an 8X10 sketchbook with a bubble wrap mailer (to protect it on trips home in backpacks) at the beginning of the school year. It’s been a great way to see progression in their observational drawing skills.

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At our K-8 school our students get a 5×7 sketchbook in 4th grade, and they use that same book for two years. Then in 6th grade they get an 8×10 sketchbook that they use for 6th, 7th, and 8th. The books mostly live in the art room, but sometimes teachers take them on field trips for journaling and outdoor sketching. We are making an effort to do more with sketchbooks with our middle school kids. I really like the idea of emphasizing an art that is personal and easy for the kids to continue with at home and after they graduate.

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I’m a Kindergarten teacher and try to incorporate art in any way I can during the school year. I also teach an art enrichment class after school for first through fifth graders. I have been using your wonderful lessons with all of these kids. I love everything that you do! I have a question, what is the name of the book that is partly showing in Lesson #8? Thanks for all you do! Kim

Ho Kim, It’s called Eye to Eye by Steve Jenkins.

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I’m piloting using sketchbooks in my 4th grades this school year. Due the fact I don’t have the money for bought journals we made our own. I purchased .17 pocket folders this past summer. The kids designed their front covers, they helped to 3-hole punch 10 sheets of copy paper for each of their folders and secured them using brass fasteners. This allows us to add more pages if we need to. We are keeping practice and brainstorming sheets in one pocket and an envelope with their Artist trading Cards in the other pocket. Each month they have a journal drawing assignment to do. So far the kids love them! The journals are working out so well I am going to be introducing them in my 3d and 5th grades next year! Good luck with yours! 🙂

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This is very resourceful! I was trying to figure out a way use a sketchbook and still use a variety of mediums. This will allow me to use different types of papers as well. Thanks for sharing.

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This year was the first year I was able to purchase sketchbooks for my art majors class (mixture of 4th and 5th graders). I had big dreams to use them as extension activities from our main project connecting to the elements of art. As the year began I realized time was not allowing us to complete our project and the sketchbook activities. I have a few early finishers that do get to both but now most students use it to sketch in when they finish. I am okay with that because they are using their own imagination which can be hard for kids these days. I did notice when our school was able to purchase a nice sketchbook the students took pride in it and love having them. I would just buy a spiral notebook but they didn’t treat it as a sketchbook and never really used it. I would live to have small sketchbook challengers as bell work but since it’s my first year incorporating sketchbooks I will do what I can do.

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I love this idea!

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I’ve been using sketchbooks with 4th and 5th grade for a while now. We make them from legal paper folded in half. I make a different colored construction paper cover for each class and the kids put them together with a long arm stapler. I would love for the kids to use them for their own ponderings, but we rarely have time for that. At this point, we just use them for sketching our ideas before starting a project – either thumbnail sketches or actual size if we’re doing smaller works. A parent artist gave her son’s class of 2nd graders a class set of sketchbooks. It is so wonderful to see those kids take their sketchbooks out to recess! It would be great for all students to have them in class for when they finish other assignments, but I don’t know how to get them from their classrooms to the art room without losing way too many precious minutes of instructional time. It so often comes back to time, doesn’t it?!

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I have grades 1-5 create a sketch book from a 1″ three ring binder. They have three sections: Art Starts; Sketches and Notes. They bring them to class each art day. My classes are 45 min. each with about 25 in each class! I see each class 4 days in a row on a 4 week rotation (so every 4 weeks they come back to art). The 1st 10 min. is an art start: I select a piece of art for discussion. They write about the art (encouraging art terms) and then a few read out. Some sketch the art I put up. They must include the title; the artist; the year; the medium. Grades 3-5 are asked to do 3 sketches a week that I look at in class. I am looking for growth, but often only a handful are serious and give some good drawings but it sets a standard. Then there are those who really take off, and never thought they would love drawing. It’s a lot of work, but worth it.

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Our Principal ordered enough sketch books for all our 5th graders this year! We love them! We are using them to record important information about famous artists with samples of art inspired by that artist, made by the kids. We have also used them to do observational drawings in our very own school Pumpkin Patch. I am excited to see where the sketch books will take us. It will serve as a record of how much we will have learned, been inspired by and be a wonderful art keepsake!

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hi patty, i’m a long time follower of your site as well. i started off as an architect and grew to love sketching and conceptual thinking and planning and experimenting [with a pencil on your hand]. as i grew into being an art teacher [K-8] i brought this idea with me. i give my 4th-7th graders a 9×12 sketchbook and most project start with one lesson having them experiment with the idea, concept and making mistakes. i see the kids every week and really want to drive home the idea of slowing down and engaging with projects. when i started i wanted to teach tehm everything immediately, now i try to push the idea of slowing down, experimenting adn accepting mistakes as part of the growing process. some projects i do ‘double-time’ ie. a simpler version, and then a very similar more complicated one. the only rule i have for the sketchbooks is “you are not allowed to tear out any pages”. thank you for your amazing contributions to all of us!

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This is wonderful. I am a K/8 teacher and my 6th grade seems to get lost in the shuffle. They need something of their own and I am going to start this asap. I’m curious about the content the students can put in there. Sometime things are turbulent and kids have some negative ideas they want to put down in their art. What do you think about that? Thanks!

Great question. If art is the way kids need to express their emotions (both good and bad), I say we let them. Encourage, in fact. It’s really not for us to control their creative energy. That is really the reason we do art. However, we can monitor what they do and if (and only if) there seems to be a serious issue, then it’s something to bring to the attention of parents/admin, etc. But if the child is drawing negative things to get attention (you know what I mean)…then gently put a stop to it then refocus on the lesson.

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Hi: I made sketch pads for 100 students from very large die-cut shapes and stapled drawing paper and writing paper inside. We had School houses for Sept, pumpkins for Oct/Nov, gingerbread houses for December/January and etc. They worked very well but were very time consuming to make. This year I was lucky enough to get sketch pads for all of my 100 6th graders. I use them for multiple things. As an opening for the beginning of class with a drawing prompt, thumbnail sketches for larger ideas, and practice drawing of an idea. I also keep them in the classroom so they always have them.

So glad you were able to purchase the sketchbooks. I cannot imagine making them! You are wonderful for doing so.Thanks for sharing!

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Hello. I just discovered your wonderful site and it’s exciting to know that you’re local too! I am a newer homeschool mom to three and I love your idea of the sketchbooks. This could help reduce our paper clutter. I noticed that the projects are using various mediums. Which paperweight would you recommend while taking into consideration watercolors, chalk pastels, and the other sketchbook projects, etc? I would like to purchase the sketchbooks for the kids for Christmas along with some of the other recommended supplies. Thanks in advance for your help.

I’m not sure of the weight of the paper. I included a link to the sketch book I used in the first post of the series. I think it must be about an 80 lb. Certainly good enough for watercolor and tempera.

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how long does it take things in this book to dry…canthey be closed and tossed in the drawer right away?

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A few hours should do it!

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Hi Patty I teacher 10 year olds in NZ and have been using a visual diary/journal this year. I started this as parents were concerned when my class began working on Chromebooks and this was a way to be using their fine motor skills and at the same time they have learnt some art and presentation skills – from zentangles to exploring colours and simple journal pages. My hope was that they would end up with a ‘taonga’ which means treasure – something they would be really proud of. I think we have mostly achieved this and I will certainly continue this with my class next year. Thanks for your lessons – they will be a great help.

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Retired this school year. I so admire your site and tecniques, lessons, I want to follow your suggestions for my own pleasure. Always put my art desires on the back shelf, but I am taking my inner child on your art voyage. I enjoy everything about your site and your creative ideas! Thank you so much for sharing. Irene S.

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Love this — The kids at my school (1-6) all have visual diaries on their booklist at the start of the year. The kids were SO EXCITED to get them back at the end of last year, particularly if they had some pages left! I use it mostly for visual research (grades 5/6, looking for ideas in books and online) and trialling guided ideas before making a good copy. I’m trying to train the kids to not be so anxious about getting ideas on paper and not being too fussed about making mistakes. Most of the younger kids will ask for their visual diary as a reminder of what they’re doing whether they’re just starting their good copy or not.

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for my years 1-6 the students buy a $1-2 scrap book which has 64-72 pages . The paper is a bit like what we call butchers paper or slightly heavier that photocopy paper but it works works for the children to do drawings add notes glue in work sheets . i use small pieces of drawing paper or cartridge or coloured card for the wet on wet work samples so they can glue them into the scrap book / visual diary. The back of the book is for them to do their free drawing in if they finish early. Given that the year 4-6 do 3 major projects and and a couple of small ones there is sufficient pages for them to do a Full years work and less heavier- less bulky to get out and storing them . the typical art sketch book is a minimum of $ 10 -20 . I had upset parents when i changed them over but when i explained the savings it meant they could get items like crayons oil pastels etc with the savings . As my parents supply certain items in their book list . I was able to save quite a bit of money for them.

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Patty, I love the Sketchbook Project! Where can I find the available lessons that are posted? For instance the ‘Eye to Eye’ close ups. I’ve been wanting to do a project of close up animal eyes! Is there a way to get all the lessons in this project? I am a member and a Sparkler and love your beautiful website, projects and creative ideas! Thanks for all you do!

I didn’t do any extended lessons of this project. Everything is posted here. No plans yet to offer full extensions but you never know!

Great! Thank you for your quick reply! I think the Sketchbook Project would make a great packet or individual lessons! ? ?

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What type of paints did you use on the value sheets? Thanks in advance.

Liquid tempera 🙂

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Don’t have money for sketch books but have made them from wallpaper books…Wallpaper books for the cover ,copy paper for the pages..then I take the sewing machine and sew down the middle. I also have had the students make them from cardboard ,two page sizes and a small one for a spine, cover with fabric, glue a piece of paper over the folded raw edge of the fabric. Tie a string or yarn around the spine . Kids slip their work under the yarn. They decorate the outside with buttons etc. Look quite artistic.

If one were using this for also notetaking, etc., and say taking notes on an artist, you want to give the students a sample of the artist’s work, would you have them glue it in?

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Do you have an updated list of sketchbook list. I saw you mentioned adding it to the store when it was updated but I wasn’t sure how to search for it in the shop. Thanks.

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I have visited the site linked for your sketchbooks. Can I ask which book specifically you purchased (ie. beginner, intermediate, etc)?

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I love the Sketchbook Projects. Thanks!

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I love it! I will be teaching art again next year , and I will be a Sparkler.

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We look forward to having you in The Sparklers’ Club! You can join the waitlist now

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amazing art lessons! thanks

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Patty I need a shopping list to set up an art camp and I thought you had one at one time if you could look around and see if you do that would help me by product so that we’re not wasting money

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I do use sketchbooks at home. I like to sketch random things that turn out to look awesome.

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I think this is awesome.

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I would like to implement this and had some questions. What paper did you use in the sketchbook? did you go with a mixed media or keep it to a sketch book quality? specifically what paperweight would you use? With that in mind when you did watercolor or painting skills and projects did you simple staple in the sheet once you were done?

I am a first year art teacher and love your site and have found valuable insights and ideas. Also just bought one of your PD course- excited to get started.

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Hi Heidi! Mabre with the DSS Creative Team here. First of all, so glad that you are teaching art and are enjoying the site. We know you will love the course and can’t wait for you to get started! In regards to the sketchbook project, some teachers have a budget and are able to buy sketchbooks for students with mixed media paper, which can be nice, but it can also be nice to have students get involved and make them, instead. We have found that a 12″x18″ colored piece of sulphite with 12″x18″ white sulphite paper stacked on top and a long-arm stapler can do the trick. Students end up with a 9″ x 12″ sketchbook. The white sulphite will hold up well to a decent amount of water-based media but you can always staple or tape special, extra pages (like watercolor paper with technique examples) in too. Your choice! 🙂 Hope this helps!

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I was 38 and hadn’t drawn since I was a kid. A tragic family accident sent me looking for the meaning of my life. 

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Sketchbooks Made Simple in the Elementary Art Room

Students drawing in a sketchbook

Can ALL classes work in sketchbooks? Even kindergarteners? Insanity? Well, it isn’t!

Once you begin using sketchbooks with all levels, you will realize what you have been missing. Eventually, you will say to yourself,  “Why wasn’t I doing this the whole time!?”

Sketchbooks lined up on a table

Creating sketchbooks with your elementary students can save your sanity. If you aren’t already utilizing sketchbooks, you may find starting the school year with sketchbooks in your elementary classroom may be just the right addition.

There are so many different ways to use sketchbooks in the art room. But first, you need to figure out how you are going to get the sketchbooks. You may choose to purchase spiral notebooks. You may ask students to bring in an art sketchbook as part of their school supply list. You may ask the PTO to provide the funds for fancy sketchbooks . Or, you may choose a more fun route and create sketchbooks using basic art materials! Check out this video to see how.

Students putting together sketchbooks

3 Steps To Make Your Own Sketchbooks

1. create sketchbook covers..

In art, kids want to get messy! The best way to begin sketchbooks is to make covers. This is especially applicable at the beginning of the school year when students have been going over expectations and routines. Take a fun brain break for two minutes and get students creating their own unique piece of art to serve as their sketchbook protection for the rest of the school year.

  • Use art paste (dubbed “art boogers” in our class due to the snotty consistency) mixed with tempera paint. After slathering a layer or two over a thick piece of 12×18” paper, use a variety of texture tools to scratch in different designs.
  • Consider color-coding or using specific patterns on the covers of your sketchbooks according to grade level. It will be easier for you and your students to identify which stack of sketchbooks belongs to what class.

Sketchbooks lined up for assembly

2. Sketchbook assembly.

After the covers are made, decide what goes inside the students’ sketchbooks. You can keep it simple by stapling in a stack of copy paper or newsprint. You can also use a three-hole punch and paper fasteners if you want to be able to add paper easily. Finally, add some gems or easily-adhered “treasures” to make them even more personal.

  • When it’s time to put sketchbooks together, set up an assembly line of materials that need to be in sketchbooks before they visit the “staple fairy” (the teacher) in charge of putting their book together.
  • Include at least ten blank copy papers as well as some coloring pages, an elements of arts handout, and an art mantra coloring sheet. Adding other pre-prepared pages to sketchbooks gives students somewhere to start right away.

Use these downloadable   templates to add to your sketchbooks.

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Sketchbook paper ready to put together

3. Create! Here are some ideas: 

Students drawing in a sketchbook

Creating sketchbooks with your students can offer a sense of ownership and pride while creating a safe place to make mistakes. Starting a sketchbook tradition with your elementary students can be fun, easy, and effective! Use these tips to help your elementary students learn to use sketchbooks this year!

Have you ever created sketchbooks in an elementary classroom?

What could you add to your student’s sketchbooks to make them more meaningful?

What other materials could you use to make your own sketchbooks?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.

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Sarah Krajewski

Sarah Krajewski, an elementary school art educator, is AOEU’s Social Media Content Creator and a former AOEU Writer.

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Art Class Projects: Bookbinding & Sketchbooks

Do you need engaging art class projects? Teach your students about book binding and save money by having them make their own sketchbooks! Sketchbooks are a great way for art teachers to save money from their budget while having students gain valuable art practice. Keep reading this blog post to find out more about these fun art projects and the best way to implement them with any grade level!

Art class projects


In twelve years teaching I have had every single class make their own sketchbook. This not only teaches them about bookbinding, but it also saves money from your budget. Sketchbooks are an incredibly valuable part of an art class from kindergarten through college. Their sketchbooks are a place to practice techniques and plan their projects to give them to confidence to start an assignment.

Each semester and year, our very first project is to make a sketchbook. The process of decorating and tailoring a sketchbook to their aesthetic gives students buy in when they start working on their sketches. The best part is, it also gives me insight into their artistic ability and skill level. I allow them full access to supplies and art materials in my art room when they decorate their cover. They get to pick the subject, materials, and overall look. Right off the bat, I have a great idea of what materials they are comfortable with, what their artistic style is, and where potential weakness may lie.

To avoid monotany, I teach a different bookbinding technique in every class. As they move through the art courses, the binding techniques become more complex. Check out the range of styles I have taught below, as well as some tips on implementing a sketchbook in class at the end of the post.

art class projects - sketchbooks


The quickest, cheapest, most basic sketchbook style I teach is the  folder to sketchbook . I use this in my introduction to art class because the focus is less on tedious bookbinding techniques and more on decorating. This is an easy art project to do with young kids as well.

For this assignment, each student gets a manila folder, they have access to a range of art supplies and materials from paint to tissue paper to Sharpies to magazine collage material. Students have to completely cover the Manila folder, inside and out, and pick a quote, song lyric, or similar to write on the first page.

Once their folder is decorated, a stack of white paper is added and stapled inside the folder.

sketchbook lessons book


A very simple sketchbook I recommend for photography classes is a stapled or hole punched booklet with a window cut out out to add a photograph.

For this sketchbook style I recommend using matboard for the front and back. Cut mat board down to 8”x10” pieces. Using an Xacto knife or box cutter, cut a 4”x6” or 5”x7” window from the front cover. Cut down white piece of paper to fit between the pieces of mat board. Either staple the matboard and paper together using a heavy duty stapler or hole punch the stack and tie the booklet together.

For this style sketchbook I recommend keeping the design simple, especially for a photography class. Keep the mat board white or paint it black. Tape a photograph to the inside of the front cover to display through the window of the sketchbook. This sketchbook is a great opportunity for students to add favorite pictures from the course, take notes on lighting, timing, and camera settings.

sketchbook lessons book


In my ceramic and sculpture classes I like to teach them the  accordion sketchbook  technique. Because the paper pulls out of the sketchbook like an accordion or fan, it has a more sculptural feel.

For this book, they decorate sheets of cardboard. The decide if they want their sketchbook horizontal or vertical, then fold a flap on each cover to create a spine. Once they are finished decorating the front and back cover, they overlap the flaps and glue them together using hot glue. To add paper, they fold a flap at the edge of each sheet of paper to glue it to the next sheet of paper. After they have a long line of glued paper, they fold it back and forth like an accordion. The final flap is glued into the spine. The paper sits in a stack between the front and back covers.

sketchbook lessons book


One of my favorite styles of sketchbook is the  perfect bound sketchbook . It looks like a book you can buy at a store and younger and older students are always impressed with the professional looking end product with these art class projects. Plus, it is so much fun to create!

To create this sketchbook students are given two sheets of cut down poster board. The students decide if their sketchbook will be vertical or horizontal. Next, they fold a flap on one side of the poster board to overlap to create the spine. They then decorate the poster board inside and out.

Once their sketchbook cover is ready, they overlap the folded flaps and glue them together. Next, they line up a stack of paper, select the side that will be glued into the spine, and coat the edge with glue. Repeat this step 2-3 more times, allowing the layers of glue to dry in between. Once there is a solid layer of glue holding the paper together, a final layer of glue is added. The paper stack is placed inside the cover, with the paper pushed up to the spine. TIP: weigh down the sketchbook to ensure everything stays in place.

Art Class Projects: Bookbinding & Sketchbooks


I love teaching Coptic style sketchbook because it gives students a good understanding of bookbinding. In addition, the sketchbook lays flat when open and overall it is a sturdy book.

I typically plan for sketchbook making to take the first week of class. However, the Coptic style takes two, possibly three weeks to complete. It’s a more complicated process that involves decorating the front and back cover, folding paper together, hammering holes through each paper stack, and stitching the cover and paper sections together.

Despite the complex process, it’s worth the final result. The stitching makes a beautiful pattern and shows through the center of each paper section. I show demonstration videos, work with students one and one, and pass out how to sheets for them to reference as they work through the steps. You can check out my lesson pack for these art class projects with all the resources  here .

sketchbook lessons book


The secret Belgian bookbinding technique is similar to the Coptic bookbinding technique. Students decorate the front and back cover, stack and fold sections of paper, hammer holes through each paper stack, and stitch the paper and the cover together.

What I like about this technique is the addition of a decorated spine. This bookbinding technique is also a simple way to build off of the Coptic bookbinding techniques because students now have to stitch through the paper and wrap the string around the spine to hold it in place.

Like the Coptic sketchbook, the Belgian technique requires much more hands on assistance with students. I have an amazing art lesson pack that includes a demo video, how to handouts, and step by step instructions for students to follow as they create their sketchbook. Check it out  here .

Art Class Projects: Bookbinding & Sketchbooks


In my AP levels classes I like to give them a nice, hardback sketchbook. They have reached the highest level of the art program and they deserve a heavy duty sketchbook.

Since they aren’t making their own sketchbook, they instead decorate the sketchbook I give them. They have the option of decorating directly onto the hardback book or  creating a book jacket . To make the book jacket, they take a large sheet of drawing paper and fold it around the book. Flaps are folded inside the cover to keep the cover on the sketchbook. Using scissors, students cut it to fit the sketchbook, leaving the flaps uncut.

Students can use any supply to decorate the cover or book jacket. The only requirement is they have to decorate the front, back, spine, and flap of the book jacket. If they opt for a book jacket design, I take their cover to laminate it to make it more durable.

Art Class Projects: Bookbinding & Sketchbooks


After teaching students bookbinding techniques it’s time to actually use their sketchbook. Although I primarily use them as a brainstorm space for projects, I also incorporate other activities, especially in beginner level courses for young artists.

For typical art class projects and art activities, students are researching famous artists, finding inspiration images, and creating thumbnail sketches. In my intro to art or drawing/painting courses in addition to project prep, they are also learning and practicing techniques in their sketchbooks. From  color wheels, to color mixing , to shading techniques, the beginner level art students will walk away at the end of the year with a jam packed sketchbook.

Sketchbooks are also an amazing emergency sub plan option. I have a  sketchbook prompt  pack that includes a variety of prompts to get students inspired to work in their books. If you are in a pinch, have students randomly select a topic from a jar or a list and have them get to work.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog about art class projects! I hope you found inspiration for your art classroom or for your own sketchbook. Looking for a different way to engage students in your class? Check out information on visual journals  here . Check out more items and art lesson plans in my shop  here.

2 responses to “Art Class Projects: Bookbinding & Sketchbooks”

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Curious, do you allow students to use their sketchbooks, across courses in the same year or even over multiple years if they have space?

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Because I like to start every class with a new book binding technique they always start the course with a new sketchbook. However, they always have tons of space in their sketchbook so you could absolutely use them in multiple classes or over multiple years. I liked to give my advanced art students hardback sketchbooks and if they continued to AP Art they kept working in that same sketchbook.

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Artist and Illustrator Lewis Rossignol shares his thoughts, techniques and (most importantly) his spirit of experimentation about the intimate practice of working in a personal sketchbook.

Now available as a self-study class.

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Class Description

sketchbook lessons book

Sketchbooking Lewis Rossignol

Working in a sketchbook can be an important part of an artist’s life, beyond just “sketching” out ideas. For me it is vital for stress relief and well being… and I have a lot of fun! I hope this class will help you loosen up and discover new ways to use your sketchbook. We will remind ourselves that a sketchbook should be a personal journal, and not something that has to be a masterpiece from beginning to end. By combining collage, words, and drawing, we’ll start a sketchbook that will hopefully free you to not overthink future sketchbooks.

We’ll explore composition, shading, and different levels of completeness as not every sketch has to be fully fleshed out. We’ll bring our other passions into our sketchbooks, and explore different types of reference. But most of all we’ll have a good time pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. Through these six lessons we will start a new sketchbook that you will be able to finish afterwards using new ideas, thoughts, and techniques.

sketchbook lessons book


Class Itinerary

Lesson 1 We’ll  start by looking through some books and see all kinds of ways that different artists use their sketchbooks, and then do an exercise that will take the pressure and anxiety out of drawing in a brand new sketchbook.

Lesson 2 This lesson is all about composition and finding multiple solutions to the same problem. We will focus on minimalism and empty space.

Lesson 3 In this lesson we will experiment with multiple methods of shading, as well as continuing to think about composition.

Lesson 4 Bring your favorite scientific or organic interests into the realm of your sketchbook!

Lesson 5 We’re going to start our final project in this lesson: a grid drawing. I’ll demonstrate how I start these types of drawings.

Lesson 6 This final lesson will be a demonstration of how to complete a grid drawing, focusing on mini compositions that create one larger composition.

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For a full list of the supplies you will need, see the tab titled “Supplies” located just under the video screen above.

Full Supply List

• Mixed Media Sketchbook (personal choice, Lewis is working in a 6″x9″)

• Assortment of Pens (I like rollerball , and fountain pens )

• Pencils ( whatever pencils you like to draw with works)

• Vine charcoal

• Watercolors (any kind, I like these )

• Watercolor Brush

• Gluestick

• Assorted Collage Materials s uch as old photos, magazines, stamps, old drawings, or anything really.

• Assorted Markers (I like these )

• Colored Pencils or Crayons

• Any other mediums you like to use

About the Teacher

sketchbook lessons book

Lewis Rossignol

Lewis Rossignol is a Portland, Maine based visual artist who specializes in combining hand-drawn and collaged imagery. He’s worked with clients including Tyler the Creator, Current Affairs Magazine, and HBO.

Website: Instagram: @lewisrossignol

Nuts & Bolts

– The videos for this class are pre-recorded and you have instant access.

– Lewis is available for feedback and help at the Facebook forum or email.

– You will have indefinite access to the class videos and materials.

How Apple TV’s ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ compares to the novel

Talking dogs precocious kids there are fewer differences between the book and the show than you’d expect..

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Lots of books are declared “unfilmable.” There are the big, tentacular genre epics, where the problem is scale and expense, like “ Sandman ” or “ Dune .” There are your high-literary properties, whose tone feels too elusive (most of Don DeLillo, though people keep trying) or whose form is too baroque (“ Infinite Jest ”) to carry well into another medium. Then there’s the stuff that’s just too bleak to be commercially viable, at least in theory (“ The Road ”).

“ Lessons in Chemistry ” is none of those things. Well before Bonnie Garmus’s debut landed on shelves, Apple TV Plus gave the adaptation, starring Brie Larson, a straight-to-series order. The premise feels laser-targeted at the “ Marvelous Mrs. Maisel ” fandom. It’s a pop-feminist period piece about a chemist, Elizabeth Zott, whose scientific career is tanked by 1960s sexism, leading her to become an unexpected celebrity by hosting a nerdy cooking show.

At age 64, debut novelist Bonnie Garmus makes the case for experience

But the novel has a few defining quirks that, while charming millions of readers on the page, seem challenging to render on-screen. Here’s a rundown of how the show handles them:

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Sights in Elektrostal'

Central Air Force Museum 17 km.

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Airports in Elektrostal'

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Yuzhnaya Tribuna Hotel

Yuzhnaya Tribuna

Each room comes with a TV, fridge and private bathroom.

Offering a sauna and fitness centre, Yuzhnaya Tribuna is situated in the centre of Elektrostal . Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Private parking is available on site.

Kristall Ice Palace is a 7-minute walk away. Elektrostal Train Station is a 10-minute walk away. The nearest airport is Domodedovo Airport, 82 km from the property.

There is a kids' club at the property and you can play tennis at the hotel. Ice skating rink is available in winter.

Nightly rates from $19

Address: Ulitsa Krasnaya 36, 144002 Elektrostal', Russia

Number of rooms: 12


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Hostel Edem

Hostel Edem Hostel Ulitsa Zheleznodorozhnaya 7, 144000 Elektrostal', Russia

Set in Elektrostal', Hostel Edem features free Wi-Fi. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk and a shared kitchen for guests.

Hotel Elektrostal

Hotel Elektrostal Inn Ulitsa Raskovoy 6, 144000 Elektrostal', Russia

Featuring free Wi-Fi throughout the property, Hotel Elektrostal offers accommodation in Elektrostal'. Guests can enjoy the on-site snack bar. Free private parking is available on site.

Djaz Hotel

Djaz Hotel Inn Ulitsa Korneeva 6B, 144099 Elektrostal', Russia

This hotel is located in the city of Elektrostal'. It offers a spa and wellness centre, restaurant and bar, as well as a 24-hour reception.

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Nearby attractions.

Central Air Force Museum 18 km.

Saturn Stadium 27 km.

Ramenskoye Bus Station 28 km.

Ramenskoye Train Station 28 km.

Balashikha Arena 32 km.

Gorenki Train Station 33 km.

Lyubertsy Train Station 36 km.

Sklon NPP Zvezda 37 km.

Sklon TSAGI 37 km.

Reutov City Park 37 km.

Novokosino Metro Station 37 km.

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Zhukovsky International Airport 32 km.

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Book Review: ‘White Holes’ by Carlo Rovelli reads more like poetry than science lesson

This cover image released by Riverhead Books shows “White Holes” by Carlo Rovelli. (Riverhead Books via AP)

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It doesn’t take a degree in astrophysics or expertise on Albert Einstein to appreciate “White Holes,” theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli’s latest book. But brushing up on Dante Alighieri’s work might help.

Rovelli liberally sprinkles quotes from Dante throughout his slim book exploring the hypothesis that black holes eventually transform into an inverse white hole. It’s fitting for a book that says as much about imagination and exploration as it does about physics.

Oftentimes, Rovelli’s book feels more like poetry than a science lesson as he explains black holes in striking detail and the theoretical concepts behind white holes.

Unlike black holes, there is no proof that white holes exist. There are no satellite images of them. As Rovelli describes them, white holes are another solution of Einstein’s equation, “how a black hole would appear if we could film it and run the film in reverse.”

This cover image released by Grand Central Publishing shows "The Sun Sets in Singapore" by Kehinde Fadipe. (Grand Central Publishing via AP)

In the book, Rovelli says he keeps two readers in mind when he’s writing — those who know nothing about physics that he can communicate to, and those who know everything but he can offer new perspectives.

That’s why there are no equations to pore over as Rovelli explains the nature of black holes and how time and gravity operate differently in white holes. A handful of illustrations, however do help in walking readers through these concepts.

The book won’t turn lay readers into an expert on white holes or theoretical physics. But Rovelli helps readers grasp how important imagination is to seeing the universe in new ways is, for both artists and scientists.

“Science and art are about the continual reorganization of our conceptual space, of what we call meaning,” Rovelli writes.

AP book reviews:


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    There are fewer differences between the book and the show than you'd expect. Brie Larson as Elizabeth Zott in "Lessons in Chemistry." (Michael Becker/Apple TV) Lots of books are declared ...

  21. Yuzhnaya Tribuna Elektrostal', Moscow region, Russia (2 guest reviews

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