Self Portrait Sketchbook Assignments

Sketchbook Assignments

Assignment #5- Self-Portrait, but with a Twist

Let's be honest here.  Most of the class is not working enough in their sketchbooks.  This is a problem for the following reasons; 1, it prevents you from learning how to be creative, 2, it prevents you from losing the fear associated with making mistakes, 3, you all need quality pages for Breadth.  Hopefully, this little experiment will help some of you overcome the problems of working in your sketchbook.
Assignment: Create a two page self-portrait.
Medium: Use the mediums of your choice. As many as you want but, this MUST be a mixed media piece, and it must be in color.
Procedure: You are to start this assignment today!!!!! Work as much as you want but before you go to sleep tonight you need to have AT LEAST a contour line self-portrait.  YOU MUST WORK ON THIS ASSIGNMENT EVERY SINGLE DAY.  THIS INCLUDES WEEKENDS AND DAYS YOU ARE NOT IN SCHOOL.  I will be expecting you to take pictures of your self-portrait every day.  Keep these pictures stored on your phone.  I WILL BE CHECKING for a total of 18 pictures!!!!  You can work on this assignment for as long as you want every day.  That means 5 or maybe 10 minutes one day, 3 hours the next.  But, every day there must be some substantial change to your self-portrait.  Maybe you rework your composition.  Maybe you did something you no longer like so the following day you cover most of your work with black paint.  Maybe you rip into collage work you created 5 days ago.  Maybe you scratch into what you have done or scribble on top of it.  Maybe you add a different color scheme or a different art style on top of what you are doing.  I expect to see many many different layers on these pages.  Get rid of the white of the page!!!  Create your self-portrait, destroy it, rebuild it again, and again, and again.  I will be grading your final days work. 

Assignment #4- My Pet Octopus

I love my dog Bailey.  We go for walks, watch TV together, play fetch, and go to the dog park where he can meet up with his dog friends.  He comes with me to school during late nights, and I take him for drives when I have errands to run (he loves to ride in the car). He is my loyal companion and basically my best friend.  But there are some things that Bailey and I simply cannot do together.  For example; we can’t go out to dinner for sushi, hit the bar, grab a beer, and meet a few women, go to the movies, catch a Yankees game, or plan a day jet skiing.  
Assignment: I want you to pretend you have a pet octopus.  Give your octopus a name.  Create a humorous illustration of you and your octopus doing something that you would enjoy doing together.  The more outrageous the activity, the better.  Make use of your octopi’s eight legs.  Of course, octopi live in the ocean and we on land so you do not have to follow the laws of nature.  You can pretend your Octopus can breathe air, grasp objects, or even stand up if you want to.   
Medium: Open, but must be in color.  You can choose any colored medium you want.  Marker, colored pencil, or watercolor are just a few choices.  If you want to outline your drawing in pen after you add color that is ok.
Be mindful of composition, angle of view, perspective.
Due Date: Thursday November 2nd

Assignment #3- Arbitrary Value

Assignment: Using contour line drawing as a pathway to abstraction.

Medium: Pencil (use HB, 2B, 4B, and 6B pencils)
Procedure:  1) Find an object of interest to you.  It can be a hand or kitchen tool, machine part, piece of fruit or vegetable, whatever is of interest to you.  Make sure that your object can be well described through contour line.  Using contour line fill up the page.  Draw your object around the page from different angles, perspectives, and scales (overlap, under-lap, crop shapes).   You may turn your page as you are filling it up.  This may help to create an interesting focal point.  Create a rhythm by showing a variety of sizes, shapes, and spaces.  

2) Once you have your page laid out with an interesting composition begin to add value. You want to use only five values;
     1) the white of the page
     2) a light value
     3) a middle light value
     4) a middle dark value
     5) a dark value
When adding the value I DO NOT want you to create a sense of form but rather describe pattern.  Use the value as a way to help move your eye throughout the page, NOT to describe form or to show a light source.  The value should be random.  Use it to create a focal point and reinforce the rhythm.
Due Date: Monday October 16th

Assignment #2- The Grocery List

Assignment: We all go to the grocery store at least once every single week. Create one still life drawing by using the family's weekly shopping list as the inspiration.  Take at least 5 different items on the shopping list and draw them.  I am adding a little twist though.  I want you to incorporate the name of each item into your drawing of that object in some way.  You do not have to draw every object from life, but rather draw each item so that it can be read visually.  Use this deviation to make your piece unique.
Medium: Pilot V7 Drawing Pen and either marker or watercolor.  The entire drawing should be in Value and in Color.  That includes the foreground, middle ground, and background.  Pay very close attention to the local value of each object in your drawing.
In order to be successful you should very carefully consider; the Point of View of each item, the Composition of the whole drawing, and the background.
Last but not least, some words of advice
            - USE THE WHOLE PAGE  
            - Create the edges of your objects with differences in value, not with outlines
            - Use STRONG CONTRAST
        - Use interesting mark making 
            - I would suggest that you work out numerous sketches in your sketchbook to work out design issues. 
        - Overlap, Under-lap, and crop objects to create depth and distance.
        - Create a Focal Point, and place your subjects in an interesting manner so that your eye moves around the page.
Due Date: Wednesday Sept. 27th

Assignment #1- 60 Pages

The single most important tool you have to enhance your learning is your sketchbook. Throughout this course it is important that you are constantly working in your sketchbook so that you can work out new solutions to both old and new problems.  Mark the last page in your sketchbook and continue numbering your pages at the bottom right of each page.  Use your sketchbook for sketches, other assignments and new work that you create on your own.  You should have at least 60 pages by the time I collect your sketchbooks again at the end of the quarter.  Use the sketchbook handout I gave you at the start of the summer.  Continue working with a variety of media and techniques.  If you don't know what to do, WORK FROM LIFE.  You can always come and talk to me about what you are doing in your sketchbook if you are having trouble.
 Wilde Lake Art
Wilde Lake High School 
5460 Trumpeter Rd
Columbia, MD
410 313 6965

Art 2 GT Sketchbook assignments:

FIrst assignment Aug. 28

You are responsible for creating two drapery studies like the provided example. Do not copy the example, your sketchbook assignment must be done from observation. You can use any medium you choose. 

Second assignment due Sep 4

Draw one or more views of a crushed can in any media you choose. 

Third assignment due Sep. 11

Using any media of your choosing create an image that shows how you interpret the term "GROWTH". 

Growth refers to a positive change in size, often over a period of time. Growth can occurs as a stage of maturation or a process toward fullness or fulfillment. It can also perpetuate endlessly, for example, as detailed by some theories of theUltimate fate of the universe.

The quantity can be:

  • Physical (e.g., growth in height, growth in an amount of money)
  • Abstract (e.g., a system becoming more complex, an organism becoming more mature)
It can also refer to the mode of growth, i.e. numeric models for describing how much a particular quantity grows over time.

  • Cell growth
  • A tumor is sometimes referred to as a "growth"
  • Bacterial growth
  • Human development (biology)
  • Auxology, the study of all aspects of human physical growth
  • Growth hormone
Social science
  • Human development (humanity)
  • Developmental psychology
  • Personal development ("Personal growth")
  • Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, stages of individual growth
  • Population growth
  • Economic growth
  • Financial growth, due to simple or compound interest
  • Growth investing
Mathematical models
  • Linear growth
  • Logistic growth, characterized as an S curve
  • Exponential growth, also called geometric growth
  • Hyperbolic growth



Copy one (1) of the images below using the pen and ink techniques present in the picture. Your copy will fill a sketchbook page and will be drawn with pen and ink. 


Draw a form of currency. The drawing must be a zoomed in view of the currency and can be done with any type of media. 
Do not draw from these examples! find a creative way to compose your own drawing. Foreign money is allowed as well, so be as creative as you can. 

sixth assignment due oct 9

Illustrate your view point of the current political state of the United States of America. Use any artistic media you choose. For inspiration you can look at the work of Sorel, Rall, or Kall

sEventh assignment due oct 16

Create a unique color wheel of 31 colors. 31 colors is important because we are paying homage to the great and powerful Baskin Robbins!

First assignment due oct 23

Using your brand spanking new knowledge of color, you are tasked with the mission of painting a study of a paper bag. Watercolor would be your best option. Good luck with your mission. 

Second assignment 

Q2 Third assignment (due Jan 30th)

Draw or paint a self portrait from either an ant's perspective or a bird's. Take into account the negative space and the overall composition of you work. This is meant to be interesting and engaging. 

Q2 Forth assignment (due Feb 2nd)

You must create a mixed media collage of a historical event using at least three photo transfers and any drawing/painting tools of your choosing. 

Q2 Fifth assignment (due feb 13th)

On a page from a newspaper, magazine, or catalog draw your favorite shoe. Think about the materials that you are using and the surface you are working on (ex. pencils will not work on glossy magazine paper). Take into account composition. Also, you are not limited to one image of the shoe, draw it from different angles! CHECK OUT MARK POWELL'S WEBSITE! THE MAN IS A BEAST!

Q3 First assignment (due Feb 20th)

For this sketchbook assignment you must illustrate a six word story on a six by six inch piece of paper using a medium of your choice (Drawing, painting, mixed media, no sculpture). Your submission, if done well will be entered into the 6 x 6 national art show at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center. There are several resources for six word stories, such as this website: or you can of course write your own story. F


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