AP Sketchbook 220

AP Sketchbook meetings are the first Tuesday of each month at lunch for 20 minutes.The goals are to help develop observational drawing skills, design skills and to prepare for AP Drawing with Mr. Ely.

Students were picked for this program based on three factors:

      • observation drawing skills
      • completion of their current work
      • work ethic in this and other courses

Students are required to work daily in their sketchbook as part of this program.



  • NO DRAWING FROM PHOTOGRAPHS! unless part of a specific assignment.
  • You must maintain a 2.5 GPA, checked at the beginning of each month. If you have a GPA below a 2.5 for two months in a row, you will be dropped from the program.
  • You must maintain a positive attitude and work ethic !!!
  • Each student will receive a 5 point extra credit bump each month upon successful completion of that month's work.
  • Upon successful competion, you will receive a certificate and a letter of recommendation for advanced and AP courses.


  • sketchbook
  • 3 different type pencils: 2 soft, 1 hard (6b, 2b, 4h suggested)
  • kneaded erasers
  • blending stick/tortillons
  • magazine clippings

SCHEDULE of Assignments (Date each drawing):

AUGUST Draw 1 geometric machine object such as a computer keyboard from 4 points-of-view. Use value (shading) and focus on detail. Don't draw the entire image. Compose your drawing. Create three pages of sketches / one FINAL in sketchbook: full page
SEPTEMBER Still life. Compose own 3 object still life. In your composition, use diagonals lines, different textures and organic / geometric juxtapositions. Create four thumbnails (quick sketches) to determine composition. One final drawing on a full page. ADVANCED: Use fabrics in composition.
OCTOBER Homies / Small Figures. Make 4 thumbnail sketches of the plastic figure given to you. Final: draw one on a full page as part of a composition space. ADVANCED: Draw 2 or more figures in a composition. Create a "story" with this figure.
NOVEMBER Smashed/smooth cans. Draw 2 smashed, crinkled cans AND 2 smooth cans, each from different p.o.v.s. ADVANCED: Draw broken, discarded objects in a composition.
Texture sheet. Draw 8 different textures on one sheet of paper. Choose best. Draw that texture and object in a composition. Full sheet. ADVANCED: Draw 3 or more textures overlapping in a composition.
Drapery. Draw the drapes at your home. Or hang a sheet from a door knob. Draw fabric with its folds. ADVANCED: Draw fabric with a pattern on it.
HOLIDAY Your room. Draw your room with all the objects in it. Complete 4 studies/thumbnails using different compositions before you choose your final composition. Make sure that you use contrast, shading and compositional techniques such as rule of thirds. ADVANCED: Draw the kitchen counter with objects on it (toaster, utensils, pans, etc.). Design your own composition.
JANUARY - FEBRUARY: Perspective / Space / Painting / Collage
JANUARY Multiple Perspectives Buildings or Interior. Draw the school or another building using one or two point perspective. Break one wall and add interior. Rotate drawing so that perspective is both top and bottom like an MC Escher
Collage space. Find 3 magazine photos of interior and/or exterior spaces. Tear each in half. Glue torn page on one side of sketchbook. Extend each torn magazine photo in a creative way.
FEBRUARY Surrealist space. Create a drawing that mixes "correct" and "incorrect" perspective.
Collage space. Create two mixed media collage with two or three objects. Add text to create a dialogue between the two objects. Fill the negative space with color. Examples
MARCH - MAY: Art School Assignments
Please make sure that what you pick is interesting enough for you to put in this amount of time and not become bored with it. It should also be interesting to the viewer. Ask yourself-
  • What am I trying to say about this?
  • What do I like about it? How can I communicate this in my drawing?
  • Why would someone want to look at my picture-because it is drawn well and/or because it says something important or interesting?

You may approach these three drawings in any way you wish. For example, your drawings may be realistic or abstract; you may choose to draw the object alone or place it in a situation; you may draw the whole object or only a portion of it, etc. Each drawing must be signed and dated, and if necessary, should be treated to prevent smudging in handling.

MARCH RISD Portfolio assignment I: Create a drawing through a process of directly observing the forms, light, shapes and relationships of something in front of you.  You can choose any subject you wish—for example, natural forms, landscapes or urban spaces, a group of objects (natural and/or manmade), someone you know, and on and on....
RISD Portfolio assignment II: Create a "drawing" of a bicycle. Experiment with the composition, materials. Go to the RISD site or here for more ideas.
HOLIDAY Continue Bicycle "Drawing
APRIL / MAY RISD Portfolio assignment III: Create a drawing instrument or tool. Make a drawing with the instrument you have created, choosing from the Drawing Exercises below.

RISD Portfolio assignment IV: Creating a drawing that tells a story. (i.e.. medicine bottles, a thermometer and crumpled tissues on a bedside table in early morning light; a softball on the floor surrounded by broken glass; a standing plunger, a toy and a puddle of water on the bathroom floor-gross but effective). Students must still work from real life. Nothing should be drawn from imagination or memory.

Choose two ideas from the lists below. Make sure you not only follow the assignment but interpret the assignment.


Example Scores


Example Scores here | here


  1. Draw a portrait using light and shadow- place the light from different angles than "normal" -under the chin, behind the head, in front of the face.
  2. Study your feet and shoes. Draw them in different positions and from different angles and views.
  3. Draw studies of your hands. Try a variety of positions or overlapping them.
  4. Draw a figure in an environment from your observation- in motion, and standing still.
  5. Draw in imaginary place- remember to show rich details.
  6. Do a self portrait. This can be full body view or face only. Accuracy !! Gesture drawings of people, things, or animals in motion.
  7. Contour line drawings of figures or objects.
  8. Draw several studies of your eyes, nose, and mouth in a variety of positions and poses.
  9. Focus on drapery and pattern: a shirt over a chair, a sheet around a banister, etc.
  10. Draw everything you can see from where you are positioned: this can be from imagination, like if you were in a hot air balloon, ant sized, etc.
  11. Draw a man made object.
  12. Draw a metallic object and everything you see in it.
  13. Draw or design any kind of vehicle.
  14. Draw an object of interest from 3 different views.
  15. Draw using 2 point perspective.
  16. Draw the inside of a mechanical object.
  17. Filling the page with them, overlap two dimensional forms and pick a direction for the light to hit them from. Shade accordingly.
  18. Draw your reflection in any shiny surfaced object.
  19. Draw a landscape from observation. Remember to show foreground, middle ground, and background.
  20. Draw your home and what's around it.
  21. Draw family members with things that they cherish.
  22. Draw the interior of your room and what's in it- from wherever you're sitting: on floor, up on bed, from ceiling looking down.
  23. Study the forms, shapes, lines and textures and colors of trees.
  24. Draw animals from life ( if you can't see them live, copy them from a reference book.)
  25. Draw a plant with as much detail as possible using line contour and line variation.
  26. Arrange a still life and draw it with shading.
  27. Draw bottles and cans- have the cans crunched up for lots of detail and contrast to the bottles' smoothness.
  28. Draw dishes in a drainer, with shading.
  29. Create a fantasy building and landscape.
  30. Create a series of positive and negative space designs.
  31. Draw a piece of furniture and use color to show the textures and shadows.
  32. Draw a still life with one to three pieces of patterned cloth in it. Show color and patterns.


  1. Focus on textures in a drawing.
  2. Using color (no black) and light (white) create a Impressionist style landscape drawing- remembering to optically mix colors by placing compliments next to each other.
  3. Transform an object from a realistic view to a Cubist representation (using several different view points within the same frame) in a progression of 4 steps.
  4. Draw yourself using a strong light on one side or angle of your face, focusing on the shapes of the shadows of your facial features- excellent shading practice.
  5. Try several studies of DRAPERY- a towel, shirt, or blanket draped around or on another object to create lots of wrinkles; focusing on shapes of folds and creases and the shadows that are created by them.
  6. Advanced drapery- try the same exercise with a patterned cloth in color.
  7. Take out a library book on any artist of your choosing and duplicate their art work. ­Please make a Xerox copy of it for my reference.
  8. Create a series of drawings of people in motion- playing sports; doing housework; etc. Try to overlap several views of the action as it progresses- use light sketchy lines; it will help.
  9. Design a tattoo for someone particular- a celebrity; teacher; etc.
  10. Draw from imagination with as much rich detail as possible- if you were awakened by a crash in the middle of the night; what would it be from ??
  11. Draw yourself 50 years from now; including your surroundings, possessions, etc.
  12. Illustrate a favorite story of yours told by a grandparent; uncle, or other relative.
  13. Design a CD cover for a musical group (no gangster rap, peace signs; pot leaves, or conventional, unoriginal or violent imagery will be accepted!!)
  14. Draw your greatest fear; your biggest hope; or your dream for your future.
  15. Draw a series of animals in motion.