High School Studio Lesson
A Different Kind of Sketchbook Nicole Brisco
Looking for an interesting way
to encourage my students
to work in a sketchbook, I
decided to start a traveling
journal that students could pass
around throughout the year. The
idea bloomed and our little black
bound sketchbooktook off!
that they take pride in and, that
with diligence, they, too, would
Working with Sketchbooks
Over the years, I have found that
teaching good sketchbook practices
has been challenging. How do you
motivate students to use this as a
tool for developing artistic prac-
tices? The old saying “the journey
is the destination” played a large
part in our new practice. I wanted
students to realize that working in
a sketchbook should be something
I allowed each student only a
couple of days to complete the
pages. This requirement led to
work that was fresh and inspired.
To begin this journey, I introduced
the sketchbook and discussed with
students the purpose of this new
addition to the classroom. I told
them that one of the best ways to
teach students about art is to show
examples of former students’ work.
This was a way that I could save stu-
dent work and create an archive of
best practices in the sketchbook.
Students each knew that their
page would leave a permanent mark
on the art class and that, in later
years, they could come back and
see where they were in their lives
at that time. I did not limit the
students to a particular media or
style. I encouraged them to draw,
paint, collage, write, and develop
this idea into a finished work as
they passed the sketchbook around.
I knew with such an open format I
would have to give some guidelines
for students to follow:
• Draw from life.
• Think creatively.
• Make your pages original.
• Think about composition.