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  • Writer's pictureMary Flack

Summer Sketchbook Challenge!

Disclosure: Links are affiliate, so the studio will earn a small percentage from resulting purchases.

We waited through a crisp fall, a cold winter, and a chilly spring. And now, summer is here! Kids anticipate summer throughout the school year and are always so excited for summer to start . However, if you, like us, have witnessed your children spending countless hours on the couch, aimlessly scrolling, you may question where the summer vitality has gone.

Couldn't we use this time to build creativity, have fun, and learn new skills? Why, yes! Yes, we can! We are excited to introduce: the 1st Annual Insight Fine Art Studio Summer Sketchbook Challenge! We'll offer one prompt per week, and students at Insight can create a sketchbook piece as a response to that prompt. You can interpret the prompt in any way you would like. You can create ANYTHING you would like! Ink drawing, watercolor, pencil sketch, pastels; you name it and you can use it in your sketchbook. If you don't have a sketchbook, you can use printer paper, cardboard, or even your iPad or tablet to create a sketch!

For the remainder of our summer session, we will be starting each of our kids classes with a brief (and entirely optional) sketchbook show and tell. Don't worry; students are not required to participate, and they can jump into the project they are working on in class instead, if they'd like. So if you'd like to join the challenge, do a quick doodle, spend half an hour, or go all out and make a masterpiece if the art is arting! It is up to you!

With the artist's permission, we'll take pictures of all of the sketchbook images kids create and post them along with the prompt to a gallery on the home page of our website at the end of the summer. Everyone who participates will get a little (and I do mean little) piece of Insight swag, tbd.

But in general, why keep a sketchbook?

Sketchbooks are one of an artist's most important tools, but unlike most tools, there isn't one "right way" to use them. In their sketchbooks, some artists create finished pieces, pouring hours and hours into every page. Others incorporate written entries, use the pages to doodle and experiment, or work on skill-building exercises in a sketchbook. They are a wonderful record of your progress as an artist, and trust me when I say you will enjoy looking back on drawings from years, and then decades ago! Here's a sketchbook page of mine from the last millennium; the year Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Nine! (that's 1999, kids!)

Over the years, I have developed the habit of keeping at least 3 or 4 sketchbooks simultaneously. I know, this seems excessive, but let me explain! One is what I call a "scratch journal" where I keep to-do lists, ideas, quick doodles I make while on phone calls, etc. The next is my "nice" sketchbook. I invest a little bit more money for a high-quality sketchbook and try to make the drawings more finished and the pages nicely filled. I also have a lightweight, softcover, thin, travel sketchbook, and finally a large sketchbook that I use only on vacations. Don't even get me started on the best art supplies to travel with! Okay, you win! I'll have to write another post on that soon! :-)

Here are some of the supplies I use, and that I would recommend to you if you are starting out keeping a sketchbook.

Disclosure: These are affiliate links so the studio will earn a small percentage from resulting purchases.

And now, without further delay, here are the prompts! You can download and print them by clicking below.

Insight Summer Sketchbook Challenge
Download PDF • 75KB


Challenge Week 1: Classes meeting July 8 - 14

Under the Sea : Incorporate the idea of underwater, submarines, fish, coral, sea creatures, sunken ships, sharks, or anything else that comes to mind!

Challenge Week 2: Classes meeting July 15 - 21

Contrasts and Opposites. From shading to colors, artists use contrasts to make an interesting picture. Artists use contrasting textures, sizes, shapes, colors, and contrasting light and dark shades to name a few. Incorporate contrast into a self-portrait.

Challenge Week 3:Classes meeting July 22 - 28

At Home: Draw a corner of a room in your house. It can be in any style or material you would like, and include as much or as little space as you choose.

Challenge Week 4: Classes Meeting July 29 - August 4

Favorite Animal: What's your favorite animal? Draw your favorite animal, or represent them in any way that you choose.

Challenge Week 5 Classes Meeting August 5 - August 11

Change it Up: Draw something familiar from a different perspective.

August 19 (approximate) Check back to see the gallery display of all of the sketchbook work on the homepage of our website!

Happy sketching! Thanks for participating and we'll see you in the studio soon!

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