Sketchbook Inspiration & Ideas

Hello, my friends!

Yay, it’s another art dump! This time, the sketchbooks I’ll be showing you guys were ones I used for teaching art lessons this past school year. Now I’m on summer break from teaching all but a couple of private art tutoring students, so I can share some of my favorite pieces with you guys!

Enjoy this miscellaneous collection of paintings, sketches, etcetera. πŸ™‚

I based the lessons for one of the classes I taught off of famous paintings, like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Sometimes we made our own version of the masterpiece and other times we just practiced specific techniques or art principles that the artist used.

Inspired by “The Son of Man” by Rene Magritte, we painted faces partly hidden behind a mask instead of an apple. Because you know, pandemic life. πŸ˜›

I love the gradient watercolor-pencil colors here! It makes the otherwise ordinary pen sketch much more interesting.

Ooh yeah, this was a fun one: veggie faces inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s incredibly creative food portraits.

I think this is one of my favorite kinds of art to make: whimsical paintings with lots of intricate elements and details filling up the spaces. Kind of a folk art feel, I guess.

I brought in some gourds from the hundreds we grew last year for a still-life lesson one week. I love the striking complementary colors I used here!

This is the kind of artwork I tend to make. Watercolor and gouache paint are two of my favorite mediums. 

Here’s a rather geometrical still-life of a Thanksgiving specialty. 

Ooh, this is one of my favorites. I hardly ever use markers for “serious art” anymore, but the vibrant colors worked perfectly in this cheerful study of “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.”

Of course we had to do a pointillism lesson for Georges Seurat. My students did so well with this one – theirs turned out a lot prettier than mine!

I don’t think I ended up using this for a lesson, but I love these dramatic yet delicate drawings. Something about white and green colored pencil on black paper looks really classy.

The kids sure got into creating their own dream bedrooms for this perspective lesson.

For some reason my lesson on “The Scream” by Edvard Munch was one of the most popular, haha! My students did an amazing job, and some of the girls drew masks on their characters and wrote “Social Distancing – Keep 6 ft. away!” XD

I have a bunch of drawings, like this one, that didn’t become an actual lesson. Lots of repeat art from drawing it as an example and then along with my students. And some lesson plans that didn’t turn out after all. But I still like this sketch!

Ooh yeah, I like this one too. It was nice working with acrylic paint again for these lessons since I rarely use it otherwise.

Some bonus watercolor roses one of the kids wanted to paint for a Mother’s Day card. πŸ™‚

This was our last lesson for the older class: silhouette self-portraits! We filled them with things we loved or could describe us.

Alright, now switching to another sketchbook! Here are some of my lesson plans for the younger students. A lot of them loved cats, so we studied value and shading with this cute kitty face. πŸ™‚

I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of painting sunsets and mountains… ah…

Ooh, here’s a fun art idea for kids: cut a butterfly out of paper and have them paint both sides. Then staple the middle down so the wings can fold up and down like a real butterfly. (The back of these wings are, in case you’re wondering.)

Another fun art project is to cover a page in crayon wax, then paint over it with a mixture of black acrylic paint and a drop of Dawn dish soap. Once the paint dries, use a toothpick to scrape designs in the paint for your own DIY scratch art!

Ah, colored pencils on black paper again. πŸ™‚ Bubbles are a really fun and simple thing to draw: pretty much just rings of color on a dark background with a couple of white highlights.

A cute little fuzzy penguin. ❀

And a cute little fuzzy llama. I don’t use graphite + marker together very often, but I kinda like how this turned out!

Another fun art project is to draw on a piece of craft foam and then use the indented square as a stamp for printmaking!

Oh, this was for a private art lesson, but anyway. Have some cherries and an avocado! I really like how simple yet realistic these drawings turned out. This page just makes me happy. πŸ™‚

We shall end with some cat silhouettes because why not? πŸ™‚ We made our own stencils and used them for two mini paintings.

Well, that’s all I have for you today, guys! I hope you enjoyed looking through some of my art lessons from this past year and maybe finding ideas to inspire your own creativity. πŸ™‚ If you’d like to own some of my art, check out my Etsy shop by clicking the button below!

Which page(s) of my sketchbooks did you like best? What is your favorite masterpiece/famous painting?

Thanks so much for reading, my friends, and have a lovely day!



73 thoughts on “Sketchbook Inspiration & Ideas

  1. What beautiful art! I love that page with the cherries and the avacado. It is stunning in its realism, simplicity, and coloring, and shading. I love it!


  2. These are so pretty! They really make me want to sketch 🀩 I’m definitely going to attempt doing some art on black paper! I have a pad that is sitting in my art box that never got very much use.


    I can’t really pick a favourite, because all of them are AMAZING, but the ones I like best have to be the cherries and pear, the jellyfish, the silhouette self-portrait, the waterfall, the wave, that city/town sort of one with the watercolor background, and… I think I have too many favourites. πŸ˜‚


Your comments make my day! Please keep them clean and respectful so everyone can enjoy this blog. :) Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s