Animator Sketchbook Assignments


Often times it can be difficult brainstorming ideas for our sketchbooks. We can all agree that the more we draw, the better we’ll get. This is just one of the many reasons that keeping a sketchbook is important. But deciding what to draw in those sketchbooks can sometimes be a challenge.

I decided to do some of the brainstorming for you and create a list of 101 sketchbook ideas. The items on this list are meant to challenge you a bit, but can still be completed in a short amount of time, making them perfect subjects for any sketchbook.

101 Sketchbook Ideas

1. draw old shoes

2. draw a glass of water

3. draw a pile of unfolded laundry

4. draw your non-dominant hand

5. draw a scene in a restaurant

6. draw a stack of books

7. draw a view out of a window

8. draw your art supplies

9. draw wine bottles

10. draw children’s toys

11. draw a person laying down

12. draw a person sitting in a chair

13. design a typeface

14. draw different types of trees

15. draw objects in your pocket

16. draw game pieces

17. draw a caricature of yourself

18. draw the same object drawn with different techniques (hatching, cross hatching, stippling, etc.)

19. draw your favorite pet

20. draw a copy of your favorite Master’s painting

21. draw a crumpled piece of paper

22. draw a brown paper bag

23. draw an old chair

24. draw a person from history in which there is no photo reference

25. draw an old person’s face

26. draw a stapler

27. draw an old radio

28. draw an old car

29. draw an old camera

30. draw a pair of glasses

31. draw an open book

32. draw a bicycle

33. draw anything made out of metal

34. draw a hammer

35. draw tree bark up close

36. draw ocean waves

37. draw a pile of rocks

38. draw a cup of pencils

39. draw hard candy

40. draw any fruit (sliced open)

41. draw any vegetable (sliced open)

42. draw a reel mower (tough one)

43. draw a pine cone

44. draw a seashell

45. draw a banana peel

46. draw an old cabin

47. draw an old factory

48. draw flowers in a vase

49. draw simple forms (cube, sphere, cylinder, etc.)

50. draw old farm equipment

51. draw a sailboat

52. draw people standing in a line

53. draw a bowl of peanuts

54. draw a bowl of nails

55. draw bushes or shrubbery

56. draw several eggs on a surface

57. draw your favorite insect

58. draw a flower up close

59. draw a thumb drive

60. draw an exotic fish

61. draw a scene from history

62. draw a feather

63. draw any detailed machine

64. draw the insides of a watch or clock

65. draw a skull

66. draw an apple

67. draw a portrait of someone that is a different race from you

68. draw water coming from the faucet

69. draw a creek in the woods

70. draw a pair of socks

71. draw an object that is moving

72. draw a Cubist portrait

73. draw a view from a window

74. draw a candle in the dark

75. draw three random objects from your refrigerator

76. draw a bowl of popcorn

77. draw a set of keys

78. draw someone peeling off their skin

79. draw your hand holding an apple (or other object)

80. draw your feet

81. draw yourself as a cartoon character

82. draw a patterned cloth on a table

83. draw a wine cork

84. draw a face in profile

85. draw a candlestick

86. draw a fictional woodland creature

87. draw a close up of grass

88. draw an object three times in different lighting

89. draw a pile of  jewelry

90. draw a close up of someone’s hair

91. draw a doorknob

92. draw a bird in flight

93. draw a video game controller

94. draw a pile of yarn

95. draw a stack of dinner plates

96. draw a trompe l’oeil image

97. draw hung drapery

98. draw a water sprinkler

99. draw calm water that is reflective

100. draw a person falling

101. just draw something!


This course is for beginner and intermediate artists and features over 300 minutes of HD video instruction and 178 pages of eBooks covering the true essence of drawing including the elements and principles of art, and a variety of drawing media and techniques.  (28 Modules)

Last updated by Matt Fussell at .

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Sketching For Animation feels like an academic book to me, and it's priced like one too at USD $49.

The book looks at the overall view of sketching and how it's useful for animation. The subjects discussed are using shapes, perspective, drawing figures, landscapes, capturing movement, developing ideas, characters and layout and composition.

There are tips and techniques being discussed but they are mostly written in the form of observations, or quotes from other artists. What's good is you'll be able to know a wide variety of drawing principles involved to create a good piece of art. The downside is there aren't a lot of specific instructions or rendering techniques so to pick up those skills you will have to explore books that are more in depth.

Another highlight of the book is there are lots of ideas for drawing. The author Peter Parr has numerous examples that can give you insight on things and places to draw, and also learning points to take note of. There are also short assignments at the end of each chapters.

What I find lacking in the book is perhaps the connection between the sketching techniques and animation. While there's attempt to refer to sketching techniques taught to animation but I felt there could be more examples or perhaps reference to more well known animated films or shorts. The last few pages are more interesting because they feature artist interviews and gallery of work and you can read about their thought process for their films and project.

Overall, it's a nice book with lots of ideas and quick tips on sketching. It's like an introduction to sketching that teaches you the benefits but when it comes to the exact techniques and application, you might learn more with books that are dedicated to specific areas mentioned in the chapters of this book.

Peter Parr also has another book published recently called Zen of Drawing which also feels like an extension of this book.

Sketching for Animation: Developing Ideas, Characters and Layouts in Your Sketchbook is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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Here are direct links to the book:
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