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The sketchbook is a relative newcomer in the drawing classroom. They made their first appearance in the French 'ateliers' of the late 19th century. Their purpose was to serve the growing interest in realism. With a sketchbook, an artist could go away from the drawing studio and 'into the field' to draw people in their natural environs.

For the contemporary art student, the sketchbook serves another purpose. It encourages a playful and open approach to creativity. For the teacher, it offers to opportunity to see the student develop their own interests, outside of the confines of the classroom. From the sketchbook may be delivered more significant work as might benefit a period of Self Directed Practice. Review of sketchbooks is best done as a group session: a sketchbook review. Sketchbooks should be placed on a large table and talked about one by one.

Students can not always be expected to fill their sketchbooks of their own accord. Though it seems counter to the sketchbook ethos, it sometimes helps to give them a quota of sketchbook pages to fill. Around six per week is sufficient. We have found that it does no hard to forbid any manga, anime or fandom drawing. Their are plenty of other outlets for such work ( and their value in a drawing course is limited.

Examples of sketchbooks are below:

Name of student Comments Link
Anh Pham Phuong This student started off a very competent artist and only got better. She initially was reluctant to draw in a physical sketchbook, preferring instead to work digitally. However, she took to natural media like a fish to water. Right click to download (34 MB)
Hien Bui Vu Thao She developed and maintained an interest in the human figure. She sourced her material from a variety of directions: classical art, anatomy textbooks and music videos. Right click to download (10 MB)
Linh Luong Nhat Starts off very poorly, but once she got the wind in her sails there was no stopping her. What motivated her was an interest in pattern design. It should come as no surprise that she was a fashion student. Right click to download (1 MB)
Thao Nguyen Xuan Another fashion student who woke up half way through the course. Her final project was derived from her fashion collection. Right click to download (3 MB)
Thy Nguyen Truong Anh A very uninhibited artist whose best quality was her fearlessness. Her work addressed in a very stylistic way themes of nature. Right click to download (16 MB)
Truc Lai Thien Perhaps a little too derivative (lots of copies of other people's work)... but the drawings that she did of faces show a consistent and engaged vision. Right click to download (5 MB)
Hoai Bac An unusual sketchbook... a pile of scrap paper... featuring lots of drawings of monsters. Right click to download (5 MB)
Dan Tran Huong A talented artist with a strong interest in illustration. Right click to download (8 MB)
Quynh Dang Phan Nhu A natural painter, with a great eye for colour and texture. Right click to download (8 MB)
Di Nguyen Thien Very good line drawings from a hard-working graphic designer. Right click to download (8 MB)