Image: Jonathan Olaiz (IG: jonartista)
A sketchbook is a fun and creative project that’s perfect for tearing the kids away from the TV this summer vacation. It gives them the opportunity to run wild and be creative without feeling pressured. The whole family can get involved when starting a sketchbook - here are a few ideas to get you started.
Finding the perfect sketchbook
Before you can put pen to paper, you’ll need to find the perfect sketchbook. You can find sketchbooks in all shapes and sizes from both online specialists and local stores. There are a few things you need to think about that can help you choose the right one for you.
- Quality and materials
- Size and durability
- Number of pages
Quality and materials
The paper in sketchbooks is usually made of wood pulp which can create smooth or textured paper.
Smooth paper is perfect for drawings with sharp edges and fine details but it can be difficult to transfer color to it. Textured paper is perfect for vibrant colors but can leave gaps due to the rougher surface.
Size and durability
Think about how big you want your sketchbook to be. The bigger it is, the more room you have to create spectacular drawings but the harder it is to carry around with you. A smaller sketchbook is great for those lightning bolts of inspiration that hit during the day.
Because you’ll put so much work into the sketchbook, you need to make sure it’s durable enough to survive. Poor quality paper can tear and discolor over time.
Number of pages
If you have big plans for your sketchbook, find one that has enough pages. You don’t want to be halfway through a series of drawings only to run out of paper.
On the other hand, a massive sketchbook can be a little overwhelming and it might be easier to just start with something small. Balance your needs and sketching intentions when it comes to this.
The most expensive sketchbook isn’t necessarily the best one. Do a little research and find one that suits your budget. There are plenty of inexpensive sketchbooks available that are more than up to the task.
Need some ideas and inspiration?
There are no bad ideas when it comes to sketchbooks. Let your creativity run wild and draw whatever comes to mind. If you’re drawing with children, don’t hold them back, just give them a pencil and let them loose. Unsure of where to begin? Here are some ideas to get you started.
A great way of keeping the kids on board with a sketchbook is by using it to write a story. Together, you can create wonderful characters and awesome worlds from your own imagination.
Use the sketchbook to bring a story to life. Why not let the whole family take it in turns to draw a character or scene? By the end, you’ll have collaborated to create something amazing that you can enjoy together.
Illustrator Jack Viant used Chameleon Pens to create characters out of nothing. As you can see, there’s really no limit to what you can do. Whilst our pens are not suitable for children, you could use them on your pages and let the kids use pencils.
A sketchbook can be used as a diary for you and the kids. Draw what happens each day and after six months or a year, you’ll be able to enjoy a visual representation of your family’s day to day life.
It might be a little difficult to fit a complete sketch in each day so maybe keep a note of what happens that day so you can do a drawing on the weekend. Or, give yourself a time limit of just 60 seconds to complete the sketch.
What’s on TV
If you just can’t pull them away from the glare of the TV screen, then at least turn it into something productive. Let them watch a film, TV show or cartoon but encourage them to sketch the characters.
Are they obsessed with Spongebob Squarepants or the latest Marvel blockbuster? Get them to draw their favorite characters and watch their skills develop.
Are you heading away this summer? A vacation sketchbook is a great way of keeping the kids entertained on a long car journey or flight. It’s great to look back on pictures of a trip but it’s even better to have sketches that your family created.
Encourage them to draw the sea, the city or the local wildlife and they’ll have a sketchbook packed with amazing drawings to show their friends and teachers when they get back.
Develop your own coloring techniques with Chameleon Pens and the kids' with Chameleon Pencils
Chameleon Pens are perfect for starting an adult’s sketchbook. With just a few of our innovative pens, you can create stunning color gradations and tones to give your work added realism and depth.
For the kids, they can also use our wonderful pencils, all you need to do is just flip the pencil to blend two perfectly matched colors. The pencils are a great way of introducing your kids to sketchbooking.
Develop your skills with our fantastic coloring techniques guide that’s packed with handy tips and templates for you to practice with.