View Full Version : sketchbook

Jon Roark
10-14-2010, 04:03 PM
Thought I'd post a few sketchbook pages. I have an 8" x 5" moleskin I've been working in, mostly to inspire my students. My drawing class has 41 students with 7 tables and 28 seats. Budget cuts have hit the electives hard in our public schools in Va. With the amount of space taken up by the huge, heavy bookbags full of textbooks these kids carry today, and the students themselves in the class it is almost like having twice as many kids in here (with the bookbags being the best behaved). So my assignments through our first grading period revolved around the students buying a sketchbook and drawing in it daily. I would demo a new technique each week, they would try it out in their books. That kept the space usage to a minimum and they actually like the idea of drawing and writing in the books. So here are some drawings I've done during the last part of last spring and the beginning of this year. There are a couple of paintings I did to demo acrylic use, at least one color pencil but the majority are pencil drawings. These are purely demo pieces to help students understand how to use certain media, but that being said, there are a couple that are identifiable as copies by particular artists.

Jon Roark
10-14-2010, 04:04 PM
and a few more...

Jon Roark
10-14-2010, 04:05 PM
and still more-I must have done a lot of drawing lately...

Jon Roark
10-14-2010, 04:07 PM
still more, but this is the end...

10-14-2010, 09:02 PM
Superb work, Jon! Glad you posted these. Hope to see more.

10-14-2010, 09:26 PM
Awesome sketches.

Pardon my math question. Where do the other 13 kids sit if you only have 28 chairs?

Jon Roark
10-14-2010, 09:36 PM
I have the same math question I ponder daily. Actually I have a Mac lab in there and we haul all the chairs over to the table. Chairs aren't the issue. Room to work is the issue. But whether a lowly art teacher can offer his students large sheets of paper to work on or not is not a question the legislature asks when it decides whether or not to fully fund education. I'm certain elective courses are at the bottom of a long list of hard decisions and a limited amount of money. So we soldier on and do the best we can.
Thanks for your kind comments.

10-15-2010, 12:08 AM
Hi Jon!

Space and funding and math problems aside, your students are very lucky to have a teacher who is so talented and obviously cares about teaching them so much. I wish I could sit in your classroom - but clearly, there is no more room!

Your sketches are wonderfully diverse, simple enough to explain the concepts, but complex enough to show them what is possible! Very nice work. I hope you will continue to post more.


10-15-2010, 12:46 AM
Fantastic! O_O

Jon Roark
10-15-2010, 08:38 AM
Thanks for all the kind words!

10-15-2010, 10:21 AM
I especially like the drawing of the woman and man in message #3. I drive down I81 on my way to visit my MIL in NC, and you see people like that everywhere! They are so true-to-type that I'd almost swear I've seen them somewhere between Roanoke and Lawsonville!


Jon Roark
10-15-2010, 12:34 PM
That was actually sitting in the train station in DC while our train became later and later because of a late summer thunderstorm and power outage. It was sooo hot in those seats, waiting for the train to be called. They are very true to the south-central Va-NC "look" though and that's where they were going-so good call!

10-15-2010, 01:18 PM
I love how you draw hair. The hats on the figures are well done. Love the snoozing kitty.

10-16-2010, 10:00 PM
Wow! So much work to look at - I enjoyed it all. I too, would love to be sitting in on your classes! The sketchbook habit is a great one to get new artists used to, those that are serious about it will have fabulous resources to return to in years to come.

10-18-2010, 04:02 AM
Wonderful sketches, very inspiring, your art class is one lucky group of kids!

10-18-2010, 08:46 AM
lovely demos

eek! I can't imagine coping with a class where there aren't enough seats to go round with my adults! I'm lucky that we have a comfortable room with a kettle and tea and coffee provided :)

though on my degree it was like that - not enough seats or easels and we worked on the walls or the floor a lot :) usually on huge sheets of paper! luckily the room was huge.

Joan T
10-18-2010, 12:48 PM
Your sketches of your students are wonderful!!! Impressive job! I think it is a great idea for the students to have sketchbooks and sketch every day.

10-18-2010, 04:09 PM
Jon, these sketches and paintings are incredible. You seem like an art teacher to rival the one I had in high school who inspired me - wish you had the space and budget to be able to share everything he did. With a class that large and that low of funding, that's so rough.

But I can't think of anything better than a sketchbook and daily drawing for building up everyone's skills in that elective. I'm starting to see the results of daily sketching now after a year or two of it. I love the way you captured the personalities of so many of your students. Their youth and passion is so intense in these drawings.

Sometimes the cost of supplies can get high for them too, later in life - what you're giving them with this project is going to keep them going when their own resources are slim. The real necessities are something to make a mark and something to mark on, so you're doing something incredible with a bad situation, turning it into something remarkable.

Good luck to you and to them, all of them.

I like the way you do so many double spreads in your moleskine. That's gorgeous. The acrylic painting of the grieving woman on the first page is so striking in combination with the colored pencils man she overlaps, it's wonderful. It was probably a chance combination but that page really speaks to me, her emotion is overwhelming.

If they can draw accurately - and daily sketching is the way to get to that - then they can pick up any medium at hand and get good results. You're a great teacher and I'm awed.

Jon Roark
10-19-2010, 09:01 AM
As I said earlier, these are mostly demos or behavior modeling for my students. I have a bookcase full of old national geographics- one dating back to 1948. The lady and the man come from those. When my students finish a project and wonder what to do while everyone is still working, I tell them to find something in the Nat'l Geos and draw that. I will find a compelling photo, like the grieving lady and do a demo using that as a source-just to have something to work from. In this case, they wanted a demo using acrylics and that particular one was on top of a pile of Nat'l Geos, so that is where it came from-the old man, also a Nat'l Geo figure but this time a demo in color pencil, The 40's looking images came from Rangefinder magazine and were used for a demo in using a range of pencils based on lead weights or types
(2B, HB, F, 2H). Many are from life-students in class posing without realizing it. The old man in acrylic is a poor copy of an Andrew Wyeth and was also an acrylic demo. I don't use acrylic or oil much and these two demos are probably the 2nd and 3rd acrylics I have done in the last 20 years, but when you have a teenager inquisitive about a medium-strike while the iron is hot! Thanks for all the kind words!

10-19-2010, 09:30 AM
What wonderful sketches - and it sounds like you are an excellent teacher. Your students are very lucky!

Jon Roark
10-22-2010, 07:38 PM
Thanks, Michelle, you are too kind. I have a few who are gaining a great deal, but like everything it is reaching the ones who just aren't certain art is for them. Unfortunately, they are in the majority. But we keep on plugging away! Thanks so much for everyone's kind words.