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Project 1:

  1. Complete the project from class. Cut out and glue your chosen figures onto a colorful background. If you're not sure which sketches to cut out, it will help to think of a theme. If you want a solo dancer, glue one person. If you want a crowd, glue multiple same-sized sketches on one background (and overlap them to make them feel like they're in the same scene).
  2. If you really can't decide between multiple figures on one page or just one figure, do both on two pieces of colored paper!


  • Cut your objects out with care
  • Overlap some or all of your objects to make the still life feel more natural
  • Reposition the sketches to explore different compositions before gluing it
  • Take photos of each composition and choose your favorite from your photos, then glue your cut outs onto your background

Project 2:

  1. Place several objects from around the house (plus some edible items?) on a table. Kitchen is a good source for inspirational subject-matter. If you don't have a lot of still life options, you could use one object for this project and change the angle of it each time you sketch to make it look different: lay it down or turn it around. This will allow you to practice sketching one object without it feeling redundant.
  2. Set your cell phone timer to ring every 30 seconds.
  3. In your sketch pad, using a black pen or brush-marker, sketch all these objects on the same page in much smaller size than you did in class, one by one. Draw each object twice or three times in quick-hand, in 30 second per item. Sketch them not as one “still life”, but each separately. It will look like your objects are floating in white space. You can fit 10 (maybe 20) small sketches on the same page. It’s OK if some of them overlap.
  4. Practice makes perfect! Fill two or three pages of your sketch pad with these sketches, drawing the same objects more than once as practice, trying not to worry about mistakes, allowing imperfections, creating pentimenti (“regrets” in Italian, or unwanted lines). Remember about making your sketches fast and loose, and do not exceed 30 seconds per drawing. Do not go back to fix them! Take a snapshot of each finished page!
  5. Choose one page with sketches and carefully and slowly add a background color to the entire page around each item, mindful about keeping your black outlines intact. Do not color inside the objects - the idea is not to doctor the sketches but to preserve their “naivety” and spontaneity.

*Options: for the background, you can use a colored pencil, pale-colored tempera, or colored markers. If you don’t have tempera, watercolors, or markers, use freshly-brewed strong black tea, or red wine, or strong coffee, and a brush. Don’t have a brush? Use Q-tips!

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