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Kids outside

Backyard Book Club: Sketch Journal

Our Backyard Book Club read The Ellie McDoodle Diaries: Have Pen, Will Travel…so of course we had to learn how to start our own sketch journals!

The first thing we tried was drawing Ellie from the step-by-step instructions in the book. (If you look closely at the photo above, the Ellie on the whiteboard was drawn by my 6-year-old!) The kids concentrated really hard on this! Then we talked about different ways to show emotions when drawing faces with the help of this great guide.

We read How to Keep a Sketch Journal (from the bonus material of the book) and talked about what the kids would want to include in their own sketch journals as well as some really basic drawing techniques (don’t start with super-dark lines, look at the shapes in an object, etc.) 

Then we handed out tiny notebooks and pencils and let the kids loose! I’m excited to see what they record in their sketch journals.

Check out some of Ruth McNally Barshaw’s own sketch journals here. What a great way to keep a record of all your cool experiences! And learn more about how Ruth’s sketches turn into the actual illustrations in Ellie books here.

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