The next generation of urban sketchers

A few months ago I wrote about how I was hoping to motivate my first-year students to draw every week in a sketchbook as part of our Adobe Illustrator class together. In the past, despite my optimism, as the semester goes on I find that students draw less and less. This year, I am more than pleasantly surprised. I have never had such a keen bunch of artists. On Mondays they are proud to show me their drawings and they are improving every week.

Today I took them on an outing to one of my favourite places to draw — McGill’s Redpath Museum. We spent the day sketching the dinosaurs, the taxidermy animals and even a bit of architecture. I have to say that it was one of the best days in my teaching career. First of all, at least half of the first-year cohort turned up for the optional event (this was a day off for them) and they stayed all day! And for a group who (for the most part) were never sketchers before they started this class, they did some truly incredible work (see the montage below). They made me proud to be their teacher.



54 Comments on “The next generation of urban sketchers”

  1. Suzanne Tractenberg says:

    Wow…..bravo to your class!!!!!

    Sent from my iPad



  2. sue says:

    Could be the teacher too, wish you taught at my school, when I was growing up. Great job by your students.


  3. Sue says:

    Your student’s work is impressive! You absolutely should feel elated with this class!


  4. DiniAlice says:

    Fantastic! No wonder you are proud of them. Good teaching!


  5. -N- says:

    Great work! And as a teacher, I understand how you feel – your students make the job worthwhile, especially when you see what they accomplish.


  6. Malinda Anderson says:

    Hi Sheri, Thank you for this email. Your students did some beautiful work. I so appreciate your posts. They are so encouraging. Thank you, Malinda Anderson

    Sent from my iPhone



  7. joantav says:

    That must be so gratifying to see the effect you had on their sketching habits. They did such a great job!!!


  8. Gail Young says:

    It is inspiring to me that you inspired them! I had never drawn anything before reading your blog, so you have also helped me to start drawing and painting. I also bought both of your Craftsy classes and hope you will be doing more of them.


    • Gail, thanks so much for writing. I am so happy to hear that you’ve started drawing too. As for more Craftsy classes, I would love to do them but have a problem finding the time. After this post I am sure you can see why…


  9. This is awesome! I think it is so important to encourage and empower youth. So that they can know that YES I CAN!! Their work is stellar! Bravo to you all!


  10. Gerry says:

    Very uplifting. Congrats on your influence and thanks for sharing.


  11. joe van berkel says:

    Way to go! Your best teaching day ever must have been just as rewarding for them. Impressive work.


  12. Christine kopet says:

    Indeed! Really handsome work! It is so exciting to see a follow-up on this motivated geoup.


  13. Thyme says:

    Fantastic work from your students! It was nice to see the follow-up from your other post. When we visited Montreal a couple years ago, we stayed at a place near there and the Redpath Museum was one of my favourite places to go sketch.


  14. Holy Cow! Those are all really good!! Well done, Shari and class!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. miatagrrl says:

    They did a great job, and they are also really lucky to have you as a teacher!

    – Tina


  16. Rhonda says:

    These drawings are wonderful!
    I’m impressed with their work and dedication.


  17. Madeline says:

    Fabulous, do you have a sketch club or weekly cafe sketchers group they can continue with after the class term?


  18. Judy Sopher says:

    What fine work. How old are these students?

    This post brings back memories. When I was very young-maybe grade school-the Cleveland Museum of Art had a program for kids on Saturdays. We would be given a stool and a clip board with paper and pencils. And we could sketch various rooms in the museum. My favorite was a huge room with knights in full armor on horses. I drew these many times. No dinosaurs here tho.

    Field trips are wonderful for art students. You are a great teacher.


  19. Alison says:

    Fantastic! Most uplifting on many levels.


  20. Chris Rusk says:

    Really great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Patricia says:

    Your students have incredible talent. They will be glad one day that they were taught by you and that they learned the gift of observation at a young age. They should be as proud of themselves as you are of them. I look forward to more of their works.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. stephanie says:

    Gold stars for everyone!


  23. Bill Fagan says:

    Nice going Shari. There’s hope yet for the smartphoners. I was in your workshop in Galway. Let me know about your 2018 workshops.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wow, those sketches are wonderful! I didn’t know about the Redpath museum but I will definitely have to go there next time I am in Montreal.


  25. Wonderful post and terrific work from your keen students. Thank you for sharing, Ms. Blaukopf.


  26. Frank Bettendorf says:

    Congratulations on having motivated students who are engaged! I love that you are excited about their commitment. Teachers set the table but the students chose whether to eat. You do an excellent job! Thanks for being a teacher.
    Frank B


  27. Thanks for sharing this experience and your students’ artwork. Excellent all the way around. How nice that you have provided inspiration, skills, and the right environment for your students to sketch.


  28. Nicki Xu says:

    How lucky they are!!


  29. Lorraine Arsenault says:

    Wow! Their work is fantastic. No wonder you are proud of them. I am sure that the teacher has something to do with the results and their dedication. Glad for all of you and wish you all the best success for the weeks to come in your semester.


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