Last school year, my boys and I started a bedtime routine of a quick sketch before lights out. You can read about it and see some of the sketches here. Over the Summer break, my boys were less insistent that I sketch for them because they didn’t have a set bedtime, nor did they have to be up early for school the next day (which confirmed that this was simply a stalling technique). But sure enough, once school started up, so did the requests for a bedtime sketch.
We started off with quick (under 15 minutes) sketches of their choice of toys or characters. But we were starting to run out of subjects and found that they were choosing the same types of toys. So, Mason (my smarty-pants 8 year-old) came up with the brilliant (and extremely challenging) idea that I should try to sketch/copy works by famous artists. We don’t do this each and every night, but I really enjoy these sketches in particular…since we are able to incorporate an introductory art lesson with the sketch. My boys learn a little bit about the artist and their style of art…and it’s a good review for me. The boys go through some of my art books and pick something for me to sketch. Keep in mind that I only have a few minutes. Our evenings leading up to bedtime are really packed (soccer or karate, homework, dinner, bath, reading, etc.). And I need them to get to bed, so I can get back to work (designing, printing, assembling, correspondence, invoices, etc.). Most sketches take about 5-10 minutes, nothing goes over 20 minutes. I sketch while the boys do their nightly reading (or while Daddy reads a chapter…we’re currently reading The Lost Hero together), and when they are done, I have a sketch finished to discuss (or wake up to in the morning).
Our “Bedtime Routine” continues…and I will periodically update this gallery with our nightly quick sketches for the remainder of this school year (or until they lose interest again and stop making requests…I hope they don’t because I really love these moments with my family).