Starting With a Blob

….when you don’t know what to paint start with a blob of colour

Today was the first day of Sketchbook Revival, another on-line free series of classes to get your creative juices to flow. The program is hosted by Karen Abend and today’s guest artist is one of my favourite teachers, Carla Sonheim.

Carla started by encouraging all artists to journal daily with what she calls box journalling. Basically she draws a box in her journal and divides it into sections and writes and draws in the different spaces. She writes random thoughts, to do and idea lists and draws doodles in one of the smaller squares. All of these help give her inspiration for the rest of her day. She also finds it very meditative.

Blob drawings are a great way to start making art when you’re in a rut and don’t know what you want to paint. You literally lay down a blob of paint onto paper and smear it or spread it in a random fashion with a credit card or palette knife. Here are two examples of blobs that I have laid down on the pages of my sketchbook.

A158-D38-B-0879-4-ADF-904-C-2290-B16682-A2-1-201-a

Later this evening I will probably turn then around and see what animal or creature I see and start adding detail with a black marker or with ink. For the one that I just finished I used a water based ink so that I could go back in with a wet brush and add shading by just going over the black lines.

In my first blob I clearly saw a bird flying through the air. Here is my finished piece.

7-F85-DA16-7-F8-C-4-EB1-B414-96-EADC0-E7-EF7-1-201-a

Scribbles

…..when a scribble is art

If you had told me a few years ago that scribbling is a viable art form I would have scoffed at you. Today, however, I have a new profound respect for the scribble. It started a few years ago when a well renowned artist introduced me to the art of scribbling. He thought that my students might like the activity. After trying it myself first and finding that it wasn’t as easy as it looked I put it aside and forgot about it.

Flash forward to the on-line year long art class that I’m taking right now. It started in  January and every day Carla Sonheim posts a video with a quote, interview, photo assignment or drawing assignment. Some of the videos are very short, only 30 seconds or less and others are a little more detailed with actual instructions.

On day 56 we were given as assignment to take a pen and start scribbling. It was very addictive. I loved it and want to do more. I tried it with pencil but it works much better with a pen or fine tip marker. Give it a try. Start with just a random scribble and see what you come up with and then darken areas with more scribble to bring out what you see. After that choose an object and try to copy it by scribbling.

IMG_1283IMG_1285IMG_1286