Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Drawing in Public - The Abstract Way

(This blog post is being posted on The Sketchbook Challenge blog as well).

I'm hoping that the first week of the new year has been a good one for you.
Keeping busy? Drawing a little every day?


Just think, if you had given yourself the gift of drawing for five minutes the past seven days you'd be that much more comfortable in your ability.
Just try it for a couple of weeks. Be sure to keep your drawings so that you can compare them and really see the improvement that you make.

We have been talking about drawing in public so I thought I'd tell you what I do sometimes to alleviate the fear a little bit.
I often travel by plane when I teach.
I hate to just sit there (although I do like watching people in the airports) so I carry a sketchbook or loose pages to work on.
Occasionally I sketch my surroundings but most of the time I just want to make random, easy marks on the page.
This is what I do to prepare my supplies before heading out on what could also be considered an artist date (since I am enriching my mind with a creative activity).
When I use loose pages, I usually grab several sheets of watercolor paper that has already been folded.
I love to collage a scrap of graph paper onto my drawing surface with matt medium or Soft Gel (depending on how thick the graph paper is). Don't worry about where you place it on the page - just slap it down some where.
Like this -

I often forget to do this but I prefer my pages WITH graph paper on them (or some type of paper that has a grid type pattern on it).
Allow this to dry completely.
I add a dash of color with watercolors or watered down acrylics. You could use any type of supply to add a bit of color though.
One of the goals in adding the color is to allow it to travel its own path. That's why I water down the acrylics. I usually load the brush with the paint/water mix and just swipe it across the edge of the paper.
Or I make random swipes across the page.
Here are a couple of examples of how I apply the color.

Random applications along with drips of paint.

Mostly drips of watered down paint along the edge
of the page. 

These are double spread pages. Sometimes I forget to add the graph paper but I really enjoy using the grids to draw into.
The next page has a light application of either watercolor or acrylic paint on it (lots of water to encourage the drips on the page).

The following is what I did while flying back and forth to Colorado.
Easy, random marks following the lines of the paint.
Then I add a variety of marks between the paint lines.
And it ends up looking like this.

So - if you want to try drawing in public while you're on an artist date, prep a few pages the way I have shown you. It will be so much easier to draw in this abstract way.
You might be surprised at what shows itself on the page (see fish above).

Here is a page that I did add the graph paper to.
It is much easier to have those little boxes to add marks to as opposed to drawing that box yourself.

An alligator appeared on this page.
Try it and show us your results!


alarmcat said...

i love graph just screams "DOODLE ON ME!! " :) love your sketches, all the details are so interesting.

Joanne Huffman said...

Good hints. I'm still working on drawing once a week (once a day is too much of an obligation for me).

Kim Jolley said...

I keep telling myself that I cannot draw...this is why I use rubber stamps. However, you have inspired me to try. Wonderful, inspirational blog!