Hope that you had a chance to play with last week’s exercise. As my week went along, I found that my creative juices were beginning to flow. Sometimes just getting started helps move us forward. I ended up creating a YouTube video. It is pretty bad – but creating and posting it got me over the hump of being afraid to try!
Covid, economic concerns, wondering if it is safe to go back to school or send our children, are heavy anchors that can nail our creativity to the floor and keep us at a standstill. But being creative can actually help us cope with these big life concerns. For one thing, we know that doing something creative gives our brains a (welcome) chance to focus on something other than our present worries. That can reduce our stress – and the stress on those around us. Those we care about also care about us!
So let’s get started! And, as a reminder, this isn’t about “becoming” an artist – it is about reviving/supporting/revving up our creative self.
Exercises for This Week
This week we are going to use COLOR! Go right now and dig out any color drawing/painting medium you have on hand. This can be crayons, chalk, colored pencils, pens, water colors, acrylics – whatever you have available. You will also need some heavier paper this week. I’ve provided links to some that I use and can recommend.* Cardstock (preferably white) will work. If you have a mixed media journal, ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards), bristol board pad or journal, or watercolor paper, those will do splendidly!
You also must have one waterproof pen. This can be any type of pen, preferably with black ink, that will not smudge when water is used over the top.
This week’s rules are super easy:
1. Enjoy yourself.
2. No judgement.
- Take a deep breath, hold it, and let it out slowly.
- To “warm up”, let’s repeat a bit of last week’s work. Using your pen, draw a series of circles. Tip for circles: If you use coffee/tea pods, the top of a pod is often the perfect size for these little “mini-canvases”. Just trace around the top edge. Make about six circles on your page.
- Doing the same thing as last week, use your pen to fill one circle with lines, another with circles, and another with dots and/or shapes.
- Try overlapping some of our lines, circles, etc., and see what happens to the colors.
- Now add color. If you are using a dry medium such as crayon, chalk, or pencil, try “smudging” your color in some of the circles. Start soft and then smudge harder – and notice how you can create shading, designs within the smudge, etc. If you are using “wet” mediums, try a light layer first and then overlay with more color to build some depth on some spots. You are JUST OBSERVING at this time and getting used to how the drawing/painting medium works on your chosen surface.
- Starting with a clean sheet, draw a series of squares around the entire outer edge of your sheet. You can do this with a ruler or just freehand it.
- Inside each square, put an element inspired by your exercises last week. For example, fill some squares with just dots. Fill others with lines. Add some little shapes in others. Hearts, flowers, balls, squiggles.
- Using your color medium, fill in each square as lightly as possible, leaving your little element visible. Try making different hues by overlapping some colors.
- Now we are going to fill in the middle. I’m going to show you my example as a starter, but this is your exercise so change it up. Draw a daisy, draw a ladder, draw a little farmhouse, draw an animal – just draw some pebbles. I recommend starting with a pencil, overlaying your ink, then erasing your pencil lines.
Evaluate and Repeat
Now, take another deep breath and let it out. If, like me, you hold your breath a lot when you draw, paint, etc., it might be good to take a couple of deep breaths at this point!
This next step is crucial. Stand up or move your canvas away from you at least three feet. Close your eyes and count to 10. Now open them. We tend to create with our faces very close to our work. No one else will look at them that way. And it will help YOU to focus on the overall design if you allow yourself this new perspective frequently throughout the creative process.
If you are enjoying this, and you have the time, do this same exercise again. If time is a premium, stop for now, but come back later in the week and repeat. DO NOT throw away ANY of your creations. Next week we are going to cover what we can do with these and you need to have at least one or more on hand.
Tomorrow or the next day – no rigid schedule – go through the exercise again. Still no pressure, no “purpose” other than to simply give yourself the time to let your creative mind play. Next week we will look at something you can “DO” with these pieces, and explore another avenue of creativity!
Have a blessed and creative week!
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