You can do the tasks in any order that you want. They are to guide and challenge you but if you want to leave some out that is absolutely fine! Equally, if one task really inspires you and you want to do several versions of it - go for it! Work at your own pace. That said, having the discipline of doing a drawing a day will reap rewards. 


I have added some of my images and sketchbook images to show you how you might approach the tasks. Remember there is no right and wrong, approach to the tasks with an experimental, playful approach. Stay curious and see what happens!

Last week I asked you to focus on quantity. This week I want you to get comfortable with getting it wrong. What does wrong mean to you? Does it remind you of being in trouble at school - a 'could try harder' on your report? This course and your sketchbook are safe spaces for exploring. Can you reframe getting it wrong as 'happy accidents'? Can you be okay with some of those pages being rubbish? Even the rubbish ones took you along the path towards doing it differently next time. We live in such a visual world where a lot of what we see is someones best work or their photoshopped work. They too had pages in their sketchbook they keep hidden. But remember you have to make a lot of mistakes to get to a place of comfortable creativity. And you know what? Once I got there it felt like a dull place to be and I started shaking up the processes, allowing for discomfort to come back in. The magic happens when you are least expecting it - so keep going!

Task 1 - Build a page of leaf stems with wash. Let it dry. Work on top with another wash of leaf stems. Repeat and repeat. This can be informed by looking at overlapping structure but then work intuitively.

In the first series of images I mixed purple ink and brown ink. I wasn't pleased with how the page was developing so added grey paint over the top with a large brush which knocked the pattern back and smoothed out the contrasts between white and purple.  I then used that as a background to draw into. Finally I inked into the spaces - leaving some of the original leaf shapes to glow through.

In the second series I kept on building the layers. The surface was a bit flat so I took to it with sandpaper! Never underestimate the power of sandpaper on a piece of work that you're not happy with! Sanding the surface adds texture and depth. It can also sand off a drawing you're unhappy with - leaving just a hint of it, and then you can draw on top.

In conclusion - nothing is a mistake - just a problem to be solved :)

Task 2 - make a collection of seed packets, secateurs, garden tools. Create a display. Draw from your display - you don't have to draw the whole board you can take sections of it. Draw with the items going to the edges of your page. You can rearrange the items and draw the board at different scales, with different media. 

Here are some more explorations from the same board. I am using watercolour pencils on painted page and acrylic paint behind. I have left spaces to add with collage later on. Not all pages need to be finished - I often go back and work into the pages with text or collage or print.

Task 3 - You will have seen me setting up for this exercise in the videos for week 2. Fill jam jars with flower heads and water. Stack them up and draw them in the jars. 

I find it hard to draw and talk so there are periods of this video that are very quiet! :)

Task 4 - Fill a page with leaf shapes. Fill a page with flower heads. Add labels - look online for plant label shapes. Draw these labels next to your plant shapes. It's okay to 'cheat' and add elements that you haven't got in front of you. 

I left this drawing at this stage but will come back and add labels and text later.

Task 5 - create a display of patterned plates or saucers and put garden veg or flowers on. Layer on top of a patterned cloth if you like colour and pattern. Draw from above. 

Task 6 - Looking up. Get a fairies view. Lie under a tree and look up. lie there and keep looking. Have a snooze. When you are ready draw what you see. You can try this with other larger plants and shrubs in your garden. What if the neighbours see you? It's always good to give them something to talk about ;)

You can extend this task by:

Looking up

Looking through (windows through gaps between plants, or through a gap in the trellis etc.)

Flying high - draw what you think your garden looks like from above - map out the shapes and structures and fill each with plant patterns.

Task 7 - revisit one of your drawings from this week. Take a section that you are pleased with or would like to explore further. Draw this section again - from your drawing. This makes you edit and decide what you want to include and what you want to exclude - it takes you further on the journey of simplification. 

In this piece I took the crosses from the cup in the drawing and used these to create a page of pattern. I used a wooden stick to scratch into paint. 

When you are ready move on to week 3. You do not need to have completed all the tasks - do what feels good. Share your photos of your drawings in the facebook group. It is all about process and having a go. 


Helen Hallows


Nurturing Creativity since....

© 2009-2020 Helen Hallows

Copyright of all art works remains with the artist Helen Hallows 

Online course content, blog posts and all design and written content remains the intellectual property of Helen Hallows. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved.


Nottingham, UK

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