If you haven't drawn for a while you're probably feeling apprehensive. Drawing is like walking - or it can be! You can choose to put one foot in front of the other, go through a series of steps. But most of us walk without thinking and draw whilst overthinking! We are full of 'should' and ideas of what a drawing 'should be'. 

For me a drawing is part of my research process. In my sketchbook it isn't a finished piece in its own right, it's an exploration. Drawing is about learning to co-ordinate your hand and your eye. Some where along the way hopefully some magic happens.

What we are not going to do today is freak out and give ourselves a negative commentary. We are going to draw - in multiple ways - multiple times and see where that gets us. Hopefully a couple of things will work for us that we can practice and build upon. Each of us is at a different stage on our creative journey - give yourself permission to begin again. And also permission to not be perfect. I often ask people why they come on my courses and they tell me they like the simple way I draw. But then when given permission to simplify they feel that their drawing isn't enough. You are enough!

I have devised a series of drawing exercises to get you started - try these on any paper with any drawing tool. But shake it up - use some dark paper and a white pen, try envelopes or brown paper. You can draw on coloured or painted paper - with a biro, a pencil, ink and a stick. Challenge yourself to try different combinations. 

Before you get going you need to gather together your art supplies - A3 paper will give you some space to draw - or tape together some A4. 

You will also need a set-up to draw from. This could be a bunch of flowers in a vase, or an assortment of objects, for example vegetables on a plate of fruits in a bowl. Go for a balance of different shapes and textures, so there are shapes as well as linear line based qualities to give you some different challenges. 

Remember not to whisper! When you draw a shape go for it. Keep the mark flowing. Let your lines flow through and over each other. Draw out to the edges of the page - don't sit the drawing in the centre of the page. 

Remember to look before you draw. Doing a continuous line drawing challenges your brain - you slow down and really look. You also break down some of the expectations of what a drawing is - you will not have the same control and this can lead to some happy accidents. 

It's time to take a break and grab a cuppa. Come over to the forum and say hello and share your first experiments. Be brave - the whole point is to get lose and break down barriers to putting marks down. You've done the hard work of starting! 

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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