Skip navigation

Tag Archives: creative drawing

I have long been interested in automatic drawing. A while back Chris Carter had a post about automatic drawing and came up with this on a sleepless night. I finally decided to give it another go. As busy as I am, lately,  it is something I can do when I have a moment of time.

  click to enlarge

The above was my first attempt. I have no idea what the egg or the bird signify.  The book I read on the subject of automatic drawing said to start by making marks on your paper. They can be any marks (swooping lines, crosshatches, dots). You can use the side of your pencil and your eraser. The idea is to draw. It was suggested that you follow the shapes of what you are creating and can turn the format and view it from all angles as you work your drawing. As you begin to see something appear, shade and draw to bring that image to the foreground. I have a tendency to be judgemental, so I have to keep reminding myself to let go and let it happen.

click to enlarge

This was my second automatic drawing.  This one actually moved me as it began to appear.  I imagined a fairy- like figure shaping the landscape. I searched for what she might be fashioning. I stopped, prematurely, because I wanted to allow that landscape to become whatever the viewer wants to imagine it to be. I may try and watercolor and rice paper collage this one. I wonder if I can maintain the mystery in paint.  I will post it if I do so.

 click to enlarge

Back to another egg and figure and bird.  What is this?  I can assure you I did not set out to draw them. As it began to appear in the lines, I even had to erase back along the bird’s breast to bring the figure I saw forward. I think I’d like to paint this one, also.

If any of you try this, I’d really like to see what you come up with. I find it a great way to free me up and suggest possibilities for paintings as well practice my drawing skills.

The above is my attempt at exploring an exercise we did in the first creative drawing class this session.  The assignment was to draw the topline of a cityscape across your support paper. From that line you were to continue drawing and painting and design your own cityscape with the use of line, value , texture and shape. 

I drew the entire cityscape on drawing paper with graphite, first. I used drawing paper from my sketchbook.  Because I was intrigued with Amber’s crumpling of regular paper, here, I decided to crumple my drawing and then glue it to watercolor paper.  I then painted my city scene. I had read that I could draw on tissue paper with waterproof ink and glue that to a painting and decided to try it with this piece. The window and the figure were drawn on tissue paper and then glued to the surface of the cityscape. Whoops! I tore it in places. Will need to be more careful in my glueing process in the future.  I think I could have encouraged a few more tears, however, as they may have been better incorporated into the painting that way.  Once the tissue paper dried, I painted on top of that surface, also. This layering, crumpling, painting is really opening a door for me. Such fun!

This week my creative drawing class is working with distorting a grid to discover how they can create something different and unique. This is done, first by gridding a photograph with equally spaced lines, vertically and horizontally. When they begin on their support paper or canvas, they distort the same number of vertical and horizontal lines as they used on the reference. Their next task is to figure out how to place the image being transposed into their newly created grid spaces. I chose a tiger as my reference and changed my format size to long and narrow. My grid included curved as well as straight lines and my resulting distorted grid drawing looked like this:

The artist can choose to include the grid lines in their final piece or erase them and go with the image. This drawing became this:

And because I could not resist, how about a little “Tiger Rag”?:

Have a great weekend!

I am following Heather on her blog. She is studying drawing and has been practicing value studies and making marks to describe form. This runs hand-in-hand with what my students started last week.  I decided to take a black and white photo of clouds (thank-you Wet Canvas!) and practice some mark making of my own. I introduced my class to the marks made by Degas, Van Gogh, Seurat and a few others that are found in the pages of Bert Dodson’s Keys to Drawing book. We spoke about how we needed to try and find the mark making that best suited us. I decided to try some mark-making of my own.

 2H, B and 6B pencils

In this study I drew my marks all one direction laying line next to line and going over areas that were to be darker with a softer lead pencil. I found this to be very tedious and time-consuming. Notice my angle strayed off to the right in the upper right hand corner. Bad me! 🙂

 2H, B and 6B pencils

In this study, I used the sides of my pencils. This was the quickest method to get these shapes and values down. In the past, this is what I see my students doing. Makes me wonder if other forms of mark making are too tedious and confusing for them in the beginning.  My other thought was that this form of shading comes in handy for a thumbnail sketch, done quickly, for a larger finished drawing or painting.

 2H, B and 6B pencils

This way was, by far, the most fun for me. I tried to imagine the form of the clouds I was seeing and attempted to emulate their contours and gesture by allowing the point of my pencil to scroll over and around them. I like the feeling of roiling clouds that I was able to capture with this mark making. Note I made my strokes over the sky flat. I saw no form in that and made my marks to reflect that.

 2H,B,6B pencils and gum eraser

In this attempt, I used crosshatching and incorporated curved lines laying next to each other as well as layers of lines going the other way to build up the layers of midtones and darks. This took longer than the contour/gesture study but was shorter than the lines laid next to each other study.  I like this study because it incorporates the contours as well as gives furthur definition to the cloud forms and allows me to achieve better values in the sky. I used a gum eraser to lightly touch up some areas around the rays and to soften some areas within the clouds.


In creative drawing this week we created drawings of a dream or memory by creating a collage of pictures to use as a photo reference. You can follow how I created this under the Illustrating a Dream or Memory on my Creative Drawing page here.