The worlds best in sport don’t get there without practice, dedication and exercising their bodies to the limit. What do we do to keep our minds in top gear for drawing?
We have all doodled from time to time and this exercise is an extension to doodling in that it sets a challenge for your brain. We humans thrive on challenges and it is this instinctive behaviour that we can use to up our game as artists.
Here is a simple but very powerful drawing/sketching exercise that you can do anywhere. All you need is a pen, paper and pencil or your graphics drawing tablet.
Drawing exercise – set the challenge
The first step is to make a random pattern on your paper (or graphics tab) and give your brain the challenge to find creative drawing ideas. I have made this drawing pattern on my tablet using the pen tool using Sketchbook Pro software and have scribbled randomly.
I spend some time just staring into the image and look for patterns and features. I let my mind drift and the creative side of me kicks in. Within a short space of time I can see outlines and from the outlines I can picture a cartoon figure or feature that I can develop.
Sometimes nothing will come. A way around this is to turn it 900 and keep turning until all four ‘views’ are examined. If you can’t find anything – put the scribble in the trash and try another.
The first image I could see was a robber with a bag full of ‘swag’ over his shoulder. Here is the initial image using a black pen and picking out existing pencil lines only.
Next I add more detail out of my imagination and develop the cartoon
Back to the same scribble from the same angle…can you see a fish?
Using the same technique I use the existing pencil lines to make the basic outline of the fish…
And add some imagination and a bit more ink!
Back to the original scribble and this time I am looking at a cartoon woman. I can actually see four cartoonwomen in the scribble but I will just pick out one…
Happy looking girl isn’t she with such a refined nose! – not my doing it was just the way the lines were running in the scribble!
Add a pinch of imagination and a cartoon character begins to form…
In this last example I can see a cartoon snail – still from the same initial scribble…
Strictly using the pencil lines I pick out the basic snail features…
Then add extra creative detail to bring out the character…
I took this one a stage further and processed it through Sketchbook Pro on my graphics drawing tablet and added some color just to demonstrate that you can get ideas – even from a simple scribble.
Drawing exercises really do make a difference!
I use this exercise all the time as a ‘work out’. It is simple, easy to do anywhere and costs very little. For me the benefits have been immense.
It was the way I was encouraged by my mother to draw when I was very small and have used it ever since to keep my creative and drawing skills at just the right level. It constantly brushes the rust off your artistic ability and best of all it’s fun to do. This little exercise may not appeal you at first but it is worth trying as I think you will find it can really help!