I teach drawing and design and one of the first sketchbook assignments I give to the students is to pick a shape and draw it 50 times 50 different ways. This gets their imagination flowing and allows them to address different design concepts we’ve discussed; line,value,variety , etc.

I myself engage in this exercise often, making a several variations of a shape . I have posted the many variations on a shape….. there are definitely more I could come up with.. color being an additional aspect I have even touched yet. try it yourself with a shape of your own choosing.

Do you see the basic shape I started with and it’s variations throughout all the sketches?


Louise Despont

Louise Despont.

I have been seeing images of this artist’s work in my time spent “Pinteresting” and always just assumed it was done by an Outsider artist. I finally researched a little further and  found that she is not…. I love the obsessiveness of the drawings, I’m drawn to the Bilateral symmetry, I love the subtle coloring. I’m glad I am able to post this body of her work here on my blog. Enjoy.

Art Quote for the Day


Put an apple in a deep bowl.  You can see that the  apple takes up space inside the bowl. That perception of filled space is the primary characteristic of mass.

Visual mass consists of areas of color.  Whether you paint an apple or just a block of color, the result has visual mass.  Every characteristic of color – hue, value, intensity, color quality, temperature,apparent weight, and apparent distance – is a secondary characteristic of mass.

When you think of drawing, you usually think of line.  In order to suggest the shapes of forms, line drawing concentrates on the outline of the boundary edges or the contours of the object you’re drawing.  In contour drawing you always feel as if you’re touching the surface.  An object drawn with simple contours doesn’t carry very much visual weight.

However, there’s a different kind of drawing that’s more useful to the painter – mass drawing.  Mass drawing is more concerned with how shapes fill space than with the contour, or outline, of shapes.  You make a mass drawing with the side of your pencil, not the tip.  An object in mass drawing always feels as if it has weight.

Because it reports the lights and darks as they eye sees them, a mass drawing usually starts somewhere in the middle of the form and works its way out toward the edge, whereas a line drawing first finds the edge and then works its way in toward the center of the form.

Conversations in Paint – A Notebook of Fundamentals by Charles Dunn

Art Quote for the Day

“Remember when you were three or four years old and you would just scribble or smear paint around for the fun of it?  At this time in your life, you were totally absorbed in the creative process, and you never gave a thought to what your paintings looked like or what it was that you were tyring to say or express.  As we move along in life, we tend to lose this sense of play and spontaneity that we had so naturally as young children.  Here’s a story that illustrates this point.  An art teacher arrives at a friend’s house for dinner and is introduced to his host’s kindergartener.  The little  girl asks the guest, “what do you do?”  He replies, ” I teach art students to paint and draw.”  Looking confused , the little girl says , “Why? Did they forget?”  Indeed, sometimes we do forget that we were born with powerful instincts to create and that those instincts can get trampled along the way by all the adult responsibilities and baggage that come with age and experience.

In this chapter, I am asking you to revisit those basic creative passions that were so strong in your childhood by sticking your fingers in paint and playing for the pure pleasure of the process.  If you  can suspend your inhibitions about acting like a kid for a  few hours, the exercises in this chapter will help you find the roots of your creative intuition and inspire a renewed sense of excitement and adventure in your art-making.  Exercises listed are:  ACTION PAINTING, PAINTING WITH STRAWS, PAINTING WITH COMMON OBJECTS,PAINTING TO MUSIC-BLINDFOLDED, AUTOMATIC DRAWING, 30 SKETCHES IN 30 MINUTES, OBSERVE AND DRAW SHADOWS, CREATE ART GAMES, SPEAK IN MARKS, SHAPES AND COLORS,DRAW A CONCEALED OBJECT USING ONLY YOUR SENSE OF TOUCH…”

Art From Intuition – Overcoming Your Fears and Obstacles to Making Art – More Than 60 Drawing & Painting Exercises by Dean Nimmer

Art Quote(s) of the Day

“Cultivate and value the skill of allowing thoughts and ideas to rise from your creative depths unhindered by the filters of logic, critique or worries about other people’s opinions.  Have you ever come up with a completely unexpected and fully useful solution to an artistic challenge in the middle of the night or just upon waking? How about while driving when your mind was not even trying to solve the problem?  Where did those ideas come from and how did they make it to your conscience mind?  What kept them from arriving sooner? What else is held in the depths of our  brains?   DIG DEEP .

Access encourages use.  Make a practice of keeping art supplies within easy reach.  Play by yourself, play with friends.  Be silly, be serious.

What better centerpiece could there be for a dining room table  than a container of colored pencils and a stack of paper?

Paper, (in sheets or as a “tablecloth”) , pencils, colored pencils, crayons, paintbrushes, watercolors, acrylics, water containers, glue sticks, scissors, old magazines, glitter, magnetic poetry, clay, rubber stamps, a digital camera or polaroid and film….

As much as possible, invest in the best equipment you can.  Good pens, good brushes, good computers, software and digital equipment.  Ride a good chair or stool.  Be a snob when it comes to the tools of your trade becasue good tools mean faster and more efficient work.  You deserve equipment that will keep up with the speed and vision of your creative output.  On the other hand, never let a lack of the good stuff hold you  back; creativity and resourcefulness can always compensate.”

Creative Sparks – An Index of 150+ concepts,Images and Exercises to Ignite Your Design Ingenuity by Jim Krause

Art Quote of the Day


on the occasion of my 60th birthday I am introducing you to myself at ages 6 ( short bangs and plaid dress), and 8. Drawing then and drawing now….

IMG_2473 IMG_2474So, on Sunday, March 24 I had a birthday…. my 60th!!!  It wasn’t an easy one to face. So many emotions and thoughts . I still feel like I’m , oh , maybe 40 . This is GOOD ! I’m in good health, I have a great job, great home, wonderful husband, ALL GOOD!  My work is going well, I guess. I’m finally finishing some paintings that have been in progress for awhile.  I guess, turning 60 has just made me realize HOW QUICKLY  time has truly passed. In a blink of an eye…… I’m not a kid anymore. I have , hopefully , lots of years left, but not as many as I once had. I have to get busy and make some progress in my “career”…. learn some new things, have some new experiences, become a better teacher , friend , person. Time to get busy!

Art QuoteS of the Day

`Here are some more quotes that I found in a notebook while cleaning one day:

The ability to measure and the ability to see negative space are the greatest assets in drawing.

An artist looks for form and line and color and texture to define the relationship between spirit and substance.

A painting requires more decision, more thought. A drawing is an immediate emanation of personality.  An act of discovery- of one’s own feelings or of the world outside.  A painting is likely to translate that discovery into something broader and more calculated.

The object of all drawing is to intensify experience . One draws chiefly to advance one’s understanding.

A rapid sketch is seen as an expression of the innermost personality of the artist.

GESTURES – require the artist to work quickly, to simplify, to forego precision and fussiness.  It makes one work more loosely, spontaneously, more abstractly, with more emotion, and less reason or self-criticism.

The urge to draw is a desire both to understand and to clarify and deepen our feelings.  We draw to find our own originality.

Art bestows upon the eyes the vision to see inward.

The artist has to look at everything as though he saw it for the first time. She has to look at life as  she did when she was a child.

We hold in our memories “canonic” forms of familiar objects. If you draw what you know rather than what you see, you’ll draw the canonic form.

In turning things upside down and looking at negative spaces the student isn’t tempted to name the parts or call up associations that cause the verbal , ( and more assertive), centers of the brain to re-assert control.  Also, the right , less assertive side of the brain, has no name for such spaces.

Learning to draw is as much a matter of developing control over the way one’s brain processes visual information. There are many skills to perfect, each involving specific  brain functions.

You have a high conception – not of what you are doing- but of what you may do one day.  Without that there’s no point in working. -Degas-

Art QuoteS of the Day

Cleaning out some notebooks the other day I came across these pages of quotes I collected from SOMEWHERE! I made no notations about where most of them came from . Since they’re short I am going to include several for today and more tomorrow and the next day…… Thank you to the true authors of all of them.

“Abstraction, then, perhaps appeals to a different kind of mind.  We don’t all have the same visual habits. We may not even all share the same visual neurocircuitry.”

” Fluidity of perception . ( the root of abstraction)

” If someone else is coming to YOU and asking you  ‘ Will you document my product?’ – that’s illustration. If you find the subject and the interpretation within yourself, that’s art” – Chick Takaha-

“We must learn to draw what is outside us before we can draw what is inside.”

“At heart, creativity is a desire to experience things differently.”

” It does seem clear that learning to draw is much a matter of developing control over the way one’s brain processes visual information.  There are may different skills to perfect, each involving specific brain functions.”

” An artist is re-programming the circuitry of the brain. Watch yourself changing [as you make art] :  1.) development of sufficient patience to commit the time needed to draw….2.) simplifying what you see……3.) training new relationships between eye and memory ”

“Artists can almost be likened to spectators of the cumulative efforts of their own actions.  When you get a drawing you like, it’s apt to be a surprise.”

“Drawing is a way of fostering interest in the world.  It is a way of making connections with the things that surround us.”

“Drawing is a way to know things, and the more one knows about the world around one, the more one feels at home in it.  In this sense it’s not the finished drawing that counts …it’s the time spent outside oneself of which the drawing is merely the record.”