One of my Christmas presents was this fab book by Carla Sonheim. I have been thinking recently that I don’t put enough drawing into my paintings and would like to, but was feeling a bit rusty since I had done any real drawing practice in so long.

(click the image to go to – hopefully) Because there are 52 creative exercises in the book you could spread it over a year, but I’m far too impatient for that. 🙂 So I’ve started the first two exercises.

The first is ‘Draw Cats in Bed’, which has the lovely double benefit of being a) fun and b) an excuse to get into bed in the middle of the afternoon. (I like to think of it as ‘research’.)The second exercise is ‘Blind Contour Giraffes’, which, if you’re not sure, is drawing something, in this case giraffes, while looking only at the image you are drawing (not the paper) and using one long continuous line to draw the shape.I also tried it with fish…
and birds…and elephants! (Isn’t that bottom one a dear?)The point of the book is that drawing becomes fun instead of something to be afraid of. With something like blind contour drawing you can’t get it ‘wrong’ and the results can be quite funny. It takes the pressure off and opens up your creativity.

It only took a few minutes to do each page but I love the results. I remember we used to do it when figure drawing at art college and you can produce some incredible lines and shapes that Trying Very Hard doesn’t really achieve.

There’ll probably be more drawing practice as I work my way through the book; it’s all about expansion remember? 😉