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  • Writer's pictureClaire Hilton

Ways To Get Started - Quick ways to get started when you are stuck.

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

If you are really stumped... maybe its raining outside? Its the dark cold evenings and you feel like doing something different, maybe even interactive. Something with your hands and something that gives you a quick and gratifying outcome.

OR You've sat down to be creative! Actually carved out time in your busy schedule for some time to make something and you are sat blowing your fringe out of your face on your second cup of tea and still none the wiser. maybe the quick start prompts below can help.

1. Photo continuation – Drawing exercise

  • Take an image from a magazine (anything you like) and stick it on your blank page leaving room around it.

  • Using a pen (any pen, even a biro will do) complete the image from outside of the frame, see where it goes. Fill in the gaps and see if you can fill your page.

Tip: Once you've finished your image you could add paint or colour over the top or do another one now you've got an idea of how it works. Try different images, people or cars or trees in a forest.

2. Negative space - Drawing exercise

  • Look around you and see what is there? Maybe items on the side or on your desk.

  • Find some small items which fit on your page and draw around them. You can let your lines overlap or you can keep them separate (it's up to you).

  • You can now fill your shapes (or negative spaces) with colours or text.

You could write about anything, what the object is used for how it feels to the touch or the song lyrics from the radio, it’s up to you.

3. Subconscious drawing - Drawing exercise

  • Place your pencil on your paper and draw one continuous line on the page for as long as you like, move your pen around and let it flow all over the paper. You can go fast, you can go slow and you can finish your line on the edge or in the middle. You can look or you can not look! Whatever you would prefer.

  • Take a step back from your page, look and see what you made and see if the shapes or overall image reminds you of anything? Look from all angles, turn it upside down and look at it from left and right. Can you see any images within it? You can do another line if nothing immediately emerges.

  • You can then mould and complete your image to what it has naturally turned into or fill in the shapes in different colours mediums or papers, don’t forget you can cut things out to. Go with the flow...…

4. Staple collage – Make a multi layered collage using only your hands and a stapler.

  • Walk around your house and find some different textures and sizes of paper and images that you can use. You can use junk mail, magazines, paper bags and even foil - whatever you can find.

  • Layer up your different types of paper, images and textures into a stack which is pleasing, try and make as many of the different textures and images visible and combined as possible. You can rip, and fold the paper but no tools other than a stapler and your hands.

Tip - If you want to make it even harder, restrict how many staples you can use! (in the example above I've used 5)

5. Abstract painting exercise - you don't need a canvas for this (card works too)

  • Gather together your materials maybe some paints and some crayons and a pencil.

  • Start by making a mark on your page in pencil - you could do a line, a shape, a letter anything that comes to mind. Try and make it big and fill a lot of the paper, edge to edge if you like or really curvy and flamboyant to make interesting intersections.

  • Now turn your canvas around so that whatever you just drew is on its side

  • Make 3 marks that are the same shape that get gradually bigger

Tip- Start with your dry materials and add your paint last - you can always add collage images or paper into the paint at the end or over the top with glue when its dry.

  • Add a block of colour

  • Turn your canvas again

  • Continue with adding marks and colour and turning your canvas until you feel like you want to stop.

Hope these help :) use them however you wish. Share them with friends and don't forget you can tag us in your artwork on social media @CreatingSpaceSessions on Facebook and Instagram if you feel comfortable to share it with us - we'd love to see them.


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