Coming up with ideas for printmaking projects can be difficult so these drawing exercises can open up your creativity and help you explore new subjects to use in your artwork.
Make these drawings using pencils, pens, charcoals, pastels – each will give you a slightly different effect that you can use in future projects. These exercises will help you to understand the objects you are working with and find new shapes and designs.
Place an object in front of you on the edge of a very large sheet of paper. You can choose any object - scissors, a vase, a piece of fruit - whatever you have to hand. For these activities don’t use a rubber, don’t worry about making mistakes, just keep going, keeping it loose. Your drawings will overlap which makes for really interesting shapes.
1. Begin by making a quick 30 second sketch of the object using a pencil
2. Rotate the object slightly and make another 30 second sketch
3. Rotate the object once more and make a final 30 second sketch
4. This time spend a little longer capturing some of the details, about 1 minute
5. Swap your pencil for a different pen/pencil/charcoal and make another 1 minute sketch
6. Now draw the object using one continuous line, don’t take your pen off the page
7. Draw the object as small as possible on the page
8. Now draw it as large as possible, taking up as much of the page as you can – this one will overlap with the drawings you have already made
9. Now draw the object without looking at the paper, just focusing on the object itself
10. Finally, draw the object without looking at it at all.
At this point it can be interesting to ‘frame’ parts of your drawing to focus on particular areas of the page. Make a few different sized windows by cutting out rectangle or square shapes from a piece of paper – you can use the window from envelopes for very small frames. When you lay the window over your sheet of drawings, different parts of the page will become the focus.
It’s also worth taking a sketchbook when you’re out and about and jot down ideas, shapes and quick sketches, or taking photos on your phone or camera to come back to when you get home.