Monday, 26 July 2010

Sketchbook Project I

Me again...!

My new textile group that is starting in September (as yet nameless) has been set a summer sketchbook project. The theme is "On Your Doorstep". Using a quotation from Marcel Proust as our starting point:
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes"
they have been asked to look with fresh eyes at their immediate environment and fill a book with what they see.

There are obviously lots of different ways of working into sketchbooks but for our purposes I'm not really interested in fancy techniques... the kind that produce a work of art in their own right. I want the students to really look and record what they see... and I think the best way of doing this is to actually draw. I am well aware that this can be really off putting for many but I truely believe that everyone can draw... we're just not always thrilled by the marks we make! And so to offer a bit of encouragement and to give some ideas for starting points I am making my own book and I'll be posting what I do here for the ladies to follow.

So first of all a favourite technique of mine and that is using something other than a pen or pencil to draw with... a stick of dry spaghetti (well, it was linguine actually) and a pot of ink.

The lack of control over the stick of spaghetti gives a very free and spontaneous mark. The idea is not to judge whether the drawing is "good" or not but to record what you can see.

Thick lines, thin lines, blobs of ink... none of it matters. Just get those marks down on the paper. Fill the pages... no timid marks down in the corner of the page... be big and bold! If you are worried about "spoiling" the first page... start in the middle of the book. If you really think what you have drawn is awful stick a piece of brown paper or newspaper over it and start again.

The important thing is to make a start, don't be afraid of making mistakes (because there is no right or wrong way), don't be precious about what you do... and enjoy the process!

Now try drawing with a stick... or a feather... and see what other marks you can make. What happens if you use red wine instead of ink... told you this was fun!

Anyone else care to join us?

34 comments:

  1. That sounds fabulous Gina! Especially as I am totally afraid of drawing for all the reasons you mention! I'm on for joining in! Lucy xxx

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  2. Lovely Gina, and such good advice abut drawing, i tell the kids at school much the same thing. I am us for giving the spagetti a go and I just saw a feather I am going to go pick it up :)

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  3. Trust you to have linguine in your cupboard :-)
    Your drawings are soo good.

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  4. I LOVE this kind of freedom in drawing, some great stuff comes from it.

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  5. I do hope you will keep showing us your drawings. Never thought of using something other than a pen, pencil or marker...

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  6. These are so simple and yet incredibly gorgeous and would look lovely in a frame. x

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  7. FABULOUS drawings!
    And, THANK YOU for telling us to use spaghetti...I will have to try this out and you are right about drawing.
    Just Draw & see what happens....everyday, and soon you will look back & see the progress you have made!

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  8. This is just what I need Gina - I am scared of drawing and I know I should do something about it. What a great idea to make simple drawings of things we see around us. I shall look forward to seeing more of your sketchbook and might even be tempted to start one of my own. Thankyou.

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  9. Just a thimbleful...

    I look forward to your ongoing drawing tutorial - I shall try to keep up!

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  10. Is being part of the group 'virtually' allowed?

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  11. What a great idea and what lively drawings. I shall definitely join in and use this in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. What a great use for linguine too! I've got a packet in the cupboard and I don't like it!

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  12. Very inspiring! Especially as I'm about to embark on my annual ritual of taking large quantities of art materials on holiday, and returning with lots of bread wrappers and cider bottle labels and empty sketch books and unused pens and pencils...

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  13. Like many others, my drawing efforts never seem to get off the ground but you have made such great suggestions. Now to go and fish out the feathers I collected last week. Thank you.

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  14. This is so inspiring. I actually studied drawing at university but haven't drawn at all in nearly 12 years. I've been too afraid to start again. But I'm going to take your advice and start in the middle of the book!

    K x

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  15. Beautiful drawings Gina - there is definitely something to be said for enjoying the process and enjoying making marks rather than being worried about how it will look when it's finished. Love the poppy heads.

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  16. Oh, I love everything about this post - your drawings, the quote, everything. I haven't drawn for ages, thanks for inspiration.

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  17. Hi Gina,
    Great idea using spaghetti!
    Lovely mark making.
    M x

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  18. Inspiring i love it .......x

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  19. Well i must say they are fab drawings even if you only used spaghetti! I can imagine the lines become very fluid if you are using red wine to draw with as you will of course need a refreshment with the wine as you go along :-)

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  20. Wow nhow different - what a good use for pasta - your drawings are lovely so clever. Hope you drank some of the wine it would be a shame to waste any!!!

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  21. Yes, I will join in with the play ... once I've finished my quilt I will be starting my sketchbook project so some playful experiments will creep into my book. Shall follow with interest. Thanks Gina x

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  22. I think if I tried to draw using spaghetti that is exactly what my result would look like. I can't draw from toffee but will take a sketchbook on holiday and see what happens.

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  23. inspired to take out my sketch book again....must be 20 odd years since I kept one.

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  24. Just love these drawings, and even better that they're fun to do too!

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  25. Right, that's it I'm going to start straight away. Tomorrow x

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  26. I wish I had the discipline to do that.You are always so busy and productive.
    You even managed to fit in a bit of sofa surfing in Reach I notice!

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  27. Well now, look what you've done - I've got out my sketch-book and found my Indian ink. Off to see what I can see!

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  28. Great ideas here, Gina, especially the one about sticking brown paper over what you don't like, but maybe after you've lived with it for a while, or you might loose something really good, by having to higher expectations.
    I'll be very interested to see where you go from here.

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  29. Really not sure that food should be used for drawing with, unless of course you can wash it and eat it after ...

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  30. It is a good idea,I will learn to paint with the technic.I am not good at painting.

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  31. I'm getting spaghettie tomorrow!!

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  32. These images are lovely. I found you via Lucy. I'll love trying this and the pasta will intrigue my children enough to join in too.
    You have a lovely blog here!

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  33. What inspiration! I've only just found your blog (via Sal's Snippets)and feel a pen and ink moment coming on. Creative time for me has been non-existent for several years and I'm desperate to get back to doing something ... I think this just might be what I need!

    Off to look at some of your earlier posts.

    Sue

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