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Followers of my blog will know that in an attempt to re-ignite my creative juices and to overcome my ‘white paper syndrome’, I have decided to work my way through a series of drawing exercises as detailed in the Mick Maslen and Jack Southern book Drawing Projects – an exploration of the language of drawing.

The first exercise involves fixing a combination of B, 2B, 3B and 4B pencils to a stick (I cut a length of bamboo from the garden), holding it at arm’s length and describing, via a range of descriptive marks, the object you are looking at, resulting in 4 separate drawings. The process is repeated with a stick half as long as the original, then holding the pencil at arms length, and then holding the pencil on its side or like a dagger, all the while superimposing these drawings onto your original marks.

I recall doing this self same exercise at college but I had forgotten how liberating it is. Having little or no control over the marks immediately made me relax, knowing that there was no way I could produce a beautiful, finished piece of work. Admittedly my choice of an onion wasn’t the most difficult of objects, but it was a start, a stepping stone in re-gaining my confidence.

Onion Exercise 1Here are my attempts. I must admit I didn’t repeat the processes for all of the drawings but I took the last one a step further and highlighted some of the marks I liked the most, as well as holding the pencil on its side to obtain some shading. The drawings are a little faint owing to the fact it was hard to apply much pressure but I finished the session feeling satisfied that I had taken the first steps to regaining my mojo and Onion Exercise 2overcoming my fear of a white piece of paper. Exercise 1 OnionExercise 1 OnionI would be interested to know what you do to get your creative juices flowing…

Now to work on exercise 2…

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