Let’s get started with video number one!!

There is a reason we call it a creative practice. Spending time in practice mode, taking the time to warm up before an art session, is such a valuable habit to get into. Drawing is a learned skill and EVERYONE has the ability to become proficient.

In this first Warm Up video exercise we are going to be using a piece of soft charcoal and a kneadable eraser, focusing on the negative spaces and using the eraser to take away the charcoal and allow the image to emerge.

Handy hints:

  • Use the eraser to take away areas within the owl to create light and/or add in white pastel for highlights. Play with lost and found edges rather than bold, regular outlines.
  • Experiment with various textures underneath the paper to bring more interest to the piece. Rubbing plates, stencils, rough surfaces will all give different effects when you run the charcoal over the paper.
  • Use a workable spray fixative to your charcoal drawing to fix the charcoal before adding in coloured pastel.

In our second warm up exercise I use one of my “palettes of possibility” to create some colourful, fun pieces!

I use Strathmore cold pressed 90lb watercolor paper pads as my painting palettes. At the end of this video I’ll show you how to get started with creating your own palettes of possibility to use as inspiring “jumping off” points to create fabulous art!

For this lesson I'm using some little creatures from our own home, gifted and collected over the years as my reference subjects.

Feel free to use these reference photos for your own warm ups OR some animal treasures of your own.

Handy hints:

  • Work fast and loose. Warm ups are just that. Don't be attached to the outcome. Just play and explore and get to know your subjects.
  • Bamboo skewers are one of my favourite tools to move inks and paint around or to scratch into heavy bodied paint for a sgraffito effect.
  • Free yourself up even more with continuous line drawing, non dominant hand and even drawing with your eyes closed!
  • Use ink and fluid washes for a transparent glaze in the background OR add white heavy bodied acrylic to these for more opacity.
  • Drop rubbing alcohol into wet layers of fluid ink or paint to create openings through to the underlayered color.
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