Explore the Drawing Possibilities

I?ll bet there are a lot of art materials you haven?t explored. Now?s the time! Explore anything that makes a mark and every surface that accepts a mark. Change materials frequently. Use different combinations of tools and surfaces.

Here?s a sampling of marks and tools. What else can you find around the house that can be used as a drawing tool?

Try these: pencils, graphite sticks, charcoal, markers, wax crayons, colored pencils, pastels, oil pastels, Conte crayons or ordinary chalk. Try a ballpoint pen, a steel nib pen, a sliver of bamboo or a stick dipped in ink, or a brush dipped in watercolor. Make marks with food coloring and a toothpick, eye shadow and an applicator, shoe polish and a cotton swab. Now find five more tools around the house that make marks and experiment with them.

Make marks on drawing paper, newspaper, typing paper, crumpled paper bags, freezer paper, wrapping tissue, paper towels, charcoal or pastel paper, rice paper, watercolor paper, corrugated cardboard, illustration board, and pebble matboard. Draw on wet and dry paper. Find five more surfaces you can make marks on and try them.

In the simplest terms, drawing is making marks on a surface. Everyone has a unique “touch” with a tool: a different speed or pressure, a distinctive gesture or stroke. Creative drawing capitalizes on your unique way of making marks—your personal touch.

You make two marks when you draw: a dot and a line. What could be easier? There?s no “right” way to make the marks. They can be sharp and decisive or soft and fuzzy; nervous and agitated or placid and even-handed. Do whatever feels natural to you and you?ll put your personal imprint indelibly in your drawing.

A graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Eric Wiegardt?s work is in more than 2,000 collections and has travelled in exhibitions of both the American and National Watercolor Societies. He?s won many awards, juried national and regional shows, and taught throughout the United States and abroad at such places as the Scottsdale Artists School, along with workshops near his studio gallery in Ocean Park, Washington. He?s the author of Watercolor Free and Easy (North Light Books) and a member of the National and Midwest Watercolor Societies, Allied Artists of America and the International Society of Marine Painters.

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