When it comes to getting yourself ready to start making art, a creative exercise to try is stamping. This technique is also an easy way to take part in our collective art initiative, The Big Picture Art Project. Stamping can be fast, fun and freeing. Here’s how to get started.
Stamp Your Way into Your Next Art Project
Only a few materials are needed for this stamping technique:
- Paper (I used mixed media paper)
- Stamp pad
- Pencil Eraser
- White acrylic paint (for any clean up)
Square it up. Start by drawing a square on a piece of mixed media paper to establish the borders of your composition. Since you won’t be able to create a detailed drawing with stamps, I recommend making the square fairly big.
Establish a base drawing. To establish a stronger foundation for your stamping, try first drawing a quick sketch. In the image above, I am working on a simple contour drawing from a reference image.
Do not spend too much time on the details. Being accurate or even creating a likeness to the subject isn’t important for this technique.
Try using letters. A fun way to carry out this technique is to select stamps shaped as the letters that spell out what you are drawing.
It could be the name of what, or who, you are drawing or a place that may have influenced your project. For example, I’ve used the letters for the city of Rio de Janeiro for a stamp art inspired by that city, as well as the letters of my daughter’s name for a stamp portrait.
Spell it out. In addition to using the stamp letters as a mark-making tool, you can use them to actually write or spell something out in your drawing. For example, the name of the subject, the title of your art, or just inspirational/influential words and phrases.
Add value. Use your stamps to establish different values in your drawings by stamping more heavily in the areas you want to be darker, and less in the areas you want lighter.
Keep on stamping until you establish the right tone(s) in your drawing.
Use an eraser as a stamping tool. If you need a smaller stamp for details, you can also use the small eraser at the end of a pencil to hone in on certain areas.
Shade in as desired. The eraser can also be used to smudge a bit of the stamp ink to create shading in certain areas of your drawing.
Cleaning it up. If you need to make any adjustments or clean up a few stains, try using a bit of white acrylic.
Not only is this stamping technique great for loosening up and getting into a creative mindset, but it also can produce rather stunning art. Below are a few examples of my own stamp drawings.
I hope this technique inspires you to make more art, and, of course, take part in The Big Picture. If you’re ready to submit your stamp art, or any other drawing, to the collective art project, head over to TheBigPictureArtProject.com.
And, if you want another simple way of taking part in this global art initiative, try creating a no-phone selfie, which I cover in another post. Enjoy!