Creative Jumpstarts: Windows into the Painting

Today I want you to really use your imagination and have a great time with this exercise.  Remember before you start I am trying to get you to turn on your creative light bulbs and just flow into your art.  So much time is wasted trying to find the perfect theme, motif or subject matter and the time that we waste we can never get back.  Flip over a few failed promises, grab your dark drawing pencil, and have some fresh pigments waiting in the wings.

Start at one side of the paper and begin to draw a continuous line all across the paper left to right and top to bottom, work just in curved lines, or straight angular shapes or sprinkle in a little of both but try to overlap the lines getting a good feeling of depth and a nice placement of shapes.  Keep varying your lines and create focus by pushing really hard in some more important places.  When you have a creative flowing line all over the paper stop.

Next step is to overlap several rectangular shapes on the paper, try to create the feeling of frames inside the drawing; each framed piece will look like little landscapes inside a viewfinder or windows into your painting.  Use as many rectangles as you think you need to create a more finished complex composition.

Put the paint onto the shapes using fairly opaque pigments, and try to contrast the colors warm to cool with a nice feeling of push and pull.  I left a lot of white paper around and inside the shapes because I wanted the shapes to feel related to the background and the other shapes, not separate like little coloring book paintings.  Have fun this should really get you moving in creative ways.

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  • moira StevensonSeptember 30, 2011 - 10:55 am

    Hi Steve. You are so right about wasting time waiting to “find the right theme”! Almost feel you are writing specifically with me in mind!! This is a great exercise. Going to do it right now. Also, a friend has put me in touch with a Sketchbook project and this would be a great way to fill the first few pages.

    So glad I stumbled upon your website. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity 🙂ReplyCancel

  • mary sortinoOctober 1, 2011 - 4:24 pm

    You push me to paint and I like that a year ago, I stopped working a bit as a pediatrician, I am a lactation consultant (I retired 55 years I have worked in public health) and now read and study everything free is in the computer, I’ll ignore. this machine has me trapped, if they then send you what I get. A like to welcome you and push me out of here. if you want I have some paintings at www. marysort.artelista. comReplyCancel