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Simple practise to keep your art in shape

What I’ve learned over the past two years is that practice is a lot more important than perfection. This applies to working out just as it does to making art.

There are a lot of fun, simple, and non-time-consuming activities you can do to stay involved in a practice.

The art exercises that I do on a regular basis are simple. I do blind contour drawing in different places. I might be at home at the kitchen table, in the car, at a cafe, wherever!

Sometimes I use a 3-minute timer and draw the same thing 3 times, other times I just draw. I usually use a black pen. Other times I use india ink and a calligraphy brush. And sometimes I add colour.

Playing around with these approaches has kept me involved on a regular basis.

These are the exercises I’ve chosen for myself, but you can easily find other excellent ideas. Just search, and then try them.

My practice helps me keep my eyes actively looking, builds my hand-eye co-ordination, and maintains a feeling that creating art is a normal everyday activity. It keeps me wanting more!

I feel great when I’m happy enough with one of my drawings that I want to show others.

Here are a few tips:

  • Keep your materials nearby, not locked away in a precious place. (These might include pens, pencils, paint, sketchbook, etc.)
  • Don’t treat your sketchbook like a precious piece of art. Be messy, try things out, learn, make mistakes and… learn more!
  • Repeat your exercises over and over and over, and see how you change each time.
  • If you feel like you’ve lost it, or fallen off the horse for a few weeks, months, or years, don’t worry. You haven’t! Pull out your pen again and put it to paper.

I’ve talked to many people over the years who are inspired when I talk about making art. If you’re one of those people, if you feel that itch to create, go ahead!

Choose a pen, pencil, marker, or other mark-making implement, and find some paper, and spend 3 minutes doing a drawing.

Then, do it again!

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