Thursday, August 2, 2012

Skill of the Month: Free Drawing

Every month I will showcase a skill that I think will help you become Sane & Satisfied. I believe acquiring new skills is the best (maybe even the only) way of improving your life, increasing confidence and basically feeling happier.

This month's skill is Free Drawing.

Free drawing is kind of an ephemeral or intangible skill but it can help you let go of preconceived notions, trust your instinct and release judgement. So really free drawing is just a means to an end. Those three skills will help you in many other aspects of life.

What is Free Drawing

The basic concept of free drawing is to put a writing utensil to paper and just draw, doodle, or squiggle whatever comes to mind while allowing your mind to make free-form connections between the lines you draw. It's really that simple.

Free drawing is usually done in a specific time frame. You can start by free drawing for 5 minutes. Your hand never stops drawing. Don't think about what you are drawing. Don't try to anticipate what comes next. If you do it right it should feel a bit like daydreaming.

Here are a few more tips before you get started:
1. Try turning on some relaxing music while you draw.
2. Let your family know you would like to be left alone for a while.
3. Suspend all judgement while you draw. This is not about drawing a replica of the Mona Lisa.
4. The point of this exercise is achieving the actual skills listed above: letting go of preconceived notions, trusting your instinct and releasing judgement. It's not about drawing a pretty picture.
5. Prepare your work area ahead of time so you don't have to rummage around for material and utensils.
6. You can use any art instrument you desire including pen, pencil, marker or even water color and oil pastels. But start with the one you are most comfortable with.
7. It might also help if you limit your drawing to a confined space. I like to do free drawing on a smallish square of paper. You might gauge the size of your paper on how long you plan to free draw for. The longer time frame the larger the paper.

Take it up a notch
After you've practiced a bit using one utensil try free drawing using multiple art supplies. Or you can free draw with one utensil (say, a black marker) and then fill your drawing in with color after your free drawing session is over. Another way to take it up a notch is to extend the time of your session.

Have fun free-drawing. I'd love to know how you managed. Please comment below with your thoughts and advice for others.

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