Creative Spark Day 3 – Textures and washes – Swimming in Creative Joy
Creativity is enhanced when you stretch yourself with right brain activities, like creating art, making music, or writing poetry. No one is 100% right brain or 100% left brain. We each use both sides of our brain in tandem. However, our 12 years of learning to fit in the box and conform, have left many of us left brain dominant – utilizing the side of our brain that specializes in numbers, words, writing, following patterns, and analyzing. This isn’t a bad thing as far as being functional, literate, and educated conformists. However, it leaves us handicapped in the areas of creativity, spatial relationships, innovation, emotional expression, play, and creative problem solving. Activities that connect the creative side with the analytical side like playing and composing on a musical instrument, painting, Saori weaving, drawing, writing poetry, and even imaginative play, can re-establish the neural pathways necessary for outside-the-box, innovation that homesteaders need to thrive. It’s only when both sides of our brains are communicating and working together that we feel fully alive.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, this is a very simplified explanation of the true workings of our incredibly complicated, created in the image of God, wired for life and creativity, brains. We are wired to search for problems and then seek out the answers. It’s part of the amazingly profound human journey. If you want to know more about the amazing way God wired your brain to work check out: Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico (J.P. Tarcher, Inc: LA, 1983) and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (J.P. Tarcher, Inc: LA, 1989).
There’s been a lot of brain research since the 1980s, when these two books were published. Science now understands that it isn’t only right brain or only left brain thinking that dominants. Both sides of the brain are constantly in communication, unless you’ve had a brain injury or a lobotomy. And when one side is damaged the other side of the brain builds bridges, over time, to compensate. It’s a fluid relationship within the brain to heighten survival – life. The goal of the Creative Spark exercises is to enhance this fluid relationship and optimize the innovative, creative, problem solving that you were created for.
Enjoy today’s Creative Spark and be sure and leave a comment, once you are done, and let me know how it felt for you. Your feed back will help me improve this creative exercise and make it more useful for you.
Day 3 – Creative Spark – Textures and washes – swimming in creative-JOY
Artist Trading Card – watercolour paper (you can substitute other heavy paper)
Permanent gel pen in black
Sharpie permanent marker in gold, silver, or copper
Water colour pencils (you can substitute coloured pencil crayons and a watercolour wash)
Sea salt (optional)
Take your artist trading card or another piece of paper – water colour paper will be best for this one but you can use what you have on hand.
Draw an object that has meaning for you in the centre of the paper. It doesn’t have to be very detailed or very exact. You are looking for the idea of an object. (I drew a fish because fish are one of the three things that God blessed at creation, in the account in Genesis. The other two were birds and humans. In many cultures fish represent life, fertility, and abundance. Fish are also one of the first species to be damaged when the eco-system becomes unbalanced.)
Once you are happy with the object of your choice, begin to fill in the white space surrounding the object (the fish in my example) with small shapes to create textures. Vary the size of the shapes and the spacing to create dark areas and light areas in the background. Change the texture pattern randomly and fill in the entire background of the drawing with textured shapes.
Using water colour pencils, colour in random shapes on the picture, until you like the effect. Leave most of the texture motifs white. Note: If you are using pencil crayons instead of water colour pencils, use a light wash of water colour paints in the next step instead of plain water.
Take a small sponge, I used a natural sea sponge, but another porous sponge will do. Dampen the sponge and wring out the excess water. Blot the sponge onto the paper over your textured drawing. The water colour pencils will create pools of colour where the water from the sponge touches. If you are using pencil crayons, create a light water colour wash and blot it over the picture as if you are using a rubber stamp. You are achieving layers of colour and interest.
If desired, sprinkle with fine sea salt while the painting is still damp. Allow to dry completely before brushing off the salt. The salt will increase the texture in the drawing.
Once your painting is fully dry, outline the picture with your metallic sharpie marker in gold, silver, or copper. Done.
While it will take longer than 15 minutes from the start of this exercise till you are finished the last step. The actual working time is just 15 minutes. I let mine dry for about 3 hours before outlining the frame with the gold sharpie.
Once you are done share you creation on my Facebook page and tell me how it felt for you. I love seeing all your creative exercises. It’s inspiring for so many, and it’s fun, too!