Workbooking #3: The power of more

Let’s get down to some actual drawing. This video is a trick for turning lousy drawings into a cool piece of art. It’s all about the power of more, how a page of even mediocre drawings gains power and beauty as you add more drawings. And this approach is so fast and simple, taking just a minute each — a minute you can fit in, no matter how busy your day.  Just make sure you keep that workbook handy for when the moment strikes.

Workbooking #2

This week is all about finding triggers that will help make drawing into a regular part of your day, building new patterns and habit to make you more creative and productive. It’s also about why you should bother— why do you want to be creative? What are your goals and aspirations?

I am really enjoying poodling along in my workbook. The paper is hefty, the size is just right. And I’m having fun making these simple little videos — no SBS level production value, just me, my iPhone, my kitchen, workbook, and pen.

It’s funny being taught by myself. I thought about all of these exercises a lot when I wrote the book and its predecessor but, with the distance of time, I am now able to dig into each assignment as if for the first time.

But enough about me.

I hope you are working alongside me and filling in the pages of your workbook too.  And if you don’t have one yet, it’s not too late to enter for the giveaway.  Just email your name to gift@sketchbookskool.com and we’ll pop it in the hat.  I’ll be drawing names at my Facebook Live thingee on Saturday.

Work with me, People!

I am slowly working my way through the exercises in my new book, Art Before Breakfast – the workbook. I keep it on my kitchen counter and start each day by filling in a few pages. It’s a nice, gentle creative experience that’s reviving my drawing habit and I thought I’d record the experience as I go along — and share it with you.

This isn’t meant to be a commercial, just a sort of visual process journal shot and edited on my phone. If you are working through the book too and would like to share any thoughts or discoveries, I’d love to hear about ’em.

Hi ho, it’s off to the Workbook we go!

My new book is out! It’s succinctly titled: Art Before Breakfast – the workbook: How (and why) to develop a creative habit, no matter how busy you are.

It’s all about how to get a creative habit, so you will make art every day. It’ll teach you to draw, to create, to stay committed, no matter what your level.
It’s printed on lovely chunky paper. It’s a big but not too big. It’s full of ideas. And some jokes. It’s my new BFF and will go with me most everywhere.

Based upon my bestselling book (six foreign-language editions and counting!), this encouraging, guided journal is packed with short exercises designed to help shape a life-enriching artistic habit. Open-ended prompts, visual examples, and lots of blank space for drawing make this workbook a fun, accessible entry to artmaking for anyone looking to carve out time for creativity.

No matter your age or drawing ability, this workbook will become your constant, creative companion.

Click to get yours now!

The last breakfast and the rocking classroom

I just wanted to remind you that the sale on my book, Art Before Breakfast, is about to come to an end. It’s available at most online books stores including AmazonOn February 1st, the price returns to normal. Meanwhile, here’s what you’ll get for less than the price of short latte.

winter16badge-300Also, I am excited to be joining Faith Ringgold (!) and a bunch of other creative superstars talking at the AOE’s Winter Conference. It’s an amazing opportunity for art teachers to hear some fresh, innovative perspectives that will rock your classroom.

I’ll be speaking at 11 am CST on January 30th. Hope to see you there!

Fun in my pants.

Like most 21st century bipeds, I love my phone. I remember back in the ’60’s when we had to carry around a computer the size of a Buick in order to get spam. Now I just reach in my pocket, and there’s the world — and I don’t even wear cargo pants!

pumpkin-latte-widgetWhich brings me to irony. Earlier this year, I published a book which suggested that when you have downtime — while waiting for the light to change, the elevator to arrive, the doctor to read your x-rays, D.J.Trump to say something reasonable — instead of reflexively reaching for your phone to check Facebook, you might pull out your sketchbook and do a little drawing.

Now the publisher of my book has placed temptation in everyone’s way.

For the month of January, Art Before Breakfast* will be on sale for just $2.99. That’s the ebook version. The version you can download to your phone and carry around with you everywhere. That means that rather than doing a drawing, you can spend your downtime thumbing through my book and reading me exhorting you to do a drawing.

Sigh.

room-service-widgetIt’s not all bad though. The book is full of inspiring thoughts, encouraging advice and suggestions on what and how to draw, paint, and make the world a lovelier place. So with any luck you’ll download it and eventually get around to making some art. No matter how busy you are.

This offer ends on Jan 31. Then the world returns to normal.


 

*This link is to Amazon US but it’s on sale on in virtually every store that sells it worldwide.

Art Before Breakfast: Deeper into negative space

Here’s the third of a series of simple videos I’ve made to walk you through the steps of seeing and drawing from my latest book, Art Before Breakfast. This one builds on the previous lesson with a different exercise in how to see negative space. That’s the space between things that helps us understand better what we are seeing and hence better how to draw.

If you’re new to drawing or are struggling with the basics, I hope this series will be helpful. (Here’re the past episodes, in case you missed any.)

Every Friday I work through an idea from Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from pages 26-7. If you decide to do it too, please share with me how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my comments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

Art Before Breakfast: couch potato

I usually listen to the radio while I potter around in the kitchen of a morning. Today I put on the TV instead and watched talkingheads discuss the last Republican debate. While they kvetched, I sketched.

I approached it like a doodly collage, capturing moments in boxes that approximate the shape of the screen without being too slavish to reality, and augmenting them with decorative bits.  I kept moving around the page, adding bits to earlier parts, making the whole thing denser and more detailed. It’s a fairly mindless way of drawing, half paying attention to the screen, half to the page.

One trade secret: the pause button on my remote control. I can freeze the action for a couple of minutes and catch a gesture. Other bits I just drew while they were happening or from memory. Or from my imagination.

I used a manga pen and a brush pen in my trusty Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook.


Every Friday I work through an idea from my latest book, Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from p.51. If you decide to do it too, please share how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my comments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

Art Before Breakfast: Toast

Instead of hitting the POST button at 7 am as per usual, I sat down to draw my breakfast.

This particular slice comes from a loaf baked by our pal, Michael. He brought it to a wine tasting we hosted last weekend and it was so delicious I managed  to stretch the loaf out all week. Today I hit the heel.

Drawing toast is an adventure. It’s an opportunity to slow way down and delve deep. I begin by slowly driving my pen around the perimeter and then, quadrant by quadrant, I work my way through every nook, crumb, divot, pit and hole. It’s not difficult work but it’s absorbing and clears the mind.

I have gone into this in more depth here on the blog,  in Art Before Breakfast and in Seeing at SBS but all you really need is a pen, a piece of paper, some toast, and about 10 spare minutes.


Every Friday I work through an idea from my latest book, Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from p.38. If you decide to do it too, please share how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my snows-bread-recipecomments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

And if you’d like to draw the same bread I did, here’s Michael’s recipe: