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Have you ever sat down to draw or create art and just felt absolutely intimidated by the white page?
Whether you have or not, it's still easy to get into a rut with art. You might find yourself drawing the same thing over and over again, or using the same colour scheme. Yes, styles and identifiable colour schemes can be absolutely lovely, but there are times when you just need to shake it up. But, for me at least, I can feel even more intimidated by trying something new when I'm already having difficulty with my staple.
There are a few ways to make shaking up your style easier:
1. Get a new sketchbook.
Make a Mess
Whether another of your beloved go-to's, or something entirely different, having a different book that is entirely meant for making a mess is a mental health saver.
Having a pile of loose-leaf can be equally helpful, so there is more freedom in just tossing it into the recycling bin. Not every piece needs to be a treasure. The reason for having a sketchbook versus just sheets of paper is to kind of give permission for that experimental art to exist in your catalogue, but away from your main work.
Sometimes, it's worth taking a step back from those experiments and come back another day. You might find appreciation in them with distance, or even get inspired.
Copying is sometimes all you need to freshen up your art vision. Maybe just draw an eye or bird like someone else does, it doesn't have to be a full picture, but the process of copying lets you enter into the psyche of another artist and/or style.
Getting overly attached to a specific series of lines for a nose or window can be the first step to getting frustrated with art. Art is meant to be fun and expressive, not just a pattern or formula.
I recently watched a video from the lovely Pear Fleur where she brought up the idea of drawing from movie frames. She specifically spoke of old black and white movies, looking at where heads were in relations to buildings and composition. Little things like that can help you take a step back from art and push the boundaries of a box you have ended up in.
One of my favourite things to do is scroll through Pinterest. I will find poses, scenes, colour schemes, and just general styles as jumping points to get my first lines down. You can find my Pinterest here, to give you an idea.
Another option is to print something out, or rip a page from a magazine and scribble on top of it. Trace the lines, add to the lines, it can be nice to just start with a page that was never blank.
3. Just make lines.
It can be the first line to a page stopping progression. Just swipe across the page. Splash a random colour down. With ink or watercolour, water can put water down at random with a brush, and then add a drop of pigment. Those haphazard shapes are a great starting point. I like to add random hands or faces to them, or use it as a bit of a Rorschach test.
When I was too worked up to focus, I used to just scribble on a page, then go in, darkening lines in select spots
4. Try a new medium.
My wonder medium that made me look at art differently was watercolour. But, that could be charcoal, pencil crayon, acrylics, or a new ink pen that might work for someone else. That goes with paper too, different papers can make a drawing experience very different.
Letting yourself be a raw beginner with a medium is a excellent way to step back and play with art again. And it can bring to light some issues that were arising from being too deep in a pattern.
Some mediums worth giving a shot:
watercolour, gouache, ink (Tombow, Pentel, dip pens), pastel pencil crayons, tempera, wax crayons, oil pastels, chalk pastels, graphite sticks
5. Return to the old.
Find old sketches and revisit them. Is there a medium you used to use way back? Those old sketches have a chance reignite that feeling of inspiration you had when creating them. It might make you notice something you used to do that you want to try again. Look at the subject matter, the colours, or style.
What ways do you use to re-inspire yourself for art?
I hope that even one of these tricks will help you with those glaring white pages. Just yesterday I brought out an old favourite, charcoal, and felt like art was refreshed again.
Enjoy making art : )