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The Molten Mind Space

10 Ways to Have The Most Fun Making Art

Photo by Kai Oberhäuser on Unsplash

Did you know: the drawing game most people know as misfits or mix and match, where one person draws a head on one third of a piece of paper, then folds it and passes it on to someone else who draws the body and arms, folds it again and a new person draws the legs, was originally invented by the surrealists. They called it: “the exquisite corpse” (in French: cadavre exquis).

Art is about playing with colours, tones, light and shade. Even just “messing around with paint.” We sometimes forget this when we grow up (especially if we call ourselves ‘fine artists’). But it is helpful to remember that art is all about having fun.

You too, can have more fun with your art. Here are some tips and tricks I have gleaned from various sources. All it takes is a little imagination and a willingness to stretch yourself.

1. Set a challenge

Get together with artist friends (whether in reality or virtually) and set a challenge to draw something. Make it something fairly difficult. Make it something you are all interested in as a group. For example, it might be a fan drawing of characters from your favourite series.

When everyone is finished take your courage in both hands and share your drawing (no matter how bad you think it may be) with the others. Vote for a winner. Set a prize ahead of time too, if you want to. (Remember that the other participants should get something too, even if it is just constructive criticism!)

Also remember that it’s not a competition, but a test to improve drawing skills. Play nice.

2. Role Play

Why not take your own reference photos?

Dress up. Use everyday objects as props. It doesn’t matter if they don’t match exactly what it is you need. Get some toy props if you need to.

Let go of your inhibitions and dance around the room trying out different poses. Try to get a feel for the character you want to portray. Act and try to think like them. Enjoy the role play. Take as long as you need.

It is helpful to have a willing photographer friend to hand. But selfies work can work too.

kung fu poses in a cool top

3. Gender Bender

If you are a woman, draw yourself as a man. If you are a man, draw yourself as a woman. For best results, take a photograph of yourself and manipulate it in photoshop.

4. En Plein Air

Get outside into the fresh air with notebook and pencils/pen (even try some paints if you are confident enough transporting them).

Go for a leisurely walk in a place you are familiar with and sit down somewhere you know, where you won’t be disturbed, to draw. Draw the scenery whilst appreciating the summer’s warmth and the sound of the birds.

Why not go with artist friends? Take a picnic. Get more adventurous and go somewhere further afield. But always make sure that you are not trespassing. Draw the scenery; but also draw each other in the scenery.

When you have a finished drawing, you can take it home and turn it into whatever you want. Why not turn it into an alien landscape by manipulating the colours in photoshop or paint a starfield in the sky above.

5. Down the town

Why not take a stroll down the town and look out for areas of interest? This is good if you are a tourist, but can be more fun if it is a town you know well.

Look out for areas of negative space. Areas between buildings or between grills. Notice bricked-up doorways and windows or other curious architectural features. Take photographs of the ones which most interest you.