Loose Lines

It’s always nice when good sketches sneak up on you. They’re often the ones where you’re not trying too hard or thinking too much. Where your lines are loose and flow from object to paper quickly and without criticism. I wasn’t trying to create anything detailed or complicated here; I just wanted to capture form and light…which, I suppose is what we’re always striving for on paper.

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

Tips & Techniques- If you need to loosen up with your artwork, I recommend grabbing a pencil or pen and leaving the eraser behind. Look at whatever you’re working on for a minute or two, and then jump in. Keep your lines moving and your eyes on your subject. If you don’t like a line, go over it with another one (and another one, and another one). Give yourself just a few minutes to capture the essence. Then turn the page and start again. Do a couple of these quick sketches in succession. When you’re finished, take a read on how it felt to work this way. Freeing, eh?

20 Comments on “Loose Lines

    • That’s great to hear Hanna! I think I’m going to try to regularly include a “Tips & Techniques” section to my posts. I love to know when things are working!

  1. Your wise advice today also inspired me and coincided with the messages I was gleaning from some other blogs I just read – Loosening up also applies to many other areas in life – that “zen-like” approach that I really needed to be reminded of! Trying too hard always leads to resistance doesn’t it – it’s like it trips up the wrong muscles and blocks the flow. Thank you so much for sharing these tips!

    • Yes, the other implications of “loosening up” are not lost on me, though it is not always easy. I trend between loose and perfection and like both ends of the spectrum…though sometimes loose is perfection! Good luck with your artwork!

  2. Simple subject matter – as always, your work and words inspire. Sometimes we spend so much time anguishing over ‘what’ to draw or paint, when we really just need to get drawing or painting.

  3. Absolutely agree, and what’s more, I’ve found that a discipline of working in pen makes working in erasable media seem so much simpler, as accuracy improves naturally. Your beets are beautiful. 🙂

  4. Lovely drawing – working on toned paper with black and white is very effective. Great advice too. We all need something to get us over the hump of putting pencil to paper!

    • Thanks Anna! I just heard a quote (can’t remember who from) that said “there’s nothing more exciting then a blank page.” I thought I would do well to remember that when I’m feeling unsure about putting pen the paper.

      • That’s a nice way to look at it, but I think a blank page is a little daunting for many of us! I know a lot of people who put some random marks or colour on a page just to break the blankness. Personally I do quite like a blank page, which is probably why I can’t resist buying sketchbooks and paper!

  5. This is so true and a great reminder for all artists! I’ve been “free drawing” as I call it, for six weeks now and my sketches seem to become better each time. Also, not focusing so much on what you’re drawing, but more on what you’re feeling seems to work!
    Great post! 🙂

    • Thanks Rose- I’m glad you’re enjoying your drawing! Consistent practice makes a big difference! Keep it up and thanks for following!

    • Just took a quick look at your blog– I love the quote on the home page! Lucky you to volunteer in a nature center…I’m sure you are learning a lot there.

      • Oh, thank you! If you follow you can get updates on all the stuff we’re doing in at this Nature Center. Also, I’ll be posting about educational natural topics, like how to bring art and nature together!
        Hope to see you’re comments!

  6. This is so delicately beautiful. I am always so erratic with my drawing. Thank you for sharing your lovely tips. I specially love the loosening aspect of drawing. I always feel to rigid, and want to give up when I don’t like something. 🙂

    • Look at what you like in your better drawings and keep going. I’ve had that feeling of wanting to give up many times; it’s totally normal. But the more you do (and perhaps the looser you can work) the better you will become. Keep putting that pen to paper!

  7. Pingback: In lumina

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