#16: Doodling

Doodling is something we all do, often when we are bored or our conscious mind is half-engaged in something. For me it is when I’m talking on the phone. I often find that a doodle starts as a response to a mark on a page.

Automatic drawing is to draw with no plan or conscious control and is a surrealist approach. When I did the blind contour drawing with my left hand it was much looser than with my right hand. Using my non-dominant hand is a good way to relinquish conscious control over the pencil.

Gather Materials:

  • an artist’s journal, unlined notebook, or piece of paper
  • pencil of your choice
  • listen to 5 minute long song

Today’s Exercise

Doodling with my Non-dominant Hand

  • Listen to a song that is about 5 minutes in length
  • Sit comfortably with your pencil and sketchbook in front of you.
  • Adopt the automatic drawing approach: begin by putting yourself in a receptive frame of mind.
  • Take your pencil in your non-dominant hand and make a mark without thinking
  • Continue to respond to the mark—avoid conscious control over the image

Reflections on the Exercise

  • Music helps make the exercise automatic as I just move and respond to the tempo of the song
  • My left hand feels stiff, I have little control
  • There are a lot of continuous lines… this shows I was flowing with the music
  • It’s hard to let go of outcome when I know that I’ll scan this in and others may see it
  • The result is just a mess but this isn’t about making great art

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