I finished the Painting for Fun Sketchbook Challenge, a class by Laura Horn from her Creative Blend Art Program. This is one the many online classes I own that I finished from A to Z and that’s probably because it is meant for exploring in your sketchbook without having to make a final masterpiece.
The first prompt was Interesting shapes (I got it wrong in my sketchbook, but it felt like interesting shapes): paint shapes that you are normally not drawn to with the help of handcut stencils.
The second prompt was about highlighting a shape by painting around it. This was not new to me: Alisa Burke uses it a lot in her classes and sketchbooks. This technique works best when you use contrasting colors (light vs dark, or complimentary colors).
The third prompt was about working with neutral colors, I usually use bright colors, so this was a challenge for me!
The fourth prompt: Add texture to your spread. This could be anything, but I used a dried leaf skeleton, pieces of fabric, paper towels with paint on it, bister, watercolors and faber paste.
The next prompt was about grouping things on the page in a cluster.
The sixth prompt was about using mostly lines on the page. I used a collage piece as a center piece and combined it with different qualities of line using different materials.
This prompt, no paint allowed, looked like a lot of fun but when I tried it myself it didn’t work out as well as I had imaged. This is partly due to the fact that I gessoed my pages first and then used felt tip pens on top diluting them with water, which obviously didn’t quite pan out.
I really enjoyed this prompt and also tried it out on several spreads. Starting with a dark background and then paint with lighter tones over the top can create quite a pop.
The next prompt was about using a subject that has personal meaning to you, for me that was flowers. I paint or draw flowers frequently in my work: I love their shapes, colour and smell.
The last prompt, Big Energy!, was about bigger or bolder moves in your spread. Sometimes when you’re stuck in the messy middle and you don’t know how to progress with your piece, you just need to make a bold move.
I really love the final spread, it’s my favorite of the class.
For this class I worked in two sketchbooks simultaneously, below is a video of one of them.