This activity uses a water-soluble felt tip pen, a brush, H20, tree bark, and watercolor paper. In this video, you draw tree bark texture linearly with a pen and then add water to dissolve and soften marks. Dissolving these marks with water is an easy way to take the leap from tight description to loose atmospheric effects. This action reminds you that there is more than one way to express an idea and sometimes you need to transform one way of working into an other to say what you really mean.
- There's more than one way to express an idea. Often we fall back on what's familiar, what we know we can do well to get the job done. This can happen in the workplace, in the art studio, or even cooking the same meal every Tuesday night. What starts to happen is that we get bored. Sure maybe it seems like it takes less effort to do something the way we've always done it but you really need to ask yourself, is this fresh, is it cutting edge? Invariably, the outcome of something born from habit doesn't have the spark that trying something new might. We need to be willing to fail at something new. And find ways to transform our habitual process into something more dynamic. So, I love to sketch with a pen and I've been doing it for years. I can rely on my skill, on my training, when I pull a pen out to draw, I'm not really feeling like I'm taking any big risks. I have a particular language with the pen and I can generally describe what's in front of me with precision, if it's the bark of a tree, I let my eye follow its texture and more or less mimic it on paper. I push and pull the line, creating darker lines where I feel I need them and developing the image until I reach a familiar place of satisfaction and finish. I'm not exactly bored with the outcome, but usually when I'm drawing this way with a pen, it doesn't feel particularly risky and innovative. So I started to search for a way to change things up a little. I'm always doing that. Trying to throw myself a curve ball to add grip to my practice. So recently I found these water soluble pens, I though what, you just add water and they dissolve? So I tried it, and instantly, the tight descriptive marks that I've always made dissolved into these loose atmospheric effects I'd never made before. By adding just a little bit of water on top of these unfamiliar pens, the pigment liquefies and I'm suddenly painting. Was I afraid I'd ruin the picture, yeah, but so what if I did, it's all practice. Taking this chance taught me that sometimes you need to transform one way of working into another, even if it's scary. To say something in a fresh new way, have the bravery to change it up a little, loosen, dissolve a stale approach. Precision isn't the only potential outcome. If you have a willingness to liberate, an initial plan, you might be able to embrace the unexpected and shine in ways you could've never predicted.
- Moving past creative blocks
- Generating ideas
- Letting go of perfection
- Strengthening connection for authentic ideas
- Adopting fresh approaches to seeing
- Collaborating to build relationships
- Choosing alternative viewpoints
- Rewriting an old story
- Rearranging the familiar
- Shifting perspective