tarotbydelightfuldesire said: Hi I like your blog very much. I just wondered how long you have been practicing automatic drawing? I have tried a few times but got lots of scribble. I can see some patterns and face like objects in my pictures...if i really look..lol Its something I would really like to get into a bit more. Have you any tips? x
I’ve been drawing this way off and on for 12 years or so. Early on I left the scribbling or did the entire drawing in pen, but recently I have been erasing the pencil scribblings once I focus on an image within them. Automatic drawing is the best term I have found to describe this sort of drawing, but it may differ from others who draw automatically.
My method is generally to clear my mind as fully as possible and focus on the paper. Sometimes I have an intention, but only in a vague and loose way, like an emotion or general idea (such as “sadness”). I let me pencil go where it will on the paper and let my eyes pick out patterns or recognizable images. Sometimes I turn the paper multiple times while drawing.
Eventually an image begins to take shape and I focus on that without getting caught up in my own ideas of how the image should look. So, if an arm begins to take shape and it seems disproportionate to my eye, I will continue drawing the arm regardless. Eventually it comes together and is often more imperfect or surreal looking than an image drawn from a source. It can be hard to let yourself simply draw without correcting it. I think that takes a bit of practice and getting used to.
Once the image is down and fully realized from the scribbles I go over it with pen. Usually I erase the pencil scribblings, but sometimes I leave it. Mostly if multiple elements come out of it.
I think the main thing is to suspend your judgements and to let the images happen as they will. It might look ugly, off, or “wrong” as you’re drawing, but that’s part of the process, I think. By the time the image is complete it’s often not as off looking as it might have seemed at first. Any of those images you see when you look can become something more. Just start focusing on them and they will likely begin to take shape. If they don’t, move to another image or keep scribbling until it does.
If you have trouble with this, it can help to work with your non-dominant hand or by drawing with your eyes closed or in dim light. These can be exercises too to help loosen your hand and mind. Painting abstractly first and then drawing on top can help too. Sometimes it’s easier to find images in paint blotches because there is more variation in color and tone.
I hope this helps! :) Good luck!