The Picture attached to this page is by British artist Ivon Hitchens. It has a sense of playfulness about it that always encourages me to enjoy myself and try new things.

I know that often, instead of sitting down and just creating, you are dealing with other internal distractions:

  • If the page is good you worry you’ll mess it up…(the only judge is you, and does it matter anyway? Work out why you like it and work on another page)
  • You tell yourself its not very good anyway so why bother…(really? Haven’t you just enjoyed the process?)
  • You hear that nagging voice in your head, “Stop wasting time.”…what a load of rubbish. You are spending valuable, explorative, relaxing, thought provoking time with yourself.
  • Time to think.

kickstart art

You are connecting with me, here, for a reason. You want to make space in your life for judgment-free, joyful creativity, and I want to help you do it.

Let’s do a few more quick exercises.

Exercise 1

This exercise is about embracing the unexpected and not worrying about saying goodbye to a page you may, or may not have liked.

You will need: Sketchbook, pencil, and eraser

  1.  SIMG_7991cribble all over the page with pencil. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just willy nilly. You can include writing, numbers, shapes whatever takes your fancy. Try to have some areas darker than others.

2.     kickstart art
With an eraser carve out different shapes. I wouldn’t worry about a plan. There are going to be further steps after this.

3. IMG_7993With the pencil go around your erased shapes, not too carefully. Then ‘colour-in’ different shapes made by the scribble and rubbing out.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you think you have finished. Knowing when you have finished is the hardest thing.



This could go on and on…and I would enjoy every moment of it. The end result is a long way from where I started.  I could not possibly have imagined where I would go with the exercise but it is enjoyable to do and very engaging.

If this was one of my drawing classes I would point out that it is a significant exercise in mark making.

Exercise 2.

You will need a sketchbook and a pencil, and a pen.

This is two exercises in one. You are going to look at tonal lines. This suddenly sounds official! Don’t panic. Approach this in a similar way to the other exercises you have done. If it goes wrong it doesn’t matter. Keep fiddling and editing until you feel happy with it.

  1. Draw two rectangles, not too big, parallel with each other, and between them make 6 boxes, at one end one marked black, and at the other one marked white (see below)

2. First do six tonal ‘boxes’ with pencil trying to keep the gradation from one box to the next quite even.

3. Do the same thing with the pen. I find it a bit harder with a pen.


So, you have started on Mark Making, and Tonal Studies. Well done you.  I have had a fun time doing them with you. The big question is what to do next…

If you go back to the main website you will see Drawing Taster classes for beginners and other classes. If you live near our studio we would love to see you. If you live further afield, or if it is tricky for you to find time, or transport then keep an eye on the website for lots more e-courses that are in the pipeline.

Remember to enjoy the process, nobody is judging you, your Art Diary Sketchbook is YOUR space (though we would love to see how you are getting on with #hampshireartstudio #kickstartart or #lookwhatimadetoday on instagram.

Keep On Drawing, Painting, Sticking, Fiddling, Editing, Playing, and  Enjoying the Process.