It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Tinkersketch challenge on our blog, and since we’ve been getting some great tinkersketch feedback on Instagram I thought I’d share a favorite low-stress way to get some paint and marks on paper.
I’m all about low-threshold art-making, and don’t want anyone to walk away because they’re overwhelmed, so I’ll always try to offer easy ways to get your hand moving. If things get a bit more challenging I’ll offer alternative ideas to keep things simple. I realize that you don’t have a lot of time, but you want to create, and I’ve got your schedule in my mind. I’m busy too, so this also works for me.
If you’re not familiar with the Tinkersketch Challenge, you can read about how it started and what you can expect over here. In a nutshell, I’m a huge proponent of making something every day, and this challenge will get you started on an easy sketchbook journey. All it takes is about 10 minutes a day, but of course once you get started it can be hard to walk away after just 10 minutes!
Draw Into Wet Paint
This is what we’ll be doing today: Draw directly into wet paint. My three-year old and I had a lot of fun working on this page together.
Find a sketchbook
If you have a sketchbook with heavy-weight pages, you’re ready to go. I’ve owned a lot of journals and I’ve been enjoying Strathmore’s Visual Journal series for wet media (paint, collage, glue, etc.). It’s not featured in this post since we were working with an upcycled notebook (more on how to make one of this soon), but I usually have a Visual Journal in my bag when I run around town.
My best tip for finding the right journal is to visit the art store and handle all the journals. What size do you like? Big to spread out on a table? Small to carry in a bag? What weight do you like? If you paint a lot, you’ll want something with thick paper. If you prefer dry media, thin paper is a more economical solution.
And if you prefer to skip the sketchbook altogether, just work from a pile of paper. I like to keep a stack of card stock on hand for such times.
Paint the page
Buy a bottle of gesso like this. Acrylic gesso is a polymer emulsion paint that’s used to paint over stretched canvases. You can think of it as a base coat upon which you can paint with watercolors, acrylics, and oils. You can also draw on top of gesso. Today we’ll draw on it (or into it) with a pencil.
Cover your page completely with gesso.
I placed a piece of wax paper (from the grocery store) under each of the pages to keep the paint off the table and off of the other pages in the sketchobook.
Alternative: Cover your page with white acrylic paint or thick white tempera paint. Tempera tends to flake off over time, but it should work if you’re interested more in the process than the product.
Draw onto the page
With a pencil, makes some marks directly into the paint. Don’t worry too much about what you’re drawing. This is about the process of discovering a new technique and it helps to simply pay attention to what happens as you pull paint across the paper with the pencil, and notice how the pencil marks through the paint and onto the paper.
For the picture above, I drew some lines and ovals onto the paint and then handed the book over to my three-year old who added her own ideas.
Play with us on Instagram
Instgrammers often share their tinkersketches on Instagram, and it’s a fun way to get ideas from fellow sketchbookers. Just search for the hashtag #tinkersketch for more.
If you’d like to share you own sketches, either inspired by these posts or of your own creation, add #tinkersketch to your photo and we’ll find you. It’s a fun way to get to know other inspiring and aspiring artists.
And on that note, I should say that this is for beginners and professionals alike — no level of experience is too small or too big to play. All are welcome.