Pep Talking Yourself into Painting

This weekend I tried a new technique to get myself to my desk to watercolor.  You may have used this technique before with a friend or family member. Maybe you’ve said to them  “You can do it! You’re smart, you have a good head on your shoulders, just try,”

Pep talks are not to be cnfused with affirmations. I think an affirmation is something you repeat to yourself that you want to be or happen. You could say, “I am a successful painter, I am creating all the time, even if these things aren’t true I think the theory is that if you repeat them often enough you will believe them. Affirmations don’t work for me. I tried saying to myself, “I am 20 lbs thinner,” then I reached for a cookie.

Today I said to myself something I had been mulling over for a while. “Barbara, you need to practice the painting concepts you have been studying, you don’t need to create a perfect painting.” I also threw in, when you finish you can have a cookie, ooops I said carrot”. 


Here is my practice. Going into the kitchen to get my carrot now.  

Here is my practice. Going into the kitchen to get my carrot now.  

Sneaky Drawing or How to Sneak In Some Daily Drawing Practice

Today I invented Sneaky drawing because I am caught up in a frenzy of pre-Thanksgiving activities and don't have time for artwork.  So I was forced to think up the Sneaky drawing method, which is not difficult and anyone can learn to do it after reading the instructions in this blog post.


Find a pencil, any pencil, it doesn't have to be perfect or a special #, just so it has a tip that writes.

Find a piece of paper to draw on.  I used my shopping list.  Throw your paper and your pencil into your purse, briefcase or pocket if you are going out. You need to be able to grab the paper and pencil when you have 1-5 minutes free.  II was waiting in the check out line at the market, when the realization struck me that I did not need to peak at the tabloid on the rack by the cashier.  It really wasn't crucial to read about Queen Elizabeth's secrets to a happy marriage or the latest movie stars most recent divorce and trauma.  Instead, I could draw!

How to make a sneaky drawing:

Find something in your line of vision. I chose a magazine cover. I looked at the cover for 3 seconds and then moved my pencil to capture some outlines of the dog on the cover. This type of drawing is known in the drawing business as contour drawing. You  move your pencil on the paper as you move your eye over the image you are looking at. When you need to, you can look at your drawing but try to spend most of your time looking at your subject. That's it. You are fully trained. I was able to complete three short drawings until my turn came to check out. I was pleased with my results, because the drawing part of my brain felt activated for the short 5 minutes I spent drawing. I am definitely going to be doing more sneaky drawing anytime I can. What about you?


How to Choose Your Sketchbook

I wasn't looking for a new portable sketchbook when I found the one pictured in the photo below at San Clemente Art Supply Store.   I have been content using Moleskine watercolor sketchbooks that I carry with me to sketch anywhere. 

What made me stray from the Moleskine and buy this new sketchbook? I liked the sketchbooks size, it's light weight cover, its paper quality (strong enough for watercolor painting), and it's stitched binding so you can paint across the pages.

Ollie and my new favorite sketchbook

Ollie and my new favorite sketchbook