Do you ever want to be creative but feel lost for an idea? Has it been awhile and you need a way back into the creative process? I've written before about how giving yourself permission to scribble can really help. Making a mess, making marks with no expectations doing it quickly and just letting whatever happens happen is a good strategy and it's fun too!
I like using charcoal sticks and smudging them all over the paper. I like the dark black lines I can make with a good soft bit of charcoal and combining it with the hard, silvery lines of a conté stick or a graphite pencil. I use my fingers to rub, smudge and smear, and experiment making lines quickly, trying not to think too much. Music helps with this.
Sometimes I do slow down or pause, take a moment to think where I want to make a mark next, but I try to keep that minimal. I put a stack of paper beside me, a roll of masking tape and I keep going until I've used up all of the paper, making a fairly quick decision about when each piece is finished. I won't love them all. Some I won't even like. For every ten there will be a couple I really like, though grouped together they all look better than they do individual. It looks intentional. Taping the edges gives it a nice finished look as well as making it look like art instead of scribbles.
I've got a little dish of charcoal sticks on hand as well as various smudgers, though for this I mainly used fingers to smudge.
This is a piece of corrugated plastic that you can either tape or pin paper to for painting and charcoal work. Regular masking tape works fine on heavy water colour paper, and as it peels off readily I re-used it a few times to tape down new pieces of paper.
I think this one above is one of my favourites. It can take a bit of time to loosen up and hit your stride so it's often the pieces made last that are most appealing, but surprises can happen.
I spray mine with a fixative after, as charcoal smudges so easily. It stinks horribly so it's a job that needs to be done outside on a dry day. Stacking the pages with tissue or waxed paper between can help to prevent smudging as well.
One of my goals with my painting is to get looser and stay loose. This is a good exercise in looseness so I'm hoping to do it more often. I've also noticed that music helps me loosen up in painting so I think a specific playlist might be a good idea and sounds like a project to ask Jim to take on for me. He is the music man in this household. I am the scribbler.
My music today, provided by Jim, was Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Dvorak's Carnival Overture, The New World Symphony, Khachaturian's Spartacus and Gayane Ballet Suite