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Making Art

The Many Shapes of Bravery

The introduction to Fearless Drawing could also be a mantra for life.

"Be brave, take part, try, begin."

These words of wisdom belong to author and artist Kerry Lemon as she introduces us to her brand of fearless penmanship and her book that guides you through exploring and expanding your use of various artistic tools.

The exercises start simple, asking you to explore your grip, strokes, and pattern techniques. But from there they branch into places I would have never thought to take art. For example, Lemon takes you on an adventure in drawing that is built from imagination. She asks you to start with three identical ducks and then proceeds to draw imaginary legs on the familiar animals. Her ducks have ballerina, flamingo, and octopus "legs," though she encourages you to create your own!

Image excerpted from Fearless Drawing

Another exercise I love is called "Drawn to Sound," in which you listen to music and draw whatever the sounds inspire. You can try different genres, artists, and types of music. This technique allows you to see how your strokes vary depending on the notes. Your drawing could be sound waves−jumping and plunging as the pitch increases and decreases. Or it could be anything else. Anything.

Even skilled artists can get stuck in ruts. Novice artists can be plagued with the "I can't [insert artistic activity here]" self-doubt. This book is like a jump-start, an electric shock to our monotony-beleaguered creativity. It's a great reminder what the ultimate goal of art is: self-expression.

The book concludes with some more words of wisdom from Lemon. 

"The wonderful thing about drawing is how each person's approach and end result will always be different. Each one of these completed books will look completely different; yours is unique and celebrates your own approach and style."

What aspect of your art could use a dash of fearlessness?

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Take your sketch pad and commune with nature. You have a new thrill coming.

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