Advice — Four creative exercises keeping artists inspired in isolation

Posted 15 April 2020 Introduction by Siham Ali
Written by Ocki Magill

As part of our ongoing quest to stay creatively fit and healthy, we’ve turned to curator and owner of the Blue Shop Cottage gallery, Ocki Magill this week. Since the closure of many galleries, Ocki has taken to producing her new daily Instagram Live GOING LIVE, where she talks to a different creative every day, to learn more about their process and share a fun virtual workshop. Here, Ocki is highlighting some brilliant, artistic exercises shared by creatives like Caroline Dowsett, River Cousin, Kris Small and Annu Kilpeläinen.

Blue Shop Cottage

Staying inspired through a crisis

Since I am unable to continue running events and curating at Blue Shop Cottage I have challenged myself to get on the phone with a different artist, creative or curator every day to learn more about their process. I check in with them to find out what they’re up to, and if they have any creative tricks they’d like to share. This has led to some brilliant lockdown collaborations.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been drawing with Christabel Forbes, painting trees with Rosie Lascelles, colouring in with Kelly Anna and playing music with Ange Mullen Bryan. I’d like to share four creative exercises from Caroline Dowsett, River Cousin, Kris Small and Annu Kilpeläinen with you all this week.

Example pieces from Caroline Dowsett’s tutorial

‘Illustrated Type’ with Caroline Dowsett

Instructions

What youll need
Coloured drawing materials e.g. Posca pens or Liquitix acrylic, brushes, felt tips, crayons, black sharpie, and a sheet of paper

How to do it
1. Start by building up colour with patterns and geometric shapes using a variety of different shades and materials to fill your page

2. Introduce a word that’s feeling particularly powerful at the moment on top of the pattern that you’ve created (use black block lettering)

3. Add some fun flourishes in black between the lettering

instagram.com/caroline_dowsett

Example pieces from River Cousin’s tutorial

Example pieces from River Cousin’s tutorial

Example pieces from River Cousin’s tutorial

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‘Drippy Sphere Tutorial’ with River Cousin

Instructions

What youll need
Adobe Photoshop

What to do

1. Make a new file (2,000px x 200px, 300dpi) and set the background colour using the paint bucket tool

2. Use textures and layers provided (in downloadable link below)

Click here for detailed instructions, downloadable materials and other creative exercises produced by River.

instagram.com/rivercousin

Example pieces from Kris Small’s tutorial

Example pieces from Kris Small’s tutorial

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‘Drawing Type’ with Kris Small

Instructions

What youll need
Felt tip pens and any art materials you have laying around

What to do
1. Cut a piece of A4 paper in half length wise

2. Fill the long sheet with different letters to create a word using different materials and thickness of line to fill the page. Sketch in pencil first to check if the words fit. Letter forms can be squished and stretched

3. Add squiggles and lines over the top and in the negative space to add a bit of life into the piece

4. You can copy different letter forms from magazines and books on your shelves if you want to experiment further

instagram.com/krisandrewsmall

Example pieces from Annu Kilpeläinen’s tutorial

‘Drawing Crazy Cars’ with Annu Kilpeläinen

Instructions

What youll need
Paints, watercolour, colouring pencils and coloured drawing material e.g. Posca Pens

What to do
1. Find a picture of your favourite vehicle

2. Draw the outlines in pencil (you can also trace against computer screen)

3. Divide the outline into smaller areas, then proceed filling the areas with different patterns and elements. It can be anything, one box can have checks, one can have flowers or they can all just be flat colours

4. Have fun and fill it with colour, starting from light to dark but really you can mix and match

instagram.com/annukilpelainen

Posted 15 April 2020 Introduction by Siham Ali
Written by Ocki Magill
Introduction: Siham Ali
Collection: Advice
Mentions: Kelly Anna, Caroline Dowsett, Kris Small, River Cousin, Annu Kilpeläinen

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