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Draw, Paint and Write

On the cover of the Journal, What to Paint Next? around the girl, there are over fifty balloons with suggestions on what to paint. You can pick one each time you decide to work in this book because there are fifty blank pages for you to fill. On the left side page, at the top, write the topic of choice. For example, Bugs. Write freely about bugs for as long as you can and if you run short, check out your topic on the internet to get you going again. Pay attention to the photographs and diagrams of bugs.

On the blank side draw bugs. No need to worry if they are correct, this is art not biology class, so draw an oval or a circle and give your bug a head (by drawing a smaller circle at one end) legs, antennae, a face, eyes, wings---you get the idea. Fill the whole space and add smaller bugs to keep going. No judgments, no stopping to evaluate your progress. Pretend you are a seven-year-old who would just draw freely and happily. If you need to, check references again for more details to include. Now, shade with your pencil, pen or marker. Work over the whole page, creating interesting patterns of black, white and shading.

To work in color, get out a set of cheap colored markers (the entire set for $1.00 at the dollar store) or a nice set of a good grade of colored pencils. (You get what you pay for with colored pencils. Get a little sharpener, keep them nice and they will last a long time.) By now you'll be zipping along under your own steam and your innate creativity and excitement will be leading you. Stop when you are tired or satisfied. Step back, look at it and enjoy that good feeling you get from creating a piece of art. Keep going.

Go on to the next balloon on the cover and pick another topic and repeat the steps above. If the subject seems daunting, break it down, for example, instead of an entire farm, maybe do a silo, a pig or a chicken. Again, use the internet to do research. Write in the search box "pigs coloring pages" to bring up simple line drawings of pigs. Ditto for chickens, silos, barns, chicken houses, etc. Keep going, fill the page and have fun.

This journal is meant to make you happy, not frustrated or disappointed in yourself. Just do the themes on the cover, one to a page without judging or criticizing your efforts. You've not just done a drawing or painted with markers or colored pencils, you've also written about that topic. After a cooling-off period, look again at your work with an appreciative not critical eye. Stick with it and watch yourself grow. If you wish, buy a set of watercolors and a small brush that comes to a good point when wet and paint some of your drawings.

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