This quickfire drawing exercise will engage you in an automatism that is intended to directly connect the hand with the mind and, to open up possibilities beyond received, conventional ways of doing things. 

For example, I will call out one emotion (to which students immediately respond with a gestural line or mark making), followed by a contrasting one. 

Or I will ask them to create any spontaneous mark, then another one with a contrasting direction, texture, width, value, etc., then another and another. And speaking of contrasts…

Enjoy this last session and see you on the LPG forum with your masterpieces!

Considering how your favourite artists can influence and push you in your practice, you will sum up all that you have learnt over the last five weeks to create an ambitious artwork.

Looking back at all you have achieved, will you focus only on abstraction? Symbolism? Will you try to incorporate some figurative elements?

Choose how you will play with black, white and greys, on dry or wet paper, with washes or plain ink.

Plan the scale of your work considering how physical or meditative (or both?) you want to orientate your practice.

Material needed

exercise #1

  • charcoal

  • butcher paper or cartridge paper

exercise #2

  • Glue, scissors/stanley knife

  • A3 or A4 cartridge paper or cardboard

All artists are out on LPG forum to help, shout out when you need support!

exercise #1
5 min drawing 

This exercise requires fast thinking, relying on your instinct and quick decision making. It is designed to help you built self-confidence and will highlight how trusting your instinct opens up to unexpected and interesting results that you would not achieve through procrastination.

The exercise last 5 minutes and contains 5 x 1min drawing. Each drawing  is made of a gestural line or mark making  that responds to an emotion (30 sec) followed by a contrasting emotion/line/mark making (30 sec).

Once your work area is set up and you are ready, immediately respond to the following emotions:

  1. explosive joy

  2. fulfilling love

  3. intense disgust

  4. restful contentment 

  5. pleasingly surprised


Select three lines or mark making and observe what they have in common and how they differentiate themselves. Add these qualities of line to your mental art lexicon for future works.

Monica Bella Ullmann (later Broner), Contrast Study with Various Materials, 1929–1930

exercise #2
15 min drawing

Abstract, found-material collages or assemblages as introduced below was a common Bauhaus preliminary assignment given by teachers such as Johannes Itten and Joseph Albers.


In your studio, the recycle bin, or around your house, take no more than 5 minutes to scavenge for contrasting materials such as fabric remnants, plastic bags, nails, pieces of paper, yarn, bids, sticks, feathers, etc...

  • Looking at the sensory-corporeal (physical aspect) of the objects you have gathered, consider how the textures of each object relate to each other (3 min)

  • Tear and cut the soft material into simple abstract shapes (1 min)

  • See if once arranged alone the piece of soft material is substantial enough or if  it needs to be juxtaposed to another object to maximise contrast (5 min)

  • Once you are settled on a composition, glue it onto paper (1 min)


How could this composition, texture, colour, juxtaposition of shapes inform your work? Which medium would translate it best? Would you scale this study up for a stronger visual impact or would a smaller format, in a series work best?

Let the physicality of your practice guide the making of this masterpiece, you will choose how to contrast (or not!) your painting accordingly. Keep in mind how your audience might perceive this work.

- physicality in your practice: will you work in an expensive and bold manner, flicking ink and water from a broom or will you work quietly seated using the smaller brush you own? what will this tell about your practice? Are you a meditative painter or do you paint under impulsion? Do you strike or do you reflect? See which position suit you best, I like painting seated on my painting, what about you?

- contrasts: will you be front on and associate bold contrasts to large brush strokes, gentle shading to intimate work, or do you prefer to play with your audience and mix it up a little bit? Which leads us to the last key point:

- reception of your work: how would you like to make your audience feel when looking at your work? Should your art be easy to digest or should it stick in people's mind? Confuse them? Making them question? Do you want to draw your public in, closely to your painting for them to get lost in the refinement of the delicate details? Or would you prefer them to step back and feel crushed by the visual impact of your work? 

As part of this last week of the Learn Ink Painting series, you have combined key concepts that make art a challenging, thought out yet instinctive practice. You might realise now that the ink medium was, in some way, only an excuse to delve into more meaningful aspects of your art practice. This is only the beginning of discovering who you are as a practitioner. Below are a few doors you might want to open, they will certainly make you consider your art practice under a new light while not taking it too seriously either!

See you on LPG forum! It is there for you to share your work and also to support those who are just starting this adventure.

Painting the wind

There are no word to accurately describe the magic embedded in Bingyi's work. She will conquer your heart and open your mind to unimagined wonders. If you still doubt that ink is a medium for you, look at her work, the philosophy behind it, watch her paint with burnt paper and watering can. Let yourself be submerged by her creativity and freedom. Feel inspire, break free from any remaining cliches of what art can or can't be.

Image: Yellow, Red, Blue, 1925

Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Wassily Kandinsky has stunningly written about the relationship artists have to art. Here is an extract of his book Concerning the Spiritual in Art. It is about an A4 page long and is absolutely worth of the few minutes it takes to read. You might entirely reconsider how you want to approach your practice after reading this extract.

Which art movement are you?

Though it is designed for children, this quiz created by the Tate gallery is fun and in some ways tells a lot about who we are as an artist. Answer a few questions and find out which art movement you belong to. It might also give you a lead where to look for inspiration. I am an Abstract Expressionist, which artist will you be?

Have a play, after all, shouldn't art be fun too?

What's next?

If you enjoy this online learning adventure, you might wish to pursue your adventure with LPG. Here is a series of classes about c.o.l.o.u.r. starting with blue. Give it a try, the first session is free. Book in to do the series as a whole or pick and chose the colours you are interested in. And if you prefer to start with another colour than blue, let me know, I will change it for you. How easy is that?!

Image: Y.Klein, L'Accord Bleu, 1960