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Daily Paper Prompt #64: Contour Drawing

“It had long since come to my attention
that people of accomplishment rarely
sat back and let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things.”
Leonardo da Vinci

3x5" index cards, ink, gouache

This Daily Paper Prompt originated in the 2014 ICAD group at Facebook where we started doing blind contour drawings of ourselves. So grab a few index cards and a fine-nibbed black pen. Close your eyes and draw a girl, trying not to lift the pen. You can draw your vision of yourself or draw any girl. I love how my drawings turned out - with a bit of depth and playfulness.

Draw a second set of girls while looking in the mirror or while looking at models in advertisements. These were models in Vogue.

For this prompt:

1) Draw a face on an index card with your eyes closed {squint if you must, but keep going with that line work}, keeping the pen to the paper, drawing one line, non-stop.
2) Draw a face on an index card while looking at a photograph of a face or your beautiful self in a mirror.  

Here's an example of what blind contour drawings look like, and the value of this technique. Per the Lane Tech site, "We all new the drawings would be silly and incorrectly proportioned, which took the pressure off making a great drawing and allowed students to focus on observing closely and recording like a scientist."

Find an in-depth lesson in blind contour drawing by Bartel Art.

Check out the index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts!


Daily Paper Prompt #63: Layering Inkjet Transparencies {Lauren}

Paper-fanatic Lauren Bergold is back for her second round of collage-themed DPP prompting! Here's hot-off-the-press DPP #63 for your creative fun.


Thank you, Tammy, for inviting me to chime in today with an idea I hope will inspire you!

My favorite medium is collage, and I like lots of layers. One of my favorite ways to add content without extra weight and bulk is by printing my own photos and digital compositions onto transparencies made especially for inkjet printers. They're available at any office supply store and are a great tool for making your art even more personal and unique.

This example features a photograph I took of the Statue of Liberty, which I placed over an architectural diagram, then added a few more vintage paper layers before stapling the entire thing to a large butterfly cut from a magazine.

Photos are probably my favorite way to use this technique, but there are LOTS of options: layer a quotation or poetry over a real-life collage, just by printing out a text document on a transparency instead of paper; scan vintage ledgers, interesting book pages or old love letters to add depth and interest; create a collage of digital brushes for a grunge effect. The best part is that since you're creating the original as a digital file, you can re-size, re-color and re-print as many times as you'd like!

Clear layers blend seamlessly and sometimes it's hard to tell which bits are which, so here's a shot that also shows the photo on its own.

If you're wondering why Lady Liberty is left-handed in this example... (In real life she isn't!)'s because inkjet transparencies have a smooth front and a "pebbly" back; it's the latter which holds the ink and allows it to dry. Thus, before printing, you'll want to click the printer dialog box that allows you to print "mirror image" so that your images and/or text are oriented correctly. It's also a good idea to use the transparency or high-gloss paper setting, to reduce the chance of smeared ink. In this case, you can see that I forgot to flip the image, but let's just call it creative license.

I hope you'll be inspired to try this technique, I think you'll find it opens up a whole world of possibilities! There's a "companion" post on my own blog with examples, tips and tricks for using and printing with inkjet transparencies, and some ideas for substitutions.

Check out the index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts!


Daily Paper Prompt #62: Random Act of Art {Mary}

Mary of Uncustomary has devised DPP #62. 


Sometimes you’re having a bad day (or week) and you experience something that restores your faith in humanity. Wouldn’t you love to be that restoration for another person? You can! Every day is an opportunity for you to practice kindness in your life. It's one thing to do nice things for the people you love and see often, but what about everyone else in your community? You all share something in common, whether it's a job, status, or neighborhood. Reach out, make an effort, and brighten someone's day!

A star made out of washi tape that was left in Federal Hill Park, a place with one of the best views in Baltimore. Hang paper ornaments from trees, door knobs, or fences!

One way that you can try to do this is by making things that you leave around your city, AKA Art Abandonment. There are many ways to do this with paper! You can write down song recommendations on index cards, fill note cards with nice messages, or decorate a small poster with an inspiring quote.

Today, make something that you can leave in public.

 Ideas of places to leave your art: public bathrooms, inside a magazine at a bookstore, taped to a pole, inside of a free newspaper receptacle, on a bench, tacked to a bulletin board, etc. (Don’t forget to consider the weight of your art and elemental factors like wind!)

One of 24 "Clues For Living Life" cards that were scattered around Baltimore City with ideas, suggestions, and things I've learned about living [original post]. Think of a theme to create a series with and leave them all over the same way you would with an Easter Egg Hunt.

I've done over a hundred guerrilla art installations in my city, and many of them have been based in random acts of kindness. Often, I will leave my card with the things I leave around, and sometimes I receive e-mails from people thanking me for making their day. One woman even wrote me to tell me that my note had inspired her to keep her job as an artist, which she had almost decided against after her studio burnt down! I feel that I have been gifted a very positive disposition in this life, and it's my mission to share that with the world. My main goal on this earth is to experience joy and then share it with as many people as possible. I hope you'll party with me today and always.

A big sparkly valentine (good for any time of year) that was left in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Valentine's Day [original post]/ tape up your fun shapes to any flat surface like bus stop shelters, maps, or abandoned building.

Just create something that you'd be happy to find, then leave it for a stranger to find!

It's that simple!

There's now an index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts.


Daily Paper Prompt #61: Create to the Rhythm of the Music

Our guest hostess is Marit Barentsen! You can find Marit blogging at Marit's Paper World, creating mixed media artwork or orchestrating behind-the-scenes as the editor of Featuring Magazine. I've linked to Issue #4 because you'll find my article on creativity tucked inside!!!

Take a sheet of paper and a tool to your preference (pencil, marker, crayon(s) or paint and a brush/palet knife. Turn on the radio (or have someone put on music without you knowing which song it will be). It can be all kinds of music – lyrics are not important so classical music can be used as well. Close your eyes and be surprised by the sound. Move your pen over the paper to the rhythm of the music. Then look what shapes / rhythms you put on the paper and work from there.

The basic I created with a paint and palet knife while listening to Mr. Probz - "Waves" {links to YouTube}


Final art piece created from the original background {above}.


Another example - the basic was made using a black marker while listening to Herman Brood - "Saturday Night" {links to YouTube}. A tutorial on how this work came about can be found on Marit's blog!

There's an index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts.


Daily Paper Prompt #60: Monochromatic Collage

monochromatic: one color + black + white 

pick a color, any color. use that color plus black and white and create a collage 

There's an index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts.


Daily Paper Prompt #59: Altered Maps

 Use a map in your artwork. As a background for an art journal page or artist trading card, as an element in a collage. You could use it simply for color or texture. Or you could use it to tell a story... i.e. a map of a specific place, an imaginary map, a map describing a place or the setting for a dream.

Think of all sorts of maps. Subway maps, maps of botanical gardens, maps of dreamworlds, a map in the back of your favorite sci fi novel. 

There's an index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts.