Arty ideas – 1 – Create a ‘Treasure Box’

I thought I’d share some arty ideas which you might like to try.
The first is to start an ‘Art Treasure Box’. You need a strong box, ideally shoebox size.
Decorate it …make it yours, a pleasure to get out and rummage through.
The idea of this box is that it will contain small items chosen by you to inspire you to draw or paint them.
You need a vast assortment of things to make this fun and interesting. I brainstorm some possibles suggestions below:

Shells, stones, feathers, nails, screws, buttons, old wire spectacles, a fir cone, walnut, peg, thimble, a metal whistle, marbles, a wrapped chocolate or sweet (candy), bones, a matchbox, old brooches, a piece of driftwood, plastic cracker novelties, sunglasses, small plastic toys/tin toys, origami paper figure, a playing card, tiny glass bottle, small picture frame, old watch, cheap jewelry, string of pearls, a pencil sharpener, plastic flower, a small piece of patchwork cloth, a piece of lace, small plastic doll, a small leather glove, a silk tie, a candle etc…

The list is endless.

The idea is to observe carefully these small things which sometimes can be overlooked and make a small painting or drawing of them, postcard size. Feel their texture with your fingers, smell them and look at their colour, the way the light reflects off them and the shadows they cast when placed on different surfaces. All these observations are precious.

Try using different mediums to capture them: pencil, pen and ink, paint, wax crayon, coloured pencil, felt tip pens, ballpoint pen, pastel, charcoal.

Try drawing them different sizes, lifesize, large…in different positions…make several studies of one item from various angles. Do a 2 minute sketch, 5 minute sketch…an half hour detailed drawing/painting.

Paint or draw them on to different coloured surfaces of paper, card, or canvas.

Add to your treasure box when you find sometime of interest on a walk in the street, wood or beach. Perhaps you find something in an opportunity shop that takes your eye.

Maybe you have a precious keepsake given by a loved one.

You don’t have to be rich to do this, just LOOK around you to collect the items.

When you are stumped as to what to draw…go to your treasure box and become inspired.
This exercise will train your eyes to observe, find beauty in the smallest of objects.
Equally you could use a similar box as a story starter for creative writing.

~ Anni :)

Have fun creating

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