Art and Positive Thinking

Welcome to my Renee Loves Art blog!

My focus is exploring, creating and reflecting upon the positives of life and connecting them to my art whether it be photography, pen and ink drawings, watercolour paintings, mixed media, digital media or any other possible media I dive into!

I hope you join me on my art adventure!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Positively Painting and Drawing From Imagination

I am reading a book written by Carla Sonheim called Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals and the premise is start your paintings with no intention and your left side of the brain will allow your right side of your brain to take over and your imaginations will positively soar.

To create this family of imaginary birds, I began by painting a leaf shape with water and then lightly tapped my watercolour brush loaded with a primary colour of paint on one edge of the leaf.  Next I used another primary colour on the opposite edge of the leaf and then tilted my journal back and forth until the two colours kissed and merged.

Next, I sat and stared at the images as they dried and tried to visualize what I could turn them into.  I began drawing "noodles" with a fine tipped permanent marker and then started adding eyes and voila, I decided my imaginary creatures would be birds.  I outlined them and then decided to use pencil crayons, and a white paint marker to add more colour and details.  Finally, I painted a background.

A similar process occurred for the each set of imaginary animals.  The idea of doing this is that you will get positions and gestures that you would not normally get if you were drawing from memory, and Carla was absolutely right!  The animals develop personalities of their own.

This is such a fun process and can be done with all age groups.  I tried this with my grade ones and they created fish, zoo animals and all sorts of other animals!  They loved to watch the two primary colours mix!  It was challenging for a few to not start with an intention and just let the water and the paint do the work.  Some wanted to make fish, or flowers and pictures, but I had to remind them to let it go and let the paintings tell them what they wanted to be!

The doggy resembles my dog Lucy, the stinker.  She enjoys chewing, so  imagine that, a shoe appeared! So far she has eaten three hats, one earring, one mechanical pencil, two spray  bottles, two pairs of shoes, one boot, one football glove, a mouth guard, several squeaky toys, her doggy bed, her dog house, and that is all I know about!  I am surprised she came out looking so cute and innocent, she is a bit of a beast!

Painting and drawing from imagination is less stressful, more risks are taken and it is positively fun!


  1. Hey, that's terrific fun! I love all your beasties, especially the blue leaf-birds. Love the look on the face of the upper right bird; kind of a quizzical, "who? Me?" look. Know what you mean about the cute dog face. Every dog I ever had was a complete master. I think it comes with the soul. :D

  2. Your family of birds looks like the brood of prairie chickens I saw out in the pea stubble last night! Lovely post Renee! So full of colour, characters and wonderful creativity!

  3. Fabulous Renee, thanks so much for sharing your process, which is so right brain! Love the critters and the colours. It's so great to see your art evolve.

  4. Oh, I so get what you mean by saying this is a less stressful way to paint. It's how I've been painting for the last few years, and I'm still amazed by how much more fun it is to paint like this instead of figuring out beforehand what to paint. I love your birds in the first picture! And I also love your new blogheader! Happy new year to you Renee, and I hope you'll find lots more creative fun in 2015 ♥


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