Lesson plans based on Freehand by Helen Birch.

I picked up this book at an Oregon art store and immediately began copying drawings from it. Nearly every page could be a “daily art challenge” or inspire a lesson plan.


Here is my drawing inspired by page 19 Maria Molares.

I think anyone could follow the basic rules of these patterns and make their own. Like it is meditative to color, it is also to draw the same image again and again. Once an artist figures out the rules of a pattern, or makes up their own, they can be followed continuously until the page is full. It’s quite satisfying, and the brain can stay occupied you might find the solutions to puzzles that have perplexed you when you were stamped.

Some people say they do their best thinking in the shower or while driving, by sketching, one could imitate the draining showering phenomenon while sitting at a desk. Lynda Barry suggests drawing spirals.

Or writing the alphabet. If you have the “tip of the tongue phenomenon” you might stumble across the answer if you just stop focusing on it. Imagine a scenario where you can’t come up with the Latin word for werewolf. Try writing out the alphabet… A, b, c, d,

After all, your brain is a collection of connected neurons, and considering we make sense of our world through language, the neuron cluster that make up our letters we make our language out if must have millions of connections!

Eventually you’ll think of something that will remind you of the answer. “L makes me think of Lyme, which makes me think of… Oh I just started craving a lime Rickey… Hmmm, m n o p… I remember now, it’s lycanthrope!” ( results may vary)

Here is my drawing inspired by page 21 by Julia Pott. 

  It features made up animals. Intentional distortions. I also included words that have nothing to do with the composition, forcing the viewers mind to make a connection that doesn’t seem to be there. By having one animal resting on the back of the other, I think it makes the animals that clearly don’t really exist, look a little more real, forcing the viewer to imagine perhaps the artist had a model he was looking at while drawing. It reminded me that as a child I would draw my own animals and dinosaurs, combining traits of many real animals into my own biologically feasible creations.

Here is my drawing inspired by page 31 by Stephanie kubo and  page 39 by Kristen Donegan.


It utilizes patterns like a Zentangle, some elements of collage, some random chance (I threw a cup down on the page to trace and there was charcoal in the cup that marked the page.) I have been researching about Dadaism lately… This peice also uses the technique of blending/ drawing with an eraser. I used color sparingly. One ” rule ” of composition, is if you have a color appear somewhere on a piece, have the same color appear somewhere else. I intentionally broke that rule.

Tagged , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: