Creative exercises for every month

Drawing skills 2: Abstract Composition with Figurative Potential

This short course will cover some important aspects of drawing to improve compositional skills. Each exercise will require only a little of your time, five to ten minutes each. You could do one per day over the course of a week or all in one day. If you haven't already, we advise that you complete Drawing skills 1 before attempting these exercises.

We will be running this course at regular intervals on Facebook. Share your work with our group and receive feedback from Bob and the team. Join our private Facebook Group.  All skill levels are welcome! This is a FREE/Pay what you feel course, donations can be made here.

This will be an abstract composition that is moving toward figurative, you don’t want know what the subject will be. The past exercises came from a figurative composition and produced something abstract. Here we are beginning to slowly move from abstract to figurative. 

Complete several small sketches approximately 10cm (8 inches) in length for the longest side. One per day for a week is a good way to go.

You will be continuing with scribbly lines focusing on the composition. Review your scribbles from the last lesson by comparing at a distance your most successful drawing with the original artist’s work (See exercise # 4 of 7 Exercises using abstract skills to improve figurative drawing). Now we will work in the other direction. 

The main points:

After having worked on the previous lesson's nice flowing structures you’re going to work on something similar of your own but without any subject in mind. Keep bearing in mind all those qualities of the drawing that you've done previously.

  • Start with some shapes and look for something that works well as a composition.
  • You’re trying to do something that looks interesting, abstract as it is, it needs to look interesting.
  • Quickly move around the page, working on the whole drawing at once.
  • Although some sense of detail may arise you don’t want to define what that might be.

Here is Bob's example:

abstract drawing

Continue to Drawing Skills 3: Scribbling with an Agenda