Peony and Parakeet

Less Sketching, More Creativity!

Fairytale, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

Did you see my latest video: “Art is a Conversation”? I have made this piece by applying the principle presented in the video: letting one detail lead to another. No sketching involved!

The Creative Process with No Sketching Involved

I picked a random background made with watercolors and started adding collage pieces. They, in turn, inspired me to paint some elements with watercolors.

Starting point for a mixed media painting, by Peony and Parakeet

Here are the first steps:

Creating a mixed media painting without sketching by Peony and Parakeet

Why Sketch? Why Not?

You might feel the need for sketching because filling the blank page feels too scary. Some people want to sketch because they find it difficult to bring ideas that lead to something. If they create a collage, the result is just an evenly spread pattern and then what?

Dogs have taught me many things. One thing is to focus on the present. I try to teach them new things by dividing them into small steps. When I focus on explaining the next step only, they will listen and respond. They will do their best to understand and make most of my advice.

Paivi's beagles Cosmo and Stella from Peony and Parakeet

My beagles say: Stay close, focus and stop controlling what we can’t comprehend yet.

Those principals can be applied to art making too. Add new element close and partly on top of another. Enjoy each stroke, each color, and shape at a time. Stop worrying about the areas where you have not reached yet. Let creating grow your thoughts instead of being fixed to one idea.

Creating a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

When I reached the upper right corner, I saw a watercolor splotch that looked a little bit like a fairytale princess, so I quickly emphasized those shapes!

Creating a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

I believe that too much sketching brings too much stiffness: the stiffness of ideas, the stiffness of lines, the stiffness of composition.

Paivi and her beagle Stella from Peony and Parakeet

When we try to create with control, it is like trying to trace better than dogs do. We can guide them to sniff, but we also have to let them do the job.

Fairytale, a mixed media painting by Peony and Parakeet

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18 thoughts on “Less Sketching, More Creativity!

  1. Hi, Paivi, Could Cosmo and Stella be any cuter? I don’t think so. I love this video…adding collage clusters and letting the different art medias mingle is magic. I’m going to play today between baking Christmas cookies and see what happens when I try this technique. I love, love, love this art piece!!!….beautiful!!!

  2. I have great admiration for the “Dog Whisperer”, Cesar Millan. He says we need to walk our dogs and watch how they react to nature. They enjoy each moment fully. Once I began doing that, I enjoyed my daily walks so much more. I have a journal page that says my dog gave the a present – my present. Instead of using the time to plan or review, I now notice and enjoy the clouds, tiny wild flowers and sounds and smells all around me trying not to think. To apply that to my art would be wonderful and if I can keep from reviewing and planning it just might work. Can’t wait to get involved on my background tonight. Thanks again for your wonderful insights.

    1. Mary, that reminds a lot what I learned from an European “dog whisperer” Turid Rugas many years ago! She also advised to observe dogs while walking!

  3. Actually, I meant to say step-by-step instruction instead of video. Oh, well….it seemed like a video to me. Wonderful demonstration!

  4. Good Morning, Mary W. I love it when the dogs get involved. I think this is going to be a really fun way to incorporate what we’ve already learned from Paivi, don’t you? Can’t wait to get started. Have a great day! Sue

  5. Love your process and tips to help open up the way to experiment in areas of art and creativity I’ m not used to. Thanks!

  6. Hi Paivii,
    I so love your art and your videos. As someone who loves classical music I love that you create with music and use it in your videos. I would very much at some point like to take one of your classes but at the present time I am dealing with the death of my dog ( had to let him go) and am faced with also selling my house in the coming year due to financial constraints. I simply cannot afford any luxuries at this time. I hope I can at some point.
    I want to say thank you for all you share. I am much inspired to explore working more with watercolor after seeing your work. Thank you again.

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Great to hear that you enjoy my blog! And yes, music is important to creativity!

      Welcome to become my student when you are ready!

  7. Beautiful painting and process Paivi!! Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in Imagine Monthly!!

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