Limiting materials for unlimited creativity
Limiting time and materials has brought new thrills to opening my sketchbook.
That’s Reggie, awaiting his dreaded annual exam. We arrived to give us both time to calm down before our appointment time.
It felt like a good time to draw, so I grabbed a yellow marker to sketch the important things around me. I started with the fun shape of the car window, the trees outside, and of course, Reggie.
Reggie’s taught me a lot about drawing; I've taught him how to chill out at the vet. Drawing in the car beforehand helped us both destress.
Reggie has a history of traumatizing vet visits and gets so wound up that he makes my anxiety shoot to the moon. We've dosed him with doggie drugs and melatonin in the past, but that didn't help, so I don’t bother with them anymore.
This time I distracted him with bites of shredded chicken and promises of peanut butter. Leighann the vet tech said he was absolute gentleman during his exam. I've never more proud!
Reggie is a very, very good boy who happens to be deeply motivated by food. He’d solve algebra equations for a treat smeared with peanut butter.
I was still smiling about Reggie's happy exam that afternoon. As I recalled the frantic yellow marker sketch I'd made in the car, I returned that energy to the sketchbook. I added the details with a brown Stabilo pencil and a jade Neocolor.
What is your favorite thing to smear peanut butter on? Mine is apples!
The rules are simple:
✏️ Draw from life every day. ✏️ Use only 3 materials for each drawing. ✏️ Spend no more than 30 mins on each drawing.
Things I consider when limiting materials
Pick one color you always like. Mine is usually yellow.
Consider how the colors will look mixed together or layered
Make sure to have at least one dark color for your lines (almost always Derwent Inktense pencils).
I also started the drawing below at the vet, then finished it up at home on video with a little chat about my process.
In the video below for paid members, I share my process for finishing a sketch I started at the vet clinic. What else do you get with a paid subscription?