Techniques and Guidance

Learning to Make & Take Time

Making time and taking time are two halves of the equation that builds creative stamina and allows artists to engage authentically with issues of size, obsessiveness and process

Jane Dunnewold, Quilting Arts Jun/Jul 2015

Techniques and Guidance

Quiet Days

Its funny how art creeps into your life, it doesn’t feel that long ago that even putting a pencil to paper was a huge event. 

I’ll never forget the time me and my lovely City & Guild pals were asked to draw some flowers in class. You’d have thought Jenny had asked us to jump off Niagra Falls in a barrel. 

It’s taken a while but now I often find myself at my painting table in my pjs sidetracked on my way to the bathroom for my shower! 

For anyone struggling to take the leap towards drawing every day I’d highly recommend a few of these ‘tricks’

1. Try free drawing. Don’t look at the page, just grab a pen and draw something in front of you.

2. Paint pages in a small sketchbook that you can carry round in your bag to record what you see. Last summer I kept one to record our trip through Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

3. Do some investigating and find a good app or software program for editing photographs. Use it to play with shots of your drawings and don’t forget to share. Find a supportive online club or group and be brave. My Instagram friends have encouraged me from day one and soppy as it sounds I couldn’t have got this far without them.

4. More investigating, find yourself a book or even better an online daily prompt blog or website. I love Myfanwy’s blog, the prompts are simple, inventive and cover a wide range of interests which is perfect for a jack of all trades like me. Myfanwy also runs a group on Facebook where we share anything creative including responses to the daily prompt. 

Be Creative

This edited pepper is still my favourite photo prompt so far.

So really there’s no excuse, get a pen and some paper and have a go!

Techniques and Guidance

Collage and Mixed Media

Boredom is my sworn enemy and that’s why I always have so many projects on the go .

My usual process is Collage, Photocopy, Paint, Photograph, Edit, Collage, Photocopy and finally Doodle or Draw.

This also helps me with my aversion to ever finishing anything. Even when framed and hung on a wall a piece of work can continue its life as a collaged photocopy.

Here’s an example.

I make a simple collage with photographs or magazine pages. These pages are from Landscape magazine (many thanks to the unknown photographer)


Next I add some paint and a focal point. I like to work with balancing unity and conflict.


I’m never satisfied with my own results so an essential tool for me is photo manipulation on my iPhone or iPad. It enables me to add, colour, tone and interest.


After printing out the edited photo I use a pigment ink pen or an opaque white marker to doodle, using the random shapes and colours as a guide


Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to know more, thanks for reading.