Mindful Meditative DrawingJul 28, 2021
Life in our minds can get so busy! And making time for your daily art practice can be tricky so you might have to get creative with your time. And once you have the time, it’s also challenging to connect to your creativity and start making! Adding mindful meditative drawing to your daily art practice can help you connect with yourself, your creativity, build a creative daily practice and it can help improve your art skills.
Hi! My name is Leanne Markle (@leannemarkle), I’m excited to be here as part of TPL Design Team. I’m an artist, illustrator and small business owner. I’m also a busy mom! I know first-hand how hard it can be to take the time to connect with yourself. I’m going to share with you what mindful meditative drawing is, the benefits and how to get started!
- Pen: I recommend using a good inking pen! I'll be using The Pigeon Letters monoline pen 05 for this tutorial. Using a pen will force you to commit to your lines and not allow you to erase!
- Sketchbook: I recommend keeping a separate art journal/sketchbook for all your meditative drawings. Having your drawings all in one place is a great way to easily look back at all the progress you’ve made and all the work and time you’ve dedicated to your art practice. It's important to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how big and small.
Adding mindful meditative drawing to your daily Art practice can help you:
- Improve your drawing skills & build up your visual library.
- Help build muscle memory.
- Connect to yourself! Before you start making art, it’s helpful to clear your mind of the busyness of the world around you and bring your focus to the present, connecting to your art.
- Jump-start your drawing sessions.
Psst...if you prefer, watch the video walkthrough instead!
Step 1: Plan Your Design (optional)
There are so many ways to make marks! Pinterest will give you lots of ideas, googling will also show you many different types of marks to make. I find it’s usually the simplest types of marks that work best. These are a few of my favorites. I think there's something very magical about seeing all the lines together and seeing the tiny imperfections of each line. The size of the pen will make the lines look different. The thinner the pen the more detail you might want to add and the more time it might take, and the thicker the pen the less detail you need. Start where you feel comfortable, there’s no right or wrong way to begin!
There're two approaches: you can just start making marks and see where it takes you, or you can plan a simple pattern that you try to challenge yourself you stick to. Both approaches work well. It’s a personal choice! Have fun! Experiment. There's no right or wrong way!
Step 2: Start Making Marks!
Let’s get cozy and start! I usually have a blanket on my legs, a doggo on my lap and a cup of some nice tea or hot water to drink. Set yourself up in a space that’s ready for you. If you don’t have your own studio, set up a small corner in a room that you can call your own, or a spot on the kitchen table or even on the couch! Wherever you have some space to dedicate to making some art.
Get your pen, take a deep breath and let's start making marks!
Step 3: Add Mindful Meditation to Your Drawing
If you have practiced mediation before, you might already know about this, and if you haven't, this might be helpful to think about as you are drawing.
Once you start making marks on the page, you will have more awareness to the chatter in your head. It's okay for there to be chatter in your mind. This will probably be the time you notice your mind being the loudest.
While you draw, you can practice letting those thoughts move through your mind. They are just thoughts, and when you find yourself focusing too long on a particular thought, that's when you can bring yourself back to the page, and to yourself.
Try focusing on your strokes. Think about what's happening on the page. Are you finding yourself speeding up? Slow yourself down, bring your focus back to the stroke. Practice on bringing your focus back to the page.
The goal of meditating is not to quiet your mind. Instead, it's to practice bringing your focus back to the page. Some people find it helpful to focus on their breathing. I like to focus on my lines on the page.
Bonus Tip: Be Kind and Compassionate to Yourself
I try to be very gentle, kind and compassionate with myself about my drawings. I don’t always like the way each drawing comes out. But the mindful meditative drawings you make are for you and your progress. It's not something you have to share with others (I mean, you can if you want to, but that's not the point!) and it's not about perfection. It's a safe place for you to connect to yourself, your art and build your skills as an artist. Challenge yourself to finish the whole page. Even if you don’t like where it’s going, you will always learn something, it’s part of the process. And just like anything else, practice makes progress! The more you practice making different kinds of marks, the more you'll find what marks you like best.
I hope I was able to inspire you and give you a few new ways to add mindful meditative drawing do your daily practice.
Let’s inspire each other! Tag me on IG @leannemarkle with your ideas, I would love to see what you’ve drawn, what marks you love to use, and I’d love to know if you’ve found this tutorial helpful!
Originally from NM, Leanne gets inspiration from nature after moving to the beautiful PNW 20 years ago. She's drawn to the green trees, water, mountains and flowers growing all around her. Making art is all she's ever wanted to do so you can find always find her drawing (and occasionally tending to her rainbow flower garden in Animal Crossing. Check out more of Leanne's tutorials over here!
Want to come back for some meditation later? Pin this blog!