Art EXPERIMENT Challenge

Challenge yourself to do an art EXPERIMENT for 10 minutes. This is NOT about making anything beautiful, recognizable, realistic.  It’s about giving your inner critic time off, and letting go of inhibition and expectation.  Just jump in and scribble, dribble or smear.

For all of you who say “I can’t draw” – REMEMBER! This is an EXPERIMENT!

Cheap Supplies

  • A box of crayons, or cheap paint or marking pens – anything that you’ve got on hand.
  • Cheap paper – and I mean CHEAP.  Cut up paper grocery bags, junk mail paper  (If you use junk mail just color right on top of the printing), copy paper . . .
  • A timer – kitchen timer, watch alarm or just a clock.
  1. Take a look at the 8 minute demo video that inspired this post OR follow my Negative Space Experiment tutorial below.
  2. Set the timer for 10 minutes and draw, scribble, smush, swipe and color.  When 10 minutes is up stop.  

Here’s the link to the 8 minute demo video   It’s a quick and EASY way to “make” a picture . . . and learn a bit about positive and negative shapes in the process.

(Diane Culhane, the video teacher, is using expensive acrylic paint. Don’t let that stop you.  Cheap craft paint, crayons, oil pastels, chalk, watercolor – anything works.)

Here’s my Experiment with crayon and copy paper in 5 easy steps (5th is optional):

Color entire sheet of paper w/ different colors

1. Color entire sheet of paper w/ different colors.  Whoops, paper tore middle-top.

Coloring negative space around outline

2. FAST sketch (no thinking) of flowers in a vase. Color negative space around outline. Torn paper ended up on middle flower

Pressing harder with dark colors

3. Pressing harder with dark colors.  Ignoring torn paper on middle flower.

Sorry, just couldn't resist . . .

4. Sorry, just couldn’t resist . . . I SWEAR I sketched “flowers”

Betty Blobfish: "She SHOULD have resisted . . ."

Betty Blobfish: “Hopefully next time she’ll resist” 
5.  Crumble it up and throw it away! or frame it.

5. Crumble it up and throw it away!

 . . .  or frame it.


  • If you use paint: smear paint with your fingers and/or make-up sponges – not brushes.  It’s much freer and stops you from having EXPECTATIONS!
  • Crayons take a bit more elbow grease:  Break them, Peel them and Color with the mostly with the side of the crayon.  Use the lighter colors for the first layer.  For the negative space (second layer) pick dark colors,  press hard to go over the first layer.
  • Continue layering with different colors – as many as you want – just see what happens.
  • For those of you with multiple chemical sensitivity watercolor is the way to goWith water-color, as with crayon, use light colors for your first layer. Use darker/deeper colors for the negative space and splash away!

Thanks Carla and Diane for taking the time to share!

Now YOU share your Experiments – post your pictures on your blog, send your link in the comments.

No blog? Send it to me and I’ll post it here.