Drawing Directives for Calm and Strength

This set of Art Directives are designed to cultivate well-being: a feeling of calm, self-exploration and discovery, and strength. They can be achieved with a variety of art supplies, and if those are not available, alternatives have been suggested.

Scribble Drawing

MATERIALS: PAPER, MARKERS/ COLORED PENCILS/ CRAYONS/ paint. If not available, try cardboard and pens or pencils and use different forms of lines (dotted, squiggle) to substitute colors.

Have a variety of colors if possible (markers or colored pencils, for example). Put on a timer for 15 seconds and during these 10-15 seconds, depending on the size of the paper, scribble all around the page in an unorganized manner in one color, making squiggles, points, circles, or whatever happens. After the timer stops, make sure to stop scribbling.

Then, look at the scribbles and turn the page around to view it from different angles to see if you can spot something in the squiggles. Can you see a face, animal, word, object, etc.? After you spot a few things in the squiggles, start to bring them to life by adding colors, shading, more lines, etc.

Calming Colors

MATERIALS: colored pencils, markers, pastels, paints, paper cutouts, string, etc. NOTE: Anything will function as a medium, even food wrappers, masking tape, or receipts. The idea is to create an image of something calming using calming colors, which you can collage together without classic art supplies.

Choose the top 3-5 colors that you find to be the most calming.

After choosing those colors, try and create something with them. Think of a place, an image, an idea, a memory, a phrase, or a song lyric that is calming to you, and use these colors to create something just for yourself.

Tree Self-Portrait

materials: Paper, drawing materials. you can use paint, pens, markers, pencils crayons, collage, anything!

Draw yourself as a tree and make sure to include the roots, branches, and leaves if that fits your image.

On your roots, write the things that you feel bring you strength, as well as your strong qualities.

On the leaves, you can write things that you would like to work on about yourself. (Remember! The leaves come and go; the roots need attention and care.)

Think of the many different types of trees. You might want to consider what season you are representing, its root system, its foliage, its ability to bear fruit, its function in the world. Can you climb it, or are the branches too high to reach? Is there a swing attached to it? Do birds and squirrels live there? Does it have needles year round, or leaves that come and go? There is no right or wrong way to do this! A tree can serve as a powerful symbol to draw and can reflect many facets of many layers of life.