In my workshops I like to give “assignments,” or a set of parameters for each project. Rules to follow. A few restrictions….

Ironically, complete freedom is stifling. Limitations allow you to create more freely within the confines of the parameters. Rules provide freedom.

My “rules” for this little acrylic-sketch-practice-series are:

  1. Use existing wood only… kind of dirty and imperfectly cut… this has the effect of removing any pressure I would feel if I were using perfectly cut and sanded wood or pristine canvas.
  2. Five minutes tops for each one.

Here are some more acrylic sketch paintings from yesterday:

Always elephants.

Steve liked this one…

I’ve found it so helpful to give myself restrictions like this to keep myself from taking my painting too seriously, especially in the beginning when I’m trying to learn a new technique or work with a new medium (in this case, acrylic paint). I hope you’ll try it!

Happy painting!


What are “Assignments”? They are mini tutorials of drawing (and now painting) exercises I do myself. I hope you will try some of them… drawing is a blast!!! Here are some past “Assignments”:

Assignment #31: Modified Blind Contours

Assignment #16: Blind Contour Giraffes

Assignment #22 – Go to the Library

Assignment #56 – Draw Cats in Bed