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Today’s Assignment: Go Blob Hunting!


1. Grab a small sketchbook or stack of drawing paper and a pen or a pencil (any kind). I used an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie pen.

2. If the weather is nice, go outside. Start looking at the ground, at fences, and at the side of buildings for interesting shapes to draw; could be from a leaf, a stain on your driveway, or a sidewalk crack. Draw its outer shape (and it’s not necessary at this point to “see” anything in it; just draw a shape). Repeat four more times with different inspirations, one to a page.

If it’s too cold to go outside, you can just hunt for blobs inside! Look at marbled counter tops, stucco, your breakfast plate, or water marks left in a sink or bathtub. Draw it. Repeat four more times with different inspirations, one to a page. Here is a “blob” drawn from a piece of bacon.

3. Now, “finish” one of your blobs. Here’s how to do it: Turn your paper or book around and around and look at your blob from all four directions. Do you see something? An animal, or part of an animal? If so, add an eye and any other lines or elements to “finish” your animal. Here is how I finished the “bacon blob,” above:

First I added some legs.

Next I started adding pen details for fur. Here’s a detail: 

I added a bit more fur/shading to the areas where the line crossed the top of the leg…

… and underneath the dog’s body for shading. At this point the rump bothered me…

… so I added a tail. I also wanted to add two more legs, but was a bit chicken to do it directly with pen, so I lightly sketched in with pencil first.

I finished him up by adding a ground, and looking over the whole thing to see if I wanted to add any details. In this case, I added a beard, some spots, and a few more scraggly hairs.

4. If you want to add color to your animals, head on over to these two tutorials for some ideas: Layered Poodle and Alligator Coloring Tutorial.

5. If time, repeat Steps 3 & 4 with your other four “blobs”!

6. Upload your images to the NEW Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals flickr site!

This post is part of a Two-Week Book Release Celebration for my new book, “Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim.” For the schedule, which includes book and art giveaways, contributing artists features, tutorials, and assignments, click here.