It seems strange that we would have to “practice” being spontaneous but most of us were taught early to become rigid about art-making. Most of us were bound by rules about what “good art” is beginning in elementary school. So, it can be interesting to draw or paint on one theme, or to practice using one subject, size or media, for seven days in a row to watch yourself progressively loosen up over time.

Keep a Journal for your faces – Keep a daily journal for the next 7 days or longer in which you draw one or more spontaneous faces each day. Your journal may be large and colorful if you have time to be elaborate on the details, or want to make large strokes. Or, your journal might be very small, simple, or black and white if you are tight for time.

What you will need – You may want to focus on only one art medium to really get to know what you can do with it. You might, for example, want to simply want to explore spontaneous line though using a thick or thin black permanent marker each day. I personally love working with a simple black sharpie pen. I find it to be very fast and expressive – in a way that allows a wide range of gesture and scribbles. Alternatively, you might want to draw your faces in elaborate color or pattern using pencil or crayons, markers, watercolor, pastels.

Experiment – When we begin creating spontaneously, our drawings can feel stiff and forced. Or, sometimes our “original” drawing self is quite childlike. Often we will first go back to drawing like we did when we were children, where we stopped developing our natural, intuitive drawing style to adapt to external standards and expectations.

You might even notice yourself revisiting feelings of awkwardness and self-consciousness when you draw. This inherited inhibition is why drawing faces over a period of time is useful. Do not worry if your drawings look or feel awkward and uncomfortable at first. Spontaneity can be regained with daily experimentation. An eloquence of natural self-expression can be developed with practice, over time.

Some Helpful Hints!

  • – Scribble a face with a black and/or colored pens
  • – Draw a face with one continuous line
  • – Draw a face with your eyes closed. Open your eyes and embellish it.
  • – Fill your face with spontaneous doodled patterns
  • – Block your face in with watercolor, and draw and detail on top of the color with black felt pen.
  • – Collage an eye or a nose onto your journal page and spontaneously draw a face around it.

Reflect – At the end of the week – reflect on the sheer multiplicity of consciousness that you contain and create within yourself. There is much more to you than meets the eye.


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