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Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun

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Carla Sonheim is an artist and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. Her innovative ideas are now collected and elaborated on in this unique volume. Carla offers a year's worth of assignments, projects, ideas, and techniques that will Carla Sonheim is an artist and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. Her innovative ideas are now collected and elaborated on in this unique volume. Carla offers a year's worth of assignments, projects, ideas, and techniques that will introduce more creativity and nonsense into your art and life. Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists offers readers a fun way to learn and gain expertise in drawing through experimentation and play. There is no right or wrong result, yet, the readers gain new skills and confidence, allowing them to take their work to a new level.


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Carla Sonheim is an artist and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. Her innovative ideas are now collected and elaborated on in this unique volume. Carla offers a year's worth of assignments, projects, ideas, and techniques that will Carla Sonheim is an artist and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. Her innovative ideas are now collected and elaborated on in this unique volume. Carla offers a year's worth of assignments, projects, ideas, and techniques that will introduce more creativity and nonsense into your art and life. Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists offers readers a fun way to learn and gain expertise in drawing through experimentation and play. There is no right or wrong result, yet, the readers gain new skills and confidence, allowing them to take their work to a new level.

30 review for Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Awesome book! For a book only 144 pgs, it packs a lot of punch. Milage may vary, but she presents art in such a fun way, I am impressed. It would be a lovely gift to an artist along with keri smith's "wreck this journal. " Not all art has to be serious-- and as a senior art student myself, I can attest that a number of her prompts have been used in my art classes and even some other art books. So some of that information is not new, but it is presented in a brilliant way, for any age group. (I w Awesome book! For a book only 144 pgs, it packs a lot of punch. Milage may vary, but she presents art in such a fun way, I am impressed. It would be a lovely gift to an artist along with keri smith's "wreck this journal. " Not all art has to be serious-- and as a senior art student myself, I can attest that a number of her prompts have been used in my art classes and even some other art books. So some of that information is not new, but it is presented in a brilliant way, for any age group. (I want to try the Klee prompt in my Print class!) I just purchased her two newest books which I suppose are based on her online workshops-- I can't wait to get them in the mail! The layout in this book is quite nice, too-- I thought I would mention that since books like this can be awkward to find anything in later. Not so here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    52 rock solid fun and creative assignments, projects and exercises that will take the visual artist's creativity to new levels. For all skill levels. A fun reference manual with a year's worth of work. 52 rock solid fun and creative assignments, projects and exercises that will take the visual artist's creativity to new levels. For all skill levels. A fun reference manual with a year's worth of work.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sonya

    I strongly recommend this book; I remember wondering if art was going to be the major for me, when my entire freshmen year - was spent drawing cardboard boxes to learn about perspective, scale and the basics of drawing. I was so frustrated because it was a general education elective, but I was way beyond what we were learning and that class almost made me drop my major then and there. I constantly broke rules and stretched the boundaries of my assignments - while my teacher praised the creativit I strongly recommend this book; I remember wondering if art was going to be the major for me, when my entire freshmen year - was spent drawing cardboard boxes to learn about perspective, scale and the basics of drawing. I was so frustrated because it was a general education elective, but I was way beyond what we were learning and that class almost made me drop my major then and there. I constantly broke rules and stretched the boundaries of my assignments - while my teacher praised the creativity she was a stickler for the fundamentals. I just think that art is fun and should be open to everyone and it need not take itself so seriously. Do not get me wrong you do need a working knowledge of the basics, but art is so subjective that it need not have so many rules and be so formal. It is easier to know the rules and then break them but not everybody learns this way. I love this book; it is fun and a bargain for the quality of exercises and information that you get. I wanted to tighten up my skills and I think this book takes a fresh perspective to teaching new or advanced artists a thing or two. I still have not finished all of the exercises and I love, that this book allows you to take your time-really get into each chapter and work the exercises or ideas and keep coming back for more!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Betsi

    Recently got this on Kindle to read on vacation, and devoured it. Glad I spent the 40 minutes I did browsing the Kindle store, this was exactly the book I was looking for; full of practical exercises for that help to free up the creativity and to hone the skills. Fun without being overly silly, technical without being dry.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Flower Edmiston

    A gift from my mom, with lots of neat ideas... I have a feeling this is going to be on my desk and in my bag for awhile to come! My favorite quote so far: "Research has shown that doodling in meetings actually helps you pay better attention, as it keeps your brain occupied just enough to keep you from daydreaming and missing the content of the meeting altogether. Thank goodness, you now have a scientific reason to doodle!" p. 92 A gift from my mom, with lots of neat ideas... I have a feeling this is going to be on my desk and in my bag for awhile to come! My favorite quote so far: "Research has shown that doodling in meetings actually helps you pay better attention, as it keeps your brain occupied just enough to keep you from daydreaming and missing the content of the meeting altogether. Thank goodness, you now have a scientific reason to doodle!" p. 92

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Yasin

    lots of info on techniques - stands out from other books with art prompts

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Mosley

    A book with useful drawing exercises to challenge yourself to get away from your habits.

  8. 5 out of 5

    K

    I might have to go buy this book because I just keep checking it out of the library in order to do more of the exercises. It's not a book I'll ever "finish"! I might have to go buy this book because I just keep checking it out of the library in order to do more of the exercises. It's not a book I'll ever "finish"!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    A solid book of prompts for those who might be a bit stuck in their art practice. I enjoyed the explanations of the prompts, the inclusion of featured artists, and the 'taking it further' ideas. I also enjoyed that Sonheim explored a variety of topics. For me, the only real drawback was that a few of the prompts were not so easy to just get up and do. For example, while I often find myself sketching at a coffee shop, to 'have to' go to one for the purposes of sketching seems onerous. Also, while A solid book of prompts for those who might be a bit stuck in their art practice. I enjoyed the explanations of the prompts, the inclusion of featured artists, and the 'taking it further' ideas. I also enjoyed that Sonheim explored a variety of topics. For me, the only real drawback was that a few of the prompts were not so easy to just get up and do. For example, while I often find myself sketching at a coffee shop, to 'have to' go to one for the purposes of sketching seems onerous. Also, while I am vaguely aware of the fact that there is likely a zoo in my region, I could not tell you which municipality it is in (aside from being reasonably sure a different one than the one where I live). I have no wish to go to my 'local' zoo, nor any zoo. I find these depressing, horrible places. Yet, not one but TWO of the exercises are centred on visiting the zoo. Morality aside, that would also mean not one but TWO trips to some distant municipality and not one but TWO requirements to pay the entry fees for the zoo and the transit fares to get there and back. And, that is not one but TWO hurdles too far, where even one trip would be a hurdle too much, especially when it's already a pain to 'have to' go to a coffee shop and I can walk for less than ten minutes from my home and probably get to half a dozen of those. That said, usually with this type of prompting I modify and make-up to have it work for me, so if I were serious about following these I would, for example be likely to google animals to draw and, despite Sonheim's admonishments otherwise, use those. Or maybe go to a local park and capture the wild, free animals there (or the happy domestic ones visiting the space). Overall, a solid resource for those who might need to get unstuck in their art practice.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gina Lento

    I love Carla’s books/classes and this one is awesome. It’s chock full of ideas and it’s a handy book when trying to remember something I learned in class or thumbing through for ideas if I am stuck for ideas. It’s quirky, original and some of my most original art comes from something I learned from Carla. One piece if advice....if you start a project from the book, keep taking it to the next level. You will be amazed where it takes you creatively.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helene

    This book is what got me back into creating art again, after over a ten year hiatus. I'm a perfectonist who agonizes over everything I do. These exercises reminded me that art is not about perfection, and as the wise Bob Ross would say, there's no mistakes, only happy accidents. The carefree, creative style of these exercises got me to relax and trust that not only is my best good enough, but that letting my own style come out is a great thing. Recommended for anyone who needs a push! This book is what got me back into creating art again, after over a ten year hiatus. I'm a perfectonist who agonizes over everything I do. These exercises reminded me that art is not about perfection, and as the wise Bob Ross would say, there's no mistakes, only happy accidents. The carefree, creative style of these exercises got me to relax and trust that not only is my best good enough, but that letting my own style come out is a great thing. Recommended for anyone who needs a push!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holly Hodge

    This book is so much fun. It has a ton of totally un-intimidating art prompts that help you improve your art, all while enjoying yourself immensely! The silly picture examples drawn by the author help you to relax and not take yourself so seriously.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    Fun and inspiring :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    Fun, fun, fun So many choices that you’re sure to find something you’d want to draw or a project to begin. No pressure, not a lot of rules but yet some structure to guide you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Korie Brown

    Lots of amazing ideas!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lydia G

    I had expected more. Much more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Bishop

    Great book for adults kids and alike. 52 exercises for the year to keep you drawing every day and playing with different mediums. Love this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    This is such a fun book! It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a professional artist... this book is fun for everyone! So many cool ideas to just play with! Love it! This is such a fun book! It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a professional artist... this book is fun for everyone! So many cool ideas to just play with! Love it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I had originally checked this book out of the library because I'm participating in "Art Journal Every Day" this year, and used some of the exercises for inspiration in my journal. I liked it enough to put it on my Amazon wish list and my dear friend Madeleine sent it for my birthday! If you are an absolute beginner in drawing or do not feel confident in your drawing skills, I would recommend looking at all the exercises first and starting out with the blind-contour drawings or projects inspired I had originally checked this book out of the library because I'm participating in "Art Journal Every Day" this year, and used some of the exercises for inspiration in my journal. I liked it enough to put it on my Amazon wish list and my dear friend Madeleine sent it for my birthday! If you are an absolute beginner in drawing or do not feel confident in your drawing skills, I would recommend looking at all the exercises first and starting out with the blind-contour drawings or projects inspired by kids' art, as some of the projects assume a higher skill level.

  20. 4 out of 5

    melydia

    A collection of art assignments/projects inspired by a number of sources: nature, children, other artists, etc. Most of them didn't inspire me too much, but a few sparked my interest. I could see this being fun for someone who wants to draw but isn't sure how to approach it or what medium they might be happiest using, as these projects encompass a wide range of techniques and ideas and materials. Not something I'll come back to again, but certainly worth a quick flip-through if you're looking fo A collection of art assignments/projects inspired by a number of sources: nature, children, other artists, etc. Most of them didn't inspire me too much, but a few sparked my interest. I could see this being fun for someone who wants to draw but isn't sure how to approach it or what medium they might be happiest using, as these projects encompass a wide range of techniques and ideas and materials. Not something I'll come back to again, but certainly worth a quick flip-through if you're looking for new directions for your art.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This book is incredibly well designed - a nice summary of 52 drawing based exercises that are appropriate for artists of all levels. Furthermore, the straightforward approach is well illustrated and appointed. At least 1/2 of these exercises I will incorporate into various lessons for both children and adult classes - the content is that applicable! Love this book and have added the other 2 in the series, collage and print & stamp lab, to my to-read list.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barbara K.

    I love this book. I just received it yesterday and have already been through it once, done the first exercise, and can't wait to continue. I'm not an artist, I'm a wannabe artist, and I am always getting ideas that I don't have the drawing ability to carry through, so this will be great exercise, and inspiring enough to get me practicing more regularly. Besides that, it's visually appealing and fun. I highly recommend this book. I love this book. I just received it yesterday and have already been through it once, done the first exercise, and can't wait to continue. I'm not an artist, I'm a wannabe artist, and I am always getting ideas that I don't have the drawing ability to carry through, so this will be great exercise, and inspiring enough to get me practicing more regularly. Besides that, it's visually appealing and fun. I highly recommend this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Provided I can pay attention long enough to complete the exercises given, this book is extremely entertaining! There are step by step instructions for each of the 50 drawing techniques and each one is fun, straight-forward and provides and chance to use your imagination. This book provides a way to feed a dying muse or to try something new in a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Audra

    This book offers lots of inspiration. I love the exercises she provides, suggested materials to use, as well as extension ideas to stretch yourself farther. I also like the many quotations from famous artists as well as biography and, sometimes, interviews with featured artists. I feel like the exercises in this book will stretch me beyond my comfort zone...which is good for growth.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I pored over the pages, reading some more than once. I have even done several of the exercises - some with my 6-year-old daughter. I loved this book! I would love to get one for Christmas. I still have it on loan from the library, but I would like to have this one in my permanent collection. Great book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    An interesting but not entirely useful look at drawing. I should have looked more closely at the cover before I checked it out--see that 'mixed media artists' at the bottom? I'm not interested in mixed media so quite a few of the exercises were of no use to me. There were a few others though (mostly about loosening up--ha!) that were a lot of fun. An interesting but not entirely useful look at drawing. I should have looked more closely at the cover before I checked it out--see that 'mixed media artists' at the bottom? I'm not interested in mixed media so quite a few of the exercises were of no use to me. There were a few others though (mostly about loosening up--ha!) that were a lot of fun.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    One of my favorites. Loved the exercises. You may find them in seious how to draw books, but not like this. My favorite part about this book was the idea that the sketches you start out with do njot have to be good. The fun lies in making something out of these bad sketches. This book will bring back the fun in drawing. It worked for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    J.S.

    I have only seen the Art Lab for kids books from this publisher. I thought the exercises would include instructions for beginners, with the steps for how to prep and execute the examples. These exercises serve to inspire those who already practiced in mixed media. However, as a beginner, I couldn't understand how to do most of these projects, only admire the results shown. I have only seen the Art Lab for kids books from this publisher. I thought the exercises would include instructions for beginners, with the steps for how to prep and execute the examples. These exercises serve to inspire those who already practiced in mixed media. However, as a beginner, I couldn't understand how to do most of these projects, only admire the results shown.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Recynd

    I haven't gotten started DOING anything from this book yet, but myohmy...I can't wait!!! What gorgeous, exciting, and do-able projects/practice ideas...one of the few artbooks worth its weight in gold! I haven't gotten started DOING anything from this book yet, but myohmy...I can't wait!!! What gorgeous, exciting, and do-able projects/practice ideas...one of the few artbooks worth its weight in gold!

  30. 4 out of 5

    S. Renee

    awesome book for anyone who wants to draw a bit-from the serious artist to the crafty to the doodler.... My son's school has cut their art program and I plan to use some of the exercises in this book with him-hoping he will love it too. I will be looking up other books in this series. awesome book for anyone who wants to draw a bit-from the serious artist to the crafty to the doodler.... My son's school has cut their art program and I plan to use some of the exercises in this book with him-hoping he will love it too. I will be looking up other books in this series.

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