Mindful Drawing 101: Guided Prompts for Creative Self-Care | Mimi Chao | Skillshare

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Mindful Drawing 101: Guided Prompts for Creative Self-Care

teacher avatar Mimi Chao, Owner & Illustrator | Mimochai

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 21m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:09
    • 2. Part 1 - What You’ll Need

      1:20
    • 3. Part 2 - Mindful Drawing 101

      6:15
    • 4. Part 3 - Drawing Exercise

      1:32
    • 5. Exercise 1 - Sight

      10:46
    • 6. Exercise 2 - Touch

      11:06
    • 7. Exercise 3 - Smell

      11:09
    • 8. Exercise 4 - Taste

      9:31
    • 9. Exercise 5 - Sound

      9:34
    • 10. Exercise 6 - Gratitude

      8:06
    • 11. Exercise 7 - Self Compassion

      8:43
    • 12. Part 4 - Final Thoughts

      1:17
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About This Class

Mindful Drawing combines the benefits of mindfulness with the practice of drawing through the foundations of presence, awareness, and non-judgment.

Do you wish you could feel calmer when life gets busy? Maybe you’ve been told to meditate, but you’ve found that it can be easy to lose focus or motivation.  On the other hand, maybe you want to create more art, but have trouble making something because your inner critic gets in the way. These two problems may seem different, but actually have more in common than you might think!  In this class, I’m going to share a fun and easy exercise for developing your mindfulness and your creativity. I call this practice Mindful Drawing. 

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This class is for everyone who wants to relax and draw! It is meant to provide simple and useful guidance for starting or deepening your mindfulness practice. 

In this class, we’ll cover: 

  1. Basic principles of mindful drawing 
  2. The benefits of mindful drawing  
  3. Beginning your drawing in the present moment
  4. Prompts to engage your senses and connect you to the environment 
  5. Prompts to help you reflect on gratitude and self-compassion 
  6. Top-down drawing demonstrations for guidance 

This class also includes a downloadable template that you can use to follow along with the drawing prompts we will do in the class. 

As promised, here is the link to the Tangerine Meditation that I mentioned in the class.

Here are also some of my favorite mindfulness and mindful drawing recommendations: 

Meet Your Teacher

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Mimi Chao

Owner & Illustrator | Mimochai

Top Teacher

I'm an author-illustrator with an independent studio based in LA :) I am also a mindfulness meditation teacher-in-training. I'm here to share useful skills along with my love for meaningful make believe. If you'd like to be updated of my new classes, just hit the +Follow button. 

Visit my studio at mimochai.com and find more resources at mimi-chao.com. Follow me on IG @mimochai and @mimizchao.

See my full teacher profile for more -Mimi  

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Do you wish that you could feel more calm and more present when life gets busy? Maybe you've tried to meditate but you lose focus and motivation because it's hard to sit still or you just can't seem to find the time. Or on the other hand, maybe you want to create more art, but have trouble really making something because your inner critic always seems to get in the way. These two problems may seem totally different, but they have more in common than you might think. Today, I'm going to show you an easy and fun exercise for developing both your mindfulness and your creativity. I call this practice mindful drawing. My name is Mimi and I'm an illustrator and the owner of my independent studio Mimi Chao. I draw, I write, I teach, and I manage a small team of creatives. I've found that a mindful approach to my art, my business, and my daily life is key to managing stress and keeping my focus on my own journey in a healthy way. In fact, mindfulness has been so important to me that I even recently started training as a mindfulness meditation teacher so that I can better share these really helpful life skills through my work as a creative. In this class, I'll explain why mindfulness and drawing are interrelated and compliment each other in a simple way. I'll also share some of the benefits of mindful drawing that I've learned both from personal experience and from the emerging scientific literature on this topic. Then I'll walk you through a fun and easy mindful drawing exercise that will both calm and inspire you, whether you consider yourself an artist or not. When you finish the class, you'll have the skills to do this exercise on your own whenever you want to relax, to tap into your creative flow, or to bring new intention and presence to your drawing practice. Wherever you are on your journey, I hope it will help you enjoy the present moment just a little bit more. With that, lets take a deep breath and get started. 2. Part 1 - What You’ll Need: Let's talk about what you'll need. For this class, the main thing you'll need is something to sketch with. That can be a notebook and a pencil, a talent and stylus, whatever you are comfortable with. I've also created a worksheet that you can use to draw on in the downloadable provided with the class materials. As you go through the exercises, I'm going to do everything on a single page similar to the worksheets so that I can make a visual journal page of everything altogether. But if you prefer to make a bigger drawing on multiple pages, that's also fine and totally up to you. Another thing is I encourage you to get comfortable, put on some relaxing music or ambient sounds or open a Windows so that you can hear the trees or the sounds of the city outside, as long as they're not too distracting. If you watched my tutorial on making your own creative space, you're already have the perfect place to do this. If you don't, just find a comfortable and peaceful place to settle in. Finally, I want you to treat yourself to a drink or a snack as you watch this class. It could be as simple as a cup of tea. This will come into play later in the class. I'll meet you in the next section where we'll have a quick primer on mindful drawing. I'll see you there. 3. Part 2 - Mindful Drawing 101: Now let's dive into something that's really meaningful and important to me, how mindfulness and drawing are interrelated. But keeping some core principles in mind, you can help them complement and align with each other. First, whenever you begin to draw, you can start by arriving in the moment and fully appreciating the here and now. Appreciating this chance to sit down and maybe noticing any feelings of gratitude that come up for you for this moment, for your dedication to your practice and well-being, and maybe for anyone whose actions may have made it possible for you to take the time to do this class, like a family member. This small shift in awareness is already a great way to ground yourself in mindfulness and open to the creative flow. Second, objective observation is really important to both drawing and mindfulness. A big part of drawing is to draw what you actually see instead of what you think you see. There's a really popular book called, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, that talks about how when people first start drawing a face, for example, they'll draw this huge face on a little head because the face is one of the main things that you notice about a person. So in your mind, you think that it takes up all of the head. But if you were to look at a person's face for the first time and just draw without any preconceived notions, you would actually draw the head much bigger relative to the face. Like you can see, my face technically starts in the middle of my face really, and then it will look a lot more accurate. Likewise, a key aspect of mindfulness is honing your awareness and ability to perceive without judgment or preconceived notions. This helps us develop a state of clarity, peace, and wise acceptance. Third, mindful drawing is all about being at ease. You want to use your drawings to practice a particular skill, like I do, that's great. But if you're not an experienced artist or you just want to relax and have fun without worrying what is going to turn out like or showing it to other people, that's also great. As you draw today, try to focus on the process rather than the outcome. A key concept of mindfulness is to be open to your experience and to accept what you cannot control without meaning things to turn out a certain way in order for it to be good. It's hard sometimes, but it's also really liberating to let go of these expectations and pressures. I often hear from people who say that they had trouble putting pen to paper because they think that they'll mess it up or that their drawing won't turn out to be any good. With mindful drawing, it frees you to have fun and really explore your creativity without the shackles of self-criticism. Finally, mindful drawing is about staying with the present moment. Regardless of whether you are drawing or meditating, it's natural for our minds to wander and for random thoughts or worries to float across our minds. You might start thinking about something that happened in the past, or you might start worrying about something in the future. If that happens, you can just notice it, gently acknowledge it, let it go, and come back to your drawing. Your drawing is a great tool to help you stay in the present moment. There are many benefits of mindful drawing, but I'll share with you my personal top 3. First, mindful drawing helps to slow down and relax. It requires us to sit, and be present in the moment to focus on one thing at a time, rather than jumping from thought to thought or running through a to-do list. It's basically a form of active meditation to me and it's a great supplement to a meditation practice or even like a deep way into other forms of meditation if that's something that you're interested in. More often, people are discovering that mindful drawing can serve as an alternative to traditional meditation. I've personally heard from so many people that mindful drawing helps them feel calm and refreshed. Second, mindful drawing stimulate your brain by using your powers of observation. You'll notice shapes, textures and colors in your surroundings that you may have taken for granted or does not notice before. All of these new images can fill up your creative well and be combined into new ideas. Also, by cultivating a sense of ease with holding yourself criticism and judgment, and focusing on the process of drawing, you're more likely to take creative risks. A 2010 study, published in the Creativity Research Journal, show that students who adopted a self-compassionate mindset when thinking about time, they felt bad about themselves, were able to think more creatively than students who did not practice self-compassion. Third, mindful drawing helps understand and process our emotions. As you'll see in the exercise that we're about to do, as you draw, you'll probably observe certain things that you might have missed before and that includes emotions and thoughts that bubble up in response to the prompts as well. Mindful drawing is a safe way to experience and process whatever it is that you're going through and express those feelings through your drawings if you choose to. You might even feel a lot better if you're practicing mindful drawing during a tough time. One case study that caught my attention was performed by mindfulness-based art therapy expert, Lori Boyko. In that study, a woman who was grieving on her husband's death was asked to focus on what she was feeling and sensing in her body, and then express that through oil pastel drawings. She was able to process not just her sadness, but also discovered some anger that she didn't even know that she was feeling before and was able to work through that as well. In my own experience, sometimes I know that it's hard to express difficult emotions in words. So mindful drawing helps me understand and express my feelings too. Now that you know the basics and benefits of mindful drawing, let's get started with the actual exercise in the next section. 4. Part 3 - Drawing Exercise: Let's begin our exercise. We can start by centering yourselves in the present moment. I invite you to take a few deep breaths to start to bring your awareness into your space. You can also start your drawing by making a circle in the middle of your page, which represents the here and now. I sometimes go over this circle a few times until I feel really present and I'm focused. One thing that's really great about drawing and coloring is that it's one of the ways to enter a flow state. Doing this exercise or coloring books or illustrated journaling are all creative practices that will help promote mindfulness. Today's exercise is partly inspired by a common introductory meditation practice that uses your physical senses to anchor yourself in the present moment with open awareness. Focusing on your senses is a great way to notice details that you might not have noticed before and appreciate them more. In today's exercise, we'll start with the basic five senses of sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound. I want to note that we all experience sensory input in different ways so please consider these exercises as a starting point and feel free to adapt them to your own circumstances and preferences. When you're ready, let's move on to our first sense. 5. Exercise 1 - Sight : The first sense that we're going to focus on is our sense of sight. Take a moment now to look around your space and really observe your surroundings. See if there's anything that catches your eye, maybe something with an interesting color or an interesting shape. First, I'll do the prompt myself as a short demonstration and I invite you to just watch or follow along if you'd like. Then I'll ask you to make your own drawing based on the item that you've chosen. For that, you can either take inspiration from my drawing, or totally do your own thing. I'm going to draw this little ZZ plant that I keep in my studio. As I start to draw, what I'm focusing on is the overall shape of the plant, but also the details. For example, I'm noticing that it has these two little leaves that come out on top and then the leaves below that grow in this zigzag manner, and that's really interesting because if I were to have just drawn this from memory, I definitely would have drawn just one on top and then the two leaves coming out side by side. One thing I really love about this practice is that you'll notice things about objects that you see every day, but you'll find that you see things that you just never noticed before, so I think that's really cool. When you're drawing a plant, obviously, one thing you can do is just start by drawing what you see first, but another way to do it that helps you lay out the drawing a little bit better and also make sure that you're capturing the overall structure, is to draw the skeleton of the plant first, not literal skeleton, but just the overall line shape and gesture of the branches and the leaves. For example, I see that there's two leaves up there, and then two leaves that come up here, and then they continue further down like this, and then they start to stagger a bit more down here and there's some pretty big branches like that, and then this part becomes a little bit thicker. Let me just clean this up a little bit, and then we can start drawing that inner bit. You can do this as realistically or as styled as you would like. One thing that's really wonderful about visual journaling is that you can use it to practice something that you're working on in your art practice, or even if you're just journaling for fun, this is totally a hobby for you that's also a great way to practice different things that you're interested in. Maybe lately you've noticed some illustrators whose style you've really admired, like maybe a really iconic or graphic style. Even if you're drawing something live, such as this plant, you can still do something a little bit of graphic to test that out. For example, I'm just going to move this over a little bit here to give myself some space. Say I want to draw another one of these branches in a more graphic style or stylized illustration, I can do that by still doing the same idea, creating this structure, but this time I'm going to do it a little bit more graphically. The brush I'm using by the way is called the shale brush, and you can find it in the calligraphy section of Procreate. It's one of the default brushes, and I use it all the time. I really love it because when I press lightly, I can create these nice pencil textures, and then when I press firmly, I can create more of a brush texture. I'm just using the pen pressure to create these different lines, and I really like how this particular brush works. You can just already see the difference between the two drawing styles. One, I'm working on a more realistic interpretation of how the actual plant looks, and this other one, you can imagine it being a print on a shirt or a napkin. I'll just include both of those here for now. If you'd like, you can draw the pot or you can leave that open. I'm going to leave it alone for now just to make sure I have enough room for all of my other senses. Now pick something that you see and take five minutes to really observe it and then draw it. A few tips, if you notice your mind wandering, just bring it back to the task at hand, trying to notice the object as it appears, but also giving yourself some freedom to play with how you draw it if it feels right. You can focus on the joy of observing and experimenting and try not to worry about the result. It's the process that really matters here. Also, five minutes isn't a super long time to make polished artwork obviously, and I suggested for that very reason, there's no need to expect perfection or to pressure yourself. At the end of each five minutes, I'll sound a bell, and that's also a great opportunity to return your awareness to your breath and the present moment. I'll see you in five minutes. That was five minutes. How did it feel? Remember, if you didn't finish your drawing, that's okay, because it was the process of observing and creating, not the end result that's important here. You can finish your drawing later on if you want to. For now, let's take a deep breath, and when you're ready, let's move on to our next sense. 6. Exercise 2 - Touch: Let's transition to the sense of touch. You have so many options here. Basically, anything that you can touch in your space. But you might want to pick something that would be fun to draw or that brings you joy and comfort. Since this is an exercise about bringing a sense of calm to your day, it's nice to draw something that makes you feel calm. What I'd like for you to do is to pick your item and then take a moment to first really notice the sensation of touch and how it makes you feel before diving into your drawing. I am going to draw this little fox heating pad guy that I have because he brings me a sense of comfort and he has a great texture as well. Let's do that. Again, you can draw the overall shape first. He's got this square overall shape, and he's got these two little arms on the side, then these little feet at the bottom, and his head is way up here, like this, with a big body here. He can have these little ears at the top and little beady eyes. As I'm drawing this guy, I'm thinking a lot about his overall shape. He has this round chubby shape and these little circles for appendages and triangles at the top of his head. For yours, you might think about it in that way too. Then once I have this overall shape in place, I can then fill in the details. Again, this is something I use once in a while, but I've never really taken the time to take a look at how he's really structured. That's what I really love about drawing and how I feel it really ties in with mindfulness because it really causes you to bring your awareness to an object and be really focused on it in the moment. It helps you observe things that you wouldn't have noticed before, which also lends itself to developing creativity because often, these little moments will help spark an idea, or later on you'll find a reference. In the future, I might be drawing a fox and I'll remember that I drew this fox and maybe something subconsciously will seep into that moment. There's many different benefits of this exercise. I'm going to fill his little hands here. Then to give it a sense of fuzziness, I'll just use my shale brush to give some of that weight here. His little feet can go here. Another one like this, and he's got more fuzz down here, just to fill that end a little bit with his fuzziness. With a single color to convey different shades on an object, you can always do that by just changing up the density of your strokes. Because he's darker on his body over here, I'm doing some more strokes. Just filling his face. He's a little fuzz on top too. Then where he's white, maybe just the outline of it. Again over here so he can have just a few this way so that you can tell he's still fuzzy, but different sense of coloring. There's my little fox guy. Again, if I wanted to create a more cartoonish or graphic version of him, I totally could have done that as well. Let me just quickly show you how I would have approached that. Again, I would have started with an overall shape, but this time I just use more solid lines and colors and maybe interpret a little bit differently. Even though he's got these little white ears, maybe I would draw his ears more like this and then do a little bit more of my own interpretation of how he would look like as a little character. Maybe drawing his face in like this, and then still following the overall format, but being a little bit more solid in how I've placed everything. You can decide how this applies to whichever object that you've chosen to draw, but just to show you that there's many ways to observe and draw the same type of thing. You can switch it up between the different objects that you choose for this exercise or keep it the same throughout. That's a more solid version of this little fox guy. I don't know which one I'm going to keep. I'm going to keep this guy for now because he matches my style a little bit better. Pick something that you can touch and maybe start with noticing the shape and trying to get that down and then filling in some of the details from there. Experiment with different ways to show the texture, whether it's soft, smooth, hard, or grainy. If you're using color, you could consider the temperature of the object and then sketch with a warmer or cooler color to match it. Just let yourself play and I'll see you in five minutes. Five minutes is up. Maybe you're getting a sense of a rhythm here. Whatever your drawing looks like, I hope that you really let yourself experience your sense of touch. Now let's take a deep breath again and when you're ready you can meet me in the next session for the sense of smell. 7. Exercise 3 - Smell : Now we're moving on to one of my favorites, the sense of smell. I think smell is an amazing sense because it's one of the strongest triggers of memory and I find that really interesting. For now, just take a moment to notice what sense you have in your space. There might be some obvious ones such as candles or incense, but also trying to notice some more subtler sense as well. For example, books actually have such a wonderful smell. Even if you think that you don't have any sense in your space, if you think about it, you're actually smelling the air, so a fun option is to draw something that represents the air or the weather of the place that you're in. For example, the air in Berlin probably smells really different from the air in Los Angeles. For me, I am going to draw this little perfume bottle that I keep on my desk. It's a gift from a friend, has a really lovely scent, so I'm just going to spray it, take a moment to notice it, and then start the drawing. It has this really woodsy, natural smell. I know that there's notes of juniper in it and some other things that I might not be able to name. But in my mind I was like, okay, this gives me a sense of a certain memory, or a certain place. Maybe I'll try to work some of that in. The smell guy, let me draw him down here. This bottle is a cylinder and again I can just draw that rough shape in, and then I have the cap. Then the label is here. I'm going to fill in that cap just to give it that contrast. Maybe add a little bit of that shine that's coming in from the light. I don't have to match the label exactly. I can just do something like that. Then I add a little sticker of a stroke down here to indicate a shadow, give that a little bit more of a dimension. I just double-clicked my iPad Pencil to switch to the eraser. We can also obviously always click the icon up here as well. Oops. Since that is looking a little boring, I'm going to draw in some of that, those elements that I was mentioning earlier. There's these juniper berries. I'm not totally sure how juniper berry leaves look like, so for now I'm going to just rough that in like that. I know there's something like this. Of course you can always Google an image that you might want to use as reference but, in general, I'm trying to stay off the [inaudible] when I'm doing this or I'll save the pictures ahead of time so that I have them on my iPad for reference. It's not just juniper berries after the rain. Let me draw a little bit of that rain sentiment around here. This smell like that. What's interesting is with different people, different senses calm them down more. Some people really react to smell sensors or fragrances, and that's how they like to calm down best or bring their awareness best to the present moment. Some people really react to touch, so they'll focus on the feeling of their seat on the chair, on the floor, or some people can't connect with their breath and so they'll actually focus on sound, such as noticing the birds or whatever sounds that they hear in their environment, or playing music. I find that really interesting for people to experiment with what senses help them center and relax the most. For me, I really like focusing on the breath when it comes to centering and focusing on a particular sensation, but I also really like smell. Let's draw some little rain elements here. Also it could be very much more symbolic little raindrops. That's looking better. Let me draw this little blue color I've picked more than the earlier gray color. Let me go ahead and add that on top. It's nice together, so I'll keep a little bit of that gray peeking through too. Now, for your drawing, you have a few options. You can draw the thing itself, or you can draw what it smells like to you, or you can try some combination like I did. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you need a reference photo or if you just want to wing it this time. The important thing for this one is to breathe deeply and let yourself be inspired by the scent as you draw. As always, try not to critique yourself as you go, but let yourself experiment without judgment, give it a try. That was five minutes. I hope that that was an interesting experience, since it was one of our first ones that it wasn't necessarily something that you can touch. Hopefully it was enjoyable and will inspire you to pay attention to sense a little bit more. For now, let's take another deep breath and move on to the next sense, taste. 8. Exercise 4 - Taste: It's time for a fun one, taste. Now's the time to go and try that snack or drink that you grabbed or if you need to, you can go and get something now. It could be something as simple as a piece of fruit, which would actually be perfect because it's both fun to eat and draw. In fact, that reminds me of this really sweet meditation by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn called the tangerine meditation. It's something that anyone can do, even a little toddler. All it is is taking a sweet tangerine or orange and first peeling it really mindfully and then as you eat each piece, you really focus and bring your total awareness to the experience of eating. Most of the times when we're eating we're always distracted doing something else, multitasking. But with this experience, you really notice it for almost the first time and it's such a beautiful way to experience eating and something that you might want to carry out in other parts of your life too. If you're interested in seeing what that meditation is like, I'll share a link to that in the class resources. I am going to draw my cup of tea that I have right here. I have this myth menthol tea, which is a common meal and has little notes of apples and honey and I really love it and I'm also not affiliated with them. I just really like this tea and I go through a lot of it. I feel like it's a good realistic representation of something that I would be having in my day-to-day life and that I would want to capture it in my journal here. First, I am actually going to take a sip of the tea and I recommend that you do the same for your item so that you can really experience the taste and then dive into your drawing. It's so good. I'm going to draw both the cup as the physical representation of my item, but also think about the flavors that I'm experiencing so that I might be able to include that as well. I have this nice mug. This mug has this longer handle that starts higher up and then my tea bag is always moved around the handle that's just how I like to put it. This is literally [inaudible] here. As I'm drawing this cup, what I'm thinking about is again the shape and for this one is this rounded rectangle and then you can think of this as a backwards D or an oval and at the top there's this ellipse as well. Three really simple shapes, I can already start to form what this cup looks like. This is something that might seem really obvious to some of you, but it's certainly something that I didn't think about when I first started drawing and I had to learn and then practice through my observation. Now, I can break a lot of things down into its basic shapes and I think is a really nice way to observe and draw so give it a try. I'll just fill that in a little bit. Oh, and I can actually pull this color. I just press this little square right here to use the color dropper and that can bring this nice contrast for the tea. Nice. Let's see. Maybe I'll add a little bit of flowers around that too. This is a nice herbal chamomile tea and I'm not sure that's chamomile really looks like. That's what chamomile looks like to me. Nice tea leaves over here. Now it's your turn. Take a moment now to really try your snack or drink and notice the taste. You might try taking a second bite of sip and see if you notice anything new. For example, if you're having a cookie, on the first bite, of course you'll notice that it's sweet, but if you keep reflecting on the taste, you might notice some saltiness there as well. Really let yourself enjoy the taste and I'll see you in five minutes. That was really fun for me and I hope that you thought so too. These five minutes go by so fast and we're already onto our fifth and final sense. I save some relaxed for no particular reason, it's just how it is coming up for me today. If you do this exercise on your own in the future, feel free to draw the senses in the order that they come up for you. 9. Exercise 5 - Sound : Finally, we're on to our fifth and final sense sound. Please take a moment now to just sit quietly and I invite you to close your eyes if you feel comfortable with that. Let's take a deep breath and notice what you hear. Of course, you're hearing the sound of my voice, but try to listen to what else you hear in your environment. Maybe you're hearing the sound of your own breath or people talking in another room, or maybe the sounds of the city outside your window. For me, I'm talking right now. Of course the main thing that I hear is my own voice. But I were doing this exercise on my own, I'd probably be listening to music or an audio book. In fact, I'm listening to a really good one right now. I am going to represent that in my page through drawing my phone and my air-pods. I'm going to draw it in this corner over here. This my iPhone and then my little air-pods. Or should the other one go? Let's just try a little out of frame. Add a little bit of case around it because right now just looking like a floating rectangle. Then I can write the book title. I'm listening to in search of lost time by Marcel Proust. Actually, let me do that again. Because what I like to use visual journaling or illustrated journaling for is also practicing my lettering. Even though this is not how the audio book actually looks, I can use this as an opportunity to do a little bit of lettering. Let me make that a little bit more interesting. It's a little better. Of course I can keep playing with that and try different iterations. But for now I think that's good enough. Thicken certain areas, a little bit more to make it little bit more balanced. You can add some little music notes here to indicate sound. Again, in this one, I just let things flow. I didn't follow exactly what the audio book cover looks like, but instead felt inspired to change lettering based on what I've been wanting to practice. It's always great to do a faithful interpretation using your powers of observation. But [inaudible] reinterpret the visual strikes you. You can feel free to honor it and to see where it goes. For example, if you hear a bird outside your window. You might not be able to see what it actually looks like. But you can show how the sound feels like to you by using colors or symbols. You might try blending some bright colors or drawing some music notes to represent what that sound feels like for you. Now it's time for you to draw your sound. You can use the music that I'm going to play, or you will come to mute it and pick another sound in your environment. I'll see you in five minutes. That's it. We've done our five senses. You know there's often, so much going on around us. It's great to be able to return to our senses to ground ourselves in the present moment. Now let's turn our attention inward for our final two prompts. 10. Exercise 6 - Gratitude : Another cornerstone of mindfulness practice is to develop our sense of gratitude. Gratitude helps us connect with our joy and see that each and every one of us has some blessing in our lives that can bring us happiness here and now. It's also nice as a drawing prompt because we're usually grateful for the things that we like and it's fun to try things that we like. For me, I can think of just the nice day that we're having here in Los Angeles. I'm really always grateful for the surroundings of our home. We live really close up to the mountains that are surrounded by trees and that brings me joy every single day. I'm going to use that as my gratitude portion. It doesn't have to be super big. I'll just do a small one down here, representing the sun. Having a mountain in the background and some trees down at the bottom. Again, you can really see how great the shale brushes, because I can get these really fine lines, but then also get these really beautiful brush strokes that I like. That's enough for me to remind myself of what I was grateful for that day, even though it's a tiny drawing. Sometimes all you need is a little symbol to trigger that memory in your visual journal. You're welcome to spend some more time on your particular drawing. You can always write a little journal entry if you want to add some more detail of what exactly you are really grateful for. Let's take a moment to really think about and reflect on some things that we're grateful for. Then pick one or as many as you like and incorporate it into your drawing. You can also decide whether you want to include a few words so that this can be a form of gratitude journaling too. I know that it can sometimes be hard to think of something that you're grateful for, especially if you're going through a difficult life circumstance. In that case, I welcome you to just reflect on the five senses that we just went through because it's wonderful to have images, one of them working, if not all five. Or you can simply reflect on the feeling of gratitude for this time together, drawing while connecting over the internet. If you think about it, people just 50 years ago would think that that's super incredible. If you finish early, I welcome you to just breathe, relax, and enjoy the music. Feeling our breath that is keeping us alive is one of the best ways to feel gratitude. That was really nice. I often feel refreshed when I'm focused on something that I'm grateful for, and I hope that you do too. Now for our last prompt is going to be perhaps a little bit challenging or emotional for some of you, but I also think that it's the most important one. Take a deep breath and when you're ready, I'll see you there. 11. Exercise 7 - Self Compassion: The last prompt in our mindful drawing exercise is going to be about self-compassion. This is a really fundamental concept in mindfulness meditation, and it's something that we can also try to cultivate through mindful drawing. It's so important to develop true love and kindness towards ourselves. Not only is it necessary for our own mental well-being, but by having real love and compassion towards ourselves, we're able to open to others with true love and compassion as well. I really think that there's a need to relearn what unconditional love towards ourselves feels like. If you think about it, many people who are so kind and giving towards others, and yet they have thoughts about themselves that they would never have about somebody that they loved. One practice is to try to talk to ourselves in a way that we would talk to someone that we do have unconditional love for. I know that this can be really hard to imagine, and might even make some people uncomfortable if it's not something that they're used to thinking about. We're going to start with something really simple. Let's just draw a little picture of ourselves in the middle of our page, or you can start on a new one if you need more space. It can be a simple stick figure drawing, or maybe little shape that represents you, or maybe your inner child. We can go back to the now that I showed earlier. I'm just going to put myself here in this center circle, maybe in a little sleeping position. I am in a little sleeping position now. Then once you have your little figure, I welcome you to surround it with something that represents compassion and love to you. For some of you that might be hearts and stars, for others it could be flowers, or maybe you want to try something more abstract, like surrounding yourself with your favorite colors to form a happy protective rainbow. For me, I'm going to add some flowers. I'm going to do it all the flowers, and then I'm going to do some stars because I really like sparkly shiny stars, then maybe a few little hearts. Of course, as you're drawing this, you are welcome to actually think about bringing self-compassion to yourself. It's a little bit of doing both the visual exercise, but also the mindful exercise at the same time so that you're not just affirming it through this drawing, but actually through your mental processes. Now, I'm going to give you five minutes to draw yours. As you do, I invite you to imagine giving yourself that compassion and affirming yourself love through your drawing and through your thoughts. I hope that was really comforting. No matter what your experience was, I invite you to pause right now and reflect on how that made you feel. For some people, it can bring up strong emotions and that's totally okay. Whether you found this prompt to be easy or challenging, there's no one right way to do it. You did it perfectly just by being here and doing your best. 12. Part 4 - Final Thoughts: I'm so glad that you joined me for this class and took the time to really nurture yourself. I hope that you feel relaxed, loved, and inspired. Now you know how to do this mindful drawing exercise whenever you want to connect to your surroundings and your inner sense of gratitude and self-compassion. It's a great way to loosen up especially if you can't think of something to draw because you always have your senses with you. You're also welcome to return to this class and just do one or a few of the exercises that you like the most. You don't have to do the whole thing every time. If you'd like to learn more about mindfulness and oral meditation, I've included links to some of my favorite resources in the class materials. Today's exercise is just one of the very cool ways that art and mindfulness can be combined, and encourage you to explore more. Finally, please stay tuned for my future classes by following me on my Skillshare teacher page, signing up for emails from our community and connecting with me on Instagram. I have a lot more classes like this one planned, so keep in touch. Until next time, please take care. Bye.