MNW's creative exercise

MNW's creative exercise - student project


MNW's creative exercise - image 1 - student project

I chose an acacia tree from google images.


  1. “nuance” - pencil
  2. “hard” - 0.3 pen, non-dom hand, negative space
  3. “confused” - crayon, non-dom hand, single colour
  4. “boring” - crayon, multiple colours
  5. “secretive” - crayon, multiple colours, abstract shapes
  6. “christmas pc” - crayon, multiple colours, straight lines/shape
  7. “nervous” - ink, fountain pen, swoopy lines
  8. “cellular” - ink, uniballl contour drawing (no lifting)
  9. “finished” - crayon, multiple colours, negative space
  10. “feathery” - brush pen - different strokes


10 things I learned/enjoyed


  1. It is *really* hard for me to truly abstract and move away from representational forms. I’d like to work on this.
  2. Quantity (over quality) yields more ideas which makes it easier to land upon an abstract/interesting form because I get sick of representational forms. 
  3. Faster sketches yield a minimalism and energy that I find very appealing
  4. Decision-making - what subject, tool, what colour, what focus, what style, what strokes - is my biggest block to starting
  5. What I think will work often doesn’t and what seems thoughtless at first ends up being the creation I like the most
  6. I usually work with watercolours and line drawings; I enjoy the messiness, freedom, intensity of dry crayons. 
  7. I had forgotten how much I love the simplicity and range of the pencil
  8. Describing a piece with an adjective that doesn’t show your own critique of the piece is hard…
  9. Less is more (but I’m a detail oriented person so this is hard)
  10. I enjoy working with a limited time period and a very low expectation i.e. no expectation of producing something good or that I will even like. 



MNW's creative exercise - image 2 - student project

I had planned to layer in several colours, I didn't even finish the shape of the trunk because we had so little time. But, I liked this piece the best and would call it "finished" because it gives me an essence of a tree in a minimal abstract form that looks like a cloud and a question mark. Might change the colours though.



MNW's creative exercise - image 3 - student project

I loved this idea. I was thinking about negative space but from the perspective of everything around the tree rather than the tinier forms within the tree branches but because of concerns of time, I reduced it to these two blocks of colour. I'd like to play a bit more with the colours and some shape detail but I like how this gives the idea of the tree and the notion of absence. 

Jennifer K
writer | navel-gazer | rice girl