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What are Skibbles and Scritches?

When I have gone for a period of time without drawing I need something to get me back in the “mood”. I need something to kick start the creative juices. So what I do is start with Skibbles and Scritches (I just made that up – or maybe somebody already has). This is a combination of quick sketches and scribbles.

A quickie scribble

I start with a blank piece of paper, a pen of some sort (to prevent me from erasing). I pick a spot on my blank paper and start. I have nothing in mind I just go! I do my best to empty my mind (it’s empty most of the time so not a hard task). Perhaps I start with circles, or maybe rapid parallel lines, or scribbles, or a single unbroken random line. Whatever my choice I try to keep an energy going and not think about what I am drawing. I keep the pen moving at all times and make no effort to create “something”.

After five minutes or so I might see an image or a direction I can follow, or possibly a technique I can exploit. If I do see an image of some sort developing I do my best to not force it. I keep my mind silent. Background music playing in my studio helps. Preferably sans vocals and not a catchy beat. I sometimes get caught up in a peppy tune and then next thing you know I’m drawing to the beat, rarely a good thing.

I also tend to set myself a time limit. This can be anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Eventually I do see an image and I pursue it. However, I still keep my mind open to new possibilities and always ready to break rules, make mistakes or change direction.

My Skibbles and Scritches method can produce interesting images and it can create some real duds too. Not to worry though, my expectations are minimal.

I’ll exploit this technique for several drawings until my energy and approach become contrived. When this happens it usually means I’m back in the groove and ready to draw or paint something with a purpose.

Head over to my newly created page in the Drawing Gallery to see examples of recent Skibbles and Scritches.