Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind…

…before you sharpen your pencils. :o)

1. Find a pattern or texture and try to visualize images that your brain doesn’t immediately recognize. Try this whenever you see mountains, tree trunks, fabrics, flooring, rocks, wood grain, and anything else patterned or textured. With practice, you can easily find hidden images wherever you go. It’s a fun way to amuse yourself and enhance your visual intelligence at the same time!


2. Examine clouds the next time you go outside on a cloudy day. At first, you might only see a cloud as a cloud – but when you relax and allow your brain to come out and play, you begin seeing the shapes and forms of such things as animals or faces.

3. Render a page of doodles or scribbles and identify unintentional faces and patterns within the lines and shapes.

4. Visualize a number between 2 and 9 or a letter from the alphabet. Imagine how the number or letter would look if viewed in a mirror, visualize it, and draw the image you see in your mind.

5. Render at least one sketch of an actual object or person every day from memory.

About Brenda Hoddinott
Award-winning artist and author; illustrator, art educator, curriculum designer, co-owner of Drawspace.com, owner of Drawspace Publishing, and retired forensic artist Brenda has developed art curricula and taught multidisciplinary arts since 1980. During her 25-year career as a forensic artist, Brenda worked with diverse criminal investigative agencies including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Department of National Defense, private investigative agencies, and municipal police departments. Brenda and her partner John live in the suburbs of Halifax, Nova Scotia with their two SPCA rescue dogs: Timber the Huskador and Katie the Pitweiler. Their blended human family includes five adult children and two grandchildren. Books by Brenda Hoddinott include: 2012: Introduction to Contour Lines (Drawspace Publishing) 2012: Introduction to Drawing (Drawspace Publishing) 2011: Illustrated Dictionary of Art-Related Terms (Drawspace Publishing) 2010: Getting Started with Drawing (Drawspace Publishing) 2004: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing People Illustrated (Alpha Books) 2003: Drawing for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc.)

One Response to Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind…

  1. Mike Sibley says:

    More years ago than I care to remember… my Art teacher used a similar exercise that he called Scribblegrams.

    He’s have one student scribble random lines on the blackboard and then we’d be invited to go up to the board to see what we could make of any of it.

    It was a great way of firing up the imagination!


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