Stress Busters to Help You Relax

My dear friend and art therapist, Judith Campanaro, shares over 70 ways to relax – from the scientific to the enjoyable. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Harvard research suggests that playing card games helps people calm down, squashes their worries dramatically, and delivers almost as much stress relief as exercising, because it takes your mind off whatever’s troubling you. No more feeling guilty about playing solitaire on the computer.
  • When you have a migraine or just need to de-stress, a mustard foot bath can work wonders. When you have a headache, the blood vessels and nerves are inflamed. The warm water and mustard seed draws blood away from the head to the feet. Pour comfortably hot water into a basin, and add one teaspoon of freshly-ground mustard seed for every gallon of water. Soak your feet in the water with a thick towel over the basin to retain the heat for about twenty minutes.
  • Sit or lie comfortably with your eyes closed. Breathe slowly and imagine something that you would like to happen that would make you more relaxed. Surround that fantasy with a pink bubble. Now let the bubble containing your vision go. Once it is free to float around in the universe, it will gather the energy needed to manifest itself to you.
  • Tickle a baby, say hello to a stranger, swing on a swing, take a bubble bath, or simply sit on a park bench and watch the world go by.

The full version of this article by art therapist, Judith Campanaro © is FREE only on Drawspace.

6 Pages and 14 Illustrations


Sketch of a Youth (Michelangelo)

Use mixed lineweights and hatching to sketch a portrait in the style of Michelangelo (6 Pages and 9 Illustrations).

Michelangelo was the ultimate perfectionist.  He destroyed several of his own drawings and even scrapped his original painting on the Sistine Chapel. Thankfully, some of his drawings survived the ravages of time and now serve as extraordinary examples of classical drawing techniques.

By copying the masters’ drawings, 21st century artists continue to learn from their styles and techniques. Contemporary artists are also using innovative technologies, mediums, and drawing tools to advance classical drawing techniques into the future.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.


Elegant White Calla Lily

Use dry-mixing, blending, burnishing, and impressing to create a colored pencil “painting” of a simple flower.

Colored pencils are a wonderful medium for drawing everything and anything. They beautifully capture delicate drawings such as portraits and flowers, and also work very well for subjects that need a bolder, more colorful approach.

Colored pencils were originally developed for commercial artists and illustrators. Over the past few decades, “painting” with colored pencils has gained new respect as a fine art medium. This medium is relatively inexpensive, neat, and portable.

Today, colored pencils come in a wide variety of qualities, from student to professional. The permanency rating of the pigment used in the mixture helps determine the ultimate quality of the pencils. During the manufacturing process, various synthetic and/or organic pigments are added to binding agents (such as clay or chalk) and wax.

When drawing with color, values are more important than the chosen colors. As you can see below, the values of the colors for the flower itself are light-to-medium. The stem and the lower section of the stamen are made up of colors that are medium-to-dark in value.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.

12 Pages and 18 Illustrations


A Forest Fades Into the Mist

Employ geometric and atmospheric perspective to create a three-dimensional view into a brightly-lit opening beyond the trees (10 Pages and 18 Illustrations).

Fourteen trees are used to create the illusion of depth in this drawing. Assume that in reality, these trees are approximately the same size. However, according to the rules of geometric perspective, they need to be drawn of varying sizes. Geometric perspective helps create the illusion that the trees in the foreground are larger than those farther away. This illusion is enhanced by drawing the base of each tree progressively higher within the drawing space from the foreground toward the background.

Trees that appear to be far away from the viewer are rendered light in value and with few details due to the perceived presence of high levels of atmospheric components in the air (atmospheric perspective). Conversely, trees that appear to be closer to the viewer are rendered in sharp focus, and have bright highlights and dark shadows. Low levels of dust, pollen, and/or droplets enable the viewer to clearly see the textures of trees that are closer to the viewer.

The full version of this lesson by Brenda Hoddinott © is FREE only on Drawspace.


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