I recently posted an article on the WSI Facebook page that I thought you'd find interesting--and maybe useful. It's titled "Break Out of Your Creative Rut," so I thought I'd do that--break out of my creative rut and share with you. The article describes six ways to approach the creative process differently than before. If you missed the article (it's not a long read) and would like to check it out, here's the link:
I combined two suggestions and decided to try the suggestion about painting upside down and then gridding a reference image into 16 squares. Here's my reference image:
And here's the image upside down:
Then I also gridded my watercolor paper into 16 squares and began to paint, one square at a time, looking only at the upside down image. At first I thought I would just draw and shade and have only black, white, and gray--but that wasn't enough fun--so I got out my palette and brushes and decided to paint upside-down in watercolor.
I wish I could say that I created a masterpiece--but I didn't. What I DID get from the exercise is practice in painting shapes and looking for darks and lights. It took me several hours to complete the exercise--it's watercolor after all, and I waited for paint to dry so I wouldn't have mud. I painted a square or two and let the paper dry. Painted some more. Here's the upside-down result:
And here it is right-side up:
I picked a complicated photo image to do this experiment, but at least it was something I enjoyed looking at while I painted. If I do this particular experiment again, I think I'll start with a portrait image--just the head, perhaps, and either one draw or paint that image upside down.
However, I DID print the article on which this particular blog post is based, so I still have five more "experiments" to play with--like doing an 11x14 painting using only 100 strokes.
But that's just my opinion. Have fun.