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Venetian Mask Figure Portrait Woman Doodle

Venetian Mask
Had a lot of sit time yesterday and had received some new sketching toys from a friend at Zebra Pen, so took the opportunity to work on a sketch to see how they performed.  This Venetian Mask is a mixed media sketch, or I should say doodle (I will explain below) and is done with pointalism, color pencils, technical pens, fine tip markers, Pentel white gel pen and I hit it with a brush or 2 of gold paint.

I watched an interesting video from Stefan Baumann where he talked about the psychology of sketching.  He prefers we call it doodling as it takes the pressure off to produce something good enough to use that pristine white paper that comes in sketchbooks.   Doodles can really help you learn to draw and improve your drawing skills.  Doodles also imply fun, no pressure or expectations, something that sketching inherently does imply.  He also suggests that you do about 100 doodles, (Joan, I think you are the only one in the group that is hitting this stride and then some on a weekly basis) with intent, per week, and every 5 pages you should doodle with your secondary hand.  For me I am right-handed, so I have to become a lefty.   While those doodles look pretty bad, they too will improve with practice, but it engages your left side of the brain and makes it work instead of just going on auto pilot.  He says that if we just doodle our 100 doodles a Week with our main hand that we go off into other thoughts and that won't improve your drawing skills.  When you doodle with intent you need to think about it somewhat, even if you are doodling from imagination, so that you can reap the benefits to your drawing skills.  You have to make your self work to grow!!  

Thanks for taking a look


  1. Love all the variety of textures you got with he materials you used. Nice work on this. I had to laugh about the doodles and doing 100 per week. Even for me that is a stretch but most of my sketches are too detailed to think of as a doodle. I do agree that it is good to sometimes use your non-dominant hand. It does make you work harder since it isn't so automatic and it can make your brain really work. I do that once in a while.

  2. Stunning work Nelvia! I love the abundance of textures and patterns. The graphic black and white, the soft blues, the shimmery, silky gold around her neck, LOVE it all! And her eyes... WOW!

    1. It was fun to cut loose and try to emulate the different textures. Not exactly like the photo, but caught the gist of it I think. So glad you like it. Really helped pass about 6 of the 8 hours we just sat and waited and waited and waited. I was surprised that no one really noticed, only had one person sit beside me and comment - everyone else was pretty oblivious.

  3. Absolutely stunning! Looks like a lot of intricate work going on here!

    1. Not sure how intricate it was, just lots of layers and marks on top of marks. I never was into mark making and now I just love it.

  4. This is fabulous Nelvia! Thank you for the info on doodling; I think that 100 is a bit of a stretch but it sounds like a good idea to do more than we normally do and to use our off hand sometimes too. This is something I have to give a try.

    1. I am going to go to WetCanvas, into the life drawing section, and try to do some of the weekly scavenger hunts. They give I think about 20 items it find and sketch. I think he wants 100 in the hopes that you would do 20, but he also says you get to where you need to go out to find sketching subject, which again is part of his encouragement to paint plein aire. But with your property it would take a really long time to sketch everything before you run out of subject matter. I thought it was interesting to utilize the off hand too.

  5. This is eye opening, what a gorgeous 'doodle ' !

  6. Excellent work, Nelvia!!! .wonderful color and texture


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