Book Review: Expressive Drawing by Steven Aimone – Automatic Drawing


I recently acquired the book Expressive Drawing by Steven Aimone, I hate to say it but I was totally drawn in by the picture on front cover. Naughty naughty! There’s something about abstract art work that attracts me, I feel I’d love to make paintings like that but when I try they just look like childish scribbles to me!

After my first Assignment for my current OCA course my tutor encouraged me to work bigger. Now I already work on A3 paper a lot of the time so I wondered how on earth I was going to get bigger than that. I tried working on sheets of newspaper, or taping and gluing smaller sheets together, but its so time consuming and really gets in the way of just getting on and working. Eventually I came across this fantastic roll of paper made by a company called Fabriano that’s 1.5m wide by 10m long – fantastic! I just knew it would be perfect for use with this book. The first exercise is called Automatic Drawing and is all about embracing the pleasure of simply making marks on paper. You make a few marks on the paper then stand back and see where you feel like making a few more, then repeat until you feel satisfied with your picture, and boy is this satisfying!

This way my first attempt, the beginning was tight and controlled, and I hated it! But I did like the small section I’ve done a close up of, so I just continued to do that, and eventually it turned in to the finished piece – a big messy abstract. I love it!

So then I did some more! The first two I did were approx. 30″ sq. – definitely working on my goal towards bigger mark making! The last two were A3 sized, and I’m especially pleased with the second one, although I’m not sure why! When my little boy saw me having so much fun, he decided to join in too! Such a little cutie!

I really enjoyed this exercise and I can’t wait to try some more! I just need to find somewhere flatter to work, but there aren’t many places in my house that I feel like throwing black acrylic paint at the wall!


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