Just Draw a Line


For today’s experiment, I took some advice from Camilo (castiblanc.wordpress.com). His comments have been helpful in my quest to find ways to express myself in a more abstract way. Here is his process:

“I draw lines in a paper. Just lines without sense. Then i begin to watch the relations between the lines and what objects that can i create with they ( being aware of the images that appear in the middle of the scrawl) .”

Thank you Camilo. I appreciate your comment.

I followed his advice today in the watercolor below:

Abstract Watercolor Experiment December 18, 2013

Synesthesia (5″x7″ rough finish 140# Watercolor Paper)

My process

I started out with a spiral. Spirals are a universal symbols. They, of course, are present in the universe as galaxies, but they also may be found in weather patterns, a cup of coffee when stirred, and even in the structure of the human brain. I had been looking at the catalog of a Joan Miro retrospective, which inspired a delicate touch for all the lines in my composition.

I saw the spiral as an eye and drew two tangent straight lines that crossed, in the same way that vision is illustrated in schematics pictured in elementary anatomy/physiology books.

I drew the wavy lines at the bottom quarter (the 6 O’Clock position). It then occurred to me that the wavy lines could indicate the sensation of smell. The position was also correct to represent the sensation of smell, so I thought of the wavy lines as the sensory cells that receive the odors through the cribiform plate at the roof of the mouth.

I filled in the rest of the anatomy and represented vision by the color yellow. Somehow, in the spiral eyeball, the yellow was transformed to red and sight was rendered into smell in my imaginary synesthete. By the same token, I represented the stimulus to the olfactory receptor cells as red, and transformed it to yellow, over which I superimposed musical notes in the top quarter.


As I developed my drawing, I felt a concept emerging, and that was very satisfying. I am not sure that the painting is successful as such, but it will serve me as a basic sketch to further develop the idea.

The above process does not accommodate expressing emotional feelings. For example, if I am very happy at the moment, I don’t know how I would go about drawing or painting that feeling using the above steps.

Must every drawing have a ‘seed’ image – like the spiral, in the case above? Could it be a ‘seed’ color? Must there be a seed at all, or do some people have an image inside that they know how to render?

What are the processes that other artists use?

One thought on “Just Draw a Line

  1. Pingback: Character Scrawling – Flux’s Messed Up Anatomy | Albinofruit.com

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: