Whew! I don’t know about you, but it has been a very busy summer for me so far. Between family time, some small celebrations, and the first (and second!) set of out-of-town guests I’ve had in over a year, I have had a very full plate and an equally full heart.

Before my guests arrived, I did a full bout of deep cleaning and organizing my home. My living room can get especially…let’s just say “lived in”; I usually have art supplies out because I’m constantly trialing different ideas I have for upcoming lessons, and my grandsons’ toys seem to multiply overnight and can’t be contained in their designated spaces. Thank goodness my lovely sister-in-law was game to help out, it cut the work in half and made the time so much more enjoyable.

While we were organizing, I had the good fortune to find some forgotten art supplies and tools. One of the tools I found, which I used in the above video, are templates used in drawing and drafting. Sometimes called “French Curves,” I discovered one of these templates in the storage compartment of my sewing stool and it is one used for pattern modification. The other, more ornate template belonged to my father and was used in his drafting work (these vintage drafting tools have really expanded my artistic practice).

Adding to the found templates, I was recently gifted some white pens and blue multi-purpose drawing paper by my son-in-law’s mother, also a good friend of mine and a talented art student who embodies my most-given advice to “practice, practice, practice”. The paper looks more green to me than blue, but that’s just because everyone sees and defines color a little differently than anyone else. Your eyes, one of your most important tools, see color and everything else from a totally unique perspective and makes your art so important to share.

With all of these new tools and materials, my creative mind started to whirl and twirl. Ideas were popping right up! Seeing so many summer activities on Instagram, and taking part in a few myself, I was very inspired by the woods, the sun, and the sea. As you can see in the video, the sea was my specific motivation for using these templates. All those curvy, ornate lines along the edges of the templates remined me of the ocean waves.

Using the new white pen and wonderful “blue” paper, I began my exploration of the templates with these materials. It took a few attempts before I could avoid smearing the ink when I moved the template from place to place. I learned to lift it straight up and try to have patience while letting the ink dry enough to set properly. Once I got through that struggle, many practice drawings later, my confidence and knowledge were ready to work together.

Below is a photo of one of my completed, but not filmed, wave drawings. The paper here looks more grey than blue, but the color in person looks more like the color in the video at the top of the page.

Here’s what I used:

  • A white paint pen
  • Blue multi-purpose drawing paper
  • “French curve” templates or stencils

The how-to for this project is quite simple:

  1. Begin by choosing a place on your paper to draw your first wave and set your chosen template there.
  2. Use your white pen to trace the template in the form of a wave.
  3. Repeat using different parts of the same template, or different templates, to create variance in the sizes and shapes of your waves. This will create complexity and interest, since we’re only using one color of ink and one color of paper.

Here is my completed drawing from the video:

I love how each drawing came out with similar movement but are completely different images. I mentioned in my last project using a white paint pen that I wanted to try them with more organic shapes and the opportunity seemed to just fall in my lap. The tools, materials, and summer inspiration came together to help me create some simple, but still exciting, artworks.