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Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun
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Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,636 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Carla Sonheim is an artist and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. Her innovative ideas are now collected and elaborated on in this unique volume. Carla offers a year's worth of assignments, projects, ideas, and techniques that will ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Quarry Books
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Jan 01, 2013 Jill rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! For a book only 144 pgs, it packs a lot of punch. Milage may vary, but she presents art in such a fun way, I am impressed. It would be a lovely gift to an artist along with keri smith's "wreck this journal. " Not all art has to be serious-- and as a senior art student myself, I can attest that a number of her prompts have been used in my art classes and even some other art books. So some of that information is not new, but it is presented in a brilliant way, for any age group. (I w ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Betsi rated it it was amazing
Recently got this on Kindle to read on vacation, and devoured it. Glad I spent the 40 minutes I did browsing the Kindle store, this was exactly the book I was looking for; full of practical exercises for that help to free up the creativity and to hone the skills. Fun without being overly silly, technical without being dry.
Jul 11, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing
52 rock solid fun and creative assignments, projects and exercises that will take the visual artist's creativity to new levels. For all skill levels. A fun reference manual with a year's worth of work.
May 18, 2013 Sonya rated it it was amazing
I strongly recommend this book; I remember wondering if art was going to be the major for me, when my entire freshmen year - was spent drawing cardboard boxes to learn about perspective, scale and the basics of drawing. I was so frustrated because it was a general education elective, but I was way beyond what we were learning and that class almost made me drop my major then and there.I constantly broke rules and stretched the boundaries of my assignments - while my teacher praised the creativity ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Aynge rated it it was amazing
Great ideas for a novice like me who has no clue about art. Easy projects to get you going and inspired! Got a fat marker and a stack of index cards? You have enough for one project already...
Mar 19, 2014 Tracey rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
These are fun exercises that force one to experiment or look at things in a new way, and I found they lightened my mood when I felt stuck in a creative slump.
Aug 28, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: artsy-how-to
I had originally checked this book out of the library because I'm participating in "Art Journal Every Day" this year, and used some of the exercises for inspiration in my journal. I liked it enough to put it on my Amazon wish list and my dear friend Madeleine sent it for my birthday! If you are an absolute beginner in drawing or do not feel confident in your drawing skills, I would recommend looking at all the exercises first and starting out with the blind-contour drawings or projects inspired ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Josiphine rated it liked it
Shelves: crafty-things
An interesting but not entirely useful look at drawing. I should have looked more closely at the cover before I checked it out--see that 'mixed media artists' at the bottom? I'm not interested in mixed media so quite a few of the exercises were of no use to me. There were a few others though (mostly about loosening up--ha!) that were a lot of fun.
Aug 14, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok
Good insofar as you actually attempt the exercises in this book. In terms of motivating me to get drawing, this book did little for that. So, it ended up a bit of a flip through for ideas for me.. Nothing that interesting.
Jan 28, 2016 Holly rated it it was amazing
best thing i have ever purchased!!!!!
Dec 31, 2015 Tara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
For beginners
Mar 01, 2014 Annette rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who enjoy creativity
Very fun and easy.
Jan 06, 2014 Kate rated it it was amazing
Carla Sonheim helps to break creative blocks in fun and unexpected ways. Her style is fun, quirky, and original. This book is perfect for beginners and professionals alike. I have bought numerous art/craft books and this by far was my best purchase!
This book is incredibly well designed - a nice summary of 52 drawing based exercises that are appropriate for artists of all levels. Furthermore, the straightforward approach is well illustrated and appointed. At least 1/2 of these exercises I will incorporate into various lessons for both children and adult classes - the content is that applicable! Love this book and have added the other 2 in the series, collage and print & stamp lab, to my to-read list.
Flower Edmiston
Jan 02, 2013 Flower Edmiston rated it liked it
A gift from my mom, with lots of neat ideas... I have a feeling this is going to be on my desk and in my bag for awhile to come!

My favorite quote so far:
"Research has shown that doodling in meetings actually helps you pay better attention, as it keeps your brain occupied just enough to keep you from daydreaming and missing the content of the meeting altogether. Thank goodness, you now have a scientific reason to doodle!" p. 92
Barbara Klaser
I love this book. I just received it yesterday and have already been through it once, done the first exercise, and can't wait to continue.

I'm not an artist, I'm a wannabe artist, and I am always getting ideas that I don't have the drawing ability to carry through, so this will be great exercise, and inspiring enough to get me practicing more regularly. Besides that, it's visually appealing and fun. I highly recommend this book.
Jul 19, 2011 Audra rated it it was amazing
This book offers lots of inspiration. I love the exercises she provides, suggested materials to use, as well as extension ideas to stretch yourself farther. I also like the many quotations from famous artists as well as biography and, sometimes, interviews with featured artists. I feel like the exercises in this book will stretch me beyond my comfort zone...which is good for growth.
Jan 20, 2011 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craft-reference
Provided I can pay attention long enough to complete the exercises given, this book is extremely entertaining! There are step by step instructions for each of the 50 drawing techniques and each one is fun, straight-forward and provides and chance to use your imagination. This book provides a way to feed a dying muse or to try something new in a safe and comfortable atmosphere.
Feb 11, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it
I'm still working on completing 100 drawings of faces as assigned in one of the "fun" exercises, and I still suck at drawing faces, but the book is nice for inspiration.
Jul 21, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing
I pored over the pages, reading some more than once. I have even done several of the exercises - some with my 6-year-old daughter. I loved this book! I would love to get one for Christmas. I still have it on loan from the library, but I would like to have this one in my permanent collection. Great book.
Mar 16, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This book brought back my love for drawing. It made me realize not all of my drawings are going to be perfect, and I will have to work around my mistakes. With this pressure gone, the relaxing, rhythmic creating of lines came back to life within me. Carla Sonheim is truly a wonderful teacher.
S. Renee
Oct 08, 2010 S. Renee rated it it was amazing
awesome book for anyone who wants to draw a bit-from the serious artist to the crafty to the doodler.... My son's school has cut their art program and I plan to use some of the exercises in this book with him-hoping he will love it too. I will be looking up other books in this series.
Jan 07, 2012 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: art
There were several new and creative ideas I gleaned from this book. I am not a frequent draw-er so I appreciated the myriad of ideas and most of them were to help people like me---the non-expert! Got this book from my local library. Not sure I would pay the money to buy it.
Kate Davis
Oct 22, 2011 Kate Davis rated it really liked it
Lots of fun ways to loosen up about drawing and art-making! She really strives to make it about having fun while leaving our mark - and does a good job. Something I'll definitely need to dive into more when the rest of life is a little calmer.
LA Smith
Nov 07, 2011 LA Smith rated it it was amazing
I'm diving in to this book with the aim of improving my confidence with my own drawing skills. There are many great projects and suggestions. I think this one will become a go-to inspiration source for years to come.
May 06, 2013 Sylvia rated it it was amazing
I've checked this book out of the library twice. The exercises are great! I've never really made it through the second week, but I think I'd like to buy this book at some point, and then I can practice drawing.
Sep 14, 2013 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Overall I enjoyed this book and found it to inspire me creatively. I love the exercises to get your creative juices flowing. I find my self practicing them during especially boring lectures at my school. haha
Dec 28, 2010 Recynd rated it it was amazing
I haven't gotten started DOING anything from this book yet, but myohmy...I can't wait!!! What gorgeous, exciting, and do-able projects/practice of the few artbooks worth its weight in gold!
Mar 28, 2011 Abigail rated it it was amazing
Carla Sonheim provides a great collection of drawing exercises. Provide a great place to start for anyone looking for doodling ideas or how to take their drawing a step farther. I love this book.
this was really fun at first, there were some parts i didnt enjoy but overall it is very helpful to losen your hand specially if you come from a long period of time without drawing at all
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