sign uplog in

Anti-Perfectionism Drawing

A series of exercises to overcome the perfectionism that holds us back from drawing more. We’ll use constraints that make perfection impossible, like blind contour, rapid gesture drawing, and more.

CurriculumAll CohortsFacilitators

Course Goals

To overcome our perfectionist tendencies so that we are freer to draw for fun and fulfillment. To become process-oriented rather than results-oriented.

Length / Commitment

  • Meet once per week for 4 weeks
  • 90 min each
  • No time commitment outside class, but optional exercises will be provided if you're interested

Syllabus / Schedule

Week 1

  • We'll do intros, then talk about the value of giving up control in artmaking.
  • Inspiration: Hilma af Klint, Surrealist Automatism, Dada chance collage
  • Warmup: Automatic drawing. Let your hand move on your paper however it wants to, not trying to draw or write anything in particular, just making marks.
  • Exercise: Blind contour drawing. We'll do a series of drawings in one continuous line, without looking at our papers.

Week 2

  • This week is about speed. We'll discuss the value of drawing so fast that your inner critic doesn't have time to get a word in. We'll also go over gesture--an overall movement and energy that's best captured quickly.
  • Inspiration: Rembrandt's sketches, Qi Baishi's ink paintings, Nancy Beiman's cartooning
  • Warmup: Make a set of abstract marks representing a set of provided prompts
  • Exercise: Quick gesture drawing (10 second, 30 second, 1 minute, 2 minute poses)

Week 3

  • We'll discuss how to bypass the constant judgment of "does this look recognizably like X?" by turning off your brain and breaking things up into basic abstract shapes and values.
  • Inspiration: Harriet Powers' quilts, Cubism, tangrams
  • Warmup: Mindful mark making. Make 10 identical copies each of a set of basic marks.
  • Exercise: Upside down drawing. I'll provide an upside-down reference image to draw. Afterward we'll turn our drawings right side up to see how we did.

Week 4

  • We'll discuss how deliberately changing our perspective and looking at things from unusual angles and extremely close up can lead to a sense of discovery and play.
  • Inspiration: Georgia O'Keefe's paintings, Robert Mapplethorpe's flower photography, Albrecht Durer's Great Piece of Turf
  • Warmup: Make your own version of the two faces/one vase optical illusion
  • Exercise: Extreme crops. We'll draw recognizable objects, but you will choose such extreme cropped views of them that they become almost abstract.


A set of drawings representing all the exercises we did.

Who Should Sign Up

Those who are interested in drawing more for self fulfillment, but find themselves giving up because they feel like they aren't aren't "good enough" or are otherwise fixated on the results rather than enjoyment of the process.

4 weeksUp to 20 learners

Something to draw on and something to draw with — paper or digital is fine!

Looks like there aren't any cohorts planned :(

Want emails on new cohorts?