An exercise in imagination : : cloudspotting

In this quick exercise of imagination, I put blobs of masking fluid in a grid on the paper with my fingertip…cloudspotting…then a quick dash of watercolour in random swipes or strokes over each one (when the masking fluid had dried!)

cloudspottingSometimes I bled a different colour into damp spots…no rules, no real plans for what each blob would become (sometimes, yes, pointy ears or a ball at the top for a head, but nothing careful or overly thought about). cloudspotting
After rubbing off the masking fluid, I drew a little face into each white dot…
cloudspottingThis is where my imagination came in to play: staring at each one, I tried to see the rest of “the character” hiding in the washes and subtle edges of dry paint. It was a lot like looking for images in clouds—”cloudspotting”—except that I pinned the images down with more watercolour, an ink pen, and touches of coloured pencil.


No one is more surprised than I am at some of the figures I managed to coax from these random blobs of colour…
cloudspottingLooking at them now, it’s hard to believe they weren’t planned from the start, some of them fit their blobs and their ink faces so well.

27 thoughts on “An exercise in imagination : : cloudspotting

    1. You know how I can’t draw people? This turned out to be a good way for me to get past that block…though with round cartoon faces they will never look like ‘real’ people. It’s a start, anyway… 😉


  1. These are fantastic! I LOVE this idea. I might have to steal your idea and deploy it in my art journal as a warm up exercise some time. Maybe I will do this exercise with my kids. I love the characterful expressions you have created and the personalities you have coaxed from the blobs.

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      1. I’m definitely going to. I need to replace my masking fluid though. The bottle I had went funny when it was being shipped across the Atlantic, I guess because of temperature fluctuations and lack of use.


    1. Thanks! And dolls are exactly what got me started on these…a set of 7 little buddhist sages, carved from nuggets of peach wood, that my dad brought me from Japan when I was 11. I saw them before falling asleep a few days ago, and started these drawings the next day.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Thanks! They were so fun to do, and surprising…I could never imagine nor paint these characters, intentionally, from scratch…but this method of “cloudspotting” brings them all out naturally, and quickly, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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