Dreamscape Tutorial

Dreamscaping is a form of automatic drawing (surrealist automatism) which creates a random image using the minimum of materials. For this tutorial, all you'll need is a standard HB pencil and some paper.
 
 
Above is the original tutorial video. If you need more detailed information, then you can read the following:
 
 
Stage One: FOUNDATION
 
Similar to priming a canvas before painting, what you'll be doing here is creating the basis of your finished piece. It doesn't take long, but is an important stage.
First, select the area that you wish to cover. It doesn't have to be big. In the accompanying video, the size I used was only 63mm x 35mm. You don't need to rely on a border either. I usually create these works without one. It was only used in the video to centre it more in the shot.
 
 
 
Lightly shade the area with your pencil. Don't use too much pressure at this point, so hold your pencil loosely to apply an even layer. You may only need one covering, but you can add more if you like, with a maximum of three. A second layer, shaded from a different angle, can help prevent any slanting of the final image.
You may shade these layers however you choose. If it helps, you can even lightly smudge the shaded area with your finger. It's a basic shading technique which tends to be sneered upon by a very sniffy artworld, but if it works for you, then it's fine.
What you must always remember is that this stage has to be completely random. You're looking to create slightly darker areas in it to use with the next stage.
 
 
Stage Two: RORSCHACHING
 
Rorschaching” is named after the Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922), who developed the now famous inkblot test that's named after him. It uses random inkblot images for subjects to decipher and make sense of, with their choices reflecting their psychological state.
 
So I thought it the perfect name to use for this stage.
 
To do this correctly, you need to use circular “scribble” shading and lightly begin to build up those darker areas from the first stage. The circular motion of the shading helps prevent angular shapes from dominating the final image by making it more organic in nature. Sometimes an image will appear almost instantly, but not always. Mostly, you'll need to continue shading in this way, to ease out the picture. At times, it can look as if you're slowly developing a photograph of something you're not quite sure of yet. This is a good sign that you're doing things right.
 
 
 
And the wonderful thing about it is not knowing what's going to appear. It can range from the mundane to the fantastical, and can be quite relaxing to do. This might be due to the doodling nature of it, where its aspect can change from one moment to the next. Very much like a dream does.
Don't be frustrated if nothing significant appears in your first attempts. You'll probably get the usual shapes, patterns and symbols to begin with. This reflects its doodling origins. In the video, I have the paper in a fixed position for the sake of filming, but you are allowed to turn it around any way you choose, if it helps. After all, this isn't a pre-planned work, so it doesn't matter.
Eventually, most, if not all, of the image should become apparent, allowing you to move onto the final part.
 
 
Stage Three: FINISHING
 
 
 
You should have a good idea what's there by now, even if it does look as if its covered in an eerie mist. Now you can give it some definition by adding detail to it and use darker shading. How finished you want it to be is entirely up to you. You may prefer it to be sketchy. In which case, it can be a nice little drawing you've done in some downtime you may have. Or, if you like, you can spend a bit more time on it and have something more polished and finished.
 
 
 
And that is basic Dreamscaping. Try it. You really might surprise yourself, and you might actually enjoy it.
 
 
You can create Dreamscape works on a larger format, using practically any medium. I've chosen to use pencil and this size to show that it can be done practically anywhere with readily available and cheap materials. This comes from the Skav Art aspect of my work, which Dreamscaping is an off-shoot of.
 
I've found the smaller you do a pencil Dreamscape piece, the more specific the subject matter will be (as in the “Magic Spark” piece used in this tutorial). Larger pencil pieces (and by that I mean around post card size) tend to be more cluttered and chaotic, but good to do if you have the extra time to do them.

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