OOPS! We've all made mistakes. I make them more than I'd like to admit but I have discovered that much learning has happened because of such mistakes. Erasers are a hot commodity in the art classroom and sometimes I purposely hide them or keep them off the tables so students can embrace their mistakes. I've seen students draw a line, erase it, draw it again, and erase repeatedly. How frustrating to want to reach such level of perfection! Have we taught our children that everything they do needs to be perfect? 

Barney Saltzburg wrote a wonderful book called Beautiful Oops. It's an excellent read for any age! From the book—  "A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal."

The Ralph Steadman Book of Dogs is another great book to look at for OOPS inspiration. Caricaturist Ralph Steadman uses his signature ink blot drawings to create fantastic, energetic canine portraits.

The Workout

With this workout I have made some OOPS! India ink has dripped onto pieces of paper. Each one is unique. You will begin with the mistake and turn it into something beautiful, funny, creative or powerful! After you print out the OOPS you are most interested in, turn it all around. Look at it from all directions. Find the picture that is hiding inside the OOPS! (This is similar to Workout #5, but instead of using the lines that are already there, you are adding your own.)

You can use pencil, marker, or colored pencil to draw in the rest of the picture. This is a great workout to get your mind thinking. Sometimes the hardest mark to put on the page is the first one. Since the first mark is already started you are ready to go!

Share your results on Instagram using #drawfitoops

Materials: