How can making random marks on the page create art? Ed Davies, US
The technique you describe is based on tapping into your subconscious and generating random shapes and lines, but I can’t teach you how to do this. Instead, I’ll suggest that you use the free program Alchemy ( http://al.chemy.org). It was developed with Andrew Jones to give artists a new approach to sketching.
Start by checking the box next to the line and use following modes: Speed Shapes, Pull Shapes, X Shapes and Type Shapes. Under Affect you’ll also find mirroring tools. Play around with the Transparency setting. If you’re having trouble producing something useful, try to keep things simple. Create one random blob and try to see something in it. As soon as I produce an interesting shape I switch to Photoshop and work it up.
When your problem appears at the rendering stage, you might have to do some studies first. I like to work with the Freehand Lasso tool and Airbrush, and for details I use textured brushes to give it a charm without making it too clean. Use Photoshop layers with your early Alchemy pieces, so that you can amend your art if it’s not working out for you.
Move away from your initial sketch, create new layers and separate out your images. Produce as many as you can. There are no bad ideas, just unformed ones. There are many approaches to using Alchemy, so it’s well worth doing a little online research to see how others fare with it.