Closed Eye Techniques & Info

Addendum to first explanation:

As I tried to explain in the first post here, this was done in sort of stages,with big sweepers first, eyes closed, then I looked and picked out the sails and hull of the boat, and then closed eyes and restricted smaller pencil marks to the water area mainly.
Then I looked a coulple of times to see what was happening as I was going along; then opened eyes and focused and connected shapes by adding lines and reinforceing others.
I think I had the support flat most of the time, especially for the small stuff at the end, and the same orientation throughout.
You could also use a blindfold next time. I found I did too much peeking if I didn't, so I used one.
Thanks, Arty, but I've found that don't need a blindfold and have learned to really unfocus my eyes so that I can't see what I am doing except whether I have gone off the support, or not.
The ratio of time with open but unfocussed eyes and closed eyes varies, with the vast majority of the time having the eyes closed.
I sometimes use the open time to repostion my starting point for marking to a specific area and make sure the suport is completely covered.
I hope this makes sense, it works for me.
re; Sailing The South Seas.
View attachment 2787 P1000571SailingInSouthSeasDetail.JPG The detail is too blurry to show much of the underlying composition lines from the closed eye start.

As I said in the original post, this was probably my first attempt at using the closed eye technique, but It was only a partial. because I looked a number of times to see what was happening.

After I found and located the sails and hull, I restarted on the water to get more movement. I kept track of not going above the horizon by holding my left forearm on the horizon, obviously using only the right hand to draw with the pencil.

I did a lot of open eye adjustment on that small area of the blue headland in the background.

It wasn't a pure, total closed eye start, but I felt it opened up some doors for me.
I really do like what you've achieved using this technique!
Here's a bit of an update. Not sure I shall finish this, don't know if its the weather or my state of mind or a bit of both but I can't seem to muster the enthusiasm to go much further. Comments welcome🙂
I really love this one laf. You can keep going or leave it as is. That looks perfect too! It's feels organically beautiful. ❤
My 2 cents is that it is approaching overload. The amount of colour is a lot and so I think I would quit while you are ahead. If you feel like you need to tweak it at all then I would perhaps use your pencil to maybe outline a few areas which I think would work well. I really like it.
Morning all.
Arty thanks, you brightened up my day.
Hermes many thanks - wish it was haha
Sno vacillation has also been part of the problem🙂
Katie thanks, I'd been thinking about a bit more pencil - I think I agree that it is approaching overload and it's probably why I stopped, you've helped by putting it into words
I don't exactly agree with Katie, but I do think it's perfect as is. Leave it be from here. I really like it.
For clarification...'comments' mean feedback/critique? is that correct? because if someone asks for that I'm going to say exactly what I think. If they dont ask for comments then, of course, I won't offer any ideas or anything like that. I do think it is best to understand that moving forward. :) so that I know.
I wasn't trying to start up anything Katie. I am almost agreeing with your feedback about the piece in that nothing more should be done with it. I also agree that anyone is free to say whatever they want as long as feedback is welcome on behalf of the artist. Seems okay, yes? :)
Once again thanks for your comments and interest, I added a few pencil marks, with closed eyes at the bottom of the painting and have now called it done. Onward and upward🙂
I'm trying to post the process of a new painting here and in the Landscape Forum without the process.
This seems kinda clumsy, but hey, it's a WIP.

St. Zilch

The first 3 are the closed eyes markings, in three sessions. I looked at what I had done after the first one, and then turned the paper upside down for the 2nd & 3rd markings.

It was a mistake to use different strength markers , one for each hand, the darker one in the right hand and lighter in the left. The darker markings were overpowering the lighter and later made it difficult to pick out designs and patterns that were a combination of light and dark marks.
I switched to equally dark markers for #3.
I did them while shouting several folk tunes, waltzes, operatic passages and military marches, not to mention the initial boxing drill of jabs and right crosses.

There was no plan about subject matter or style, only to make a lot of lines to add
the possibilities.
I wound up making too many lines for easy going and will throttle back next time.

The wood piece was to keep from going off the easel when my eyes were shut.

Next I picked out shapes and patterns with the objective of not adding anything with my eyes open, but using only what was there on the paper, just where it was.

I had to violate that rule a bit at the end, and decided that the rule was too confining for future efforts.

The most striking image I found was the figure that looked like a monk or Samurai climbing up a slope.

You can see the process with my yellow ochre paint strokes.

You can see the process with my yellow ochre paint strokes.

I am amazed that I got a semi-coherent composition out of that tangled mess.
I am going to try to get some more compositions out of that same drawing since I have the image as you see it here, and maybe I can some how enlarge it .

I have been notified that I can only attach 10 files, so I will continue tomorrow


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Fascinating how you found an image in that bunch of spaghetti! I've already posted in the X-post but this is really interesting to see how you got there. I'll have to try this some day. :giggle:
Excellent technique and idea with putting in the figure. I am impressed! Really nice piece. I love that you are sharing this process with us. More, more more!!!! :) ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Not sure if I’m posting this in the right place, but here is a twist on eyes closed. I drop several drops of ink on the paper and then move the paper around to let the ink flow wherever....drop the ink drops away from each other to start. Step two..... I do different the second pic, (not the same ink marks as the first) i did zen tangle doodles.... the third pic isn’t quite finished, but it is a map of my adventures with my grandson, who also contributed to the piece..anyway, it is just fun stuff 🙂...


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Excellent technique and idea with putting in the figure. I am impressed! Really nice piece. I love that you are sharing this process with us. More, more more!!!! :) ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Okay Arty -
Just to be clear, I did not put the figure in, I found it just where it is on the final drawing, as I hope these photos will show;


As I mentioned before, I hope to be able to scale up the final drawing to find more compositions because it was an awful lot of work just to get only one picture out of the "spaghetti", as sno called it.
Speaking of work, posting all this stuff has taken more time than doing a painting.

Here are some more close ups to round out what I have been trying to say;


The small halo was a piece of thread, just to see what it looked like.
As you see in the final (so far) version, the large halo is a collage of a paper cut out. This is where the Saint needs SLG.

Also as I mentioned before, I had no idea of what I would find in the scribbles, but thought it woud probably be abstract. The discovery of the Saint figure dictated that it be of a more realistic style and since I am partial to a Golden Way, I wanted to find that also, or force it in.

Comments and Critiques and advice welcome.

Now back to the uphill struggle . . .
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