1. Study your tools closely! Use a page for each one of your tools and experiment with dragging your tool sideways with varying pressure applied to it. How many different marks can you make with just the side of your marker, pencil, or crayon?
2. Add WATER! Wait what!? Yes add water to your page and make marks while the page is wet. Experiment with how water changes your dashes, lines and dots. Even if the tool you are using says it is waterproof or permanent you should still get some interesting things to happen when you start with a wet page!
3. Size matters! Use a bunch of different sized tools and make varying sized marks on your page the pattern of dots or lines become more interesting and fun when they change size. See how tiny and how big you can make your mark and then try all the sizes in between!
4. Look for patterns around you! Look around you, there are amazing patters, textures and shapes all over. Take a few minutes to record some of those patterns in your sketchbook or journal so you can use them as a source of inspiration in your next art journal spread, painting or creative project!
5. Thin and thick! Similar to size variation your line weight can make those boring lines sing! Hold your pen, pencil or marker a bit looser to give your lines a more painterly quality as you drag them across the page. As your line starts to form push down a bit harder and then lighten up as your go until you are barely touching the page. This technique should give you interesting lines in no time!