Intuitive or automatic drawing is a great place to start. Top left shows experimenting with the kinds of marks you can make with the pencil by holding it different ways. Of the abstracts, this approach can be the most messy when using a pencil (still searching for my images)
What makes this approach different is you make a mark, any mark, any place and then just let that mark dictate the next and the next. Repetitive marks welcome. The only rule is to not make something recognizable.
Click to see full image.
We do learn the elements of art and principles of design as they come up. Our most prominent element is line. Value (how dark or light) factors in the third image. Composition and balance....without having to make anything look "real." No stress.