Follow me This is one delightful little book. The author, France Belleville-Van Stone, is a self-taught artist, and she urges her readers to spend a little bit of time every…Read more
Follow me After a few weeks’ hiatus, we are back at the sketchbook. It gives me such pleasure to do a bit of drawing every day, Gentle Reader, and I…Read more
In a manner of speaking, er, or in a manner of sketching. Did you do any sketching this week? I find that if I have my sketchbook handy, with a very sharp pencil, and a couple of interesting items in front of me to sketch, I just can’t resist sitting down to draw for a few minutes every day. 🙂
Here are a few sketches from this week:
The blackberry lily seed cluster gives you a hint as to how it got its name . . . (little Mack really likes this drawing, he said to mention that).
Speaking of little Mack . . . here is the drawing that he labored over today during school. It’s hard–mainly the bucket that the tree is in is hard. He does not sit quietly and do his drawing, oh no. This fiery little man will rake his hand through his hair, gnash his teeth, grunt and scream and scowl, until he gets it just right. He is full of passion and is easily discouraged. He reminds me a lot of his big brother Andrew, who was never happy with what he produced. He ought to be happy now, as he’s a graphic designer and an artist in every sense of the word.
Mack and I were out running errands later in the day, and I saw a tree that was shaped just like this one. “Look–there’s the tree you were drawing today!” I said. He looked and laughed. I think we’ll take our sketchbooks back there today and draw that tree from life. It’s always best to draw from life, you know, when possible.
A memory sketch that I did of Babes, our favorite little bantam chicken. She is blue and gray and absolutely splendid, in every way.
This is a design I made for a ladies’ retreat last year.
Little Mack is quite quotable. And apparently not impressed by makeup.
The winter days are stark now, with very little color. I do a lot more sketching during the winter, bringing in items from outside that catch my eye. I also brought in a couple armloads of pretty dried weeds and branches and rose hips and made some dried arrangements to spruce up our house for the holidays. I’m pretty sure that that’s all the decorating (besides decorating the Christmas tree in the living room, that is) I’ll do this year. I took pictures, to prove that I did make something special for a decorative purpose only (I’m not very good at this). I’ll post them tomorrow, in fact, probably!
Happy sketching, Gentle Readers. My adoradaughts have been suggesting that I make this Sketchbook Thursday a weekly Blog Hop. What do you think? Would anybody like to share their drawings with me?
Thanks always for reading! *hugs*
Follow me Hi guys! Welcome back to Sketchbook Thursday. Originally I started this feature so I’d have more time to draw–on Thursdays, specifically (we have to start somewhere)–so let’s get…Read more
Is it Thursday again already? I hope a few of you pulled out your sharpened pencils and your old sketchbook–or ordered a new one (click here to see which one I love)–and did some sketching this week. One of my goals in our homeschool has always been to make sure that my kids learned how to draw. I’m an artist myself, but that’s not why I’ve wanted my kids to learn how to draw. It was more about my mom and dad, I think, and their abilities.
When I was a kid, I worked at my dad’s drugstore after school and on Saturdays. I mixed chocolate malts with a malt machine; I made cherry phosphates with syrup and carbonated water; I served cups of coffee for 10¢ each; I used a cash register to ring up purchases and make change. Yup. That kind of drugstore, and yup. I’m that old.
The regulars would come in for coffee at certain times during the day: I think there was a 10 o’clock coffee crowd, and a noon crowd, and then a 3 o’clock coffee group, too. (Dad–you can correct me if I didn’t get that right.)
If my dad wasn’t tremendously busy up in his prescription loft, he’d sit down for a spell (we used the phrase “for a spell” in those days) and enjoy a cup of coffee (served in cream-colored cups with a little diamond pattern on the side) with his customers. Invariably they’d talk about something or other (a broken tractor? An engine problem? Identity of a garden pest?) that would demand a visual.
My dad could draw. He’d pull a pen out of his pocket, and jerk a white paper napkin or two out of the steel napkin holder, and he’d draw whatever he was talking about. The men would watch and begin to nod. Yup. Understanding. Clarity. Problem solved.
This type of drawing wasn’t fine art. It was utilitarian. It was a way to communicate. Like those ancient cave drawings found in the caves in France (and all over the world!) describing the week’s hunt: it was ultimately practical and efficient. I suppose there were other men around the table who could draw, but it was always my dad who did the drawings.
Of course it must have given my dad such pleasure to be able to communicate with a pencil and a napkin that way, too. 🙂
I contend that–even in this day when you can Google anything and everything–learning how to draw is still a very important skill that should be learned by every child. By every person! Children draw naturally and enthusiastically, I’ve noticed, until a certain age–7? 8?–when they start to notice how other people are drawing. Invariably, a friend or companion will do a drawing they like better than their own. Then, they freeze up. They get self-conscious. They decide that they are “no good at drawing” and they stop.
My goal has always been to give my kids the skills so they wouldn’t stop drawing. I think I succeeded–at least, so far. 😉 I’ve still got two kiddos at home . . .
My mom could draw, too, though I think we kids kept her too busy to do much of it. I do remember quite fondly watching her draw a hen and baby chicks from a children’s book that we were reading together, and how entranced I was by her recreation of such a beautiful image.
These two memories, I suppose, are what fueled my desire to make sure that learning to draw was at the top of the list of what I wanted my children to learn in our home school. We don’t spend a lot of time drawing together, but a few minutes a day is all that’s really necessary to keep those creative juices flowing. I described our drawing routine here.
But what I want to point out today is the memory-keeping aspect of drawing a bit every day.
This is what I do when I look through my old sketchbooks: I smile, remembering many things that–had I not drawn them–I never would have a memory of them.
This, for example: little Mack went through an intense car-interest phase, when he was just a toddler. He could identify most major makes of vehicles before he was two years old! And he’d lie down on the floor and go into kind of a trance when he played with certain cars. I drew just a quick sketch of it here.
I had always intended on doing a more detailed drawing, but I never did. But I’m glad I made this little sketch.
This is what I do not do: I don’t critique my drawings. I don’t find fault with my drawings, and you, Gentle Reader, should not find fault with yours. Your sketchbook is not a reflection of what a great artist you are, or not. It’s a visual record-keeper of your days, your moments. Things that you love. People that you adore. There you go. That’s my little encouragement for you today, if you are joining me and doing a bit of drawing every week. Every day is even better. 🙂
A few more sketches for you that have jogged my memories:
Here we are in drawing class: Andrew always was too hard on himself (note the anguished expression), little Bethany was quiet and studious, Matthew always sprawled his long limbs out everywhere, and stuck his lower lip out when he was concentrating.
I made Timothy sit still for a few minutes so I could draw his beautiful little face. Here he was 8. (He’s 20 now.) And we used to keep our new chicks in the house for the first few weeks, and they were easier to draw that way.
Here’s a sketch of Amalia and a favorite dolly, when she was nearly 4.
And a watercolor sketch of some nasturtiums from my gardens–primarily interesting to me because of those lovely stems. . .
By the way . . . we have a new kitten at our house. She bears watching. That’s the gerbil cage she is clinging to.
Her name is “Lolo.”
Happy sketching today, Gentle Readers!