Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Cause, you know, I needed a new hobby ;)

So last weekend my young cousin Z had some very cool drawings of dragons that led me to think, hey - maybe I could learn that too ;).   And while dragons are what convinced me to see if I could actually learn this, a few other things contributed, most notably:

  • about a week before Z’s dragon, I tried to sketch a laptop in my calendar and chose to laugh rather than cry at the fact that it was unrecognizable.  The car from the wk before could be identified, but definitely did not resemble anything anyone would want to drive in ;-P.  Before that I didn't even try to sketch anything, ever.
  • Literally the day after Z shared his dragons w me (there were three, but the blue one stole my imagination), a friend posted artwork online that she had created in one of those “paint nights” where you go w friends and even with zero skills end up w a painting that looks like someone w skills had drawn it.   I’ve seen these before and been interested but never enough to A commit and find one to go to or B be willing to try and track down one that I’d actually like to paint ;)

So - if a good artist can teach a room full of people how to step by step recreate a full painting, surely I could learn enough to recreate a few simple stick figures?   Except, you know me, I really want dragons.  And not simple ones ;)

So I compromised - both.   And the only person I told about any of it was Z (well and his Mom since Z isn’t old enough to have his own phone yet ;)). Thanks to Amazon and Michaels I stocked up on drawing pencils (although I had to Google what the difference was between them) and a “how to draw dragons” book, and not one but TWO sketch books - one big and one small.   Which sounds really committed until you realize they were on a buy one get one sale.   We won’t discuss whether or not I realized that before going to the checkout ;)

Let the games begin ;)

So my “big” sketchbook, which is actually small as far as sketchbooks go, but is bigger than my tiny one is for - atm - dragons and dragon related things.   My tiny sketchbook (about the size of a coaster) would be for learning little sketches.

Out of curiosity, I measured.  Lol *literally* the size of the coaster)

So I ordered a 5 minute drawings book to fill the small sketchbook and went about learning.

So far, C has been able to identify each thing I’ve drawn.  Honestly, after the unrecognizable laptop incident, at this point that’s a win.  Z has been super positive about my dragons :).  I’m hoping to try one with some colour soon πŸ˜‚ 

So, some things I’ve learned.  I now - through a legit accident that had Amazon tell me not to bother sending back a book, have TWO books both titled a variation of 5 minute sketches.   They are of a dramatically different skill level and have dramatically different learning objectives.

On the left, I can do in less than 5 mins;
On the right, more likely to be 30-45 ;)

The one on the left is quick and easy, but has no realism and little (if any), shading.   It does, however, have volume ;). I was able to draw a laptop that C could recognise as one, but not one that I would ever be proud of.  It was my 5th drawing in the little book, and significantly less good than drawings 1-4.  Because those are from the other book, which is definitely more valuable to me at this point.  It has much more complex sketches and while not amazing instruction, it's usable, esp when combined with dragon book instruction.  They are not, however, five minutes.  πŸ˜‚. The laptop was less than five minutes.  I didn’t time it so I can’t say for sure, but definitely less than 5 with no distractions.  

Now I know the other book takes me much longer so out of sheer curiousity I decided today I’d do two “simple” sketches ;). But for that one, once I found the one I wanted (one of the simplest) I decided I’d time it.   And I would treat it in the spirit the book intends - recognizable but not perfection (as if πŸ˜‚) quick practice to learn to focus on skills.   I did NOT go for speed but I also didn’t really try to fix things even when I could see quite early they weren’t right.   And I would’ve said in the end it took prob 10 mins….  My phone said 25 πŸ˜‚.   Tomorrow am me is NOT going to appreciate that!  And definitely not going to appreciate that now I’m writing about it ;)

But honestly- that tells me it’s a good thing for me rn.  It’s hyper focus in a good way and when I’m done, I’m done till next day.  I’m not putting any rules whatsoever around it other than “draw something” most days ;).  Some days it’s a 2h dragon while watching a movie and some days it’s a stick figure.  But because I’m a *complete* beginner, literally every day I learn something.   And I love learning stuff ;)

Is it a forever for me?  Probably not, realistically - I’m going to hit the same thing as always that I have no eye for colour and that will be followed by colour fear paralysis and that will be stressful.   Hence x stitch that comes w colours already defined rather than embroidery that usually does not.  But who knows?   It’s fun for rn, it’s very in the moment, it’s getting me out of my head and off FB.  It’s a win.  And I didn’t expect it to be πŸ˜‚. So that makes it more fun somehow.

The real question is, when will I find some coloured pencils and brave that step?


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