Here there be dragons...

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

Trying to learn two unrelated skills? Why not practice them together? ;-P

Right, so I was flipping through YouTube to find a drawing tutorial for the night (I'm taking a course but it requires more brainpower - YouTube usually delivers that quick hit of "finished product" endorphins ;) and thought I'd go back to the original driver of dragons.   However, I couldn't find any I really liked, but I did find a lion that looked good.  

When I clicked through to the video, the instruction was good, but the person was definitely new-ish to English and I couldn't tell if his accent was Spanish or Italian -- until he happened to mention he had the same video in Spanish.   So I went to his channel and while English videos are a new endeavour for him, he has a TON of Spanish ones.   And one I just LOVED and it was like 20 mins.  Perfect.

Okay so just to put in perspective - 20 min videos even in English usually take me at least an hour.  Sometimes more.  And this drawing...   well, suffice to say it's well beyond my current capabilities.   But I wanted it.   And so down the rabbit hole I jumped.

20 min video - that showed start to finish him drawing the same picture he was teaching, took me about 3h.  Maybe 2.5 given a quick "walk Sasha around the block" and a few other minor things that came up.  And I would've placed it at about 45 min.  I really lose time when I'm drawing, but I kinda love that because it's the ultimate "in the moment".    Now, let's put this in perspective.

1 - the first 3 mins of his drawing took me about 20.  It involved drawing a person.  I have never drawn a person before.  The first effort got scrapped and I started over. All good learning but wow so slow.

2 - It's FULLY possible that he filmed it first and then sped up the drawing with a voice over.  There was no time lapse that some you-tube artists use, but he was SUPER-FAST.  Speaking in Spanish and drawing faster than he spoke.   Which means I feel justified that it was taking me longer ;) 

3 - And it was more of a follow along so the language wasn't super necessary, although it certainly did add extra value it wasn't critical to understand to be able to execute the drawing.  But that also means there was no instruction beyond trying to mirror what he was doing (which conveniently applies the same techniques as in my sketching class - win!).

4 - I can understand Spanish or I can draw.  I cannot do both at the same time.  (I also cannot read out loud in Spanish and understand what I said, or listen in Spanish and write notes at the same time).   So basically I'm at the level where I can follow most things barring extreme speed or accents - both of which pro YouTubers tend to avoid - BUT, it takes 100% of my attention.   So at very least, I had to watch/listen, and then replicate.  Sometimes more than once.

5 - I've drawn some very cool animals (all with the help of YouTube) and some average things either by myself or with books, but I've never done a person, or a landscape...   And this picture?  It was a fairy looking at the sea (or some random body of water at least).  I HAVE at least drawn butterfly wings before -- that was how the teacher recommended thinking of it šŸ˜‚.  And the landscape part was pretty simple.  And I've done hair before and for some reason disproportionately enjoy it.   So sure, why not?

Tomorrow am is why not.  But for tonight, it's still all good :).  In the end, I'm thrilled with what I did.  I'd like to do it again, with colour (which is not on the video so I'd be all on my own - scary!).  And I'm disproportionately pleased that both I found a channel I like in Spanish AND that it was essentially a non-issue.   All round, it's been a long time since I've had a 3am night for anything other than work or stress, and it's put me solidly in my happy place.

The end result makes me wonder what is she thinking?  What is she watching for?
I want to tell her story, but now it's bedtime.
Credit to the original artist:


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