From My Sketchbook

I can’t recall a time when I didn’t liked to draw.  I’ve come a long way since crayons and markers, of course, though I can still wield those with some pretty good results.  My early drawings tended to look a lot alike.  A tree or two with a bunch of flowers underneath, all very simplistic.  I remember watching other kids draw and picking up ideas for how to make my own artwork better.

When I was small, I would sit during the sermon on Sunday mornings and draw pictures on small pads of paper.  After the service was over, I would go give the best drawings to my best friends (since they were mostly among my mother’s generation or older, they had refrigerators to put the pictures on, and they did too).  That ended when I was about nine; Mom asked me to start paying more attention to the sermon itself, which I did, following along with the outline that Pastor W. put in the bulletin.  I remember some of the last drawings I did, and they were showing some promise.

In fifth grade Mom used Mark Kistler’s book Draw Squad for an art textbook.  3G and I did the book together, working hard to make our drawings better (yes, there was a tinge of sibling rivalry, but I forgot about it pretty quickly).  I was excited to be able to make boxes that looked like boxes and cakes that looked good enough for a wedding, and I finally figured out how to make things look 3-D, through foreshortening and shading.  My drawing improved dramatically, even when I was drawing from nature.

In highschool, I worked through a book on sketching and drawing which taught me an easier way to capture the essence of my subjects without the fuss and erasing which had characterized my earlier technique.  I went from being very particular about where each line went to a sketchy style which captured the spirit if not the exact reality that I saw before me.  For the most part, I prefer this style, though I still revert to the old techniques for some subjects.

My drawing skills come in handy now when I want to sketch out something which I am going to crochet, or to layout a painting project.  I’m not very good at drawing people, but I can do a credible landscape or sketch from a still life.  Sometimes I even try to draw a scene from one of my stories, but that’s another post.  I don’t pull out my sketchbook as often now as I once did, and my younger brothers are currently borrowing my set of drawing pencils, but I still like to draw when I get a picture in my fingers that begs to come out on paper.  Sometimes the result even looks like what I saw in my head!

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