Thursday, August 1, 2013

sketch like a four year old

palm sketch

 I am a bit insecure about my drawing ability. I've never had a class in drawing, can't wade through the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and keep quiet in conversations about sketchbooks.
Recently someone mentioned the value of drawing for yourself is in the really looking at something. Not long enough for a picture, but long enough to really see it.
I got out one of the meeelion sketchbooks I own, and my watercolor pencils and started to draw what I saw. What I saw is the palm tree on the deck off the porch.
flower pot sketch
Then I looked at the pot holding impatiens and tried it.
I doubt either plant has all these colors in them in real life but you know, reality is over rated when it comes to art. This is how I saw them.

They won't be in an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art but they are ok, and kind of a surprise for me. I didn't expect to like them at all, being very critical of myself. I didn't expect them to look like a real item.
I actually like the colors in the palm.
Growth happens


  1. These are so fun! The palm (is that the one with the big leaves?) would make and awesome art quilt with exactly those colors. Very well done!!
    And since you have taken the plunge, I may do the same, as your pics are inspiring. I have watercolor pencils I've never used--perhaps I'll pull them out and start sketching.
    But don't hold your breath....
    --Toni in Milwaukee

  2. Way to go! I'm glad you put it on paper and that you had the nerve to show us. "Just do it" should be on signs all over our houses to encourage us to really see and then record it (pencil, crayon, colored pencil, paint--anything). Now I need to go and do the same instead of sewing those strips I'm having so much fun with.
    Martha Ginn

  3. Very well done LeeAnna. You should definitely be proud of yourself for taking the plunge and sticking with it - let alone having the courage to share! They are lovely sketches.

    What I like to tell my students is that when we are going about our daily lives we take in enough visual information so we can navigate our lives, but no where near enough information to draw from. That's why we say that drawing is about seeing. We need to actually see all the visual information an object (or landscape) has to offer us so we can duplicate it on paper, canvas etc.

    It is really true that anyone can learn to draw. I might also add that your own personal drawing style will come when you begin to see what information you actually don't want to put in your drawing!

    Keep drawing and having fun. You are on to something wonderful!

  4. Oh you all made my day!! Thanks for the encouragement. I will keep drawing, and the idea that I'll learn what not to include is terrific. It will lead to real art, interpreting what I see.
    Oooh, maybe it's a new world out there again. New each day.

  5. LeeAnna,I am so impressed with your sketches. They are definitely better than anything I could do. I have been sketching faces for about two years now. When I first started sketching faces, they were pretty pitaful. I dated each drawing and doodle. I would draw for a couple of days, and then not for a few months. I love looking back at what I have done, and how far I have come. Practice is indeed good and I have definitely improved from when I started. Maggie

  6. Thanks Maggie, I am dating them so hopefully I'll see progress!
    I am already looking at things differently, and i get what Cheryl said about learning what not to draw. I hope I'll develop a style and stop seeing them as child like just because I did them.

  7. your drawings will get better as you keep up the practice. the first one is a very good Ti plant to my eye!
    and art is about really seeing what is in front of an artist you go deep beyond looking to Seeing!

    1. oh sonja, that was like poetry. I will keep sketching, and the ones today really looked immature, but they were what i saw so that's what I drew.