Just a Bit Sketchy

Keeping my little box of paints and my sketchbook in my purse at all times helps me to "see" what's around me
Keeping my little box of paints and my sketchbook in my purse at all times helps me to "see" what's around me

Learning to See

Over the past several years, my purse has gotten larger and larger to the point that an older gentleman recently commented that it wasn't a purse, but a lethal weapon. The guy he was with said that I needed to have intermittent beepers when I backed up because I could hit someone with my bag. Exageration? Ummm, well, it's not too far off. I do like to carry a big bag, but a large reason for that is because I like to carry my sketchbook and paints with me... always.

I've always loved to draw. I remember drawing princesses with those cone hats that princesses wear, with the gauzey pink fabric flowing from the point. Cut away castles and interiors were another favorite. As I got older, I started really paying attention to details of things, how things connected, what made my subject look a certain way. And I'd draw it.

I don't really think it has to do with skill as much as it has to do with seeing. I think an artist has just learned how to see differently. I've had people comment on my illustrations, "How do you do that? i can't even draw a straight line." But I think if you really look at something....I mean REALLY look, and then take the time to see what the shape is doing...where it's going, how it's made, you'd be able to draw it. You're just drawing what you see. But the object is to learn how to "see" again.

This was a set of drawings I did at my company picnic at the beach.  I didn't have water for my watercolors, so I used beer instead.  : )  I don't know who the people are in the drawings.  I like to draw anything and everything.
This was a set of drawings I did at my company picnic at the beach. I didn't have water for my watercolors, so I used beer instead. : ) I don't know who the people are in the drawings. I like to draw anything and everything.
Here's a drawing I'm not too happy with.  I was trying to draw the negative space in my medicine cabinet using one continuous line.
Here's a drawing I'm not too happy with. I was trying to draw the negative space in my medicine cabinet using one continuous line.

Don't Be Afraid to Fail

Another thing that has helped me a lot is the realization that not all drawings are good ones. With drawing, as in life, you can't be afraid to fail. So don't go into your sketchbooking thinking that every page is going to be a masterpiece. My sketchbook for me is nothing more than a visual journal. I draw at various events, while I'm waiting, on my lunch break. Anytime when i'm feeling relaxed. Not every day is a good one. Not ever sketch is beautiful. Just let it go, learn from it and move on.

Eric's birthday at the Yardhouse
Eric's birthday at the Yardhouse
My lunch at Quiznos
My lunch at Quiznos
Random edamame
Random edamame

The Waiting Game

Having your sketchbook handy is great for all those times that we're kept waiting (Okay, don't sketch in traffic!). But seriously, I've had so many health issues this past year, I've sketched many a time in the doctor's office waiting room. What to sketch? People, for one. Once, while waiting for my appointment, I witnessed this man get angry at the receptionist when she called his name to go in to be seen! Seriously. Because the receptionist said he name, he blamed her for infringing on his privacy! So I drew him all in one continuous line...and then I colored his tie red..because of his stupid anger.

Another time, i waited so long that I started drawing my shoes. Or my purse as we were waiting for a movie to start.

Drawings while you wait

Mr. Rude at the doctor's office
Mr. Rude at the doctor's office
Waiting for the doctor to come into the room for a "Ridiculous"ly long time
Waiting for the doctor to come into the room for a "Ridiculous"ly long time
My purse...and then my bread and butter in the same style
My purse...and then my bread and butter in the same style

Drawing Together

One of my favorite times to draw is when I'm drawing with my daughter. We had gone on a mother/daughter camping trip up the coast and we both took our sketchbooks and our watercolor pencils. We spent some time each day drawing.

One of the days, our big splurge day, we stayed in a bed and breakfast in Healdsburg. Rather than take a photo of the interior, we spent some time drawing it.

My daughter drawing at our campsite in Santa Cruz....and our candle jar
My daughter drawing at our campsite in Santa Cruz....and our candle jar
The peach I had for breakfast.....and a sugarbowl at my brother's house when we did a quick stop in visit
The peach I had for breakfast.....and a sugarbowl at my brother's house when we did a quick stop in visit
Our room at the Camillia Inn in Healdsburg
Our room at the Camillia Inn in Healdsburg
Drawn during a conference at an MLK retreat weekend
Drawn during a conference at an MLK retreat weekend

Drawing Your Feelings

Finally, I think that drawing does help me get in touch with what I'm feeling. From the style or the color, I can see how I was feeling that day. But no matter what, I always feel better after drawing. Oh...and added bonus...it's a great diet aid too! (Secret...this is why I like drawing in restaurants...you can sit and keep your hands busy after dinner while your friends are having dessert!)

So grab a pen...or a pencil, or a crayon....anything...and give it a shot. Draw your day to day. Draw the ordinary and mundane things in life. There is beauty in the simplest of things. Take a good look at what you're looking at...and go for it!

More by this Author


Comments 5 comments

JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

Hi Annoosh,

This is a great hub. I started oil painting about four years ago. It really helped me see inside myself. It also helped me focus and drive out the the woes of he day. Since my Mom died I can't seem to paint or draw. I lack the focus.

But I realize from reading this I need to force myself back into it. I need to run at my weakness. Instead i have changed my mediums of art to writing on Hubpages. And I think every artist would admit that they have paintings they dislike if not can't stand. Because we see every imperfection in our paintings. We know what we tried to achieve and what we were unable to achieve.

Awesome and Vote Up.

JT


Ahnoosh profile image

Ahnoosh 5 years ago from Southern California Author

JT, Thanks so much for your comment. That's so very true. I have many drawings that I can't stand...and in the old days I would have ripped them out of my book. But now, looking back on it, I try to figure out the feeling behind it...so it is therapeutic.

Writing on HubPages is a release as well. Thank you for your comments..and good luck with it all.

Anush


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

Anush,

I will have to force myself back into my painting to find that focus again. And I have hated everything I have attempted since my Mother's death but your article has inspired me to push through it.

I have many paintings I have painted over. I always use to tell people it isn't the painting that is hard it is living with all the flaws in the painting that is the challenge.

JT


Vladi Dorfman 5 years ago

I enjoyed your drawings, they so beautifully illustrate things around you.

Regarding the idea of a sketchbook, I don't think it was meant to be a book of delivered and finalized products - just a place for ideas or purposeless doodles.

Although it can be, but then it takes away some of the fun in it (at least for me).

I had to stop and think of why am I not introducing color into my sketchbook and why am I concentrated on drawing stuff from imagination rather than taking exploit of the surroundings more often?

Just a matter of comfort zone.

I travel light (2 soft graphite pencils and my sketchbook - not even a rubber), but I'll add a few colored pencils or markers to the lone couple and concentrate more on what I can learn than what I can regurgitate from my own mind.

Thanks, great read, have a nice week :)


Ahnoosh profile image

Ahnoosh 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Hi Vladi, you're right...a sketch book IS supposed to be loose and for ideas. But even doodles do have a purpose. And I think the "finished" look of it has a lot to do with your style. I hardly ever use a pencil, just because I prefer the smooth flow of a pen. So ink is more natural for me. And your "comfort zone" comment was totally on the money! (exactly right!) I do use watercolor pencils though, and then a water brush to wet it all down with...and I love the "no mess" feel of that.

Anyways, thank you for finding me...and for your comment!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working