Draw Your Day!
Drawing Days, Hours and Seconds in Your Life
Draw your day is the title of this hub and it's a great way to exercise your observational and memory prowess. Each day, draw something memorable about that day. It doesn't have to be a finished drawing, it doesn't even have to be good. It just has to be your experiences of that day. Did you come across a tribe of cats at work? I did. They're feral, but they live in an area around the Delaware River where there are plenty of people, so they're not completely skitterish. When I first drew this tribe of cats, I got the cats right, but the perspective of me all wrong. I looked at the drawing and laughed. But, it also made me think about my view as I spotted the cats. The incline wasn't anywhere near as steep as I drew it. It made me think about that drawing problem and strengthened my drawing skills. So, I did a couple of renditions of this moment. Nothing fancy, just an attempt to get the perspective of my view more as I remember it.
Draw your day as an impartial observer. What did you see as you were sitting relaxing with your morning coffee? Were you looking across the street at other buildings, a parking lot or a gorgeous garden, an alley or a beach? Take fifteen minutes and quickly sketch it in. This is working your memory muscles and building a visual vocabulary.
Everybody starts out by either drawing from imagination or drawing what is right in front of them. When you draw directly from memory you are drawing from your life experiences, which can be like a fascinating mosaic, full of color, texture, surprises, twists and turns. They are unique only to you and are the key to making meaningful art. Our experiences color our world and perceptions.
Marc Chagall is one of my all time favorite artists. He used to draw his days all the time. They were common scenarios; a couple holding hands, or a couple having tea looking out their window, a wedding. He would make many sketches capturing the essence of what he saw. But then he would transform these humble sketches into wonderfully whimsical paintings about his life. You can look through his catalog of art and see how his days emerged, how his life unfolded. You don't have to draw extraordinary objects to make amazing art.
Draw Somebody Else's Days!
One of my favorite things to do is read and, I absolutely love curling up with a good book. Sometimes I draw a character's day. The bests wordsmiths can paint pictures with their artful phrasing and I enjoy sketching scenes from the storyline. This is the same exercise mentioned earlier, but done through a different filter, the author's. For some odd reason many people starting out in art feel much more comfortable with this excercise than drawing their own day. Maybe it is because we are really not comfortable looking at ourselves? Either method works though. The more you draw especially from your experiences, the richer your artwork becomes. We each have an unique spin we put on our art, a way of look at things that nobody else has.
Speaking of unique, have you ever seen the cartoon "Get Fuzzy" by Darby Conley? An extremely funny cartoon, it chronicles the misadventures of one single fanged maniacal Siamese cat named Bucky and his unfortunate sibling brother the much worried Shar Pei dog Satchel. I've often wondered if Mr. Conley is drawing from life experiences. Get Fuzzy is so funny to me that every time I read this cartoon I have my "Bucky" voice and my "Satchel" voice for each part in the strip. Yup, that's what it's come down to, impersonating cartoons characters. These cartoons are wonderful little insights into the days of our animal companions and what they might be thinking.
To keep my daughter occupied (while we were waiting for a meal in a restaurant), my husband would draw these silly little cartoons about my daughter, our cats or whatever was going on in our life at that time. And no, we didn't bring any special drawing pad, we just drew on the paper napkins at the restaurant. Some of these drawings were really clever. Vanessa would add to whatever my husband drew and they turned out to be extremely funny drawings. Not to be outdone, my daughter had to make her own special drawings too. My daughter is now 22 and we still have these moments of our early life together. Drawing is a skill that you learn by doing, not by reading about it. So, set any self consciousness aside and pick up your pen, pencil or marker and go draw your day!