Drawing can capture a moment

Feeling cramped on a Ryanair flight pre-pandemic

When you sketch you capture a moment in a way that stays with you longer.

And not everything can be captured in photos. Like the feeling of being cramped and uncomfortable on a Ryanair flight for 3 hours.

Drawing can make someone smile

A scene from her imagination, by my daughter, age 4

For Day 3 of “reasons to draw” I couldn’t think of a more apt drawing than this one by my daughter.

This drawing continues to make us smile to this day.

She grabbed the brightest, boldest pens and depicted this scene from her 4-year old imagination.

She was absorbed, delighted, engrossed in the act of drawing and this made her smile.

And in witnessing that process and satisfaction, we smiled too.

Drawing is inexpensive

This little elf was drawn using just one HB pencil

Compared with other hobbies, drawing really does require so very little. A pencil and a piece of paper is all you need.

When you type the words “drawing is cheap” into google, the first hits lead you to an array of relatively expensive drawing tablets and tech with the promise of magically making drawing more satisfying.

Drawing does not have to cost you any money at all. You can draw in the sand, with a stone, with your finger. Owning costly drawing tools does not make you better at drawing, and often dupes us into skipping the steps we can only learn from more primitive forms of mark-making. I began drawing at an age so young that no one remembers when I started. I have acquired a lot of equipment over the years, but I still begin (and often complete) every single drawing with the same 4 items:

A pencil, a paper, an eraser, a sharpener

Drawing is meditative

Drawing repeated shapes, swirls and patterns is something we can all do naturally.

It is difficult to calm ourselves when everything around us seems to be chaotic. But our minds don’t have to be chaotic too. If you’ve attempted mindfulness but felt it didn’t work out for you, try this:

To quiet our thoughts, we need to find something to focus on.  Pick up a pencil, or a pen, and a piece of paper. Sit anywhere you feel comfortable.

With the pencil in your hand, let your gaze wander around you, and just imagine that the pen or pencil you have chosen is patiently resting in your hand, happy to simply exist until you are ready for it to fulfil its special purpose and make a mark.

I usually let my eyes see the objects around me as simple shapes. For the meditative drawing in this post, my gaze rested on the simplest object in the room:  A cone-shaped biscuit tin, shaped like a Christmas tree.

Simplify the shape in your mind until it looks like something you can easily draw. I simplified my cone-shaped tin to a triangle.

Then, when you’re ready, just shift your gaze from the object to the paper, and trust in yourself that with your simple, helpful tools, you will make a pleasing mark on your paper.

For this drawing, my first marks were several triangles of different sizes, scattered around my paper.

Look at what is on your page with kindness, and thank your body for working together as  a team (your eyes, your hand, your wrist etc.) to produce these marks.  Thank your pencil and your paper, too.

At this point, the most important thing to do is to continue making marks.

You can look up again at the object, or you can let your imagination fill the page. Just keep the pencil or pen moving, and continue for as long as you feel comfortable.

Remember that today’s reason to draw is to meditate, not to satisfy the critics.  Let’s not get tied up in knots ‘thinking’ about drawing. Lets draw.

Does the thought that you are not a celebrity chef ever stop you making yourself something to eat? No. So don’t allow the thought that your are not Rembrandt to stop you drawing.

The joy of drawing

Hello! Welcome to my first blog post! I hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through my artwork. I want to share the joy that drawing brings to me with others. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post to the act of drawing to each day in December. Each day I hope I’ll be able to motivate myself and others to pick up a pencil and DRAW!