“I just don’t have time to draw!”
If the above title is something you’ve found yourself saying, believe me: as a mother to 8 children, I understand!
I recently wrote about the value of drawing something every day.
I’ve said it before but I think it’s worth repeating: I think drawing every day is the single BEST way to improve as an artist.
It’s not always easy to find time for drawing. Sometimes it feels impossible in this busy world.
But it’s worth it if we really want to see lasting results.
And if we are honest with ourselves, we really do make time for the things that are important to us, don’t we?
For example, how many hours do we spend on Facebook some days? Or maybe catching up on a tv series? Or pursuing other activities we find enjoyable?
If we really, really want to, we can find time to improve our drawing skills.
I frequently draw while watching tv (well, I don’t do much “watching”)…Or while listening to a podcast or YouTube video…Or while letting hyper children jump on my back. ?
It doesn’t have to be a very serious or structured drawing that we do.
We just have to do it.
When we draw every day… it’s a discipline. And we are simply exercising our hand-eye coordination!
The more often we do it, the better we will get- just like with anything else!
Sometimes the best way to do this is to do a 5-minute quick sketch.
Quick sketching is a method where you scribble and scrawl what you see in front of you as quickly as possible, and without thinking about it.
And when I say quickly- I mean, quickly!
These sketches were quickly scribbled while my children were still in action, which makes it extremely challenging! Children NEVER sit still!
But that’s actually the point of quick sketches.
Drawing this way, you are forced to notice details QUICKLY before overthinking it.
Don’t we all have a tendency to overthink our drawings sometimes?
I think that is actually one of our biggest limitations in learning to SEE – OVERTHINKING.
One thing quick sketches are good for is helping us learn through repetition.
Don’t take repetition for granted. It’s really important and is essential to growth as an artist.
I used to take piano lessons, years ago, and I remember these exercises I had to play over and over and over again. I remember how I felt like it was so boring and silly to do them again and again and again.
What is the point?, I scoffed.
But as I kept doing them, my fingers were learning something. I was developing muscle memory through the repetition of playing those exercises repeatedly. Later I realized the value and importance of doing those things that I had previously seen as having no purpose.
We learn things through our own repetition that we can never learn by just looking at tutorials or listening to someone teach.
Besides helping us to develop hand-eye coordination, it also allows us a chance to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.
My quick sketches used to be almost unrecognizable and I remember so many times that I just wanted to throw them away in frustration, but I have learned so much over the years on my own.
Now, after having invested so much time over the course of decades, I am capable of producing little sketches like these within just 2-3 minutes….and I will admit I’m kind of proud of that.
But if I had tried to do this 10 years ago, I guarantee I would not have been able to draw like this either. Certainly not with that amount of speed.
I like to draw anytime I’m sitting and talking on the phone, or if the TV is on, etc. I do it without even thinking about it most of the time. It’s like breathing air for me.
Here is a quick sketch (one minute) I drew of my husbands pocket knife a few days ago (I apologize for the poor video quality). This is another example of taking something and trying to sketch it out really fast.
Tip: Please notice the pencil strokes in this video. Observe how I sketch it out very lightly, with very little pressure on the pencil. I use a back and forth motion to “feel out” where the lines should be before I sketch them. This should help give you an idea of how you can do your sketches (visual aids like this are very helpful to me, and I hope they are to you as well).
Here’s another quick sketch example… i drew this the other day while speaking on the phone with customer service about a phone issue.
Every time I do draw, I am becoming more and more familiar with angles and lines and measurements.
Plus, it’s always fun to look back on these unfinished snapshots of life in the future!
This isn’t a really long blog post, but I hope I have given you some food for thought!
Have you bought yourself a sketch pad yet? Even post-it notes would be fine.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Have you been inspired to draw something every day?
Oh, and I have a favor to ask…
Please share with me some images of yourquick sketches! I would love to see them!
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