View from Otter Point

View from Otter Point

from my sketchbook, February 14, 2017

I’ve been trying to draw and sketch more. I haven’t set myself a particular goal, though I think I’m trying to at least pull out my sketchbook once a week. Some weeks I manage almost every day. Some weeks I never get to it. But on the whole I’m sketching much more than I used to. (Melissa Wiley has been a big inspiration, but I’ve always enjoyed drawing and wanted to be better.) I kind of hope my own drawing will inspire at least some of my kids to follow my example. And sometimes they do.

Anyway, I’ve long been meaning to do more sketching from photographs. Particularly from my own photographs. I just need to figure out how to do that because we don’t get prints. Drawing from the laptop is awkward. Today I pulled up some photos on the iPad, which doesn’t have access to our whole photo library but does have a bunch of pictures from the past year. I found a photo from our summer vacation in Acadia National Park and decided to draw it.

As the kids worked on math and copywork I sketched out the outlines and then shaded it in with Prismacolors. I did the bulk of it during our morning school time, a bit more after lunch, and the final bits of color I did while waiting for my dinner to finish cooking.

Anthony, Bella, and Ben at Otter Cliff, Acadia National Park
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    • Thank you. I wish I had any talent for telling stories. I’m good at factual accounts, but fiction and I aren’t friends really.

      I did pick this photo in part, I think, because the poses did remind me of a picture in a book. It could easily be an illustration for one of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons tales. Kids going on adventures, exploring. What I loved about our Maine vacation, and what I think the kids liked as well was precisely that chance to have our own storybook adventures.

  • Awesome. Drawing is one of those skills that I think everyone should try. I am not great, but I love how it helps cement memories for me.

    • I’m so glad I took an art class in high school where the teacher would just plop random junk on the table in front of us and tell us to draw it. Skulls and antlers, bike parts, plants, bits of furniture. I learned a kind of sink or swim fearlessness, a dive in and just do it approach to drawing that I wish I could impart to my kids.

      It’s very relaxing for me. I definitely wish I were better.