Art,  Autumn

Pumpkin spice & the basics of drawing…

I’m one of ‘those people’ who just loves fall and can’t get enough. I started decorating in September when it was still 99 degrees outside. No shame! Now I’m on the hunt for some real pumpkins, and some good hearty, fall recipes. And of course lots of spice and pumpkin scented candles. You can never have enough candles (especially when you live in an older home <3 ).

Lately I’ve been listening to Jake Parker while I draw and he was talking about Inktober. He originally designed the Inktober challenge (one ink drawing a day for the month of October) to develop your inking skills and go back to the basics of drawing – without an “undo” button. Apparently some folks were outraged and took that to mean that their digital work was not valid. People are silly. We all get offended so easily, don’t we?

My (soon to be) little sister-in-law (11) has taken up a great interest in art, and has been drawing on every piece of paper she can get her hands on. She’s been asking me for advice and critiques on her artwork. It’s pretty fun because I see so much of my younger self in her. A few weeks ago… Michael and I were asked to kid-sit, so I brought my ipad with me to get some work done (ha!). My little sister-in-law took immediate interest and asked me all kinds of questions about what programs I use, how I use it, etc. 
Well… the next time I saw her she was drawing on a little tablet with her pointer finger, thinking that she needed to draw on a tablet to get better. So… that’s the bad part of having someone look up to you, they tend to mimic what you do, even if it’s not the best thing for them.

I explained to her that I use my ipad for quicker production, that I’ve been doing this art thing for awhile and I had spent many years getting to know paper first. I told her that you don’t need fancy ipads, exotic pens, or the finest grain of paper to be an artist. All you need is a pencil and a blank space to fill. I told her that it’s important to become good friends with your basics before branching out.

So for this illustration I switched to real paper, real pencils, real pens and real paint (gouache).

Well. While drawing this I realized I had overestimated my experience and relationship with paper.
Every time I would make a mistake my left hand would instinctively move to hit the non-existent ‘undo’ button. I’m not used to letting go of mistakes in my artwork. Panic. My OCD side twitched. BUT mistakes are part of life; they add character and a realness that you just can’t fake with perfection.
If you get the option to hit a back button every single time, then your perfectionist self can consume you. Before you know it your “time saver ipad” has become a meticulous, time wasting obsession party.

I think I’m ready to take my own advice, swallow my pride, and spend a little more time reacquainting myself with the basics.

Hello there pencil, it’s nice to see you again.



P.S. if you have any favorite fall recipes, please share, I’d love to try them!

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