Over the weekend, I received an Amazon order. (My husband and I were jointly given a $50 Amazon gift card for Christmas. He turned it over to me.) It included Drawing Lab: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun For Mixed-Media Artists. I don't know if I'm an artist, never mind a mixed-media artist, but I do want to get in the habit of drawing daily, and I wanted some fun prompts. I love this book already. One of the "labs" is to sketch at the zoo. Why had I never thought of that before? There are several tips on how to approach moving animals, including gesture drawings (of course) and starting drawings and going back to them when the animal returns to that pose, but...no tips on how to do this with a three-year-old along... (this is only a sampling of the sketches, many of which were even less successful...clicking should make them a little bigger)
Super quick (maybe a minute, if that?) gesture drawing of my daughter watching the tortoises.
I really wanted to sketch the camels, from the minute I thought of bringing my sketchbook along. Camels have such personality. When we got to that exhibit, one's back was to us and the other's face was hidden behind a tree. Eventually I found a decent vantage point, and then realized that these animals, which looked at first glance to be completely motionless and lying down, never stopped moving. Up, down, shift, move a leg, stretch the neck, every time I tried a quick line contour and came back to where I thought I'd begun, I was somewhere else. (Good Picasso-style camels, I suppose.) Finally I quickly managed this:
I gave up on the sketchbook after that! But it was still fun, and something to perhaps try with my older kids, another day. I've already shared another "lab" from this book with them, turning watercolor blots into creatures. This was my result:
I explain how we did it and share the boys' work, too, here.
Like I said, I'm completely loving this book so far! It's so much fun, not stressful drawing at all, which is what I wanted. I have taken drawing classes, a very long time ago, and I enjoyed them very much (and was better at it than I thought I would be, at the start), but it's been years and you sort of lose confidence in the connection between your eye and your hand. So something fun is a good way to get back into a drawing habit.
ETA: Taking Karen's suggestion, I linked up with Paint Myself Pretty's do-it-together Drawing Lab link thing.