Firestarter Friday: So you say can’t draw?

Quick disclaimer: I can read and I do know it’s not Friday anymore. But, as with last week, I ended up working late and blogging took a backseat to getting groceries at midnight. This might be a repeat thing over the next few weeks. I hope you will all bear with me and check back Saturdays for my late posts. But enough explaining, it’s posting time!


No matter what you hobby is, you have likely heard from many people about how they could “never” do what you do. And we all know what that really means. It’s not that it’s physically impossible, it’s that each person has a different mindset and temperament that lends itself to certain hobbies. No judgment here…I have been guilty of saying I could never read sheet music. But really, I just don’t want to learn.

If you are someone who wants to get a better at anything, but you are scared there is only one way to improve – dive in. The great thing about practicing drawing is you really don’t have to show your doodles to anyone. You can just do whatever you want, and for a lot of people, that can relieve the pressure of feeling judged. Whether you are sharing your work or not, it’s important to remember not everything will be your greatest work to date. Also, some stuff looks a bit crummy in process, but in the end looks really fun. So today I am sharing a sketch I did Thursday night, along with inspiration and process shots. Hopefully, I can demonstrate to you that letting go of inhibitions and just drawing can be a really fun and relaxing exercise.

Even though it was raining pretty well Thursday night, I ran out and shot a few quick photos in my back yard. None of them are great photos on their own, but they are meant as inspiration, so that’s okay. I have three varieties of pansies growing by my shed, all in shades of purple and yellow. I just love them.

I wasn't kidding about having lots of pansies. This is only some of them.


The basis for my sketch...a nice closeup with fun details.


And then I went inside, put the photos on my computer (so they were big enough to see) and got to drawing. Drawing tools included drawing pencil, colored pencil, permanent markers and water soluble oil pastels.

The really rough start. You can see quite a bit of the pencil base.


The roughed in pansy with rough pastels and some background. To create a more finished look after this, I used water to blend the pastels and colored pencils to create an abstract background.


The final sketch...for now. Only about half an hour, but it was really fun. Is it perfect? No. Museum worthy? No. But do I like it and did I have fun? Yes. That's what you should be reaching for in your sketches. If you aren't enjoying it, it's unlikely you will ever get better.
Closeup detail of the sketch. I added some marker squiggles and a few more touches with the pastels to add definition.

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