Today I started my new crusade to draw from life at least one hour, once a week. For the last 6 months I’ve been drawing from imagination — cartoon birds and butterflies for my children’s picture book. At the same time I’ve been simultaneously reading about Vincent van Gogh and Michelangelo. The more I learn about them, the more I understand the importance of drawing from life. I want to improve my draftsmanship, so I’ll be spending time every Sunday sketching living things.
My first goal is to overcome my fear of drawing foliage. I decided I should start my new regiment by sketching the garden shed. It’s half covered by a lush grapevine. An overgrown rosemary bush sits in front of the grapevine and the shed. I’m confronted with thousands of leaves. After a few minutes eye to eye with the grapevine, I realized that I should not try to draw every leaf. Instead, I decided to draw only a few of the tendrils and leaves. Here’s the result of one hour of sketching.
On the other end of the art spectrum, here’s today’s digitally colored picture for page #11, in which Jimmy and Buddy are having lunch in the poppy patch. I suppose Buddy is looking for nectar, and Jimmy is might be looking for some disgusting bugs to eat. However, in the world of children’s books, bugs, like birds and butterflies, are really people, so you can’t them. I’d better put a burrito in Jimmy’s hand.