Sometimes we have drawing contests at home. One of us picks the subject and then we each take turns drawing our interpretation of it, hiding our creations until finished. Then we reveal them and vote on the winner. Well, I lose most of the time. Setting aside that the little man usually wins (obviously), I’m also competing against someone who should be making a living as an illustrator, architect, animator, or basically any other career in which artistic talent is key. It’s the pity vote on which I usually rely. “Mummy never wins so I voted for her.”
So, I decided that I didn’t want to be the only one in the house who didn’t know how to draw. I’ve never taken any art classes outside of photography, so step one was to find a teacher. And luckily, I stumbled across Lisa Congdon‘s 31 Day Drawing Challenge for the month of January, guided practice drawing a different object every day for a month. I’ve long been a fan of Lisa’s illustrations and drawings and this was perfect for me. Lisa’s style, in particular, is very stylized, embracing the quirkiness of geometric lines and shapes, helping me understand that sketches never need to look exactly like what you’re trying to draw. “It’s the imperfections that make your work more interesting,” she says. Read her doodling manifesto.
And in just 31 days, I’ve seen my drawing improve as I’m learning how to put lines and shapes together. Maybe one day I’ll even go back and revisit the shockingly bad chairs that I drew on January 3rd. While it’s likely that I’ll still never win any of our drawing contests, at least it won’t be for lack of trying.