Back when I was a kid (and especially in High School), I loved drawing. I filled sketch books, and art class was always my favorite. But between one thing and another, I haven’t drawn in a real way in years. Maybe decades? Sure, I sketch out sweater ideas, and I can draw a really good garbage truck for my kids, but that’s about it these days.
It felt like too much work to just… go and draw without any guidance (I do love homework). So, I went looking for an online class and found this one hosted by Laura McKendry (a freelance illustrator).
And… it’s SO FUN! I can’t recommend it enough. It’s super low-stress. It’s open-ended enough that you can essentially use it to paint whatever you want, but with enough structure that you can kind of just follow along without worrying too much.
I’m about halfway through the class, and while I’ve done all of her assignments, I’ve also come up with my own art in ways I haven’t done in forever.
(It’s also been decades since I showed anyone my art, so eek!)
I’ve been playing with watercolors and ink pens and just generally taking the time to actually sit down and carefully draw, instead of just scribbling out something and getting frustrated because it’s not perfect on the first try. It’s been a really refreshing change of pace to try something that’s so outside my (current) comfort zone.
Have you ever picked up an old favorite art project/activity?
The first thing I did on what I’m calling my “Knitting Sabbatical” is finish up a project that I’ve been neglecting for a while. I started it in February, and was very excited to get going. I zoomed through the first 75% in a couple weeks. The next 20% felt like it took forever. And the last 5 seemed impossible to finish (AKA, I put it up on a shelf and didn’t touch it for 3 months). Sounds familiar, right?
But instead of getting stuck on Sleeve Island while working on a sweater, this time I broke out some paints and did the biggest paint-by-number kit that I’ve ever seen.
I decided to try it because my Instagram feed had been showing me paint-by-number ads for what felt like weeks, and I’m nothing if not a sucker for a good ad. (Or a bad one, for that matter. I’m pretty suggestable.)
However, I didn’t buy any of the ones from the ads, instead getting one at random from Target. Because… who knows? It was much bigger, and much more detailed than I expected. I don’t know if there were any spaces bigger than my thumbnail.
It was actually really fun, and that last 5% really wasn’t bad- it took me maybe two hours once I sat down to work on it. It’s the perfect on-the-couch-watching-documentaries-or-listeneing-to-audio-books activity. (…And I’m officially 75 years old.)
Now I just have to find a place to hang it up. If only we had a cabin in the woods, it would be perfect!