A Landscape, The Lorax, and Kevin

Growing up, art was one of my favorite activities/subjects. I was reasonably good at it too. Like most kids into art, I had perfected that left eye illustration (art nerds, you know what I'm talking about). Eventually I progressed to the whole head (the left eye being the best naturally), a Wolverine phase (X-Men cartoon inspired) phase, airplanes and cars, etc. I had two art periods senior year in HS (I was that kid). In freshman year of college (I majored in graphic design by the way), someone even accused me of getting an A in our drawing class because they thought the teacher just liked me vs. my ability. **shrug**

Sketching After College

Well, after college, most of my work in graphic design was all digital. Sure, I still started a number of projects wtih sketching but a lot of it was computer born from the start. Naturally, my drawing skills started to dwindle a bit. My left eye was no longer as perfect as it once use to be. My Wolverine's were a little wonky. I didn't do a whole lot of painting for fun either (although, I believe I did an OK painting of Sergei Fedorov at one point -- but maybe that was still HS.. I can't remember). Drawing was fun, but I wasn't as passionate as I use to be.

Modern Day Me

This past November, I decided I really wanted to get back into sketching. I have a nearly 6 year old daughter who loves art and she's pretty good given her age (my 3 year old is just scribbling but starting to stay in the lines! whoo hoo!). I try to enable her as much as possible. I try to teach her what I can and bring it to her level as well. It's really difficult... and it's not her. It's me. I'm just not a good teacher in that respect. Like any 5-6 year old kid, her patience and attention span aren't really there yet. It's frustrating for me, but that's something I need to learn to manage.

So today, Day 39Vi3a@ of this pandemic mess, my kids were playing with one another. They had just finished watching their new favorite movie [of the week]—The Lorax. I needed a bit of a break so I started doing a sketch of a landscape from a photo I saw. I've done a few like this previously but from my own shots. But for some reason, this particular photo stuck out. So I did a sketch with my own interpretation of it. My older daughter comes up and starts snooping asking what I'm sketching. I shooed her away because I hate when she (or anyone) does that because it makes me self conscious. I realized that I shouldn't have done that so I called her back and explained and apologized.

But my guilt was still there. Here's a kid that admires my sketching and I shooed her away abruptly. So.... I started a new sketch. The Lorax. I worked on it for a bit, and then called both of them over. A huge smile went over both their faces and they yelled with excitement. 

Shortly after, my little one went down for a nap. I told my older daughter to come sit next to me. We sat down together and did some more drawing exercises. I tried to explain to her the technique and benefits of light sketches. We started with a side-by-side guided illustration of a butterfly (her choice), and moved onto Kevin from the Descpicable Me franchise and I think she did a fantastic job with it.

And no, I don't know why/how I messed up the length of Kevin's arm in my illustration. 

Personal sketching: Mountain landscape. Illustration was based on a photo I saw on instagram by @jess.wandering and @everchanginghorizon
WIP: The start of Dr. Suess's The Lorax!

Teaching moment: My daughter's Kevin on the left; mine is on the right. I messed up the length of his arm somehow. SMH don't ask. 

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