Drawing Lesson One –Adults “How to Draw”

Some friends were interested in drawing lessons once I started with the kids up the alley. I love that!

Anyway, here’s adult lesson 1.

The only thing you need is a How to Draw book of things you like, some paper and something to draw with. One of the kids has a “How to Draw Animals” and the other has “How to Draw Trucks and Other Vehicles.” A friend who loves to ride has “How to Draw Horses.” There are dozens of these books on Amazon and the more basic the better. I think a “how to draw” something you like is the best choice.

Here’s the first adult lesson: Starting to Draw

1) Assemble your tools — paper, pencils and your “how to draw” book. You can draw with anything, and it’s actually better to learn to draw with a tool you cannot erase, like colored pencils, but this is completely YOUR choice because IT DOESN’T MATTER AT ALL!!!!

2) Find a space without distraction, someplace tranquil where you’re unlikely to be interrupted for 30 minutes. Tell your family members to stay the hell away from you because you’re about to engage in something SUPREMELY COOL and holy.

3) Put on some music you like, put in your earphones.

4) TURN OFF YOUR PHONE and all irrelevant alerts.

5) Get a beverage that you like — I drink water with ice in it or sometimes decaf but it doesn’t matter at all. It should be what you like. Wine is good for those who can drink it (I can’t). Poor me.

6) Open your “How to Draw Book” and don’t read too much. Find an image you like or start at the very beginning (It’s a very good place to start, la laa laa)

NOW this is the hard part (for adults…)

Do your best and don’t worry how it comes out. Nobody cares.

Draw for thirty minutes, and if you are still engaged, keep drawing. Do this every day for at least 30 minutes.

Drawing is seeing. It’s amazing how the more a person draws, the more of the world in general they are able to see. It’s better to draw without erasing, to look at your drawing after a day or two, and try again if you’re not happy. Why? Because, the more you draw, the more you’ll see.

I would love to draw WITH you and we can do this via Facebook messenger, Zoom or anything else. Let me know. I think it can be more relaxing for someone to learn to draw when they’re drawing with a pal. Let me know if you want to and when, and I’ll be here to go online with you. I love to draw and I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to draw along with you.

Third Grade Art Class

Exhausted. Definitely. Here it is, the first day of school and I overslept. Fortunately the principal really IS a pal, and I’m just going to go a little later. I have the kid’s packets all ready and 7 weeks of classes planned out though I have NO idea what that means for 7 and 8 year old third graders. Mainly I think the goal of this art class is to help them get the skills to draw. In my heart-of-hearts I KNOW the only way to get those skills is by drawing.

I got many of my drawing skills studying literature. I’m not an aural learner and somewhere in the dim past of my life I started drawing pictures while my teachers yammered on and on. It helped me learn and I now know that’s a strategy for some kids to help them learn through listening.

Thinking of teaching the kids up the alley, I naturally went back in my memory to third grade. I was an unusual kid, I think. The summer before third grade my mom bought me an abridged version of Little Women and I read it. It was my first “thick book” and the first novel. I was enchanted by the story, and I soon had the idea that in all those “thick books” on the book shelf in our house were stories like that.

When school started, I was placed in the “middle” level of grade three since I was a new kid and that’s how the school system worked. Mrs. Futch was my teacher and I think I was a handful for her. When we sat in reading groups and read “with feeling” I was the star. She told my mom that I was reading at an 11th grade level, and that might have been true. In arithmetic, though? I wasn’t just bad at it. I was disruptive. I found it boring and meaningless to sit there working out a long list of problems, usually getting them wrong without knowing why. Instead, I drew pictures. Finally, I guess tired of putting me out in the hall where I usually ran into my little brother, who was in second grade and even more disruptive than I was, my teacher decided her imperative was to keep me quiet and inside the classroom.

She did this by bringing calendars to school. Not just ordinary calendars, but calendars she’d acquired during her husband’s tour of duty in Japan. There were beautiful reproductions of Classical Japanese art. She set up a table in the back of the class, gave me colored pencils, set me down and told me to draw.

As long as the class was doing arithmetic, I drew. I got a W (weakness; needs attention) in arithmetic that year, but my drawing improved and my appreciation for Japanese art never went away. When the time came for us to do our geography project in which we made a book about one state and one country, I chose Louisiana (because of the beautiful plantation homes that I’d seen a few years earlier traveling with my parents to Florida) and Japan. I had to find similarities between the two places. Somehow, I did, mainly both have magnolia trees. It was an incredibly fun project that involved a lot of …