In an effort to bring in some better working practices and generally improve myself, I've been trying to cultivate some good habits by keeping a weekly checklist and journaling. One of those things I'm trying to do more of is drawing. A bit of hand drawn, doodle-ly illustration creeps into my work, but it sometimes frustrates me doesn't with enough regularity to feel like I'm 'keeping my hand in' sufficiently. I used to draw a lot as a kid, and I think had a modicum of natural talent that I cultivated through practice at school by studying Art right up to A-level and on into my Art Foundation course, so to let it fall away completely would be a shame
While it's not been the quickest 'habit' to bed in so far, I was sparked into action by an unlikely source a few days ago, namely an episode of the One Show caught on the off chance while having my tea. It featured artist Adebanji Alade live sketching in the studio and talking about his continual drawing while out and about. He talked about how anyone can and should draw and to try drawing in pen to aid the learning practice.
So I took that advice and picked up a pen and sketchbook, and faced with a blank page I reverted back to the drawings I used to do as a child of animals, though this time not from my parents' collection of wildlife books, but instead by Googling 'cute animals'...
I started with the baby orangutan which I couldn't resist because you know, I'm human and not a psychopath! Then I just continued with some other animals I love or have connections to, ending up in this very unlikely menagerie.
The seahorse because they are basically like a magic mythical creature; a birdie (goldfinch actually) as I was a member of the Young Ornithologist Club as a kid (wasn't so cool back then however); a chameleon as they are just ace with their obvious camouflage talents, those swivelly eyes and those cute pincer feets. I also recently discovered they're quite sensitive, neurotic creatures that don't make good pets - it made me feel closer to them...
The panda as they're such silly, cuddly things; a fruit bat as I found them to be really characterful animals after a visit to a fruit bat sanctuary in the Australian rainforest; and the kangaroo and humpback whale tail both also connected to my Australian travels.
I'm only aiming for a couple of hours a week of drawing practice (as trying to do too much too soon is counterproductive to fostering better habits) and the 2½ hours spent on this page was definitely worth the time thanks to the satisfaction of having an end result I thought actually didn't completely suck, and the soothing effects of looking at and thinking about these wonders of our natural world.