Drawing 101

I have a little artist on my hands, and I love it.

From a very early age, my daughter couldn’t help but express herself artistically.  Sometimes it was through drama, quite often through dance, many times through singing.  She hasn’t censored herself yet, and I’m cherishing every display of creativity she’s willing to show me.

But it’s her drawing that I love the best.

Give that 4 year-old a pen and a piece of paper and she’s one content artiste.

drawing 101

We spent an insane amount of time in the car last year, shuffling back and forth to school.  While her brother could occupy himself by reading in the car, unable to read yet, my daughter was bored and tired of looking out the window every day at the same scenic view.

So I bought her a small notebook and three fancy-colored pens, put them in a special bag, and stowed it in the side of her car seat.

It was the best thing I did for our commute.  There aren’t many moments where I feel I have won at parenting, but that idea came pretty close.

She’d doodle for the entire trip.  Sometimes the sheet of paper would be filled with fake writing and scribbles.  Pre-shapes.  Sort-of circles and squiggly lines.

And then, she learned how to write her name.

Suddenly the notebook was full of her first name on every square inch.  Most of the time it was linear, but every now and then she’d have two letters here, four letters over there, some random letters that weren’t even in her name spread out in the center of the page.

It was visual proof that her brain had just unlocked some new secret.

Once she got her name down, she began to draw faces.  Big, round faces with giant eyes, incredibly long limbs, bulbous hands and feet, looking nothing like humans but adorable all the same.

Now, she’s drawing whole landscapes.  Pointy mountains with green grass strewn along the bottom of the page, a canopy of blue sky at the top, trees and people with hair and clothes holding flowers.  Every single one of the people she draws are smiling.  Because that’s how she sees the world around her.  Bucolic and innocent and happy.

Drawing, or “coloring” as she calls it, is her favorite pastime and something we’d do together pretty regularly.  It was a great excuse to slow things down, fill up the hour before bedtime, and get a glimpse in to that brain of hers.  Working next to each other, she’d give me ideas of things to draw, illustrate her own page, and them sometimes reach over and help me finish my own drawing.

But lately, I have shied away from doing this activity with her because I don’t have use of my dominant hand.  This excuse did not go over well with her.  “You can still color” she said.  “Use your other hand” she pleaded.

So, I did.

Last weekend, I poured myself in to a drawing with her.  It took me almost an hour. I’m pretty sure I stuck my tongue out in serious concentration, too.

I painfully slaved away at my playground scene with washable Crayola markers, trying to find nuance in flower petals, striving to find the right aspect ratio, proportion, shade, color and shadow.

Behold, my masterpiece.

Wait.  You MAY want to get some sunglasses, because this shit is brilliant.  I’ll wait until you get them.



Are you back?  Okay, here it is.


So, yeah.  I think I may need a few more lessons from my 4 year-old.


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  1. I am impressed, lady. I can’t do anything with my non dominant hand. Nothing. I am sure you are doing all kinds of great things for your brain. And you can color with the best of ‘em.

  2. wow ! her drawing looks so innocent :) she has expresses her views regarding the nature . Loving this , it remind me those days when my daughter was a kid
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