And what makes you feel better! ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ This newsletter is about drawing. It goes out every Friday. Want to draw? Then check out my free workbook!

#133 - As You Create Art, Consciously Notice How Various Aspects Of It Make You Feel

And what makes you feel better!

Warm-Up Drawing Exercises

some of my sketchbook pages
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I learned to program more than forty years ago. I was a child back then, and it was just plain fun.

As a child, you don’t realize you are learning a new skill. You see cookies on the coffee table and try to get up and walk over. You fall. You try again. The third time, you succeed.

Children live in the now. There is no tomorrow. That is just how they feel right now. They don’t live by deadlines. You might have a tight schedule as a parent, but they don’t. They are just enjoying the moment.

As children, we did not learn through “hard practice.” It wasn’t about “practicing fundamentals.” We were having fun, playing.

Later in life, I decided to learn to draw.

You’re an adult, and you want to learn a new skill. You go in search of information. Say you like to learn to draw. The advice you see everywhere is to draw every day and practice fundamentals.

Before I lose you: yes, that is something you should do! It is hugely important to learn the fundamentals because they will help you make good work and express yourself accurately.

However, we lost the ability to enjoy ourselves while learning a new skill. And having fun with it is just as important. You will not sustain a daily habit if you don’t enjoy it.

When my daughter was very young, she was drawing, and I picked up a colored pencil to join her. It ended up being a sword fight between two pencils dotted with laughter from both sides. My daughter was enjoying the tactile experience of it all.

As I write this, I have been experimenting with slowing down the last few weeks. In my daily warm-ups, I decided to use the same reference image. One day, I’d memorize and draw the shapes; the next day, the forms. And the day after that, I tried to draw the entire thing with all the details.

I found it calming and soothing to slow down this much and to sit with one reference image for several days. To slow down, draw it, and then try again. I was falling, standing up, and just being in the now.

It is a satisfying experience and very different from the restless hunting for the next post on a social media platform, constantly looking for the next, never satisfied.

It is calming and satisfying to stay with one image for several days instead of rushing through images on your social media feed.

Try slowing down. Try to be like that child again, being in the moment, just that one image in front of you to study, no deadlines.

Notice how certain things about drawing make you feel as you draw. Let that feeling guide you, like a child would do. Search around for the fun things to do.

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