Practice sketches

I’ve spent some time the last couple of days sketching images from an oracle card deck I adore. It’s been fun as well as educational.

Today, the card selected was an amazing lesson. Not only did it have brilliant light and dark areas, but it also was a good exercise for how to keep the viewer’s eyes in the picture. All the way down to how the shoe on a little elf turned upward in the toes to direct the viewer’s gaze back inward.

So I practiced this with a quick sketch. Well, it wasn’t so quick. It took me probably half an hour to draw and shade it. It didn’t feel complete until I added arrows showing the way that my eyes had moved through the picture. Then I had to make lots of notes.

Practice. I consider this all practice.

Every time I learn something new, like how to keep a viewer’s gaze in the picture, that gives my creative voice permission to use it again in the next painting.

Do I do the same sort of thing with writing? Yes. I remember the days of “typing” someone else’s book so I could practice another writer’s words. Back in the day, it was on a typewriter and I didn’t want to use my precious supplies (paper and ribbon) on actually writing it out, so I would pretend to type the words. This became easier when I had an electric typewriter because I could turn the typewriter off and still press the keys as if I were actually typing. On the old manual typewriter, it was more lightly tapping the keys. Sometimes if I got to typing too fast, the typebars would actually lift toward the paper roller. Since I was practicing, I often didn’t have paper in the machine. For years, I could still see the glossy letters left from the occasional ink that did hit the roller. Whoops.

I still do this. Recently, I typed in the first few pages of Mercedes Lackey’s Joust. Today, since I’m working on a computer, I just don’t save the page after I type it.

I didn’t get back to writing today as I had hoped I would. Temmy woke up long before me this morning and climbed around on my desk. She knocked several things off, one of them being my USB drive with the current version of Siva on it. Between other things I was doing today, I had to search for the USB and I was afraid she’d run off with it. She does love to carry her toys through the house. I do think she played and batted it around a bit because it was hiding well under some other things. But the irritation of trying to find it today wore me out. Now all I want to do is read and go to sleep, so I think that’s what I’m going to do.

Lesson: keep my USB out of Temmy’s reach!