My life in sketching

I like to draw with pencil and paper.  It is an inner need that has a long history.

I remember drawing as a child during WWII.  At one time, I drew war cartoons showing Japanese and German planes being shot down by U.S. pilots.  I folded up the cartoons like newspapers and sent them sailing into people’s yards from a tricycle.  I can’t remember if anyone liked them.  But I didn’t get any complaints for the litter.

As a college sophomore, I took an art class. I recall standing before an easel with a charcoal pencil in my right hand.  The instructor watched me for a few moments, then readjusted the way I was holding the pencil.  Since I knew more than the instructor and possibly even more than Da Vinci himself, I thought he was crazy.  I soon dropped out.

If you would look now in my chest of drawers, you would find old sketchbooks buried beneath the underwear and t-shirts.  Some of the sketches go back to 1980 (see photo).  All are crude and unimpressive.  I was in my 40s then, but I give myself credit.  I wanted to learn.

Now,here I am years later — having led a life that clearly shows I was nowhere as smart as I thought — wanting to learn to sketch.

By departing with about $50, I ordered a video lecture series from The Great Courses. The course is called “How to Draw.”  I hope to write how things progress.  Or don’t. Given my poor record with authority figures, I may drop out of this one too.

So far, things are going nicely.  But it is early. The instructor, Professor David Brody, has yet to tell me how to hold my pencil.

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