Artistic Space – #NaPoWriMo19 – 22

#NaPoWriMo19, Parenting Add comments



I have been dabbling in drawing recently.  It seems to calm me more than writing does (!)

Back in 2007 I had bought Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards (I got a discount as I was working in a branch of Waterstones bookshop at the time), and through my reading I learned about negative space and using what isn’t there, among other tricks. 

I completed the exercises for about two thirds of the book.  For example: I traced my hand onto my cobbled-together ‘picture plane’ with a black felt tip, took marking points off it and jotted them onto my charcoal-shaded piece of cartridge paper; then went ahead and drew a passable representation of said posed extremity with a pencil! 

The original sketch on the plastic ‘picture plane’

The finished drawing, shaded in charcoal and drawn in pencil on cartridge paper. March 2007 🙂

Later that year we moved  to our first house together, started to plan our wedding, I got a new job that was nothing to do with exploring my creative side…

I did draw a few things in the years after that, but nothing too brilliant, and (as I became a mum in 2010) that hobby just fell by the wayside pretty sharply around seven years ago (there was a brief resurgence in July of 2011, according to my sketchbook, when Eldest was 15 months old, but I would get pregnant again a year later…yada yada…).

Then the idea for drawing the kids for my mum sprang into my mind in October 2018 and I have been drawing consistently ever since.  I sketched our boys from two photographs in time for my mum’s 60th birthday on the 30th of December 2018.  They turned out a lot better than I had anticipated, and thankfully she loved them!  I have never been so nervous about handing her a present I’ve made in my entire life 😉 The sketch of Eldest took me something like 12hrs, and Youngest’s around 8hrs. 

Detail from sketch of Eldest – December 2018 – charcoal and graphite on paper

That’s not including all the thinking about starting that day’s session I would do before knuckling down and just drawing, of course…

Detail from sketch of Youngest – December 2018 – Charcoal and graphite on paper 

The kids asked for sketching pencils for their birthdays, and I draw with them as part of ‘mummy time’ multiple times a week.  It sparks a lot of interesting conversations, and they loved watching their own faces emerge out of the paper last year! 

We frequently visit this YouTube channel for fun and contemporary drawing tutorials.

Anyway, the 22nd prompt on the NaPoWriMo site said:

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that engages with another art form”

Which brought me to talk about my little drawing journey (sorry if I’ve written about it before…I don’t think I have?!)


I was attempting to draw Steven Tyler from this photo, but did not heed the advice in the poem… October 2018, graphite on paper

A nose is to be drawn out of shadow.

A chin is often crucial to a face.

A jawline’s known to dance,

And a hairline takes its chance;

But an artist’s hand can craft with empty space.


I know that after all that preamble it is a very short poem this evening, but I like it! So I hope you do, too!

See you back here tomorrow for day 23!


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2 Responses to “Artistic Space – #NaPoWriMo19 – 22”

  1. Sandra Says:

    It makes you think about how the artist has to capture a look as the face can hold so many expressions. Not an easy task.

  2. Jane Wright Says:

    I like the poem, too.

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