This summer, and on into the next school year, I’d like to do a series of posts on “Time for Mom,” about making time for ourselves. Do you ever wonder what life will be like after the kids are grown and gone? I mean, besides quiet and kind of lonely. As moms, particularly as homeschool moms, our lives tend to revolve around our kids. Even my favorite hobby, blogging, is focused on homeschooling my kids.
So, what about when my kids are grown and gone? I hope, when I get to that point, that I don’t find that I’ve lost a big part of myself. That’s one reason why, as my kids have gotten older and more independent, I’ve been trying to make sure that I spend more time focusing on my hobbies and things that interest me. My favorites, beside blogging, are drawing, writing, and, as soon as I get that new camera in my hands, photography.
Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite resources for drawing. One thing I like about drawing is that it is something I can enjoy with the kids. Two of my favorite places to get involved with art with my kids are Barb’s Sketch Tuesday (though I’ve been very lax lately in participating) and Terry Holliday’s Art for Homeschool online art show.
I don’t, of course, feel that I am a fabulous artist, but I enjoy drawing. It’s relaxing and I find that, the more I focus on the details of the various art subjects I’ve selected, the better my drawings become. You can tell what they’re supposed to be anyway!
After checking out lots of books from the library, I settled on three that I wanted to have permanently on my bookshelf to help me improve my technique and learn new skills. My three must-have art books are:
I really like Drawing for the Absolute Beginner because it covers so many basic techniques. It offers step-by-step tutorials on a variety of different topics, such as vanishing point , shapes, angels, different types of sketching, composition, and more. I like Drawing in Pen and Ink because that’s a specific technique that I’d like to try and get better at. Drawing Wildlife is probably my most-used book because my favorite thing to draw is animals.
I’m a big believer in quality art supplies – once a child can take good care of them. Right now, Brianna and I are the ones who get the good stuff. My art box contains:
- Several different sketching pencils: 4H, 4B, 2B are the ones I use the most frequently, though I have a few others that came in a starter set. I have a couple of different brands, but the Derwent Sketching pencils are my favorite because they erase more easily and thoroughly than some others I have used.
- Two sets of colored pencils: Prismacolor Premiere and Derwent Studio.
- Prang watercolor pencils
- Blending stick (tortillons)
- Erasers: a white vinyl (my favorite) and a kneaded
I prefer drawing from photographs. First, I print a black-and-white copy of whatever I’m going to draw. Then, I fold the print in half top-to-bottom and side-to-side so that I can draw guidelines. I also draw light vertical and horizontal guidelines on my drawing paper. This helps me keep my drawing in perspective.
I used to have to draw lots of guidelines, sectioning off fourths and even eights of my paper, but as I’ve gotten more confident, I can usually get away with just the two.
I don’t often put color to my drawings because I haven’t yet quite figured out how to add color to a drawing with colored pencil without it looking like crayon. I’ve not had much luck with blending colored pencil. That’s on my “practice until I figure it out” list of things to do.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Do you draw? What is on your must-have list?
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.