Time for Mom: Drawing

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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.

nature journal

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!

creek landscape

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:

kitten in a box

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.

Peanut sketch

Peanut sketch blocks

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.

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  1. What a great idea for a series. I love to scrapbook, but haven't had time lately to work on it. I also used to draw a lot. It might be fun to pick up a pencil again!

  2. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I tell people I homeschool and they ask, "But when do you get time for yourself????" I truly love to be with my kids all the time, and it's not like I don't have time to myself at all, so that question really annoys me. It's like the thought of being with their kids all day is horrifying to them, and they act like they feel sorry for me. Having said that, I love the way you put it in this article (sbout making time for ourselves). You've inspired me! Anyone should be able to make room for at least one hobby! Not only will we have something we can pursue more when the kids are grown, but it's also a good example to the kids now. It's like what they say about kids seeing their parents reading, and then they'll become readers too. I'm sure it would be the same with other hobbies. What I'd love to pursue is photography and writing, and also I'd love to learn another language. I was into scrapbooking when my oldest was a baby, but I didn't bring all my tools with me to England…so maybe digital scrapbooking? If I had a little more time and money I'd add to that list! Anyway, thanks for a great article–great drawing resources too!

  3. Kris,

    Love the idea for the series. 🙂

    As someone who is facing the "empty nest" sooner than you, I feel the pull to stretch my creative muscles more and more. I have put aside things that I would love to focus on to instead focus on the gifts and talents of my children. It has been a labor of love but there will be a time that they will fly away. One is already gone, one is teetering on the edge of the nest, and the other two will not be far behind…their wings are flapping.

    Here is a post I wrote a long time ago about women needing to be creative:

    I hope you enjoy reading it. I look forward to seeing some more of your artwork.

  4. Kris,

    Those drawings are lovely. Thanks for sharing them. So sweet.

    And I love the idea that you're doing this. I think that homeschooling moms tend to deny themselves the opportunity to do separate hobbies or to enrich their own learning separate from the kids. It's become, regrettably, a way of many moms to judge themselves (or others) by how much free time they have and how they use it.

    I've heard many homeschooling moms say that they just don't have time to read or to draw or to (insert hobby) because of homeschooling or their children's needs. It's supremely important, however, that we use the talents that the Lord gave us or that we take the God-given desires in our hearts to pursue them, too. I could write on and on about this, but maybe I'll just do a post. I've been meaning to talk about this for some time … Maybe I will later.

    But, YES, good for you for carving time for yourself!

    And to answer your question, I make time almost every evening to draw or write … not blog posts, but work on a project. I also am developing my hand-sewing skills, too.

    But I think you know that! : D

  5. This is a great idea. You should do a linky. I love your drawings they are great. One of my favorite things to do beside blogging is read. I always make time to read my favorite books. Plus I just bought a new Nikon so I'm all about taking pictures of everyone and everything. Even though my kids won't be leaving for a long time (only 7) I still need something for me to keep my sanity.

  6. Even though my kids are very small, I think about this sort of thing too. When my sister and I left home, my mother seemed to have no sense of herself at all. I have often thought over the years how to avoid that. I don't want to be that woman wandering forlornly around the empty house and saying to my husband, "I'm sorry, have we met?"

    I actively try to develop interests that are my own, and not just extensions of my family life. Nothing big and dramatic, just small things like learning how to knit and going to knit night twice a month, making sure to keep old friendships alive…

    I find that when I give all of myself away, I get very tired, burned out, and resentful. Keeping a little piece of myself just for me, helps me be more patient and content.

  7. Lovely pictures, really! You reminded me that I should do something I like to do again. I forgot about that, LOL!

  8. I love to draw, too. And, like you, I don't add color. 🙂

    Like you, I also blog, though that is about homeschooling.

    My other two "big" hobbies are genealogy (which I REALLY have to hold myself back on or I'd be doing it 12 hours a day) and playing the piano. I started re-taking lessons 2 years ago and my lesson is my favorite hour of the week. I love playing!!!

  9. Kris, you draw beautifully! I so wish I could draw like that. You picture of the animals is gorgeous! My husband has that skill in our household. I got the gift of gab. 😀

    Thanks so much for linking up to Mingle Monday. I hope you have an awesome week!

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