Monday, December 22, 2014

Sketch Your Holiday Decorations for At Least Three Times the Beauty

Looking for something creative to do with the kids home from school this holiday season?  Seeking a little private quiet time for yourself?  Feeling like just stopping--even for a just a few minutes--will help you regain the Christmas spirit and maybe a healthier perspective on the late-December madness going on all around us?

Give this idea a try:  sketch or draw or paint your holiday decorations!

You'll be surprised at how complex and beautiful each piece is all by itself.

Last night I sat down at a table with family members, each doing their own thing.  I sketched two pieces from a Jim Shore creche which I've had for years.  I love those figurines and I look at them a lot.  Still, not until I drew them did I see the intricacy of the designs, or really study the shapes and postures.

The Donkey

I drew the donkey directly in ink, then added the watercolor.  You can see that my Noodler's Bulletproof black ink (which I so very much want to love) ran a bit, even though I had given it a good fifteen minutes to dry.   The small drawing at the top I did second, because I felt that the proportions on the first big drawing weren't terrific and I wanted to give it another go, just to see if I could get it a little closer to what I observed.  I loved the banner draped across the donkey's back.  If you had asked me to describe this donkey before  I painted it I would have told you he was brown and lying down.  But I wouldn't have described a blue banner with a red flower.  

You can see why I have to draw stuff.  I'm not very observant otherwise!


I drew this one directly in ink, using Noodler's Purple Martin ink in a very fine point Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen.  This ink is water soluble, so I used it with the intent of going back in with a water brush for color and shading.  You can see that when it is wet, the ink breaks into some component blues and pinks.  I can't really control that, but I thought the result was pretty cool.

Twice the Beauty
Drawing the ornaments helped me appreciate them at least twice as much as usual.  I love them as part of my holiday decorations.  As I mentioned earlier, I look at my creche a lot.  But focusing on just one piece at a time and drawing it gave me so much more beauty.  I could appreciate Jim Shore's artistry in creating the work--the colors and shapes and themes across the pieces in the set.  I meditated while in the flow of the challenge of drawing the figures.  I let my mind wander over and around who these figures represent and their role in the Christmas story.

Third Beauty Came in the Writing
When I finished the pictures, I did a quick who, what, where exercise.  We always think we'll remember the details of so many ordinary things later in our lives, but the truth is, we don't.  So it is always good to capture them.  So, on the facing page, I quickly jotted the figure's name, the art supplies I had used for the drawing, and then wrote the answers to the questions:

Who?  Joseph
What?  From the Jim Shore Creche
Where?  On my fireplace mantle
Why?  Because I love it, but also because you can't buy them any more
When?  Got it when my mother gifted it to me and my spouse early in our relationship
How?  I described how we display it with other decorations each year.

Writing about the figure in the context of those questions reminded me of the history of the figures in my family, the love we feel for each other, and made me remember all kinds of nice stuff from the past!

Other Options
You can draw ornaments from your tree.  Decorations outside of your house.  Presents wrapped and waiting.  You can even draw food!

I have a friend whose cooking is her art.  I drew one of her cookies.

Then I ate it.

Best wishes for a holiday full of peace and spirit and art and fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment