Claire has been watching me draw… and she wants to keep up.
I am not by any means a professional artist. I doodle. I sketch. I draw little pictures through great patience using a free vector graphics program –a piece of software I have written about previously— often while I’m sitting around at night with nothing better to do, watching television, or whatever.
And Claire pays attention to that. In fact she gets excited about my little doodles and often has me print them out so she can paste them together into scenes.
See, while we were in Disney World recently, we hit up the Animation Academy attraction at Hollywood studios and had the opportunity to do some hands on drawing (of Disney characters of course) with a Disney artist for about twenty minutes.
Claire had a bit of a meltdown, as I wrote in my daily vacation summary post, because her drawing was (while awesome for a six year old) not up to her “impossibly high” standards. She cried and gave up, despite that the artist leading the class came back to give her some one-on-one help. It was a little embarrassing, actually, but gave me a hint that she was actually pretty interested in this whole art thing.
A few days later –while still in Florida– she lost a tooth and that clever little tooth fairy tracked us down and gave Claire a copy of a “Learn to Draw Disney Characters” book, coincidentally also available for sale outside the Animation Academy in Hollywood Studios.
So, she’s been drawing up a storm in the last month, filling blank paper with little sketches of Mickey Mouse and friends.
I’ve included some examples of her work in this post. They’re actually not too bad (though she has yet to figure out the difference between a should-be-light guideline and the actual should-be-firm-and-dark lines of the picture… but we’ll get there.)
Taking It To The Screen
However, where I’m going with this little anecdote has more to do with my own adventures in digital doodling than with Disney World. If you’ve been reading this blog you may have noticed an article I wrote over the last couple days and which I published today called Of Doodles & Debates.
You can read that article over at the link… but the point is that I drew a little cartoon to go along with it, spending a couple hours sketching it up in Inkscape. And for part of that work, Claire was looking over my shoulder with rapt curiosity.
One Very Short Tutorial Later…
Of course, I think the fact that she tried –sort of– to duplicate what I drew was interesting in itself and I could probably write a whole article on the nature of learning to draw through imitation. But the fact that she drew this (mostly) herself with very little guidance beyond some basic explanation of some of the basic tools available in the software… to me, that’s pretty impressive. I don’t know many adults that can use vector graphics software (and I work in a related industry!)
Looks like Inkscape school is in-session at our house.