Do You Even Draw?

If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s draw. It’s one of the few activities I managed to never get tired of doing from when I was a little girl. I remember one of my first drawings (that wasn’t a stick figure with a rainbow) was a dolphin jumping out of the water in front of a sunset. Of course, it was no masterpiece, but I was fairly young. Honestly, I used to draw the same thing, a lot. I would have a stack of dolphin drawings. It was pretty obvious what my favorite animal was, at the time.

As I grew a little bit older, I started freeing myself from my dolphin obsession. The first real piece of art was a portrait of my little cousin. I gave it to my aunt, her mother. She actually still has it hanging on her refrigerator. It’s been there for, at least, eleven years.

I never really liked using markers or crayons, unless my art called for it. Other than that, I never thought the texture of crayon looked good (I couldn’t get to look good, anyway). And the pattern of marker just wouldn’t do it justice.

After I drew that portrait of Rachel, I knew what I wanted to do from then on: I wanted to be an artist, at least in my free time.

I went through an “I love dogs and puppies more than life, itself” phase. My world revolved around canines of every breed. Someone had purchased a large encyclopedia of dog breeds for me. That’s when I went through and drew almost every one. The rest of the kids were outside playing or hanging out with others, riding bikes. Not me. I was drawing dogs.

People often complimented on my colored pencil-style creations. I was proud of myself.

My artistic interpretation on everything was different, I believe. You may have seen a dog. I saw a living creature. There was a story with each of my drawings. It told a part of my life. If you looked closer, you could probably tell exactly what I was feeling while I drew it. It wasn’t just because dog are adorable and fluffy, the reason I drew.

After that, I drew more often. In class, at home, at my friends’ houses, and everywhere I went, just about. I doodled on almost everything, too. Unfortunately, I still felt like something was missing. My work was missing texture and life.

Watercolor, I learned, was a great expression. I was in my mid teens when I started painting. At first, it was on canvas, and it was more like regular old paint. What can I say? I had never picked up a paintbrush, before, and the layout was still new to me. It all came to me, rather quickly, though. More practice brought better paintings.

Oh, and I learned that watercolor is best used on watercolor paper. No one told me anything, don’t judge me.

My hobby sort of died off when I hit full puberty. I don’t think I have to explain to you how that happened.

“OMG, boys!”
“Text me! LOL”
“Are we getting drunk this weekend?”

*shifts uncomfortably*

Anyway…

Yes, my art supplies sat on my shelves, collecting dust for a few years.

It wasn’t until after I had my oldest that I discovered them, again, while cleaning. That was what I needed. I picked up my paints and went to work on my hobby. Skills a little rusty, I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t turn out like I wanted. Lines and colors fell in nicely, though, and it made the anxiety a little bit more manageable.

Eventually, I went back to just pencil sketches. It was cheaper and less time-consuming. I don’t exactly have an art studio where my supplies are at the ready.

Currently, I favor charcoal over anything. I can get the desired shading and texture I want.

While I used to love showing off my stuff, I can’t bring myself to let anyone see, now. Okay, that is an understatement. I am terrified of anyone looking at my drawings. I’m not exactly sure of the reason. It probably has to do with my anxiety, though. I won’t bring them up to anyone, but the people closest to me know I draw. A couple, though, don’t know that I would prefer to not show them off.

I do get the occasional, “She draws so good, you should see them!” or “Can I show [so and so] one of your pictures? They would love it.” Mostly, I’m able to politely decline, but the smallest bit of pressure will break me. I’ll have to point to the location of my sketch pad while holding back tears.

I get compliments, but I see so many other people draw better than me. To me, a compliment is just me getting patronized.

“Come on, look at everyone else’ drawings. I have chicken scratch compared to them. They have true talent.”

Do all artists hate their own work, or is it just me? I despise my own drawings. I don’t feel like my potential is enough to express my passion.

I do, however, love to look at others’ art. I have so much respect for the artists who throw in hours or even days on one piece of work. The end result is so amazing, to me. Not just, “Wow, that’s beautiful!” I have questions like,

Who//what inspired this?
What did you feel while drawing/painting?
What techniques did you use?
Which supplies do you like to draw/paint with?

I’m annoying, I know, but I am genuinely curious. There are others, besides me, who don’t like to show their work. Because I know how it feels, I hardly ever ask a person, directly. I usually wait for an invitation or check out the drawings that are already posted on an art sharing website or other social media.

Art is therapeutic. That’s just it. You can take what you’re feeling and throw it on paper.

Do you like to draw/paint? I’d love to see your stuff! If that’s okay, of course.

Love you!
Courtney

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