Art with a lowercase “a”

I bought some new art supplies yesterday. I got some of the Uniball Eye pens I like for black and white ink work, and, on a whim, some coloured pencils. I haven’t done anything with pencil (or colour, for that matter) for years, and carefully shading inside the lines made me feel like a kid again.

shark weak

A photo posted by Phil (@philcooper) on

The purpose of this little shopping trip was to let me do some custom artwork for a joint project Kateri and I have in mind, but it’s got me doodling again. I drew this terrifying specimen over lunch today:

pocket sniffer

A photo posted by Phil (@philcooper) on

Last year Kateri and I did a little project together where we challenged ourselves to use a skill every day; she wrote something, and I drew something. I was surprised (why?) and delighted to see how my artwork improved over the hundred-odd days we kept it up. Just drawing one little character like the above each day was enough to see a clear improvement in control and detail from the first day.

It still takes a few attempts to get back up to where I feel my “best” work is, but I’m definitely night-and-day better than when I started drawing the first characters for Words With Monsters. I actually ended up going back and re-drawing a lot of the early ones, but there’s still a few in there that make me cringe. I still struggle sometimes to call these little guys art — because doesn’t that require a capital A and just a little more oomph than what I’m doing? — but I’m becoming increasingly comfortable with them all the same.

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