A Challenge

Up until a year ago I couldn’t draw.  It was not for lack of wanting and wishing.  I just couldn’t.  I did the standard stick people or a flower now and then, but even those were deformed.  I remember always being thrilled to go to a friend’s house when I was a kid and find coloring books because we didn’t have those at my house.  My friends always produced better pictures than I did since they got more practice.

Well, a year ago, when school let out I decided I was going to change that.  I know what you’re thinking . . . an old lady worried about coloring books?  Seriously?  But I wanted to draw so I decided to pick one thing everyday and attempt to draw it correctly . . . to really see the details.

You can imagine that it started off pretty sadly, but I was determined.  I was looking more closely at things, they just didn’t look the same on paper.  Thank goodness for erasers.

Long story short, I didn’t give up and things began to change.  I drew something everyday and I started to improve.  I found that I am not too bad at drawing animals and since they have a special place in my heart, I was happy with that development.

I started by trying to copy artists I really liked.  One of my all time favorites is Jon Van Zyle, artist of the Iditarod poster every year.  I started learning technique that way because I was examining the pictures so carefully.

Alaska is full of amazing wildlife and my visit here is almost over so I thought I would share some of my bird sketches with you.  All of these birds live here in Alaska.

The lesson here is that if you want something badly enough –  you accept the challenge, commit to a plan and carry it out and all along the way observe carefully those that do what you want to do well and notice exactly what they do.

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Challenge yourself everyday – the work and the product will make you proud of your accomplishments.