Last week, I was eager to try out my new markers, which I got as a birthday present. So I started drawing a portrait of my daughter, based on a photo that I took in Sindney, where she was holding a scooter and squinting into the sun. I did a pencil sketch, and it looked pretty good, so I was quite pleased. When I started shading it with markers, though, the colours on her face came out so dark, that I immediately declared the drawing ruined, and tore it apart in a classical Georgia O’Keeffe fashion. Even though I know that it is important not to become attached to the final product and instead to treat each artistic project as a learning experience, it is amazing how easy it is to start expecting pleasant surprises at the end of every drawing session.

Anyway, one lesson learned from this: don’t be in a rush to destroy things because (a) they don’t look that bad the next day when seen with fresh eyes, and (b) many mistakes are actually correctable, even with such media as markers.

  • More seriously, a couple of things to keep in mind when drawing are:
  • Maintain subtlety of the colours and the tones seen in the subject. It is easy to become too excited and over-paint things.
    Throw away the idea of creating a pretty picture. This seem counter-intuitive, but it is actually somewhat similar to sutemi in kendo – abandoning the idea of winning and throwing yourself completely into the attack.

It actually took me some concentrated thinking and watching a few YouTube videos to somewhat come to grips with blending the markers. i also decided to zoom in on the portrait to keep things more manageable for my next attempt. Here is the result.