Friday, September 13, 2013

A Chomper Plant from Plants vs. Zombies

Chomper from Plants vs. Zombies

"A Chomper plant from Plants vs. Zombies," he told me without hesitation.

I like it when he gets on a roll with a particular reference. Unfortunately, I messed up right away on this one and had to start over.

Once he had finished his breakfast he came over to my side of the table. "Are you going to make the teeth sharp?" he asked as he walked over. "Oh! You did make them sharp. Cool!"

I smiled at him, pleased with his reaction.

"Can you do the purple and green?"

"No," I said. I likely had the time but still don't want to introduce color. It's hard enough for me to complete these in 20-30 minutes each morning. Even just coloring things in takes longer than you'd expect it to.

"How about I bring it home and you do it at home on the weekend?"

"If you remember to bring it home. You haven't brought any home this year," I said with a wounded tone. Well, maybe one, I thought to myself.

He didn't respond.

To make up for yesterday I added the "vs." to his nameplate. I still messed it up, but it's sort of readable. It seemed silly to write "vs. Zombies" on this one and not yesterday's so I wrote "vs. Chomper" instead. He laughed when he saw it and kept repeating, "Victor vs. Chomper. Victor vs. Chomper. That's funny!"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies

"What’s for the snack sack today?"

"A zombie from Plants vs. Zombies."

"That's a good idea!"

He’s been playing the game some, but the idea was triggered today because the episode of Jessie he was watching this morning was called "Zombie Tea Party."

I decided not to let him pick which zombie today because we were running behind schedule. Plus, the choice was obvious! As I started, I was hopeful it would turn out well. I really wanted to do a good job this time.

I started with the zombie's right hand and worked my way down. Usually I would have started with the head. I kind of messed up the lines and proportions on his upper body but you can't really tell. The head looks cool and I do like the drawing overall. It's a bit nerve racking knowing that every stroke might mess up the whole thing, especially when the start of it feels really good like it did today. I was going to add "vs. Zombies" under his name but messed up the "vs." and ran out of time so I just left it with his name only.

"Let me see! Let me see!" he exclaimed as soon as the show was over and he could focus his attention to my drawing.

"That doesn't really look like a zombie," he said. After a pause he added, "…with the big feet. Zombies have small feet."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013



"What’s for the snack sack today?"

"Maybe…" he said with promise. "Um, no," he added with regret, "I don't have a snack sack idea." He took a moment, then said softly, seemingly in defeat, "You choose today." Not a second after he said it, he was struck with an idea. "A battleship!?" he exclaimed.

He looked for a while and picked a photograph of the USS Midway. We had just visited this grounded battleship turned museum over the weekend. It looked way too complicated for me to draw so I refused. He picked this funky artistic rendition of a battleship instead. This one also looked like a lot of work, but at least it was a drawing to start with. I was looser with my attention to detail than normal and didn't try to match everything perfectly. Today he came to sit on my lap to watch me as I worked through it. I love it when he does that!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Monster of Some Kind...

"What should we do today?"

"A monster of some kind."

"Okay," I said despite thinking it was a little early for Halloween stuff. I ran a search for "monster drawings" on my iPhone and handed it to him.

"Can you draw these three and just the creepy tree?" he asked after searching for a few minutes. The original had a little boy on a ladder and some tools hanging from the tree too.

"Sure," I said reluctantly. I really didn't have the time to do this one justice, but I did my best with the time I had.

"The gowns should really be all black," he criticized.

I ignored the comment. The fact was that my Sharpie was starting to run a little dry. Leave it to him to be so perceptive. I bought some new ones but have since misplaced them. I know he liked it nonetheless. These ghouls definitely look creepy.

He’s been drawing monsters of his own lately. I had to go into work on Sunday and brought him with me. He drew a giant monster on the whiteboard. It had a big orange head with expressive eyes and eyebrows. Its giant mouth was wide open, exposing its super sharp teeth. I had never seen him draw so freely. I am excited to see his confidence growing. It was impressive to see his own creation come to life. So cool!

Thursday, September 5, 2013



"What should we do today?" I asked.

"SpongeBob," he said without much hesitation.

I didn't notice until a little later but he got the idea from a SpongeBob coffee mug in our cabinet. Had I realized that right away, I probably would have just drawn the cup. But since I didn't know, I ran a search as I usually do. He took way too long to pick one of the many options. I began to pressure him and he hurriedly picked this one.

"This one's kind of funny, right?" he asked. 

Sort of, but not really, I thought.

"Can you make his eyes cross-eyed?" he asked referring to the way SpongeBob's eyes look on the coffee mug.

"Sure," I said.

This was a classic SpongeBob look. Not all of the options were, so I was happy he picked this one. I had fun giving it a go.

"I like it," he told me, "It's exactly like the picture but bigger, right?"


 "Why does SpongeBob always wear a tie?"

"I don't know. That's a very good question."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Two Big Walkie-talkies

Two Big Walkie-talkies

"What's for the snack sack today?"

He thought for a few moments. "I just got an idea. Two big walkie-talkies." He paused. "Like those," he said, pointing to a pair of toy walkie-talkies on the counter behind me. They were actually pretty small. I had forgotten they were even there.

He found them this weekend among some of his older toys but couldn't play with them because their batteries were dead. They use 4 little calculator batteries each. The batteries were way too expensive at the grocery store so I need to buy them online where they are sold at a fraction of the price. Meanwhile they've been on the counter waiting.  

I'm not a fan of drawing physical objects, but I arranged them in front of me and did my best. I forgot to ask him what he thought of it and he forgot to tell me anything. I prefer hearing his reaction, even if it's critical. Not hearing what he thought of the finished work, it felt like something important was missing from our morning today. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Palm Tree on a Deserted Island

A Palm Tree on a Deserted Island

Palm Tree on a Desert Island

"Any ideas for the snack sack?"

"Nope," he said a little too quickly.

I suspected he was sore that I wasn't letting him watch a show while he ate breakfast. He had woken up early and watched a show upstairs while I sluggishly got ready. He then took his sweet time changing and really lagged as he prepped his waffles. I didn't like the pace he was going at and we didn't have much time left to get out for school anyway.

I tried to entice him, "How about Elliot, from Open Season?"

"No," he said grumpily. He paused for a moment sulking, then asked, "How about Boog?" I ran a search and handed him my iPhone. He searched and scrolled for over 5 minutes. He couldn't pick anything.

"How about I draw what I want to draw today?" I asked declaratively.

He didn't respond and I was running out of time. The vision of a palm tree popped into my head. I did a search and found this classic deserted island view. I made quick work of it, then went upstairs to get some socks.

"Just so you know...I like the snack sack!" he yelled to me from downstairs.

"Cool!" I yelled back. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice

"What should we do today?"

"Jamba Juice." 


He picked Jamba Juice because I had just bought a tall plastic Jamba Juice branded straw cup. It was on the kitchen table. I ran a search and he picked this marketing shot with multiple cups. I knew it wasn't going to be easy.

"You have to do it sideways."

"Okay," I sighed, taking a deep breath. I tried extra hard to maintain focus throughout while drawing this one and I think that's why it came out okay.

When he saw it, all he said was, "Can you add some color?" 

"No," I said flatly. This one was hard enough!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Maybe a little cloud with lightning and a cave...

Maybe a little cloud with lightning and a cave...

Clouds with Lightning and a Cave

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Maybe a little cloud with lighting and a cave."

"Um, a little cloud with lighting and a cave?"

"Yeah! A cloud that covers the sky with some lightning and a cave," he said as he used his hands to pantomime the scene in the air.

I wasn't sure how to do this one, but after being criticized for my work on yesterday's penguin, I wasn't about to back down from the challenge. I decided to merge a few reference drawings together to make the scene he asked for.

He came over again today to watch my progress. "Is that the cave?" he asked pointing to the dark spot in the middle. It looks kind of like the cave from Jake and the Never Land Pirates," he observed. "Now the lighting, right?

"Not yet." I was still working the cave.

"I do lightning good!" he said proudly.

"You want to do the lightning?" I asked, fully expecting him to take the Sharpie out of my hand.

"No," he said very firmly, a serious look in his eyes. I'm not sure why he had that reaction. Perhaps he was worried that I might criticize him the way he had criticized me?

Okay!, I thought and kept working.

This one was interesting because it was a combination of things. It's kind of cool and I liked it. So did he. 

"Ooh, nice! He-he," he said chuckling when he saw the finished drawing. Then he noticed the surprise. "Daddy, look!" he exclaimed pointing to his name with a smile. "Nice!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Penguin

A Penguin


"A penguin."

I had a feeling that we've done a penguin before. I know we did some rocks with penguins on it. But maybe we haven't done just a penguin, I thought.

I ran a search and handed him my iPhone. I was relieved when he picked this simple drawing even though sometimes the simple ones are harder, as I was reminded with the polar bears from a couple of days ago.

"Isn't he cute?" he asked.

"He is," I agreed. Victor really likes penguins.

His TV show ended right when I got started so he came around to my side of the table to watch me draw.

"Um, that doesn't really look like it," he said plainly. He repeated himself, "That doesn't really look like it, does it?" He paused, then added, "You made it fatter."

I thought I was doing pretty good actually. Oh well. He sat and watched the rest of it come to life. When I was about half way done, he said, "I'm definitely bringing this one home. He's so cute!" Then he proceeded to criticize me for the rest of the time. He picked it apart telling me what didn't look right and which lines were too long or too short. I did my best to ignore him. I'm still feeling my way back into the groove of drawing every day after the summer break. I'm actually pretty pleased with this one. I avoided chicken scratching and felt good about working freely with the fat tip of the Sharpie. It definitely looks like a penguin and looks pretty close to the drawing I'd say.

"I want to take a picture!" he exclaimed after I had taken one. He's never asked to do that before so I handed him my iPhone and let him snap one of his own.