Friday, November 1, 2013

A Real Turkey

Turkey in the Sunshine

"My teacher said, 'Yes.'"

"To what?"

"She said, 'Yes,' that she would put up the snack sacks in the classroom."

"Oh!" I said with surprise. I had forgotten that we had talked about that.

"Do you want me to bring the ones we've been keeping?"

"No. That was K. We are now in 1st grade."

He looked down pensively and paused for a long while. "Okay," he concluded. 

"That's cool!" I said, truly excited. "What should we do today?"

"A jack-o'-lantern."

"We've already done that. And it's not Halloween anymore."

"See, I don't have any ideas."

"You have an infinite number of ideas."

"Brainstorm," he said to himself. "How about something Christmas?"

"Um, next would be Thanksgiving."

"Okay, do a turkey."

"A real turkey or a cooked one?" I asked mostly as a joke. I knew what he meant.

"Real," he replied. I did a search and handed him my iPhone. He picked quickly and asked, "Is this too much details?"

"No. I can do that."

This was a coloring page reference so everything was just floating. I felt compelled to put the turkey on the ground even if it was just a few lines that gave the sense of a location. 

"Heh," he said. "Cool. But his toes should have been behind the pumpkin."

I had to laugh that he noticed.

"You just didn't notice, right?" he said, giving me the benefit of the doubt.

"I noticed, but I drew the pumpkin too far away," I explained. I pointed out how it appeared in the reference drawing, adding, "See here. The pumpkin should have touched his chest over here." I pointed. He paid close attention. "I didn't want to draw extra long toes, so I just drew them normal size."

He studied both the reference and the drawing some more before nodding his head in full comprehension.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chinese Pagoda

Chinese Pagoda

"You want something for Halloween since it is actually Halloween?" I asked him.

"Um, no," he said clearly. "I want something from the buildings book for the last time," he said. He had to bring his library book back today. He flipped through the book then asked, "Can you do the Shen building, please?"

It was actually a Chinese pagoda, but he recognized the building style from the movie, Kung Fu PandaBoy, I had to rush this one! It was complicated.

"Are you following the steps or just looking at the picture?" he asked me.

At first I didn't know what he meant. Then I realized the book had sketched out steps to help with the proportions and basic structure. "I never do that," I told him. I was feeling like it might have been a good idea this time. I was worried I'd run out of space at the top since I started at the bottom. There were so many repetitive lines and curves. I kept getting confused where I was. Every time I tried to orient myself, I got confused again. I just pushed through though.

When I was done, he exclaimed, "Ooh! That's nice!" then added, "Shen Tower," under his breath.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

The Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures book is due back to the library on Thursday so he planned on picking something else from it today.

He couldn't decide and asked me to choose, but I left the choice in his hands. He almost picked a pagoda "from Kung Fu Panda," a beach house, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, but finally settled on the Taj Mahal.

"Just do the Taj Mahal, please," he said overwhelmed with all the options.

I had the time, but definitely felt some pressure today to do a good job. I took a deep breath and focussed like I did yesterday. I like how it came out.

"Daddy, the Taj Mahal is cool! I like it," he said with a big grin.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

"You're doing this one Daddy," he declared after flipping through his library book, Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures, for a few minutes.

"The Church of St Basil in Moscow, U.S.S.R." I read.

"You've done something more complicated than this, right?"


"So you can do this one!"

"I can!" It had been a while since I'd drawn something so complex. I gave it my full attention and took my time.

He finished his waffles just about when I finished the drawing. He asked me, "Can I come over and give you a hug?"


"Ooo, nice. That's cool!" he exclaimed. As he admired the cathedral, I soaked in the warmth of his hug.

Monday, October 28, 2013

An Igloo


I let him oversleep today so we got off to a late start.

"I need something easy today," I told him.

"Do something from my drawing book," he suggested. He took out Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures as his library book this week. "You can pick anything you want," he said encouragingly.

I opened the book to a random page. "An igloo?" I asked. Easy enough, I thought.

"Sure," he said.

I drew this one fast, probably too fast. I made lots of mistakes. Plus, I used a new Sharpie and wasn't prepared for the extra ink flow you get with a new marker.

"Wow! That was fast!" he exclaimed when he walked over. "Is that all you can do?" he asked. I didn't answer. "Is that all you can do?" he repeated. "Can you do another snack sack on the back?"

I finished so fast we were slightly ahead of schedule, but I didn't really have time for more. "Uh, no. We've got to go," I told him.

"Aww," he said with a pout.

Friday, October 25, 2013

LEGO Vampire

LEGO Vampire

"What should we do today?"

"I don't know. Maybe a LEGO vampire?"

"Good idea!"

He looked for a while and obviously not happy with the choices said, "Okay, just do a regular vampire."

"Nooooo!" I exclaimed. I went over and helped him pick one of the LEGO versions. I'm still unhappy about my effort on the vampire from last year.

"This one," we agreed.

"Cool. I'll even do the red eyes."

When I was done, he came over for his analysis. I'm not exactly sure why, but I added the dots on the cape to make it look a little different than the jacket. He asked, "Are those holes on the cape? Because sometimes capes have holes, right Daddy?" He didn't wait for my answer. "It's kind of like glitter."

"I think it looks cool," I said in my defense.

"I don't."

His honesty made me chuckle. 

"Why did you laugh?"

"It looks cool," I repeated, ignoring his question. 

"Not to me."

I laughed a full laugh this time. 

"I made you laugh," he said with a smile. "Because I'm being funny."

"Yup! You are funny."

Continuing with his analysis he said, "This one looks scary," gesturing toward the reference on my iPhone. "This one looks nice," he said pointing to my drawing.

I shot him a look, but didn't say anything.

"It's okay. I still like it."

Thanks, I said to myself in a sarcastic tone.

"I like it friendly. But, it would be cooler with red eyes."

"Thanks for reminding me," I said as I jumped up to look for a red pen. 

"Ooo, cool!" he said when he saw the finished LEGO vampire with red eyes. "Wow! You found a red pen. Nice!"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Werewolf


"What should we do today?"

"I don't know."

"Come on...think of something," I said encouragingly.

"A werewolf!" he said suddenly and with emphasis.

"Okay," I said, "Let's find a good one." I've never heard him mention werewolves before.

He picked this one quickly and I got to work.

He came over to watch me draw. "You're the best drawer! I know, you're like Picasso." He learned about Picasso in drawing class yesterday. He came home with a really good dove drawing that he did.

"Thank you," I replied sheepishly.

"Wow," he whispered slowly. He studied the drawing and compared it with the reference turning his head back and forth between the two. "That is so awesome." He continued to compare. "He looks mean." He studied it some more finally concluding with, "That arm is super huge."

Yeah it is, I thought to myself. I knew I had messed that up but tried to fix it as best I could. He always notices!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Zombie


After pushing hard on him to think of something new, he finally said, "A ghost. No! A zombie!"

"Do you want to draw it today?" I asked. We had a lot of extra time because he woke up very early this morning. I thought it might be fun for him to draw some of it at least.

"Maybe tomorrow I'll draw it myself."

"Okay," I said knowing that it was unlikely that he'd be drawing tomorrow.

He really enjoyed looking through the zombie options. "Oh my god! These are really good zombies!"

"They are, aren't they!" I agreed. What he didn't know was that I searched "zombie coloring pages" instead of "zombie drawings". The drawings are even cooler but oh so detailed. And some were pretty gory.

He picked this guy. "He's kind of gross and weird," he said as he handed me my iPhone.

"I agree!"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How about Frankenstein...


"What should we do today?"

"I don't know."

"Well, you can think of anything!" I reminded him.

"How about Frankenstein?" he said with little hesitation. I love it that a little push so often works.

I did a search and handed him my iPhone before stepping into the other room to go get something. 

"I got it!" he announced across the house.

"Let's see," I said as I walked back to the kitchen.

"Do you like it?"

"Yeah! It's spooky!"

"But can you make the eyes more furious?"

"Um...," I uttered not really understanding.

"Yeah, like maybe not just circles. You could draw triangles...if you want."

I followed his suggestion for the eyes, but in the end I'd say that mine looks far less "furious" than the original. I made the face too long. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Oh well. I usually feel pretty critical while drawing but after I take the photo and look at the finished drawing with fresh eyes I realize that it's not half bad. This one looks real good, especially if I don't look back at the reference.

He came over to take a look. "Dad, I said to make the eyes more furious! They look more tired."

You know the saying, You're your own worst critic? Well, he proves that saying wrong all the time. :)

Monday, October 21, 2013



"I don't know. You pick. I don't have any ideas."

"How about something Halloween-y?" I suggested. 

"I know...but...I don't know."

I drew a blank too and said nothing.

We both stared off into the distance in silence. He had nothing. I had nothing. I decided to literally type "Halloween" into Google image search for inspiration. It worked! I found several spooky scenes in black silhouette. I almost picked one, but saw a cool looking witch on a broom and showed it to him. I thought about it and wasn't sure if I'd ever drawn a witch.

He looked at it for a moment, then said, "Hmm, how about a different witch?"

"Okay," I said and searched "witch." Lots of cool options came up.

"Pick something quickly," I said. "We've wasted a lot of time already."

"This one," he said in a flash.

 I liked it too. "Let's do it."

He ate breakfast and got ready for school really quickly today. "Can I mess around?" he asked. 

"Sure. You can play in your playroom," I suggested. He didn't run upstairs. "Or you can watch me draw," I added. He was already watching.

"I want to watch you draw," he said with his eyes intently following my strokes. 

I smiled. That was real nice to hear. But then he started wiggling and swaying and hitting my elbow. He did so repeatedly. I was getting a little nervous that I wouldn't have time to finish so I was trying my best to focus and work diligently.

"Can you please stop hitting my elbow?" I said in a serious tone.

After a few seconds he said, "I'm going to go play."

"Why don't you stay? Just don't hit my elbow anymore."

"It's okay. I think I'll go play."

I guess it made sense for him to take advantage of the extra time to "mess around." He rarely has that opportunity in the morning. Having said that, I bet he'd have stayed to watch me had I not expressed my frustration with his wriggling.

I finished with just enough time to pack it up and go. After having a creative block to start with, I was very pleased with this Halloween-y drawing. On our way out the door he got a glimpse of the finished witch. "Oh cool! That's freaky!" he said intensely.

She sure is!, I thought.