Thursday, March 28, 2013

Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Roller Coaster."

That sounded fun. I knew this one would take a lot of time, but we were running early. When I was done he asked, "Where's the car? Do you want to draw a car on there?"

There was no car in the reference drawing so I hadn't drawn one. "Do you want me to draw a car?"

"How about I draw the car for you?"

I was happy to let him, but reminded him as always, "Remember Victor, less is more." Sometime he gets carried away. "Just draw a little car."

He did and added two passengers, he and I, riding in/on it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Optimus Prime," he said making his choice based on his placemat again.

"I don't think I have the time," I said as I did yesterday. He pleaded and I gave in. Sometimes I start out not in the mood for a complex drawing, but then the act of drawing wins me over. That was the case this morning. I became entranced with the intricacies of his body. This one took more time than most.

When he saw the finished drawing, his eyes grew big and his mouth opened wide as he said, "It's very, very, very, very, very, very... [this went on for literally a full minute] ... very, very, very, awesome."

I liked it too and was hoping to see this one come back home. When I got home from work I didn't see it on the kitchen table. I went straight to his backpack to check there. I found it inside and smiled.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wreck-It Victor

Wreck-It Victor

Wreck-It Ralph

"How about Mario..." he suggested looking down at his placemat. "And Luigi," he added.

"I don't think I can do them both," I said worried about the time it would take.

"Side by side," he continued, ignoring my warning.

"I know what you mean, but I don't have time to do them both," I said with more emphasis this time.

I expected him to stick with one or the other, but instead he completely switched his choice on a dime, "Okay. I want Wreck-It Ralph instead." He loved the movie, so I suppose it was only a matter of time.

I couldn't find a good drawing reference so we had to pick a cartoon snapshot. I wasn't feeling very confident today and resorted to a lot of chicken scratch.

When I was done he stared at it for a long while before he said, "I like it." I was sure that he didn't. He insisted on adding his name even though I had already drawn the title of Wreck-It Victor. He drew out his name in his signature "victoR.T" styling. For some reason he tends to use a lower case "v" an upper case "R" and likes to add a "." in front of the "T" instead of after it. He's always beating to his own drummer.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

"How about the Easter Bunny with a basket and eggs in it." I ran a search and handed him my iPhone. After spending several minutes flicking the screen, he settled for just the eggs. "I didn't find the Easter Bunny I was looking for so I picked these eggs," he informed me.

I was pleased to get something less complicated than the race car I had done on Fri. These eggs were a breeze to draw and allowed for a clever placement of his letters. It's nice to have easy days sometimes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Race Car

Race Car

Race Car

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Race car."

I had to think back and was surprised we hadn't done one before. "Okay," I said as I did a search and asked him to "pick one with not too much detail."

"Is this one too much detail or just medium?"

"It's medium."

I gave him the option to pick his own number. He chose 120. I completely got the proportions all wrong on this one. "Maybe next time you can do it longer," he suggested kindly.

"You're right. The front is a little squished." 

"Let me add something," he said taking the Sharpie in hand. "Whoosh, whoosh," he said, "It's like racing in the sand." He drew whoosh marks and sand dots. "You want to add a motor and stuff?" he asked. I realized right away that he meant an exhaust pipe.

"No," I replied, "I like to draw what I see, not what's not there."

"Okay," he said as he put the last few whooshes onto the sack.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A House

A House

A House

"A house."

"What kind of house?"

"A regular house."

I had no idea why he picked that this morning, but I didn't question him. I just ran a search. "Most of these have way too much detail, but maybe you can pick one with not too much detail," I instructed. Of course, the first one he chose had way too much detail. This was his second choice.

"You're doing pretty good Daddy," he told me when I was about two thirds of the way through. That kind of encouragement always puts a smile on my face. This one took a lot longer than expected. As a result, we had to rush out of the house to make it to school in time.

Friday, March 15, 2013

An Owl

An Owl

An Owl

"How come you never pick? I'm tired of always picking," he complained.

"Oh. You want me to pick something?"


"Okay," I said surprised that he passed on the picking responsibility to me this morning. I was just downloading the App of the Week from the App Store. It was an app from Big Fish Games called Little Things Forever. It had an owl on the app icon, so I picked an owl. I did a Google Image search and was about to pick one myself, but decided he should still pick it. Since we didn't have much time, I asked him to pick one that didn't have a lot of detail. Few did, but I was sure he'd pick the most complicated one as he usually does. He didn't.

He picked this one because, in his words, "He's so cute!" As I drew, he kept saying, "He's so cute!" or "Aw, how cute!" or "I can't stop looking at him he's so cute!" He remarked how cute he was over and over again. "The eyes are so big that it makes him cute. Why's he so cute? He's just so cute!"

The owl ended up much skinnier than in the reference drawing. He noticed of course and said, "You should have made him fat, then he'd be even cuter!" I'm not sure how that would have been possible considering his reaction to this one.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Big Bang!

The Big Bang!

The Big Bang

"What did you draw yesterday?" he asked me.

I pointed to the cabinet.

"Oh yeah," he said. "Do you think you can draw this?" he asked pointing to a self made book he brought home from school yesterday. It was about LEGOs and had a very complex drawing full of lines and squiggles on the cover.

"That'd be pretty hard for me to do. It's your drawing. Maybe you could do it."

He considered taking over the snack sack duties for a moment, but dismissed the idea, "Instead, I want a rainbow slinky."

"I don't do my drawings in color remember."

"You know who the first two people on Earth were?" he said abruptly changing the course of our morning.


"God and another person," he said with a nod, his eyes full of pride, "and they were there to see The Big Bang!" Just a few moments later he thought better of his declaration, "No. The Big Bang happened way before there were people...millions of years ago right?" He corrected himself without waiting for my response, "No, billions of years ago actually."

"Okay, what should we put on the snack sack?" I asked a little impatiently. He is so cute when he gets all chatty, but sometimes he needs a push to decide on something. He looked at me blankly. "Something about space since you were talking about The Big Bang?" I suggested.

"Yes! That's what I was going to say. The Big Bang!"

"Um, that's going to be hard," I said recoiling. "There are no drawings of The Big Bang." But the idea intrigued me so I went searching for images.

I had to concentrate a lot on this one. It was tough to keep the dots and lines uniform and well spaced. It was easy to start to get lazy but I did my best to keep the lines as straight as possible. I did not want to use a ruler. He wanted to add his name even though I had already added it. I was happy with the end result and was worried that he'd mess it up. But in the end, he just wanted his letters to be "pushed out" by the invisible force of the explosion. This is one of my favorites and definitely one of his as well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Our new cabinets

Our new cabinets

Home Entertainment Center

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Our new cabinets."

Our custom entertainment center is finally complete after weeks of back and forth with our contractor. The cabinets are stained a deep reddish-brown and look terrific. We are very happy with the new look so it didn't surprise me that he chose them for today. Plus, he's been asking for physical objects all week.

It was pretty easy to do and I did my best to kept the lines straight and evenly spaced. When I was done he looked it over carefully. "If you leave this one like that, they might think this is a cabinet," he said legitimately concerned that his audience may experience a slight bit of confusion. He was referring to the center cabinet door under the TV. It stores the subwoofer and has a speaker cloth exterior versus the other doors that have wooden and glass exteriors. He took the Sharpie to help make the fix. "Do you want little dots on it or do you want me to color it in?"

Coloring or shading it in would have probably been more appropriate, but I envisioned him doing so with way too much ink, so I said, "Dots."

"Okay," he said pecking away at the square.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do you think you can do this castle?

Do you think you can do this castle?


"Do you think you can do this castle?" he asked as his head pointed toward his Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle toy. "I can close it if you want," he added in an effort to make it seem more reasonable. It had a feature to expand or collapse the castle walls. He knows that I found it difficult to do his piggy bank yesterday and that I prefer to work from a drawing instead of a physical object, so I must have had a concerned look on my face. As I stared at him he added, "You don't have to do all of the detail." He's cute when he tries to cajole.

I ran out of room early on, not having planned out the landscape very well. I skimped on the details as best I could and worked quickly to finish in time. He came by and said cheerfully, "Oooh, you're doing good! I love it! Where's my name?" He looked for a moment, then said, "Oh there it is. If I was going to put my name I know where I'd put it."

"You want to put your name?" I offered.

"Can I?"


As we walked out of the house we ran into one of his friends. He quickly took the snack sack up to him and said, "Look at all the detail my Dad did on this castle!" He was so proud and here I was thinking that I had taken shortcuts.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Piggy

My Piggy

Piggy Bank

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"My piggy?" He was referring to his Angry Birds King Pig piggy bank. He broke the crown off of it yesterday. We glued it back on and had left it to dry overnight on the kitchen table.

I knew it wasn't going to be easy to draw considering it was a round physical object in front of me versus my usual outline drawing reference. I messed up early on and considered starting over. Instead, I decided to just power through.

As I drew, he looked over my shoulder. "Can you make it 3D? It doesn't look 'out,'" he informed me. "Actually this eye looks 'out,'" pointing to the left one, "but the other does not." I did my best to add some shading but that still didn't really meet his expectations.

I added the coins at his request before he took over the Sharpie and went crazy with the arrows. 

"Less is more," I reminded him several times, but he kept adding to it. 

"The 'r' is gonna be so tricky," he said as he began finding spots for the letters in his name. It was indeed tricky. It ended up on the back of the sack as it did a couple of weeks ago.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

"What's for the snack sack today?" I asked as I do every morning.

"An airport?" he asked with some hesitation.

"Um, we've already done an airport," I reminded him.

"Rockefeller Center," he said completely out of the blue.

I shot him a look wondering why that popped into his head.

"Is that too much detail?" he asked cautiously.

It was but I gave it a shot anyway. Drawing from a photograph never produces my best work and this was no exception. It definitely wasn't easy drawing the fountain or the building, but it's still sort of recognizable for what it is. When I was done, he added his name's letters all over the statue in his usual random form.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Map of the Whole World

A Map of the Whole World

Map of the Whole World

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"I'm out of ideas."

"What!? There are a million ideas. All you have to do is think of a category."

Before I had finished my sentence he exclaimed, "Okay, a map!"

"Of what?" I asked marveling at how quickly a new idea had sparked.

"Of the whole world!"

He finished his breakfast quickly this morning. When I was about halfway finished with the map he suggested, "Maybe if I don't watch TV I could help you with the rest."

That was really cool to hear that he wanted to prioritize us and our art project over watching TV. He brushed his teeth and came over. He sat in my lap and watched me work for a bit before taking over. I was just about done at that point, but he added in a few more islands and much of the detail in Africa.

It was fun to see him get into it, focussing as he drew. We made quick work and finished with enough time for him to still watch some TV. It was the best of all worlds this morning.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Bread Machine

A Bread Machine

Bread Machine

"A machine."

"We've already done a machine. You have to be more specific."

"Like a bread machine or something."

"We've already done a bread machine."

"No, that was a bread factory."

"Well we've already done a cake machine."

"No, that was a cake factory."

He had me beat at every turn! I couldn't find any drawings of a bread machine, so I had to use a photograph as a reference.

As I drew, he read to me his school level reader books. This morning, he decided to read with his large stuffed dog which he had brought downstairs for breakfast. He coached his stuffed dog on how to read and they traded off taking turns as he flipped the pages. He was the teacher and the stuffed dog the student. It was super cute and overshadowed the mundanity of drawing a bread machine.