Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How about a sloth...

How about a sloth...

Sid from Ice Age

"How about a sloth?"

He had just made a sloth out of construction paper the day before at school. It was laying on the kitchen table. I did a search for regular sloth drawings and handed him my iPhone. I asked, "Do you want a regular sloth or Sid from Ice Age?" I fully expected him to pick Sid.

"I want Sid," he announced after briefly browsing the options.

"Okay," I said taking back my iPhone.

I ran a new search. He browsed for a very long time then picked an image with Sid's head among dinosaur eggs in what seemed to be a still from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. I didn't like it as a reference because I knew it wouldn't retain it's look out of the context of the color and surroundings of the animated feature. He was a little upset that he had to start looking again. He took another long while before he picked this one.

"I want to see!" he said when he came back to the kitchen after brushing his teeth. "I la-la-la-like it! I like it!" he said joyfully.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pop Top Containers

Pop Top Containers

Pop Top Containers

"Snack sack?" I asked.

"A banana," he said without delay.

"Just a single banana?" I asked for clarification.

"A-ha-ha-ha! Just kidding!" he shouted with the exuberance of someone who had just pulled off the greatest practical joke of all time.

He stepped away from his chair and walked over to the counter with purpose. He looked at and then pointed in a grand gesture toward three new OXO steel pop containers I bought yesterday.

"These three," he said with a wide grin.

This is going to be tough, I thought, but didn't protest. I turned to go get a snack sack from the pantry. 

When I came back into the kitchen, he was staring at me with a big mischievous smile. I was expecting that he had made a big mess with his breakfast or something. I noticed him glance over at the containers. "Like that, please," he said behind his smile. He had popped up the pop tops. 

"Okay," I said relieved that nothing else was the matter.

It was indeed tough to draw these containers and the fact that they are made of clear plastic made it even tougher.

"We have to put your name on the sack," I said enticingly.

"Do you want me to do it?"

"Yup," I confirmed.

He got to work and added some stuff of his own.

"It says OXO," he said observing the branding on the top of the pop top. On the sack he drew an the oval and wrote OXO using the fat tip of the Sharpie. It of course ended up looking like a big black blob. 

"See, less is more. Draw what you see."

"But it says OXO," he insisted.

"Not when you look at it from the angle that I was looking at it when I drew it," I said as I showed him. He decided to move on.

"You know what he's saying?" he asked as he filled in a speech bubble.


"He's saying, 'Help me!"

"Where's the R?"

"He's right here!" he said pointing inside the larger container.

"I thought it was a little man in there."

"Nope. He's saying, 'Help me!,' because he's stuck inside."

"Oh!" I said finally getting it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

You can draw a clock...

You can draw a clock...


"What's for the snack sack today?" I asked as I busily prepared his lunch.

"What time is it?" he asked looking at our oven's clock across the table from him. He had been learning about clocks and how to tell time at school.

I had a sense that he wasn't really asking me about the time. "That's what you want me to draw? Time?" I asked, making a guess.

"Yeah," he said, "You can draw a clock."

"Digital or circle clock?" I asked for clarification, just rolling with the idea.

"Digital," he said clearly. "What time is school?"

"9:00," I replied.

I did a search for digital clocks and handed him my iPhone. After several minutes had passed I prodded him, "What's taking so long? I need you to pick something so I can get started."

"I can't find one with 9:00 on it," he said in frustration. Just as I began explaining that I could put 9:00 on any clock, he said, "Found it!"

"That's it? That's all you want me to draw?"

"Yup," he said. Sensing my disbelief in being prompted to draw something so simple he added, "You can do a round clock and put 9:00 on it too."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Gray Whale

A Gray Whale

Gray Whale

"A humpback whale."

As he said this, I noticed a stuffed humpback whale on a little table in our kitchen. "We've already done a humpback whale," I reminded him.

"Okay then, a gray whale," he responded without any hesitation.

"A gray whale?" I asked, impressed with how quickly he had changed whale types, "I don't even know what a gray whale looks like."

"I don't either," he admitted. I looked it up and handed him my iPhone. "Oh, it's the one with bumps and spots," he said as if he knew it all along. He handed my phone back right away. "Oh how cute. This is so cute!" he exclaimed. He definitely has a soft spot for cute stuff and presumably was keyed by the sea lions gathering around the gray whale.

I was going to protest since it had several things going on, since it was a picture and not a drawing, since it was underwater and I had no idea how I might represent that, and since I didn't have a lot of extra time. But instead, I just sat down, pulled out my double-tipped Sharpie and got to work. I wasn't very into the process, but do like how it came out.

"I like it," he said when he saw the finished product and added one more time, "Aw, that is so cute!"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Daffodil Art

Daffodil Art

Daffodil Art

"This!" he said proudly as he held up the daffodil art project he brought home from school yesterday.

He had been recognized as artist of the week last week at ESS. His work, including this daffodil made of construction paper with original art drawn on it, had been hanging up in the classroom area of his after school program all week. The orginal actually is quite nice to look at with the birds looking especially realistic.

It wasn't the first time I had made a drawing of his art so I didn't hesitate to get started. I finished in short order, trying to capture the elements of his art exactly as he had drawn it.

"I like it. I love it!" he said praisingly, "That's very good. You're good!"

He added his name himself, hiding the O and the R within. Before we walked out, he showed me more of the art he brought home. He highlighted one in particular and told me how he had tried to copy what I had done with The Big Bang! It looked pretty much like mine, but with lines of varying colors. It's cool for me to see his interest in art grow. Artist of the week! Super cool.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tiger Bus

Tiger Bus

Tiger Bus

"Snack sack?" I asked once I finished making his breakfast.

"This!" he said pointing to his new tiger bus toy that he got from the zoo this past weekend.

I had refused him yesterday so I had a feeling he'd pick it again today. I normally have trouble drawing physical objects like this but did better than usual today. I wasn't able to get the right perspective on the tiger's face, but overall, the bus looks pretty cool nonetheless. There was no real interaction between us today. I drew and he ate his breakfast. He liked it though and brought it home.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Bullet Train

A Bullet Train

Bullet Train

"I don't know. I don't have any ideas," he said dejectedly after thinking about it for some time.

"How about a train?" I suggested. It had come to me all of the sudden that we had surprisingly never done a train before.

"I was going to say that, but I was also going to say this car," he said as he stood up and brought over his new tiger bus toy we picked up at the zoo this weekend. "Maybe you can do this tomorrow."

"So a train today, then?" He nodded. "What kind of train?"

"A sleeping car and a dining car."

"Um, that's the inside of a train. I need a specific type of train."

"Okay, a bullet train."

That sounded cool to me. I didn't find this one very easy to draw despite it being relatively simple.

"Ooo, ooo, oooo, I love it!" he said excitedly. "I know exactly where my names goes." This time the R, although not with the rest of his letters, isn't being so sneaky.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Cheetah

A Cheetah


"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Optimus Prime. No. Bumblebee!"

"Uh, that's going to be too hard for right now."

"You just have to do tha-at," he said pointing to his Transformers backpack with Bumblebee on it.

I looked up other options on my iPhone, but they all looked too complicated for the time I had left this morning. Plus, I was in a sour mood after a poor night's sleep. "No, you'll have to pick something else for today," I said with a sigh, "Maybe next week I'll do Bumblebee."

"A rocket?"

"We've done several rockets already. Pick something new," I urged him.

"A cheetah."

I knew that wasn't going to be easy, but as it turned out, it wasn't that hard either.

"Ooh, I like it!"

"See, Victor cheetah!"

"What would be better is if my letters connected to make a cheetah. Do you know what I mean?"

"No, not really." He explained some more about how his letters could have been merged together in the form a cheetah instead of separate. "We don't have time for all that," I explained.

"Okay, I was just suggesting."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I definitely want a puppy...

I definitely want a puppy...


"I definitely want a dog," he said without hesitation. "A puppy! I definitely want a puppy!" he corrected.

"Okay," I said and handed him my iPhone.

"Aww, how cute!" he said as he browsed, "Ooh, how cute!" He searched for a while and then found the one he was looking for, "I definitely want this one. He's so cute!"

Sometimes the easier looking ones are actually harder to draw. There is less room for error with so few lines. I messed up right away and had to toss out the first sack. Starting with the head hadn't worked out so well, so I started my second try at the tail. It was looking pretty good until I realized that I had drawn the line for its back way too long which forced me to put the ear and top of the head out of alignment with the bottom of the puppy's face. It looked too wonky so I decided to toss that one out as well and start over. I've never tossed out two sacks before. I wonder why my confidence from yesterday didn't carry over to today?

He paid attention to my challenges and we discussed how and why I messed up. I can tell that he's beginning to take a real interest in art and drawing which is pretty cool.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Victor's Chicken Stew

Victor's Chicken Stew

Victor's Chicken Stew

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Do that..." he said pointing at a library book he brought home yesterday.

"The cover?" I asked reading the title, The Wolf's Chicken Stew.


I sat down with a ton of confidence today. I'm not sure why I felt so confident but I guess I'm finally getting comfortable with the Sharpie. The lines flowed smoothly and effortlessly today.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Doughnut

A Doughnut


"What's for the snack sack today?"

"A doughnut." It's not always clear why he picks something and I don't always ask him to explain. I have no idea why he picked a doughnut today, especially since we don't ever eat doughnuts.

There weren't many drawings of doughnuts, so I had to use a cartoony reference. My version doesn't look too appetizing in all black. The original had greenish-blue icing with rainbow sprinkles. I considered it, but didn't want to start a trend by adding color again today. It took a lot longer than expected to get all the sprinkles drawn including his name.

He had no special comments on this one and I wasn't surprised.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Pigeon

The Pigeon

The Pigeon

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"The Pigeon," he said looking at his library book, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy.

"Do you want me to do what's on the cover?"

"No," he said quickly. Instead, he picked a crazy looking picture of the Pigeon scared of the dog.

I said, "No, not that one." He kept picking pages where the Pigeon had goofy expressions and hardly looked like itself. I told him I wouldn't draw them. In the end, I picked this simple, yet classic pose myself. I decided to do it in crayon to match the markings of how it's drawn in the book. It's one of the few times I didn't use a Sharpie.

"Now you have to color it in," he told me. I normally don't add color, but this one was simple and warranted it. It was cool that we had a white crayon too. While I finished up, he went to brush his teeth. I borrowed the phrasing from a different page trying to match something the Pigeon might say.

"I want to see the Pigeon!" he said when he returned. Victor uses a high pitched squeaky voice for the Pigeon when he reads aloud. He used it to read the sack, "By the way, this is Victor's snack!" sounding so cute!

He added in his own voice, "I like it! I like it! I like it Daddy! I like it!"

Friday, April 12, 2013




Because I had refused to do Hulk yesterday, I made sure to be up early to have time to do it today. I didn't check-in with him; I just found the image he selected yesterday and began drawing. As I drew, I had no idea if I was on track or not. As it came together, I could tell that my focussed effort was leading up to one of my favorite drawings so far.

Victor loved it too. He surprised me by saying, "Oooh, Luke is going to say, 'Wow! That's cool!!'" I don't  usually get any insight as to how he shares our project with his friends. He clearly shows off the snack sacks, but this was the first time he mentioned someone who would be really excited by one in particular.

"I want to put my name since you always get to put it," he told me. I was a little nervous that he'd write his name in big letters all over a drawing I was very happy with. He didn't. He found small spots for his letters and kept them diminutive leaving the drawing, to my pleasant surprise, in tact.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Rose

A Rose


"What's for the snack sack today?" I asked with less enthusiasm today than usual. I was feeling sluggish this morning and not in the mood for drawing.


We looked it up, but when he picked it I said, "No," explaining my mood.

"Okay," he said, "How about flowers?"

"Those are easy."

"Maybe two roses and two sunflowers maybe."

Ignoring his full request, I did a search for "rose drawing" and he picked this one.

"Two of those and two sunflowers maybe," he said hopefully.

"No," I said dryly, "I only have time to do one rose."

My concentration held strong on this one and we were both very pleased with the outcome despite my sour mood.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A waffle sundae

A waffle sundae

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"A waffle sundae."

"I'm not sure if I can do that. When it's a picture it's hard for me to make it look like the picture."

"Can you just try?"

I reluctantly agreed, but complained throughout the whole process. I had to mix and match two photographs to get something I thought might work. It's very hard for me to use as a reference anything that looks too real. It never looks any good when I draw it, but I did try as he asked me to.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Why do you keep giving me ideas?!?!" he said again today, just like yesterday.

"What then?"

"A Jedi."

"Which Jedi? They each have names."

"I want Luke Skywalker."

This one had much less detail than yesterday's Darth Vader so I finished quicker than usual...a refreshing change.

"Let me see your snack sack," he requested with anticipation. "Oh, I like it!" he said with a big smile.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Why do you keep getting me ideas!!??!!"

"What?" I said not sure of what exactly I had done.

"Why do you keep getting me ideas!!??!!" he repeated.

"What's for the snack sack then?"

"Darth Vader!" he said as his voice pitched up. We hadn't really been talking about much of anything, but sometimes he attributes our conversation to a new idea that pops into his head.

As I added in his name he said, "Make the 'I' a lightsaber." I did as instructed.

He picked a cool reference drawing and I tried hard to match it. This is one of those times where we were both equally happy with the completed work.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013



[This is the only time I didn't get a picture of the snack sack, so sadly, I don't have a reference of this one. I forgot once before but was able to contact his teacher to ensure it made it home. I was hoping this one would on its own, but unfortunately it did not. I've included the reference which appears to simply be a screen grab from a scene in the movie.]

"I want Sandman!" he exclaimed still thinking about Rise of the Guardians.

I did a search and not surprisingly had a hard time finding anything suitable. I handed him my iPhone anyway and he picked this one.

"It's not gonna look like that," I informed him not feeling confident I could replicate this scene.

"That's okay. Just do it please," he responded.

"Okay, but it's not going to look like that," I repeated.

"Just do it please," he said with some desperation in his voice.

I worked hard to make this one look good and I did a pretty good job.

"I love it! I really love it!" he said studying the scene carefully. "What's this bar going through the dinosaur?" he asked inquisitively.

"That's the street. See the house?" I began to explain, "Sandman is on a house and there are other houses on the street. See?"

"Oh," he said trying to make sense of the various shapes in the scene, "and the Sandman made the dinosaur, right?"


"I love it!"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jack Frost

Jack Frost

Jack Frost

"What's for the snack sack today?"

"Jack Frost."

"The new one?" I was referring to the Jack Frost from the movie Rise of the Guardians which we had just seen.


I ran a search, but after he saw the samples, he decided he wanted the old Jack Frost from Frosty's Winter Wonderland. I love both. The new Jack Frost was a fresh character full of life and cool hair. I loved his personality in the movie and his back story. Plus the animation was awesome. But the old school Jack Frost was one of my favorite characters growing up with his cranky nature and superior attitude. I was excited to bring him to life on this snack sack.

"I really like Jack Frost," he told me as I drew. "Do you?"

"I do!"

Monday, April 1, 2013




"What's for the snack sack today?"

"A dinosaur."

"We've already done lots of dinosaurs."


"Which dinosaur?"

"Have we done a T-Rex?"





"We haven't done Stegosaurus or Triceratops."


I handed him my iPhone and he picked quickly. "I want that one," he said pointing at the screen, "I like that he has an angry face."

I made quick work of this one feeling confident all the while for a change. "I like it," he told me. "I especially like the angry eyes expression."

I was just about done and he asked if he could help. "Can I do the bumps?" he asked.

"Sure," I said and he added bumps around the hood.