Drawing and writing, writing and drawing

Whew, I just finished my first LJ entry about our Hong Kong trip, and it was a doozy. Took me two hours! Luckily (?) I have little to clock out about here. ;b

I spent some of today running errands (alas, not walking this time, because of rain), but I also managed another LJ entry about post-HK eating habits, and a good bit of doodling. I think if I want to get really good at drawing I will need to put in at least a couple of hours each day, or as near to daily as possible. As I’ve said before, the first drawing of every day always feels like I’ve never drawn anything before, so I always have to start with some doodling and throwaway sketches just to warm up. Today it was a pink-haired girl I scribbled out with markers. These little calisthenics of the imagination are always kind of embarrassing to share. Personally, I find them strangely compelling, probably because they come from my own head, but for the same reason I’m reluctant to show them to others — as if you might look at this pink-haired girl and think, “God, this is what comes out of Lisa’s brain and hand?” (And if that is what you’re thinking, please don’t say so, or I’ll never share any of my doodles again!!)

Then, after the doodles, I always feel like I have to make something “serious” to clear away that feeling of embarrassment. It’s as if I need to say, “Look, I really can draw other things too. Don’t judge me on the basis of all my pink-haired girls.” To do this, I usually make a sketch from a photo or from life, and inevitably the first one isn’t very good, but by that time it’s already been an hour. Today that was where I had to stop — after making this sketch of Korean yogi Minhee Cha, whom this doesn’t resemble in anything except the expression (which is, I guess, some kind of skill). Ideally, I’d have kept going after the Cha sketch, maybe doing more of these sketches, maybe doing some exercises from one of my drawing books. After an hour of that, I’d take a break, and then put in another hour or so on a longer (multi-session) drawing project, like a comic or my annual Valentine card. So my ideal drawing workday would be at least three hours, with breaks — which means either all morning or all afternoon.

I still haven’t got a whole lot of stamina for this kind of work, so I don’t know if I could fit in a three-hour session of writing along with a drawing session, but I want to start trying this kind of routine. The writing session wouldn’t need to include any warm-up since my morning pages are that, but I’m much more practiced at writing for long periods, so I could probably burn through a couple of hours quite easily (as evidenced by today’s HK entry) — but I do get pretty tired by the end of that run. Still, the idea of spending my days in concentrated writing and drawing like this makes me happy and excited. If I could just spend most of my time this way, with an afternoon here and there for crafting and the shop, that’d be perfect… but whether it’s realistic remains to be seen. I’ll keep striving for it!

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