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  • Susan Elaine Jones

Trying a new hobby

Corona Virus Isolation Week 2 - or day 2 for some of you.

You're probably wondering what to do with all your new free time, and planning grand things like learning a language or to play guitar. These are wonderful times to enjoy all the possibilities in life.

But... to actually do it, you need a bit of discipline and to structure your day. Otherwise, you have great plan, but find that you've spent all day actually down a rabbit hole like trying to find a Googlewhack. Ask Dave Gorman. And you can't even follow it up by travelling the globe.

So, decide on one thing, google for maybe 5 mins maximum, and then sit down and do it for a bit. See how that goes.

Following my own advice, I thought I'd have a go at drawing a self portrait. I decided against the video that offered hours and hours of tutorials, including over one hour just on shading the nose. Instead I found a nice instructable guide that basically said:

1. divide the face into a regular grid

2. draw the main features in outline

3. shade the face to add a realistic detail


Step 1 - divide the face into a regular grid.

Not difficult. Only took a minute.

However, taking the photo as a selfie causes unflattering wide angle distortion... it's better if someone else can take the photo for you.

It turns out to be easier to work from an existing photo, and to add lines after the photo is taken.

Next, sketch the main features. Then add some shading.

Not too terrible. But on my first attempt I had made the mouth to dark, and so needed to rebalance with shading by the eyes. Lots of shading. Or, as a friend kindly commented "when did you grow werewolf eyebrows?"

But, it's a start. A couple of more attempts and I don't think I've gotten half bad in just a week.

So... I hope you are inspired to give something a go. Don't get discouraged when the first attempt feels hard and difficult, it can improve really quickly. Most importantly, it is keeping you safe at home, stopping you going out, spreading the virus and becoming part of a bigger problem. Staying home and doodling (or whatever) might not feel heroic, but it really is, and it is just what we need right now. If you're finding staying home tricky, try drawing lines down your face with a sharpie rather than thread... that'll help you stay home for a bit. Even better, get a Sharpie and write TWAT on your forehead... that takes DAYS to fade away enough that you feel you can even contemplate leaving the house.

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