Ever wondered how to draw your day?
One of the challenges that exist when it comes to drawing your day, and staying committed to doing so, is running out of ideas of things to draw in your sketchbook.
Today’s post is doubling down on a theme of drawing that everyone can relate to. It is a theme we can find right under our noses.
The theme of the everyday object that we find in our homes. Starting to fill a sketchbook from the comfort of your own home has so many advantages, including building confidence, being able to work at your pace and spread out with all your materials, as well as develop an instinct for the types of things you enjoy drawing. After all, you can capture everything from the inside to the outside from the comfort of a living room or garden.
What better place to get started with drawing your day than through sketching the objects you see around you everyday.
Take a look at a recent sketchbook flip through of part of a year sketching my way through the home. I suspect many of you reading this will be able to relate to the objects and scenarios depicted.
“A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.” – Sydney Smith
Never underestimate the humble objects in the home. We all have a connection to the “stuff” that helps us live our lives. I regularly capture humour, magic, memories, sense of nostalgia, comfort and security in my sketches. I also believe that by accentuating the positive aspects of our homes on paper we are reminded of the source of our well being.
The very act of stopping to draw the things I have an affinity to, becomes a sort of gratitude journal. The double page daily sketchbook spread is invested with so much more meaning. It becomes a place where I simultaneously practice my art, take pleasure in the small things, and acts as a powerful receptacle of memory.
I truly believe too that in tough times, (and many of us have had them), this ability to combine so much loaded meaning in our sketchbooks can be a saving grace to many.
A bowl of Polish bowls used tirelessly remind me of my heritage and make me laugh at the perilous journey they took in reams of bubble wrap from just outside the outskirts of Wroclaw – weighing a ton. There is nothing my family hasn’t got through customs including avocados! As I lift these bowls out of my cupboard on a daily basis for the copious servings of everything from our favourite ice creams through to cereal, there is something akin to charm surrounding them. They are loaded with meaning. My home is not only functional it is a reflection of my creativity and becomes a huge influence on building my confidence. The act of transcribing them to my sketchbook invests my home with a sense of wanting to be there.
Another one of my favourites is a bath tray with tea in a white tea pot that oddly keeps 2 full cups of tea warm. The Swedish tray gifted to me one year by mum. If you look at this drawing closely there is nothing too complex about it. A rectangle with feathers sketched with my micron pen. There was something therapeutic about sketching hundreds of lines in this piece. Its ironic too that this tray is used when I get in the bath to relax. (A tray loaded with things is a great thing to draw!)
A china tea cup given to me by one of my closest friends who died a few years ago. It lives on the top shelf of my kitchen cupboards. To get served tea in it by me means you are special and would probably get her seal of approval!
Aside from the benefits it brings however, here are some further thoughts on how to draw your day from the comfort of your own home!
Top Tips on How to Draw your Day…At Home!
Gather Up the Items you Love
Without spending too much time thinking about it, make a list of the things you love in your home. Find a number of items. Perhaps even as you are reading this post look around you and mentally “grab” items in your line of vision that you can add to a drawing list.
I’m not saying I’m in love with my hairdryer and make up bag…however, there is a lot to be said for the functional items in our home that are interesting to draw. More importantly they can help us improve how we draw by the very nature of their shape. In drawing them too they form a marker and memory of our day.
Set the objects out in front of you and have a go drawing what you see.
Another one of my favourites is a loaded dishwasher. The lines and interesting shapes, not to mention perspective make great subjects. I remember sitting on the floor as the dishwasher was propped open and musing about all the meals, cups of tea, baking and conversations around the dinner table that were passing symbolically through the washer ready to be used all over again the next day.
I would also advocate having a go drawing a teapot! I remember collecting all the teapots in my house and my parents’ home and having a go drawing each one. You can see the result in the blog post I wrote about it.
The point of this exercise is to not spend too much time thinking about what to draw, in fact, simply think about identifying things that make you feel good from across your home.
Make a list of at least 10 and then start drawing!
Set Yourself a Challenge and Choose a Theme
Picking themes is an excellent way to draw your day. Having a focus to your drawing and taking action with your daily creativity with purpose is where setting yourself a challenge comes in. Below I have put some ideas in front of you with regards to how to draw your day in a variety of different ways.
The Day Itself
The simplest theme to choose is the day itself.
If you become disciplined enough you can simply draw your day by segmenting it by date. A page a day! I like to use this method because I know that I can stick to it and used it to support me build a sketching habit. I talk about 8 effective techniques you can adopt when building a sketchbook habit! Creating a framework and keeping how you draw every day simple is a great starting point.
Perhaps you can set yourself the challenge of 30 days of drawing at home. “Dating” in your sketchbook in this way also means that you can create an eclectic mix of the day and the objects within it. When I started drawing, I didn’t want the pressure of having to produce a piece of art work. I wanted to express myself in random ways at different times across my day to suit me but in a way that still charted my progress. On some days I managed to fit in 3 – 4 sketches on a double paged A5 spread, on others simply one.
Dating a page holds you accountable but also alleviates the immediate pressure of having to have a focal point to your drawing pages.
You can also practice your calligraphic skills on writing the date!
Specific Items or Building a Theme
I have already alluded to building lists of specific items across your home.
The most recent sketchbook I have been putting together is of chairs! Admittedly this one is full of chairs that come from a mix of two homes. Mine and my parents. If you are new to drawing, chairs are an excellent topic to go away and practice, especially as they are one of the most commonly drawn and painted items EVER. I have truly fallen in love with focusing in on a specific topic, not least because you will never run short of material to go away and draw.
Here is my snapshot of my sketchbook flip through of chairs in my life! Don’t forget to read about how to draw chairs as part of how to draw your day to give you an idea of what you might draw next. Incorporating specific items also gives you an opportunity to study them in depth and improve your drawing habit.
(My favourite chair is the beleaguered sun bleached garden chair. It is a chair that was relegated to the garden when it became past its prime as a dining chair. The only things that sit on it now are the watering can or washing peg bag.)
Other topics I have focused on include, weekly flowers, crockery, furniture, tea cups, drawing recipes (and in particular the food items you put into them), kitchen utensils, a kitchen draw, and drawing the view from every window in your home (including the window frame as your guide!) You can also collect other theme areas such as colours. Draw a page of red items from across your home for example.
You may decide that you dedicate a set number of pages in your sketchbook solely to your chosen topic. Or you can incorporate a drawing of your theme into your daily sketching practice as part of your page of drawings. The focus here is two fold. One to support you to improve your drawing technique and secondly to enable you to never run out of things to draw.
I love following an artist Called Christopher Niemann and in particular his Sunday Sketches. He takes the everyday object, keeping his sketch absurdly simple and builds the actual literal object into the drawing itself. This is what he says about his sketching!
“When I work on my Sunday Sketches, it’s never about a sudden inspired spark. I pick a random object, and then I just stare at it. I look at it from different angles, play with the light (usually just by moving my desk lamp). And I try to open my mind as wide as possible, to see if a peculiar angle reminds me of a familiar shape.
More often than not this yields… nothing.
And when it does, I doubt it’s because I have a special gift at making these visual connections. It’s because sometimes I have the stamina to keep on staring, when a saner person would do the reasonable thing and get on with their life instead.”
He subverts the total concept of art by simply drawing solely for himself and playing on paper, picking his random object and then using the physical object to complete the piece.
I think we should all expand our imaginations and not necessarily constrict ourselves to the act of simply drawing. I love how simple he keeps his drawings but also how clever. This dalmatian is one of my favourites along with the horse with a banana bottom that you can go look at by clicking on links in this post!
Hopefully the ideas that I have explored in this post will go some way to supporting you get started with drawing your day especially from the comfort of your own home.
Sketching your day is a brilliant way to capture a record of life around you. I would even go so far as to say there is something restorative about getting parts of your day down on paper, as well as honing in on the objects and elements that make up daily living.
You come to appreciate what you have in new ways through the art of dedicating the time to focus in on it as you draw. Whether you give it 5 minutes or an hour, drawing your day will make you more appreciative of it, challenge you to change aspects about it that bother you or increase your desire to do more of what you love.
There is great truth in that famous saying of “you are the company you keep,” and your home is at the forefront of who you are and who you have yet become.
Get drawing the environment that defines you and keep me posted about how you get on!
Join the community!