In Which Something Is In Both Of My Eyes
One of the Fancy Sketch Drive requests that I received was from a long time Fancy Bastard named Dave. He asked that I draw he and his husband, Sean, and sent me a few photos for reference. I was set up to draw in the living room with my lapdesk, my pens and pencils, my stack of sketch orders, my blank sketch cards and my iPad for viewing reference photos. One of the photos Dave sent me was from some type of formal event. Both men were in nice shirts, ties, and fancy hats. Of the options before me, this was certainly going to be the most fun to draw, so I got to it.
My daughter was at the kitchen table playing a game with my wife when I had an idea. What if I got her to draw Dave and Sean from the same reference photo and sent it along with their sketch. It would be sweet and cute and a nice little bonus for a very supportive reader.
I set her up next to me with a clipboard, a pencil, a marker for inking and a blank sketch card. You can see in the photo above that she’s staring intently at the iPad, trying not to miss anything in photo. We drew our pictures at roughly the same time. I think I finished a bit before she did, but she wasn’t able to see my drawing while doing hers. I made a point of not looking over at her paper since I wanted to be surprised by the outcome. She asked, “Do I have to draw all of the stripes on the shirt?” I told her no, and that it would be fine if she left the small details out as long as she was happy with it.
She called out, “I’m done,” and held up her sketch card. My eye’s immediately welled up. Her drawing was so similar to mine, yet she hadn’t even seen it yet. The lines, she made and the parts of the photo she had obviously latched on to were the same. She was showing me just exactly how “mine” she was. As a parent, I never forget for a moment that she is my daughter, but sometimes she reminds me that my wife and I MADE her from pieces of ourselves. There was my own drawing, focused through the prism of my 5 year old daughter’s mind. I was so proud of her. I told her that it was very good and I really liked it as I didn’t even bother to fight back the tears. She looked at me with those “adults are so weird” eyes that kids have and asked to use my 80% black marker to fill in the ties.
I showed her how the marker had two tips, a fine point and a thick point, and not to get it on the couch because it was permanent. She surmised the different potential uses for the tips and elected for the wider one, because the fine point would take too long. She let me know that she would use the fine point in the small spaces. Without looking up from her work she said, “I bet they will really like this and keep it forever.” I bet they will too, kiddo. There go my damn eyes again.