Sea Blue Lens

Quick Draw


Here I thought I was taking a photography course, and now Kat’s got us drawing pictures. With pen or pencil and PAPER. This lesson in Find Your Eye: Journey of Fascination is about seeing by drawing. Drawing an object helps us see its shapes, lines, light and shadow, blocks of color. It helps us move past our preconceptions and see something in a new way. Then, hopefully, when we look at that object again through the viewfinder, we’ll be able to capture it in a new way.

I wandered around the house looking for an object to draw and hit upon a little ceramic mouse that sits on my dresser. I’ve had it for years and am very fond of it. It reminds me of my daughter, whom I called Mouse when she was little. As instructed in the lesson, I placed it in the center of the table and took three photos of it.

Mousie x 3

Mouse x 3

Then I sat down with paper and pen and began to sketch. (I decided to use a pen not because I am a great or confident artist, but to keep myself from getting obsessive about trying to make a perfect pencil drawing.) I drew four quick sketches, from front, back, and each side.

I haven’t drawn anything in a very long time, but as I proceeded, I found myself relaxing into the exercise and enjoying myself. The first one looked more like a salamander than a mouse, but by the time I finished the last one, I felt I had captured a bit of its little mousey spirit. (No, sorry, you don’t get to see them.)

The next step was to re-photograph the object, using the sketches for inspiration. Most of the new photos I took at the table weren’t much different from before the drawing, but I did take this one because I had drawn it and liked the angle:

Wee Sleekit Beastie

Wee, Sleekit Beastie

This reminds me of the little creature in Robert Burns’ “Ode to a Field Mouse.” I like the simplicity of it, and that long curved shape from the nose to the wrapped-around tail.

I decided to try a different setting, and moved Little Moislie over to my desk, where the window faces northeast and gives a softer light. The desktop gave a nice reflected fill light, too, and I got several images I liked. This was my favorite:

Computer Mouse

Computer Mouse

Doesn’t she look at home there? Maybe I’ll let her stay for a while. She can help me edit my blog posts. Oh, I’ve just turned on the lamp and noticed it gives her some interesting shadows and modeling. There may be more posing in her future.

This was an interesting assignment. I don’t feel that I made a real breakthrough photographically, but I certainly did take a closer look at a small object that I usually take for granted. I can see how drawing could be a useful tool. Years ago, I used to carry a sketchbook with me everywhere. It would probably be a good practice to take up again.


11 thoughts on “Quick Draw

  1. What a sweet little mouse! That last image really does her justice and shows me her cuteness. The different light really softens the image. I really get the sense that this is a precious treasure.

    Great post!

  2. This was a great exercise. I had to smile at your decision to use a pen so you wouldn’t have the erase option – that would definitely be me – I would be so focused on creating a perfect drawing that I would lose sight of the purpose of the exercise.

    I really like both of your new images – that curved line of her head and body is so very, very lovely. And there is a real sense of personality in “Computer Mouse” – she seems eager to have a go at Google.

  3. I think Little Mouse will be a good helper — she looks so sweet in your last image. I should have tried the pen rather than pencil for drawing. Good job, Lee!

  4. Hi Friend. Mousie. Cute. You have cute stuff, to match your cute personality. I did this exercise yesterday, but haven’t been able to down or upload my photos so I’ll have to wait before sharing. No fair not sharing your drawing. I should have used pen. Juss sayin’.
    I like the shot on the computer the best. Something about putting the mouse “in a setting” seemed to appeal to me more. You did get some subtle blue tones there that really work. The angle from behind-the arch of the back-has a sleekness to it. And who would set a little sculpture out back to? No one. Nice to get it from that POV.
    Snowing. Grrrr. I saw the pics of your dusting. Not sure if my comment came thru, I’m having limited success with the computer woes. Glad you enjoyed it. I can’t imagine that, but….we’re opposites in many ways….and therefore why we get on so well.
    Happy day to you. I’ll telepathically send you some of the “s” word from here.

  5. Don’t worry about not sharing the drawings, they weren’t the intent of the exercise. It’s not whether or not you like the drawings, it’s how they helped you to see the object differently. It’s clear that you did! I love the “after” photos, both of them. The curve of that mouse’s back is fantastic highlighted in the first one, and the mouse at the computer is fantastic. Like Brenda, I immediately thought it a good “play” on the standard computer mouse. Great work!

  6. This is really cool! You’ll show MEEE the drawings, right?

    I like the computer mouse too! I think she wants some cheese and crackers, pleeze. 🙂

  7. Gosh I wish I had such a cute mouse for my computer…that didn’t need batteries, or need to point a certain direction….or flare up with temper tantrums….You found a great soul mate for your computer and you. I think the best I can do is have a bowl of peanut M&M’s near by.
    I don’t think I will posting this exercise. Totally out of time and energy….but still a great exercise. smiles: sharon

  8. What a sweet little mouse! The last image just makes me smile!

  9. Lovely images I love the way the light plays on his shiny back….

  10. Oh, I would be so lost if I had to draw even a stick figure!
    Bet this little guy was a great helper. 🙂

  11. The fun things we are discovering in this course. How a favorite object can become even more special and get a new place to sit, and you will enjoy the little mouse even more now that she is by you at the keyboard.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s