Proper drawing

When I was at primary school, possibly 8 or 9 years old, I desperately wanted to now how to draw properly. I figured there was a knack or a key or a system that I could learn and then presto, I could draw properly.

One day I discovered a girl in my class could draw princesses - proper princesses - and she said she could teach me how. So one day she came to my house after school and she taught me how to draw a proper princess. Today, gorgeous reader, I shall impart that secret to you so you, too, can draw proper princesses:

Even after all these years I can still remember how to draw a proper princess. The technique was fantastic. It covered up all the hard bits like hands and feet, and left all the fun bits like embellishing the dress. I don’t know how many years I depended on my proper princess, but I do know she made me feel like an artist. A proper artist who could draw proper princesses.

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
— Pablo Picasso

Isn’t it funny how as adults, we adore our children’s artwork; the big swaths of colour, the multi-fingers, many toe’d expressions of our pre-school-age kids is just wonderful.  Somewhere in the first few years of school children lose that self confidence and start to look to draw "properly".

I don’t have any recollection of an adult telling me I couldn’t draw. I think the self doubt came from inside me as my brain developed faster than my hands could assimilate skills to depict my visual inputs - you know, Disney princesses!

Now as adults who are inclined to draw, many of us spend the rest of our lives trying to get that charm back. That innocence of colour and simplicity of line. The confidence and quietening of our self doubt. Well that's what I'm striving for and I hope to be sharing some of my "childlike charm" over the next few weeks.

I start with my trusty pink Crocs. Always at the back door step to be slipped on by anyone who needs to walk in the back garden. There's a lot of rabbit poo out there, but that's not your worst worry - try standing on a slug in bare feet; or kick a bee as I did the other day. These crocs are no fashion statement but they sure do make some of natures more squishier items easier to bear underfoot.

PS: do feel free to learn how to draw a 'proper princess' too if you'd like to use the six step process :) but best not share that info with any young people you know - let's delay their proper drawing for as long as we can.