Just as it is important to do your daily exercises, go for your walk, ride your bike, it’s important to do your drawing warm up.
These can be done very quickly. The sketches on the above page spread were done in less than 12 minutes. That’s how long it takes to make my breakfast noodles. And I had to stop before that to write my note, and start chopping the pepper so I could move on to the next phase of preparing my breakfast.
My point is that in a very short time indeed you can warm up your brain-eye-hand connection so that you start adjusting width (too wide on the far left), height (too tall and unrefined in shape in the second from the left), just right (center right), to playing with more shading (far right).
All you need is a three-dimensional subject you can turn in space, or walk around if it is large, so that you can experiment with different angles. And of course you’ll need a pen or pencil and a piece of paper or sketchbook.
Once you close your journal you finish cooking your breakfast, eat, and go on to have a really productive day—all synced up and ready for whatever visual fun the day presents.
Next time you put a pot of noodles on, pick up your pen and sketchbook. Get a bit of practice in.
UPDATE 10.17.18 at 7 p.m.
I didn’t think my breakfast of noodles would be so interesting. A couple people wrote in to chat about it. You can read my responses below in the comments.
But in writing back to folks I realized I needed to make a couple points.
I’m very fortunate. I get to have the food that I want to buy. (There is a lot of good produce and other ingredients in Minnesota!)
Since childhood I’ve been making my rice for my own breakfast while my mom would make poached eggs for my dad. (She is an excellent cook and does a wonderful poached egg. It is delightful to watch her make them. And sometimes I would opt for that, but not often. I just love stir-fry too much. This is another side effect of being a Third Culture Kid.
Besides being fortunate is no secret that EVERYTHING in my life is pretty much organized around making it simpler for me to do my work.
And it has been that way since I was a child—because my mom didn’t let me cook (except for the breakfast rice; and after school rice).
Also after that incident where I vacuumed the indoor potted cherry tree (because the blossoms kept falling and I was vacuuming every 10 minutes while I’d rather be doing something else) my mother took that over.
By the time I met Dick my life was a regulated matter of efficiency geared for productive work.
It makes me happy to be on a schedule and to get things done. Lots of things. And that makes Dick happy too because at various times in our life together that means there is always fresh bread on offer, for instance.
And I make huge batches of soup that we freeze so either of us can always have the soup we want.
Everything is about efficiency. I ride my bike because it helps me deal with chronic pain, and makes me happy. And being happy helps me produce more.
As my computer tech guy said the other day when I asked him if I needed to upgrade a drive in my Drobo—”You are just a little data making factory over there!”
So the question of what I eat is actually important if you look at if from an efficiency stand point. That’s the point I wanted to make. And I encourage others to find ways to save time in their daily rituals and tasks.
If you look at the foods I eat from a chocolate consumption point, well that’s just something we won’t go into.