Pen to Pencils

It may be hibernation season for some. Others might curl up with a remote and surf the television channels. In my house, we dust off the sketch books, sharpen our pencils and start creating.

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Many times I’ve sketched characters or created maps for my stories. For me, writing and sketching go hand and hand. I’ve passed my love for drawing onto my children.

The kids and I have different interests when it comes to subject matter. One loves drawing horses and is working on perfecting her goat images. Another loves drawing trucks and includes more details than I ever could. The youngest is working on ducks and the human eye. Two of these children are award winning artists, placing second or better in the annual East Hants Fine Arts Show.

I promised myself I’d enter that show in 2010. I didn’t. Other commitments kept me too busy. In January 2011, I made a resolution that I’d put at least one piece in the show. May came and my oldest and youngest had entries, but I had nothing to offer. As I strolled the aisles of fabulous artworks, that old feeling of regret ate at my creative mind. Why hadn’t I made the time to create something?

I’m wagering 2012 will be different. We are already working on our submissions. I’m determined to enter something. The competition for adults is tough though; there are dozens of amazing local artists. I don’t expect to win or even get noticed, but I do expect to enter.

Last winter, I worked on the human face. This year, I’m tackling farm animals. First up is the sheep. I don’t recall trying to draw sheep before and certainly not with realistic details. After not finding a picture of a sheep in my drawing books, I went to the Internet.

The first website provided more of a cartoon-like sheep. It was very basic. I drew both versions, including the hoof samples.

Tibert Drawing Sheep

The next website provided a better lesson on drawing sheep. I did one drawing (the one below) and then another to put on the wall by my youngest child’s bed. He loves it when people draw things for him.

Tibert Drawing Sheep

While sketching this sheep, my youngest beside me at the table was trying to conquer ducks. He was having some difficulty, so next to the sheep, I drew a few ducks to help him. We did a few examples of eyes, too.

Tibert Drawing Sheep

My son challenged me to sketch a few more things from his drawing book and the page soon filled with a frog, a mouse, a cat and more ducks. He had trouble drawing rocks, so we drew a few circles then piled them up.

Random doodles to please my son.

Then I finished my sheep. Still, it wasn’t what I was after.

On a beautiful fall day in early November, I found the sheep lounging against the sheep shanty. I took a few photographs with the intent of recreating them in pencil. I brought up these on the computer, cropped one in tight and printed it.

Thistle, our young ram, stood in the perfect position. Looking from picture to paper, erasing here and there, adding some darker lines and leaving out the hay across his face, I finally created something close to what I wanted.

Cotswold Sheep

Tibert Drawing Cotswold Sheep

The Cotswold sheep has very long wool. It grows so long, it parts down the back, revealing the dark colour beneath. Their eyes, big and personal, remind me very much of a large human eye except their pupil is oval, not round.

My task in the coming days will be to focus on different body parts and recreate them as realistically as I can.

5 thoughts on “Pen to Pencils

  1. I love the expressions on the duck’s faces (is that right? Do ducks have faces?). I’ve always loved to doodle in the margins of my notes during high school and college and amassed quite a collection of butterflies, daisies, ladybugs, and bees throughout my school years.

    Thanks for sharing your drawings!

    Christi Corbett


    • Sure. I’d say the ducks have faces. They also have great personalities. My youngest has a duck — an Indian Runner — named Jiggles. His neck is very long and when my son holds him to his shoulder, the ducks neck wraps around my son’s neck and he rests his chin on the other shoulder. It is so cute.


  2. Loved seeing your sketches, Diane. It sounds as though 2012 will be your year to enter the contest, and now we’ll be waiting to hear all about it when the time comes.

    I often wish I took the time to explore other sides of my creative self. I used to love sketching as a child. My kids are all very talented in this area, in fact, more talented than I could ever hope to be. But sometimes you just have to play around and have fun without expecting perfection. Who knows, maybe I’ll get brave next year and start playing a little bit more.


    • Yes, if I make it to the art show, I’ll share all.

      Laura, you should pick up a pencil and start doodling. It’s fun and relaxing. Winter passes without notice while we sketch away at the table. In some ways, I dread the summer arriving because our sketch books seldom get used during the hot months.


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