I'm in a deadline whirlpool like no other. There's a Circe in there, and a few other Mythological monsters yet to be named. I'm happiest when I'm drenched in work, but they're nibbling at my feet, and I'm gonna drown if I don't find my water wings soon.
My brain is droopy from endless deadlines; I needed a restart. Kurt and I magically moved to one of the prettiest parts of Brooklyn and right across the street, hidden behind many trees is a glorious playground, bountiful with boisterous kids playing around in the sprinklers. To break up the day, I visited this secret playground.
They're so absorbed in the being wet, that they have no idea that I've come to draw them, sneakily practicing my life drawing for free. The sun casting gorgeous shadow shapes on everything. When I go to proper life drawing, I pay my $15 dollars, and leave with 10 very mediocre scrawlings. But here, because they won't sit still for you, because there's no pressure, your brain has to learn short-hand immediately. It has to learn gesture. And the minute you understand gesture, all the magic is yours and your work will finally spring to life.
Knowing how to draw is like learning to type without looking at the keyboard. One day, after 15 years of cheating, and peeking and pecking, it happens. And you do a little jig. (I did a little jig.)
It's all cumulative. I promise, promise. If I can learn this stuff, you can, too. After a while, it gets easier, ideas start linking together, and it sort of becomes effortless. Many concepts become shorthand and it looks like magic from the outside. But what it really is, is 5, 6, 7, 10 years of collecting all the pieces, until one day, one day you don't have to look at the keyboard anymore, and you can draw from your head and everything is beautiful... until tomorrow.
There's no button, or snake oil you can take. It took me an obscenely long time to learn this. But a month before turning 35, I'm closer to drawing effortlessly, like I always wanted. I always thought that if I could draw effortlessly, it would be very similar to flying. And I was right.
TL;DR Go draw from life.
Some sketches from life and a quick drawing of a monkey alien. (Not from life.)