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My son’s challenges

Well, I found a name for my blog… I updated the header image to include a scan of the title, handwritten with a Sharpie.  The symbol below is part of my signature, representing the first three letters of my last name, Aparicio.  Virtually all my friends (my wife included) know me as Apa.  In fact, when my wife calls me by me whole name I know she is really mad at me.  Anyways, I liked the title and had to sign it.

For the past four months I’ve tried to sketch something every day, to keep my hand in shape.  I had barely sketched in my first twelve years of architectural practice, other than quick doodles on tracing over plans to solve certain issues before committing myself to CAD.  After having drawn and rendered on paper for years I fell for the computerized trap.  Of course, computer software helps us a lot, especially when you have to make changes, but I hadn’t noticed how much I enjoyed sketching.  For twelve years, I had rendered almost invariably with a computer, so I am re-learning to draw.  It is so much more fun than waiting for the computer to finish ray tracing the reflections on every material, and even if you can do a very realistic rendering, to me digital still feels cold.  And sketching is way faster.

My 7-yr old son likes drawing a lot.  And he is really good!  Children can learn so fast it is simply amazing.  We sketch together a lot, although he continuously insists that we draw only his favorite Super Mario characters.  My wife and I tell him to draw some of his characters, but that at least he draws something by observation.  He calls it, translated from Spanish, reality and fantasy.  But sometimes we agree to draw his characters, as to  keep him interested in drawing.  Here are a couple of his drawings:

What amazed me of the second one is that he did it sitting on the backseat of the car, while I was driving!  At a couple of points he got really mad because I caught some road bumps and he said I was ruining his drawing.  So funny… but when I saw it I couldn’t  believe it.  And these drawings are quite small, a little over 3″x 3″, so the amount of detail he is capturing is great.

This weekend he issued me a challenge, that I couldn’t draw all his action figures.  Well, he was right…  My hand was really hurting after drawing like ten of them with ballpoint on bond paper.  In architecture school we were told that drawing with a ballpoint was a no-no.  I never questioned that, so I always used either pencil of felt-tips.  But after discovering Spencer Nugent’s I.D. sketching web site, I am so disappointed to find out that it was all a lie!  For my surprise, the ballpoint can be a very useful tool, as you can adjust the line and tone value with the stroke pressure, much as we do with pencil, but without the smudging.  I guess I need to discover a better quality ballpoint, as probably the grip wasn’t too comfortable and ended up hurting my hand.

Then on Sunday he issued another challenge, to draw his Nintendo DSI.  So we did, and here is the sketch.  Epic proportions fail, as the top part is much smaller than the bottom, but I liked the shading.  This was with a regular #2 pencil.

Today is Tuesday and my hand still hurts… weird because I’m left-handed but I use the mouse with my right hand, and I’ve been working with CAD these past two days.  I think this was supposed to be enough rest, but I guess not then.

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