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If many of you are suffering from cabin fever in below-freezing weather, why not pass some of your time with pencil and paper? Drawing can be very relaxing, if you can endure the first five or ten minutes of frustrations and keep working, you might be very pleased with your results.

Go ahead; pick one up and have fun!

Go ahead; pick one up and have fun!

While staying at my friends’ home, I gave a drawing lesson, and after a few warm-up exercises, we drew sea shells. I worked earlier in the day on a study to lllustrate the stages of the drawing. Sometimes a simple line drawing needs few details after the dark background is added.

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1. Before drawing, really look at the subject. Then lightly draw the outline.

2. Study the direction of the lines. There is usually a lot of order in nature, and the lines of these shells radiate outward like the hands on a clock. OK, they curve a bit but one can see the orderly precision.

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3. Sometimes a very sharp pencil is mandatory, and I sometimes stop to resharpen my pencil about every minute. You want the contrast between the edge of the shell and the dark background to be strong and dramatic. Precision prevents sloppy edges.

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4. Patience! Slowly fill in the areas – one doesn’t need to draw an entire beach of sea shells! Just draw one, and hopefully you’ll be pleased with the results.

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5. Come on; surely you can draw just one little bitty shell? With practice, you’ll learn to make all of your preliminary lines vanish, and all that’s left is a visual record of your day, with memories embedded into the artwork..

"Foliage - Mindo Memories" pencil  I recall sitting on the restaurant steps as I waited on friends to arrive.  A little dog crept up from behind and nudged my ear.  The owner, sitting behind, suddenly chuckled s I stopped drawing and gave the little puppy some attention.

“Foliage – Mindo Memories” pencil– I recall sitting on the restaurant steps as I waited on friends to arrive. A little dog crept up from behind and nudged my ear. The owner, sitting quietly behind, suddenly chuckled as I stopped drawing and gave the little puppy some attention.

OK, everyone; surely you have an old sea shell lying around the house.  Sharpen your pencil and find a sheet of paper.  (2H or 4H will give you strong darks) Give yourself thirty minutes.  You can do this!  Ready?  Set… GO!

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