I came through the door after my work day ended, at long last, and my six-year-old son greeted me.
“Hey, Dad! Look! I drew this for you! Whattaya think, Dad??”
The excitement in his voice and stamped on his eager, wide-eyed face told me this wasn’t something to snub, or dismiss with a parental grunt of acknowledgement. My daughter proceeded to press herself against my legs and wrap her tiny loving arms around them so I wasn’t going anywhere. I took the printer paper, folded into a careful set of quadrants to present a card, from his hand and stared at the washable marker drawings tumbled over the stark whiteness.
In the upper left, we have Scrat, from the Ice Age movies. If you don’t know, Scrat is the scritchy little critter that runs around trying to find and bury his ever-present acorn. Something like a cross between a squirrel and a rat, I’d say.
Above Scrat, holding his rapt attention, is Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, lead character in the fantastic Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack’s expressionless, ghostlike visage hangs above Scrat there, glowering down on him.
To the right of Scrat is Jack’s skeletal hand, reaching through a “hole in the roof” to cast a set of “pumpkin dice”. While this attribute in reality belongs to the antagonist of The Nightmare Before Christmas, a burlap-covered baritone character called “Oogie Boogie”, Jack has been given the honor of being the gambler in this rendering.
In the lower left corner, we have a trio of Jack Skellington, complete with his bat-wing bowtie, Venom (of Spider-Man fame), the black figure with white eyes, and in the bottom left, an original (well, sorta) character called “Spider-Joshua”.
The orange marker sketches are simple warm-ups, which any good artist uses to loosen the hand, of Jack Skellington, in attempts to capture the detail and desired look.
Successful marker drawings, no? 🙂 I couldn’t have been prouder. At six, he’s already developed his own style of drawing, and despite my best attempts to “teach” him how to capture more realism in his work, he affirms, emphatically so, that he’s happy with his own way. I can’t argue with that, and he loves drawing, and did this one for me, therefore — I love it too.
Once again, we have a character from one of my kids’ favorite movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is Jack Skellington, as interpreted by someone without a great deal of talent, but enough to make the character readily recognizable to the person to whom the drawing was presented: my 3-year-old daughter.
As you can see, the line art is average at best. Drawn on a 3″ X 5″ PostIt Note pad with a Bic 4-color pen, it wasn’t a masterpiece by anyone’s definition. (This may explain my son’s unwillingness to take instruction from me, now that I think about it.) But when I gave the drawing to my daughter, she squealed the character’s name, and snatched it from my hand to rush off and slap it down on the coffee table. She bounded out of the room with a huge grin pasted on her face and bounced back with her box of rattled, clattering crayons in her hands. She dropped with a heavy plop to the floor, popped open the crayons, and set about the tedious process of improving my work.
Within a few moments, I was presented with a huge, heart-melting smile and handed this gorgeous piece. The artist explained that this is “JACK!” I agreed.
This is now known simply as her “Jack Dollar”, due to the approximate size and shape of a dollar and a portrait on the front — just like a dollar. 🙂
Ah, but this same artist isn’t just a colorist; oh, far from it! She can do linework of her own, and does it very well! Behold:
See? This is her rendition of said-same Jack Skellington, drawn on her magnet-based drawing board. Unfortunately, the original work is lost to the annals of history, but my beautiful and fast-thinking wife had her camera phone at the ready and captured a rough image of the masterpiece before the sliding magnet swiped it into oblivion. Note the proud artist’s beaming presentation, the use of basic shapes and placement and proportion of the features on the character. For three years old? I was blown away. In fact, I thought my son had a helping hand in its creation, but my wife vows he was doing other things while she drew it, and she came to show the drawing independent of whatever occupied him at the time.
And so comes to a close my art show for the day. I hope to be back again sometime soon with more fantastic pieces from these rising art stars, because I’m still locked in the stranglehold of a vicious bout of writer’s block and couldn’t crap out a piece of fiction if I tried. But I’m always happy to show you these two amazing talents, and hope you’ve enjoyed the show.
God bless you and have a terrific week if I don’t see you before next weekend.