Portrait of a Sheep

Ballpoint pen portrait of a sheep. Don West, Artist
8” x 8”, drawn on newsprint with a Rotring 600 ballpoint pen.

Back on track with the Showing Up At The Page course by France Van Stone and this exercise was exceptionally fun. I enjoy drawing, sketching and watching animals because they have an intelligence about them that seems pure and unencumbered. People on the other hand, well, you know how we are.😉 Still, I enjoy people too though

This drawing is perhaps the first ballpoint pen sketch I’ve done where I felt I had pretty good control of the pen. Once completed, I sat back in my chair and said ”Not b-a-a-a-a-a-d this time.” I think it was an appropriate statement considering I’ve been a bit critical of previous ballpoint sketching attempts and since this is, after all, a sheep.

I’ve come to the conclusion I would rather take a little more time on each sketch for the time being. This one was 55 minutes plus. France emphasizes showing up at the page each day even if it’s only for 20-30 minutes per session. That’s often all the time one has. But I’m retired and done with deadlines.🙂 In my experience, one becomes faster with practice anyway, regardless of whether they time their sketches or not. It’s really showing up at the page every day that is the important thing. Plus, it’s really good for you in so many ways! Particularly your mental health. You become more mindful and calm when you make a habit of sketching daily. The crosshatching techniques France teaches are great for sketching and ending up with a really nice looking result. She is a classic example of how fast one gets by making a daily habit of sketching or drawing.

Try it! There are lots of great books and youtube videos to get you started. I even teach one-on-one mini-workshops if you’re within driving distance of the Grand Junction, Colorado area. We can work on sketching, drawing, watercolor journaling and most importantly, learning how to see so you can unlock your hidden abilities and draw really well. I promise you are already pre-wired to draw and sketch as a human being and your skills improve quickly the more time you spend doing it. It’s extremely satisfying to build a body of work you can look back on from time to time and see improvement. Not to mention recall memories of places you’ve visited.👍

Reference photo of a sheep portrait.
Reference photo for the Sheep sketch.