(More Than) 10 Minute Sketches

At different times throughout March I’d pick up my sketch book and pencil and try my hand at a ten minute sketch. Most of them, the faces certainly, stretched longer than the allotted time, but I think all were completed in under half an hour

This was my attempt at something a bit different based on the work of Karen Campbell who has a YouTube channel I found recently. I thought this was a lot of fun!

Early in the month I drew some dragons. I forget why I wanted to try my hand at them, I probably thought it would be a good challenge. I found some pics and studied them and sketched several, This is the one I like best, it’s based on one in the beautiful garden of Jackie and Derrick Knight. I was still way out of my comfort zone after so long away from the pencils early in March, but I quite like his toothy, friendly grin. However, by the time I got him almost done I’d decided that was enough of dragons and so he remains not quite balanced and far from finished.

I wanted some quick’n’easy quirky cats for colouring in and came up with these – the one on the left came first – both were both completed in about ten minutes each and were the only successful ’10 minute sketch’ challenges I managed all month

Based on something I saw on You Tube, I had a go at producing a template for doodling. Here’s the template

It hasn’t been copied yet to start experimenting with doodles and such – I got waylaid with life and then my back went out a week ago and has only just decided to come back home. The month of May may see some doodling…….

And that pretty much completes the roundup of sketch practise that I undertook in March – it’s taken me all of April to corral all the bits and bobs with a few interruptions along the way. And I completed a cardigan too – but still have to sew twelve buttons on. That might take another month……. I feel happy with my progress and worked through the ‘I can’t do it any more’ block that was fettering me and am ready to go pick that paint brush up again and see what happens there.

I’m also reading ‘The War of Art’ by Stephen Pressfield which is a most delightful get over yourself and out of your own way treatise on why and how we prevaricate and shoot ourselves in the foot constantly. In the spirit of full disclosure I should also add that book has sat on a bookshelf for some five years waiting to be read …….. You are not alone πŸ™‚

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

68 thoughts on “(More Than) 10 Minute Sketches

  1. “You are not alone.” Oh my goodness that made me laugh out loud, Pauline. That sounds like a book I need to get my hands on. I love that you’ve found new and interesting ways to stretch your sketching skills. The squishy face is delightful, and perhaps not so easy to do. You’ve captured personality with those eyes and that mouth. I’m so impressed.

    Will you turn the dragon into a card or three? He/she’s got personality, right there. I must go visit Derek’s garden.

    I wanted to add, completely unrelated to this post, that I read your interview in full on Norah’s blog, but I’m having difficulty leaving a comment. WordPress seems to have a set of unwritten rules that I’m not always privy too. It’s confounding.

    Anyhoo…I loved the interview and enjoyed hearing all that you had to say. I’ve heard bits and pieces of it over the years, but it was nice to read it all together. Anyone would-be lucky to have you as their mum or their teacher. I’m lucky to call you friend. This is my last comment of the night. I’ll fall asleep thinking about you and how lucky I am to know you. xo

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    • Ah yes, WordPress has some odd ways that we must all navigate from time to time – they still randomly remove folk from my subscriptions and I don’t always pick that up. They abruptly removed my access to Google photos and I had to nut out how to put it back in which was a mission. Thanks for stopping by to Norah’s blog I really enjoyed doing that interview and the conversations that followed. And I’m so chuffed you think so well of me, you know it’s mutual πŸ™‚ ❀

      I recommend that book – it's easy reading, hard hitting and spot on. Just got to put it into practise – but it seems to be working, I'm making more progress than I was. Have a wonderful sleep! xo

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      • Three cheers for progress, Pauline. As for WordPress, how annoying these sorts of things can be. Yesterday, I couldn’t view any notifications. I just got one of those endless spinning things. I logged out, logged back in and finally gave up for the day. They’ve rolled out the new block editor but it doesn’t have spell check. Why would you roll out a major feature, then leave out something as fundamental as spell check? It’s confounding, eh? Anyway, here we are.

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        • I really dislike the block layout thing – it’s just another thing I have to spend time learning how to navigate when I was perfectly happy using what I had. What propels this endless push to update, rebrand and ‘improve’ features? It’s not like it’s making the world a better place to live in! This is a good bitch session isn’t it πŸ™‚ Moving on ……..

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  2. Love your sketches, Pauline, especially the smiling cat!

    “I got waylaid with life and then my back went out a week ago and has only just decided to come back home.” Am I right in my understanding that you’ve been suffering with back pains? If so, I’m glad that you’re feeling better. I’ve survived some tough times with a herniated disc that was eventually removed so that I could walk again.

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    • Quirky cats are so cute aren’t they πŸ™‚ Re the back, I was born with a minor defect in my lower spine that caused pain from pinched nerves all my life. The defect was not ‘discovered’ until I was in my late forties. Up until then I was told I was either imagining it or had a low pain threshold……. sigh! After an accident an xray revealed the truth of the situation. Luckily for me I had an excellent anthroposophical doctor who could make my lower back relatively pain free in a very short time. Now I rarely suffer any problems – I just sat the wrong way and was hunched over some intense work for a couple of hours and got my nerve in the wrong place etc etc. All good again now – but it was a brief reminder of how life used to be. So glad not to be there any more! Also glad to hear you are pain free and mobile. ❀

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  3. Love your pictures! I think the dragon is wonderful. Love his smile. I would love to take those cats home with me and cuddle them. They are so cute. I especially love the first drawing of the woman. I looked at it a long time. I love what you did with it.

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  4. Very fun to see all the variety, Pauline. The Campbell-style drawing is so quirky. What fun. And I can’t wait to see what you doodle. That is fun and surprisingly easy while looking elaborate! Have a creative week, my friend. πŸ™‚

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  5. Thanks for sharing your 10 minutes (or about) sketches, Pauline. I particularly like the cats and I’m not usually drawn to cats, but I like the quirkiness of these. I look forward to seeing what you doodle and paint in May and to learning what you glean from The War of Art. I think someone else has mentioned that book, too, but I can’t think who just now.

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    • Everything I do tends to the quirky – so the cats are no exception πŸ™‚ I’m trying to gather some appropriately quirky sayings or just plain fun comments to adorn them with – a want to make a series of ‘Orlando’ cards at some stage. I’m enjoying the War of Art – it could as well have been titled ‘The Art of Fulfillment’ as it really does apply to all areas of life. I like his no nonsense approach to all the ploys we self apply or passively accept that the world forces upon us. I’m asking myself why it sat so long unread on my shelf ……..

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  6. Gorgeous pictures – I especially love the cats! On the subject of learning from youtube videos, I am currently at the excruciating stage of learning how to do a simple ‘granny’/afghan square. Feel so inept, but will keep practising as I need new ideas for my crochet. I have totally got to my limit with double crochet simple works but lovely play with colour. Now for the serious stuff to have more fun playing with colour! I’ll let you know how I get on :>)

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    • Ah Lynnel – don’t we always feel inept until we have conquered it and then it is so very easy πŸ˜€ I always watch a YT video when I’m learning something new – I’m a visual learner – and this is just another way the great www has good things to offer πŸ™‚ There are some wonderful patterns out there. I made a blanket last year called the seaside stash busting blanket and if you want to make yourself a primer of many different stitches it’s a pretty good way to start. Here’s the address is you want to follow up https://coastalcrochet.com/tag/seaside-stash-busting-blanket/

      Of course there are loads of patterns on Ravelry, but that’s whole rabbit hole you can disappear down for days. I’m going to look forward to seeing what you create!!

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  7. The range of drawings here is fascinating! I like the squiffy face because it is so different from your normal faces–you usually do serene pretties so seeing a face that reflects the way I often feel is fun! And, of course, I love the cats. The doodle template is another direction altogether and very intriguing–I hope to see where you go with that! I remember 10-minute sketches from art school–you get more from your 10 minutes than i ever got with mine . . .

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    • If I had to put my pencil down and walk away at the ten minute mark Kerry. nothing would have gotten finished!! I like the idea of attempting to work more quickly because it pulls me out of the ‘detail too soon’ trap that is my constant nemesis. I laughed at your ‘serene pretties’ comment. So true – and I always wanted to have the confidence to step away from that and yet not make art that is bleak or discomforting as that is not my message – I think the squiffies might be a way forward……. And the cats are a beginning sketch for an idea I have of making a series of ‘Orlando’ cards……

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  8. Good work, Pauline. I particularly like the moulding of the cheekbones in the first portrait and the effective line drawing of the template. And thanks for the mention. I am pleased that your back has returned to you

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  9. What is the left cat looking at? His/her/feline-curious gaze is definitely over your left shoulder. Food? You local serial-killer-While-you-wait guy? That maybe benign dragon? Ah no, it’s the prodigal back.. back is the new back.. Miss Squiffy should see Dennis the Dentist my local orthodontically trained torturer. He would soon put her straight… Perhaps she’s how you subconsciously see Pearl? Splendid output as per

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    • I think the cat on the left is generally just plain squiffy – and slightly cross eyed? No, Whats the opposite of crosseyed? One eye is looking left and the other looking right ….. It’s probably seeing multi dimensions and innumerable possible eventualities and is about to implode….. Depending on what happens with Pearl at the orthodontist she either has two rows of shark teeth or perfect pearly whites. Maybe I’ll try and draw her……..

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  10. The drawings are wonderful fun to look at and enjoy! You drew really fast! I’ve never tried that! Slow and steady was my art teacher’s motto! Since it worked for him? I thought he must be right?
    The book sounds amazing!
    I had donated my sketching things a few years back due to too much self criticism.
    Now my 3 oldest girls at home draw tons of anime. They are extremely creative- but-I am not a fan of modern anime. I think I may need to purchase a new sketchbook to show them what “I” think is art! LOL!! Honestly I loved anime as a child but the newer modern anime seems to be a bit too explicitly curvy in the gender areas for an old Grandma like me!
    Pauline you always encourage others to use their creativity. We see the beauty, fun, and creativity in yours and we just don’t want to miss out on the fun! I don’t want to miss out! I simply must make a doodle template!! Maybe my girls will join me!

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  11. Sorry to hear you had some back problems. Mr Tialys and Mlle. T. the Elder both suffer with back problems – the chiropractor is their friend. I think it’s because they are both tall, especially the husband. Maybe that’s why I haven’t suffered so much being ‘dwarvish’ as he calls me and yet I can remember when he used to call me a pocket venus . **sigh**.
    Your drawings are great and, just to let you know, I sent the card with the dogs and cats on you sent me to the couple who run the refuge for home and disabled dogs with a cheque inside – a donation from the sale of my dog collars on Etsy. I told you I knew exactly who that one would be for 😊

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  12. You’ve been marvellously productive and creative! The squiffy face is my favourite because it feels real like something most people do when puzzling over an aggravating problem. Glad your back is back. As another blogging friend commented to me β€œpain is a monster.”

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    • Thank you Susanne. The squiffy is popular – do you suppose we are all pulling horrendous faces more often than our sweetly smiling ones we put on social media – now there’s a scary thought! My back going out reminded me I have to be more conscientious about doing my core exercises. Once a year isn’t cutting it any more!

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    • I was trying to remember where I had seen the reference to it when I found it sitting at the back of one of my shelves. I did think of you and then never got around to returning to your blog to check it out…. See, if you hadn’t written that article when I found it I would have past it by again, but I didn’t, I pulled it out and flicked it open and started to read. It’s great isn’t it πŸ™‚ I forgive him his title as it is a no-holds barred, stop making excuses – do it kind of thing that I really appreciate. Cats are cool!

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  13. You always make me grin, Pauline. I love the 10 minute? drawings. πŸ˜‰ The second face reminds me a bit of myself. One eye bigger than the other and the smile a bit lopsided. πŸ™‚ You captured me so well. πŸ™‚ Loved the dragon very much. He has personality. So sorry to hear about your back going out but delighted it came back to you. It’s not fun. You have been very productive my friend and it shows. Your cats look like you are giving them a treat any minute.

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    • My aim is to make you smile Marlene πŸ™‚ Mission successful – tick! You don’t look at all squiffy like that though, you are beautiful! Those cats are fun, I want to find some pithy sayings I can attach to them and make some cards……

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  14. Pauline, what delightful drawings! I love the squiffy face and the dragon’s posture and the cats! They look as though they might just disappear like that cat in Alice. I’m sorry to hear about your back! But glad it’s better now. I look forward to lots of drawings in the future. It’s fun to complete things, isn’t it? And nice not to have to rush them.

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    • I really enjoyed my month of drawing and doodling and all the bits I got up to. It was also reassuring for me to know that a little bit of regular practise shows results……. I’m very fond of the squiffy face and wonder how I can do more like that and still make pretty things – ‘pretty’ meaning pleasurable to look at and have hanging around. But she does make me ;laugh so I guess that is also acceptable. I do tend to do more art in the winter if I can put down the crochet work I tend to pick up at the same time. So many things to make, so much time wasted πŸ™‚

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