Can you?” He had his hand on the hip pocket with his left hand and he began drawing, “I do, as I said. And for God’s sake look, you’ll never get anything wrong! Just do a simple little thing, let a small dog get into your lap.”
I felt embarrassed. I had been drawing to such an extent for so long. It was a small thing after all. But it felt better, and if the man was going to tell me about drawing to him I was going to have a good laugh at myself.
And I did, in fact, have a good laugh. He took me upstairs and I found myself sitting across his lap, my hand resting just on his, his leg, and I began watching his face. If he had been a cartoon character I might have been taken with him. But he was just a little rabbit, a llama. I had tried out a bunch of different poses for his head. The first was his face with a little mouth, and that looked bad. But I had tried it. It was better than nothing, so I gave it a try and it worked really.
I looked at his face. It looked exactly like the cartoons I was accustomed to drawing, the one with the big nose. So I got my hand in his pocket again and started draw again. My second attempt was just perfect.
When I looked down at my drawing I didn’t see a dog in it, but I felt something that I had known instinctively all my life, something that I had been afraid to admit to anybody. Something that I had felt since I was a girl, when I had first heard about the llamas.
It was the feeling of being a baby bird, just coming to life, and all the fears that that aroused and the pain, the fear of being killed. It was the fear of people. I had thought that when I was a girl my life would be so easy. But it was a long way from there to where I was now! I knew then that my pain was more than I could bear, that I would never have any one to love me. The other day when I was looking at my drawing I saw a little bird, and I thought to myself, That little bird in there really means something to me. It means that I have got through this horrible thing that is being a llama.
And I just felt it.
And I felt it still, as I sat listening to
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