Time Is of the Essence

On the plus side, your house has all your favorite stuff. On the minus side, it has most of your distractions right there, too. Of course, highly disciplined professionals like Lauren and Lisa long ago came to terms with these distractions. (And if you believe that one, we have a bridge that you could buy ...)

Seriously, though, being earnest about your time is the first step. Maybe you have had enough success with this book to be more committed to your own work. If that's the case, keep it up!

Once you've found some stuff around the house you want to draw, you'll want to set a time to work. Do enough of your daily chores to get by, but only just. This is the hard part, leaving those dishes so you can draw. You may hear your mother's voice in your head, telling you you're being self-indulgent or childish. Lesson One: Ignore her.

Get your coffee, your lunch, whatever you need, and give yourself a time slot to work. Some people find actually writing the time on their calendar is enough to make them arrive in their studio, ready to work.

Turn on the answering machine, turn off the computer. Turn on some music, turn off the TV. Put out the dog and let in the cat.

The Art of Drawing

The most important thing is to make this time your own. That means that if the UPS man rings the bell, you won't answer; he'll leave the package on your stoop or with a neighbor. It means that even if you hear your long-lost lover's voice on the answering machine, you won't give in to the urge to pick up the phone. You won't go to see what the dog is barking at now, even if the coyotes are howling, too. Uninterrupted time is what we're talking about here. Make a date with yourself—and then keep it.

Back to the Drawing Board

Rearranging is one thing, but major renovation takes time away from drawing. Don't use it as an excuse for not drawing!

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Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

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