When my mother got word that I was getting into drawing, she supported it whole-heartedly. For my birthday, she got me a sketchpad, art pencils, and Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory. Not only does the book exude a can-do attitude that everyone is capable of making art, but it excites the reader into doing so almost immediately.
Danny is also an excellent blogger who uses WordPress.com to host his site. He has an excellent series going on the ‘seven deadly creative sins.’ He also has many posts where he goes through the same creative exercises in this book. In today’s post he shared this lovely video where he does some urban sketching with a friend:
What makes the book enjoyable is how approachable Danny keeps his topic. It’s easy to fall into the trap of refining techniques and insisting on dull exercises that exemplify them. But Danny focuses on keeping his reader excited to draw. He likens taking out the sketchbook to draw to the way smokers reach for their next cigarette. It’s done as a habit, regardless of where you are or what obligations you may be facing. But instead of sickness, we instead teach ourselves the delightful habit of making art all the time and everywhere.
After any session of reading I felt strong urges to draw and I’m beginning to reach for my sketchbook more and more. Style? Technique? Competence? I’ll learn those things overtime. Most importantly right now is that I pick up the pencil and go for it. Here’s a few from Wednesday night:
A sketchbook full of drawings, even lousy ones, is far more beautiful than one full of blank pages. Thanks, Danny, for teaching me that. Thanks, Mom, for the birthday gifts.
Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory