Photo-sketch Study 2 – umbrellas and nettles

Do you ever start a creative project with a certain inspiration or idea in mind, and then when you’re done . . . well, maybe the results are not exactly what you hoped for.  Or maybe worse than you expected.  Well, sometimes my sketches, for my sketching project, are that way.  It feels embarrassing! – like I wasted my time, or like I was foolish to think I could learn to draw.

What do you do when that happens?  One thing I do is to gather more information from people who are good at the thing I’m trying.  So, about my sketches, one of my illustrator friends suggested that I try adding shading to my sketches.  She said the physical repetition of doing something more to the sketch would help improve my skills.

So today I am sharing two new sketches from my secret sketching project – with shading.  Or, should I say, attempts at shading.  One of them I really liked, and the other – not so much.

Here is a sketch that I liked (umbrellas).  – Along with a poem I wrote for the sketch:

stem like a pumpkin
like a pineapple
floating over puddles
beaded raindrops on its surface
the pumpkin’s unopened top
sealed closed
like a secret


Sketch by Theresa Barker.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.









Here is a sketch I wasn’t as happy about (nettles).  I thought it would turn out better.  Still, I try to remind myself, 1) I am just learning, 2) if it was easy there wouldn’t be as much satisfaction in learning from it, and 3) no one is looking over my shoulder and judging me.

Sketch by Theresa Barker.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.









Ah!  I see it now.  This is a more complicated image, isn’t it?  No wonder I had trouble with it.

They say that when you try a more difficult task, like the “nettles” picture, you learn more, because you are stretching yourself.  But it also feels discouraging when it turns out less well than I hoped.  What are your thoughts?  Do you shy away from trying something that seems too hard?  How do you know if it’s too hard or if it’s just a long stretch?

p.s. A big THANKS to my illustrator, artist, and photographer blogging friends who have added your comments to my earlier photo-sketch study.  Your advice is really helpful!

20 thoughts on “Photo-sketch Study 2 – umbrellas and nettles

  1. Your sketches are good, I think you might be a little hard on yourself, Theresa.
    I love doodling especially when I am listening to a group discussion, I find I am able to listen better with my hands occupied than not. I’m particularly fond of sketching flowers and trees. The poem and the umbrellas together were fun to read and see. Good job!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with Lyn, you are being way to critical of your sketches. I really like the umbrellas – the companion poem too! My drawing skills are hopeless to the point where trying to draw anything brings me absolutely no joy. However, even though the drawing gene skipped over me, it landed very squarely on two of my children and I celebrate every sketch, cartoon, doodle, and painting they create. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw, Theresa, they are great sketches! You are too hard on yourself. And I love the poem that goes with the Umbrellas sketch. You are definitely stretching yourself and developing tremendously in the process. Well done! You’re a real inspiration.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Tami, good reminder not to be too hard on myself. I also receive hand-drawn pictures from my younger son for birthdays and holidays, and I still enjoy the drawings my older son made for me years ago. 🙂 Thank you for letting me know!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I actually liked the nettles better – I felt they had character, the umbrellas were nice as a sketch but they are like a uniform and no individuality or appeal. But the nettles were different with a lot of spunk and attitude 😀 Way to go Theresa 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just saw this post–these are amazing, Theresa! Who knew you had such artistic talent? I really love how you drew the nettle leaves, even though you said they could have turned out better. The umbrellas are so simple and pretty–and the side poem goes nicely with the sketch. Looking forward to seeing more of your drawings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, yellowfuzzyduck! And especially your kind comment on the poem – I did like how it sort of looked like an umbrella-shape (on its side). I really appreciate the encouragement, will keep on! I’m on Day 31 of my sketch-a-day project (though it’s not contiguous days…), and I’m going to keep going! 🙂

      I also really enjoy your drawings. I LOVE the drawing of your letter to your drawing. So inventive!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course!! I loved the format of the umbrella poem. It’s so fitting! And great work with the outstanding sketch-a-day project, Theresa!

        Thank you for your kind words. Your post was my inspiration! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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