Back in Time Part 3 – Last Batch Before the Long Break

Post 3 Young Jon HEADER

Welcome back for part three of the “old sketches from Jon” series. Previously, we looked at my high school drawings and some study aids I used in college. This is the last “old sketch” phase, covering the time after high school until age 20 or 21. Around then, life started giving me more stuff to do and seemingly less time to do it in. I got serious about college (relatively speaking), and became more involved in the usual extracurricular activities of 20-somethings. Eventually, other things like long term relationships, grad school, and career concerns kept me rolling along. Suddenly, I found myself in 2017 having not drawn in 15 years! I guess that’s how time passes when you look back on it; blink and a decade might slip behind you.

I think these sketches from early adulthood were better quality overall than my high school collection. It was during this time that I started using the grid/measurement system, and the realism improved a bit. As you’ll see below, I still informally doodled sometimes, which looked pretty similar to the high school drawings. But I definitely got better at handling details, which is a skill I’m glad didn’t completely fade away. It took some practice the last six months to get back where I was, but I think I’ve even improved since getting back into drawing. Especially considering I’ve actually tried using color, which I hadn’t done before.

Although I have gotten better at drawing realistic subjects, I also believe my sketches have become more boring. Looking at all of this old artwork, from the high school sketches, to these post-high school, then on to the stuff I did this year, that becomes clear. When I was younger, I was more apt to use my imagination and go wild sketching whatever I thought was fun. Maybe it would be beneficial to try to rediscover that aspect of drawing. Although I do love drawing my kids, I am just trying to recreate them as they actually are in real life. It’s not especially creative. I think the Dark Tower posts (1, 2, 3, 4) are the closest I’ve ventured to that creative side lately.

The selection below is a bit more sparse than the high school group. And I had limited ability to take new photos if needed, because some of these were given to the subjects. On those, I pretty much only have my digital backup from years ago. So, here are some sketches:


* Note: The sketch from Braveheart is in no way an endorsement of Mel Gibson. At the time, I didn’t know that he was (based on those publicized recordings) a racist, sexist lunatic. I just knew that I enjoyed that movie.


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  • Nice work, Jon! I too have a gap of 10 or 15 years when I didn’t do much art – but I know I did ‘some’ during that time, or else I was doing other creative pursuits – did you really never even do a tiny bit of art in all that time?? What made you decide to get back to it?:-)

    • Weird right? After about age 21 or so, I really didn’t. I can think of only two exceptions. I drew a picture of my wife and I as a gift back when we were dating, and then later I drew a picture of her as part of my proposal (sketched her holding out her hand with a ring on her finger, asked her what she thought, then popped the question). But I believe that’s it! Two in 15 years, crazily enough.

      I used to work for a software company where I designed user interfaces/forms, so in a sense that was sort of creative. But I think my “right brain” has been neglected for a long time!

    • Oh yeah, I forgot – what made me get back to it. I’m honestly not 100% sure. Part of it may have come from wanting something my kids can see when they grow up, a chronicle of sketches many of which feature them. It might be a cool thing for them to look back on. Sort of a “hey here’s us 10 years ago” or “wow, Dad sure loved pizza back then; nothing’s changed.” Or maybe it won’t be interesting at all to them! But, just in case, there will be a bunch of sketches of them with me and their mom, and all these blog posts with my various thoughts on things.

      I also created gmail accounts for them, and I’ve been throwing every photo I ever take in there too. When they are old enough, I’ll turn that all over to them, and they’ll have a lifetime of photos already. They may not care about that either, who knows? I mean really, maybe Google won’t exist by then and it won’t even matter! But, maybe these will be cool surprises in another decade or two.

      • πŸ™‚ Maybe you’ll inspire them to become artists! ….and that’s a nice idea about the gmail accounts – the modern world version of a photo album!

      • Wouldn’t that be something? I do wonder what sort of hobbies they’ll enjoy. Our oldest already likes to sit with me and draw, although I’m not sure if it’s because she like drawing or just because she wants to do what Dad is doing.

        Actually, I sort of misspoke; I really meant google accounts. The photo collections for the kiddos are in “Google Photos,” which if you’ve never used it, is really incredible. Google has a handful of apps/products that I consider indispensable, and Photos is one of them (along with Gmail, Keep, Maps, and Drive). Photos lets me back up my images from everywhere (phone, computer, etc), then share to the girls’ accounts and easily download to their libraries. It’s pretty smooth…I just hope it continues to exist for a couple decades!

  • These are really great, Jon! Your ability to capture expression is so good (also like the dog and cat – when a picture makes you smile, that’s a good thing)!

    • That’s always good to hear, that a sketch brought out a smile

      I’ve always said my main goal with this site is accomplished if even a couple people find a graph interesting or enjoy seeing a sketch. That, and the $2 per month I make from the ads! Ha ha

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