The Laundry Basket Girls
I’ve been all over the place lately with my sketches, jumping around to varied subjects like Ghostbusters, memes, Pinterest, and Einstein. I always come back to my favorite portrait subject though; my family. I haven’t done a full accounting of people or types of artwork I’ve done (which would be a fun spreadsheet to make), but I’m sure my wife and kids have been the most frequently drawn people. A couple days ago, I felt like doing another one featuring the kiddos. It’s actually been a while since I last sketched them, so is it possible they’ve grown/changed a bit in a few months? Probably not much for the four year old, but perhaps our almost two year old has gotten bigger!
I decided to go with a scene from when the girls were playing in a laundry basket. Of course, laundry basket is just what boring adults call it…in reality, it’s either an incredible space ship or a boat. And when our kitchen becomes a the depths of space or a vast ocean, it’s really hard to make dinner. It’s interesting to see how the kids use their imaginations right now. Usually, the oldest comes up with these creative scenarios and the youngest follows her right into it (whether she wants her to or not). The oldest is in a bit of a bossy phase at the moment, and is definitely not shy about instructing her little sister in how whatever they’re doing should work.
Anyways, as large as they are getting, somehow they both still manage to fold themselves up and fit in one laundry basket. It’s a pretty funny sight, but despite how cramped it looks, they have so much fun. In this scene, the girls were completely cracking themselves up! I don’t even know what they were laughing about; they may have just been in a feedback loop, laughing more because they were laughing. Here’s how it turned out:
The final result actually worked out pretty well. This was one of those sketches that started off fairly rough, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to actually come together. I realized during the graphite and early shading steps that the facial expressions were more challenging than I initially realized. It seems like that happens often, because I’m not very good at looking ahead on these.
So, the look I’m trying to convey is pure joy and happiness, but I didn’t get all the way there. The youngest kiddo looks more sleepy than happy; although she is smiling here, she was supposed to be cracking up. This looks more like a slight smile, which isn’t what I was trying to do. Her mouth is close, but I couldn’t bridge the gap here to convey the right emotion. I did a better job on the oldest’s expression, which is surprising because I thought the open-mouth laugh at that angle would be harder. Another issue I had was the basket; I was pretty wobbly on my lines, which happens for background objects because I always want to get them out of the way quickly.
Overall, this is a solid effort! I think I’ve done more true-to-life artwork featuring these two crazy kiddos, but this is not too shabby. As usual, here is a little progression .gif to show the stages of this sketch:
That’s all for now! I still owe my youngest another solo portrait, but it’s just so fun to draw their interactions together. I’ve got a couple scenes in mind, I just need to pick one.