Scratch, rub, scratch, scratch, rub. Then come the ahhs of content.

That’s all that could be heard from within the smallest room of my home. My bedroom. My study. Now my beginner’s sketch studio.

Since I discovered the joie de l’art four days ago through the iPad App Store in the form of virtual sketching and art sets, I have been testing myself ever since.

Let me take you on the journey my HB fingers have traversed over virtual and grainy paper…

Day One.


It’s a very quick sketch of my beloved Russian Blue cat in snoring action. As someone who could only previously draw a cat as a voluptuous and generously-tummied water pitcher, with two dots for eyes, an upside-down rainbow curve for a feline smile, and a squiggly line for a tail… I have to say this is quite a step forward.

Motivated, I went on to sketch the following version:


Day Two
Came my big lizards-inspired phase. I sketched the following upon looking at my mug.


This one is inspired by a silly chat with a friend about his desire for a pet dragon in his Sims Freeplay town. I was adamant that such a creature could not co-exist with other fellow creatures, both furry and human. It would cause an OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) uproar. Anyway, who am I to judge when it comes to animal preferences. I have a thing for 4m long 12kg pythons myself.


Cartooning when I’m supposed to have sketched a draft plan for my essay on the geopolitical implications of a Chinese Century made me go…


Day Three
Day Three’s an experimental day. For the first time I entered the hazardous realm of putting things into realist perspective. Voici ce que j’ai fait:


And then came my superhuman feat of drawing my first ever human face, with a sincere attempt of making her not look like a noseless blob with polka dot eyes.


Speaking of which, I regressed quickly into my comfort zone:


And here is Nishida, the ever-so-androgynous punk star with the tribal paint to ward off suspect spirits. Even I cannot tell if Nishida is male or female.


Day Four
Probably my favourite series of outputs to date as an absolute sketching beginner came along in Day Four. For once, I attempted to integrate the principles of shading, to some effect. Firstly came the sketch of Mowgli’s squinty-eyed physiognomy. It wasn’t too hard to keep him still if he’s traipsing away in Dreamland. My stylus went furiously a-scratching on the iPad for him.


What was soon intended to be a self-portrait went a tad awry because there was not enough space on virtual paper to draw a head that was in proportion to my heavily-fictionally-mascaraed eyes. The result? An accidental interpretation of Lady Gaga’s famous face. I used watercolours for the hair, because I was that lazy.

gaga by vicki

Day Five
After trying my darndenest to stay awake after feasting across the Sydney CBD with an old friend, I came home to sketch a rose on paper. Sometime in-between Thai and hot chocolate, we went to a cheapo’s bookshop in Sydney’s basement where I got me some pencils and sketchpads. Never again will I attempt to draw something as visually convoluted as the singular rose flower.

rose by Vicki

I leave you now with ‘Me and Liza’, a song by Rufus Wainwright. Why? My hands are each a Liza, creating embers and flame, though the world remains blind to this.


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