As some of you might know, I’m not an overly confident kind of person. I work my way through my share of doubt on a daily basis. But when it comes to drawing I’ve always felt quite convinced that I could pretty much draw/replicate every possible image. I’ve been drawing all my life, I’ve enlarged, I’ve decreased, added and left out. And all this while drawing has always made perfect sense to me…….until now.
It is Thomas the Tank engine that got to me. Yes, this simple, child friendly train got the better of me. I was asked to make a drawing of this popular train, place him in a nice landscape; that was all. So I printed some different examples, sat down behind my desk and started to sketch what I believed to be a copy of the image in front of me. This is what it ended up looking like;
Not quite the train I was after. None of the lines made any sense. The poor thing looked it had actually collided with another train. I tried, tried and tried again, but somehow I just couldn’t get Thomas to look like the Thomas he needed to look like. Lines were running away in all different directions; all running away from me and my idea of a perfect train. I started to understand that the fluent lines I normally draw were of not going to be of any help this time around. Angles were needed. A vanishing point. A horizon line. In short, I would have to start to draw perspective. Time to take out the serious tools; geo triangle, ruler & drafting compass. Finally I had found an excuse to browse through those drawing books who’d been gathering dust on the highest bookshelf. I read, I searched the web, watched tutorials called ‘how to draw a train’. Eventually I managed a train…..
But not Thomas, not yet. More sketches were needed. Struggling with the right angle, cursing myself for being such a mathematics disaster, cursing poor Thomas for being so particular when it comes to shape and form.
Eventually, many papers later, the drawing suddenly started to take shape. Thomas placed in a grid, lines all meeting up somewhere on the far horizon. The whole thing actually started to look like a train; it was Thomas the Tank engine there on the paper…
It wasn’t perfect…..but here it comes; I believed it to be good enough. Feeling relieved and satisfied that I got anything at all on the paper, I decided to settle for this almost perfect version of the perfect drawing I had been looking for. And believe me when I say; this is an absolute first! What an achievement for an incurable perfectionist such as myself. Many thanks, Thomas!