642 Things to Draw

This is a review of this book; actually more of a droning narration of my experience using it for the first time. I like this book cos it gives you so many random ideas you’ll never run out of things to draw! I bought it sometime back, when I was seized with a sudden fear that I might lapse into drawing nothing but still-life bananas every day.

It’s a thick book and I didn’t feel like starting on page one. So I allowed the book to decide for me what to draw. So, random flip. I got Squid. I was curious to find out how accurate my mental image of a squid was in comparison to a real life one. I had in mind something flaccid with lots of beady-looking suckers. Like this:

Then I googled Wikipedia. This is what a real squid looks like. Please don’t ‘Duh’. Try drawing it from memory yourself! Haha, it’s not that easy, right?

(BTW, I did a screen capture cos I suddenly noticed with horror that not everything on Wikipedia is really free! If this picture didn’t have a star, I wouldn’t have read the fine print. To think I’ve been sharing images off this FREE encyclopedia! Ok ok… Shhh… Don’t tell anyone. I’ll just have to use screen captures from now on if I need to show you squid anatomy and things like endangered Pygmy Marmosets from Peru; more about these in a while. Hmm… screen captures ARE allowed, aren’t they?:S)

Anyway, back to my squid. I realise now it is anatomically incorrect! Squids should have 8 arms and 2 tentacles, and I only had 6 arms and 2 tentacles. And their mouths are buried somewhere in the middle-base of all the arms. Ok. Moving on.

Draw ‘a stick of gum’

I’m not trying to be clever here. I just don’t like drawing things with lots of fonts. And sticks of gum usually come with fonts, if you want to make them discernable.

Which brings me to the Pygmy Marmosets I watched on Animal Planet. They gnaw off chunks of tree bark so the gum can flow out and they can gobble the gobs up. And the entire tree trunk eventually becomes lumpy and bumpy. Like my stick of gum.


Draw ‘Ballpoint Pen’

Give me an oil-based ball point pen anytime! It’s much cheaper than the gel pens and so much nicer to use! To me, writing with a ball-point pen versus gel pen is akin to playing on a real piano versus electric keyboard. It’s pressure-sensitive, so you can vary the thickness and thinness of the ink flow much better. I love ball point pens.

And finally, draw a… cornucopia??
What on earth is that?? I imagined some sort of shellfish and did a Google search. It turned out to be:
“a horn of abundance”

So here’s mine, with a happy mouse inside.

In short, I like this book a lot. The pros outweigh the cons:

– 642 prompts to last you more than a year
– some weird prompts like ‘cornucopia’ and ‘the periodic table’ and ‘a whisper’ to challenge and educate you
– all your artwork is bound in a nice book that you are unlikely to lose
– you don’t need to feel stressed if nobody can guess what you drew unlike say if you used an app like DrawSomething

– the pages are too thin to draw on using thick markers or watercolor
– it’s heavy to carry around

Yup, this concludes my review of 642 Things to Draw. Will post again when I come to another interesting prompt.

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