Day 20: How to Draw a Unicorn
"What are Canadians googling while on coronavirus lockdown?" is the title of an article from today's The Star (Note: for the confused out there, today is the day that followed yesterday, which happened immediately before. If you are having trouble with the concepts of before or followed, read Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. They might help. Or not.).
There are some predictable searches there. Some are about COVID-19 facts; others are recipes and how-tos. Many of them centre on making bread or pizza. These explain the total absence of yeast I mentioned a few days ago. But the search that caught my eye was "how to draw a unicorn." One could draw an infinite variety of things, so why would the most popular search be about drawing unicorns. The search generates a multitude of hits, of which many are YouTube videos showing how to draw cartoonish unicorns. I love unicorns (who doesn't!) and used to draw them all the time. I drew unicorns, mermaids, goddesses, and warrior women who could tame dragons. I spent hours thinking about the drawings, making sketches, and producing illustrations. I liked to finish them in ink. I used a nib pen because I was not allowed to touch my parents' Rapidograph pens (they were too expensive because they were imported and too delicate for someone who "didn't know how to use them properly"). Having to dip my pen made the work much more laborious. Imagine drawing hair or scales, one by one. I remember a particular dragon for which I drew each scale and then painted them in different tones of green and applied gold paint to represent the light shining on it. I worked on it for several weeks and, when I was almost done, my mother gave it a passing glance and declared with a smirk that I might yet become an illustrator. I should make the point that both my parents are artists. My father won the Great National Prize in 1966 in Argentina. To be called an illustrator by either of them was to be dragged down most brutally. Illustrators, you see, are craft people, not artists. I stopped drawing unicorns (and dragons and mermaids) twenty-five years ago. I felt discouraged, and it was the second time in my life that I was led to believe my parents thought I had no talent at all. A few years ago, I discovered several illustrators I admire. I particularly enjoy how they synthesize stories within images. In 2016, I started to take art lessons. I wanted to learn techniques and then specialize in pencil drawing. I have been doing it on and off. I prefer wolves now, but I have drawn at least one mermaid. But I had not drawn a unicorn for many years. I tried it today. I sketched three unicorns in diverse poses. It was more difficult than I remember, but I'm just warming up. After my attempts, I could see why someone would have to Google how to draw a unicorn. Although it seems clear to me that I'm terribly out of practice, I also think that being locked at home is an excellent opportunity to grease those gears again.
Although perhaps I should stick with wolves...
Canada cases 13,987
World cases 1,201,591
World deaths 64,703
World recoveries 246,198