“Get the Lead Outâ€? was something one of my art teachers started when i was in high school. I don’t think it ever quite made it to the internet – while Sue does have a website, she’s not too tech-savvy (which is a shame, really; i would love to read a blog by her).

Anyway, “Get the Lead Outâ€? was basically an attempt by Sue to get her students drawing every day, even the days they didn’t have art class. The goal was to draw for at least ten minutes a day, in any medium, and keep track of how many days in a row you could go without missing (my personal record is over 400 – 417, i think, but i’m not sure of the exact number). The drawing also had to be new – we couldn’t just work for ten minutes on our current work-in-progress and consider that our drawing for the day.

It’s been years since i lost my 400+ ranking, and i’m still trying to get it back – i’m at 10 right now. GTLO is actually harder at the beginning than it is after a year or so of drawing; at 300+, missing a day and having to start over is motivating in and of itself. At ten? Meh. If i miss, i can catch up again in a little over a week.
So, with self-motivation in mind, i’ve made a list of Ten Reasons GTLO Rocks:

  1. It’s great practice.
    1a: You gain a mastery of your drawing materials you just don’t have when working only a few times a week – even if those few times are several hours long.
    1b: Coming up with something new to draw every day is one of the greatest creativity exercises imaginable.
  2. It gives you something to post between Illustration Friday pictures.
  3. It exercises the right side of the brain, making it a great break from math homework, income taxes, and annoying co-workers.
  4. It can be done with nothing more than a napkin and that half-empty ball-point pen you found in the bushes this morning.
  5. It’s so much easier to figure out problem spots in drawings when you’re finding new ones every day.
  6. It’s so much easier to solve problem spots in drawings when you have a chance to practise every day.
  7. You can test out new art supplies without risking the ruination of a more time-consuming piece.
  8. Instead of spending hours labouring over a “Keep Out – Artist at Workâ€? sign, you can just grab your latest monster image from your sketchbook and tape it to the door.
  9. Meetings with your psychologist will take on whole new levels of meaning. (Trust me on this. Bring your sketchbook to your next appointment, and prepare to be amazed. Especially if you have a really bad shrink – they’re the more “inspirationalâ€? ones.)
  10. Your support of local art-supply stores will skyrocket, as you’ll need to restock on sketchbooks and pencils far more frequently.

Now, i’m off to dig up reference photos for a month’s worth of foreshortening practise. Anybody care to join me?

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