Thursday, January 9, 2014

This Mouse

Today I am posting a picture of a mouse. Here it is:

Our young tomcat caught this little guy without harming him, so the girls kept him in a small terrarium for most of the day before rereleasing him back into the wild.

This happens from time to time -the girls catching small animals and bringing them home. Mice, shrews, box turtles, crayfish and salamanders have all made short stays at our house. I try to draw these creatures as often as I can.

When I speak about art and visual storytelling at schools and libraries I often mention the importance of drawing from life. This is what I mean: when life puts a mouse in your path just stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and draw a picture of it. Even if your drawing doesn't turn out well (because not all drawings turn out well) you will at least have spent some time really looking at one of the creatures we share our world with. And that's invaluable.

6 comments:

Factoid Firefly said...

very cute little mousey! :D

anna said...

meraviglia! È vero!!! Grazie Ben!

provo a scriverti un testo tradotto male, spero si capisca

Must be in writing new stories that nonetheless still retrace the oldest men's desires, the desire to visit unknown worlds, to establish a communion with other living beings, trees and animals. "The man who is content to just be himself is like in prison - he writes Lewis - my eyes are not enough for me, I want to see through the eyes of others. And I'm sorry that the animals can not write books. I'd like to know how you have things in the eyes of a mouse or a bee. Perceive the olfactory world of information load and emotions that can have a dog. But this desire I think it's an adult, I think a guy just wants to be friends with a dog. Dimly aware that what separated us, in a state of precarious truce, will be solved sooner or later. "Ê desire to establish a communion among other men, and between generations in the family.

Faith E. Hough said...

I will have to show these pictures to our six-year-old; she often befriends the mice that raid our cupboards, secretly leaving crumbs around for them. :)
I definitely agree about taking the time to see little things and draw from nature. We do that often with our homeschooling, and I'm often surprised to see my daughters noticing more detail than I do.

Clare said...

Hi Mr. Hatke, this is an unrelated question, but I was curious - when you're making the Zita book panels, what size do you make them? Do you draw them a page or a panel on one paper?
I love your blog and the Zita books. :)

Ben Hatke said...

Good question, Clare! Most Zita pages are drawn as pages, not individual panels (unless I have to draw a single replacement panel).

I'll try to post a photo of what some finished pages look like soon.

Clare said...

What happened to Mr. Hatke?