Today I have had occasion, in the course of my work, to use Google to find:
pictures of an octopus
pictures of a shark's fins
pictures of flip-flops
pictures of flippers
what a 500ml juice bottle looks like
when John Newton stopped being involved in the slave trade
whether they have Captain Birdseye in America
the size of a Tunnocks teacake
whether a duck's quack echoes
What did we do without it?
On the downside, these legitimate areas of research somehow ended up with me reading in Wikipedia about fish cakes, crab cakes, Jamaican cuisine, jerked chicken, beef jerky... Deep fried Mars bars and Cornish pasties came in somehow, too. Ooops!
Occasionally, yes, there were some things I could see were impressive - backflips and one-handed cartwheels and leaping to their feet from lying down. But most of the time, it looked random. I didn't know what I was looking at. I could hear impressed murmurs from the crowd, but I didn't know why. I couldn't see what they were seeing. I didn't understand.
It helped me realise how something that is obvious to me may genuinely not be to other people. They can't see if something is good design. They can't see that something's just a rough, not finished drawing.
This week I had three apprentices. I was teaching three young teenagers how to face paint, as they have been asked to do it for a children's party. So we spent a fun evening painting each other's faces. They chose three designs and we concentrated on them - better be able to do a few designs well, than have a huge selection on offer, and no idea where to start. I think they'll do OK.
Here are the instructions I printed out for them. One day they may be part of a book - in which case I would put a photo in the blank bit. They're deliberately simple - no complicated shading or anything. So often you need to be a skilled artist (and have a lot of time) to do the designs in facepainting books. I've gone for quick and relatively foolproof. Though painting on a non-flat surface that moves is never easy!
Butterflies are very popular with wee girls. Pink, preferably. Is this a natural tendency, or because they have been indoctrinated?
Now, one of my favourites! It's a good one to do, because it doesn't matter if it's a bit rough. And it looks like a real tiger.
And a couple of really simple ones:
Feel free to use these designs for personal use, or for a charity event. Please do not publish.