Bubble Tea (Sketch)

My daughter, once again, suggested the subject of this sketch. I received a box of 12 colored pencils for my birthday, and several weeks later I still hadn’t yet put them to use.

We often have conversations about perception, and one of my favorite things to tell her is, “You see with your brain, not with your eyes.”

I remember learning this in fourth grade. I wanted to draw a brick house, but I didn’t want to draw every single brick. I learned that I didn’t have to. I just drew a couple of clusters of bricks on my drawing and suddenly my brain saw them all. I felt like I’d discovered a kind of sorcery.

Bubble Tea Sketch

Sorcery Again

Drawing the glass of bubble tea, I didn’t have a model in front of me. It started out from my mind’s eye. But I remembered something weird should happen to the appearance of the straw: refraction, an effect caused by light changing speed as it moves from air to liquid.

So I got a beer glass, filled it halfway with water, and put a straw in it just to remind myself what that would look like.

I drew the sharp bend in the straw, and shaded it. That feeling of sorcery came to me again. I hadn’t drawn or shaded anything yet to indicate the color of the tea. But the liquid surface materialized, at least in my brain.

1 comment

  1. Paul Reply
    June 2, 2024 at 10:30 pm

    I bet another sort of sorcery was that your picture made your daughter ask you to take her out to get a bubble tea!

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