Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Robots R Us

Inspired by the glorious robots of Miss Smith, the movie Robots, and now this book, Sylvan and I have developed a sort of sweet, collaborative robot-drawing habit. Sometimes he'll suggest that we draw robots together. Sort of on a whim. And most times, when I am asked this type of question, I try to drop everything and draw.

robots of people we love: the Rozabot and the Theobot
You can't see it here, but the dog's tongue is wiggling;
what you really can't see is that when Sylvan was drawing this,
he paused to pant himself, as though getting the right idea
for how to make the tongue look wiggly.

We have our favorite robot-drawing pens. I favor the Micron, extra fine point: nice flow of ink, the right thickness of line. He likes a gel pen that has a retractable tip so that he doesn't have to keep track of the cap.
is this one dancing, or roller-skating?
I love the movement

We'll often begin our own individual robots and then swap and work on each other's robots in process. Or sometimes, we just stick with our own visions.

I started this funny little female robot, below, and Sylvan suggested she be parachuting because she was on an airplane and was being so rude that she was just thrown right out. It's nighttime, as you can see by the moon and ZZZZZs from the town below. Notice the detail that he added, the harness on her legs to keep her parachute attached.
Collaborative drawing never happened with Jonas. He always had (and still does have) a very very specific picture in his mind, a vision, that only he can realize. In drawing and in life. My early attempts to "help" were usually disastrous and resulted in an even more ruined drawing. Oh those difficult years when his vision did not match his abilities! Agonizing. Now, at age 11.5 (almost), he will sometimes ask me to help him sketch out parts of his main lesson pages, to resolve a troublesome foot, or help make a figure in motion, or to make a good-looking nose. I am always so flattered to be asked and try to tread carefully around his developing artist's ego.

So. Robots. Give them a try!


  1. I'm...speechless. Those robots are just so awesome. Imagine sewing a robot with a parachute- how cool would that be!?
    Beautiful collaborative and individual drawings alike. Just beautiful.

  2. wishing there was an em bot.
    man we need to get together!

  3. Chubby baby hands, robots...crushing.

  4. What a beautiful collaboration!
    Calder loves robots too - he likes to squish his nose and say "" in a very mechanical way...
    I can't wait to draw robots with him someday!