wooden models

10 drawing prompts to help you sketch outside the box.

1) Self portrait:  In a mirror with a washable pen, trace the lines of your face (on your face), or of one particular part (an eye, your mouth, etc.) Take note of things that you discover: the placement of under-eye bags, the curves in your nose, the line of your jaw. Recreate the line-art on paper. 

2) Poses and Posture: Draw stick figures in a variety of positions- dancing, jumping, leaning backwards, sitting forwards, etc. gradually fill in the bodies of these figures using a wooden model or online guide. It’s helpful to draw a line down the centre of your figures that runs through the nose, sternum, and pelvis. If your figure is twisted or bent, the line should be too. 

3) Doodle: Draw the silhouette of something you’re good at drawing. Then, draw the biggest circle that you can without going outside the lines of that silhouette. In the remaining space around the circle, draw the biggest circles that you can. Attempt to fill the entire space with circles. Each new circle creates room for several smaller ones, and eventually you will have spaces that are too small for new circles ( using a fineliner will reduce but not eliminate this problem). If you like, colour in the circles and spaces according to the coloration of the thing you drew the silhouette of. 

4) Creativity: Using an online guide, make a rough sketch of the proportions of a human face. Include lines for the nose, mouth, eyes, ears, and eyebrows. Then, instead of drawing a human face, try to draw one as alien as possible while still following the proportions you have sketched. Pay attention to shading and details such as eyelashes, lip-wrinkles, and facial blemishes. 

5) Hands: Go through a few magazines and cut out pictures of hands in as many different positions as possible to glue into your sketchbook. Using a pencil or erasable pen, trace over the key features of each hand. Pay close attention to the width of the hand, the length, and its connection to the wrist. Try to recreate these hands beside the pictures. Don’t focus on detail, instead, focus on making the position of the hand look as natural and fluid as possible.  

6) Perspective: with a pencil, draw a large square with a dot in the centre. Draw lines between the corners of the square, crossing over the dot in the centre. Attempt to draw the room you are sitting in by first drawing the largest objects, and later filling in details. Use the lines as guidelines for perspective: things closer to the dot will be further away, things closer to the edges of the square will be closest to you. An object that starts close and gets further away will seem like it is being ‘pulled’ into the centre by the dot, and will have lines of the same angles as those you have drawn. 

7) Animals: If you have a pet, try to sketch it as quickly as possible. Focus on forms and shapes, not on detail. When it moves, sketch its new position over top of the old one. If it moves to the right, sketch it again to the right. Allow your sketches to overlap. If you do not have a pet, this would be a great excuse to watch cute cat videos on youtube. 

8) Memory: It’s dangerous to rely on memory when drawing, especially if you haven’t trained your memory to recall forms and shapes before details. Generally, what we remember most about a scene is what we see as the most unusual. This is why some people are good at drawing eyes, but unable to draw the rest of the face. For this exercise, find a photograph you like in a magazine or newspaper, and give yourself 30 seconds to study it. Try to see shapes, not objects. Instead of seeing a cup, remember the shape of the cup and its position relevant to other objects. Then, try recreate the photograph from memory. This may take several tries, don’t be afraid to ‘cheat’ if you get stuck. 

9) Abstract: allow yourself to be filled with a specific emotion. Focus on that emotion, think about how it feels, the physical effect it has on your body. Try to draw that emotion coming out of you. It may be helpful to start by drawing a self-portrait of your facial expression while feeling the emotion, and letting yourself get carried away as you draw the components of your face that are most altered by that expression. Don’t try to preserve the first things you sketch, let them be covered and obscured as you add more details. 

10) Practice: It’s always good to practice drawing objects, I find it most helpful to draw from photographs. Dedicate a page in your book to drawing objects that you feel represent you, or are otherwise close to your heart/ identity. Like music? Try drawing piano keys. Like fashion? Draw a few of your outfits draped over the bed. Try to fill the page with these drawings, making use of every inch of space available. 

i care about marcus a lot and so does james.

when james focuses back on photography and hangs up the helmet, marcus takes over as guardian. kara and him race across the sky and maggie and alex take him on their shooting range dates sometimes. he always cheats with the most nonchalant expression and maggie is not amused. he even cheats at pool. at that point maggie takes him by the shoulders and asks,”is nothing sacred to you?” which he just shrugs at her and goes over to m’gann’s side.

m’gann lets him hang around the bar, but only when she’s there and he’s only served juice. alex takes to drinking juice whenever he’s around and makes a whole show of how good it is, which maggie laughs at.

he turns out very artistic. he always has a camera and sketch pad on him. sometimes james will come home to marcus, kara, and their entire apartment covered in paint. kara’s a bit jealous of his powers because he can effortlessly move their wooden figure models around into any position he wants.

at first, marcus thinks winn is lame, but when winn starts to tutor him in science, he discovers how much he actually loves it. winn helps him with all his school projects because everyone else is pretty useless. he starts to talk about it with alex and she is so completely offended that he never went to her and that he assumed she wouldn’t know anything about it. again, maggie laughs and this time calls her a nerd. winn and marcus prank james a lot, always spurred on by maggie.

marcus used to hate when lena would visit kara because he would always feel uncomfortable around her and have to hide away in his room. one day, he comes down for food and he catches lena mid ramble about something nerdy and watches as kara just nods along, her face portraying how lost she was. that night, he searches her work up online and that’s when he starts looking up to her.

j’onn is kind of distant and awkward, but marcus finds he likes it.

they’re a big happy family.


Visual history of Thomas the tank engine’s design.

  1. The original wooden model Rev. Wilbert Awdry made for his son. It’s loosely based on the LNER J50 class. He made it sometime in the early 1940s, a few years before the first Railway Series book, Three Railway Engines (1945).
  2. Rev. Awdry’s first illustration of Thomas.
  3. Reginald Payne’s illustration of Thomas from the Railway Series Vol. 2: Thomas the Tank Engine, published in 1946. Payne reimagined Thomas as an LB&SCR E2 class.
  4. Rev. Awdry’s scale model of Thomas, built for his home layout sometime after 1970. This model and others Rev. Awdry built are preserved at the Talyllyn Railway in Wales, a preserved narrow gauge railway Rev. Awdry helped promote and volunteered at.
  5. The original model built for the television series, which premiered in 1984. It’s a custom-built design, and faces were cast in resin. As only the eyes could move, the face was swapped to a different expression between shots. The design more closely resembles the illustration rather than the locomotive Thomas is based on.
  6. The new model for Thomas, built for the movie Thomas and the Magic Railroad, 2000. This one is made mostly from brass, has newly recast face masks, and brighter eyes.
  7. The updated Thomas model with a CGI-rendered face, from season 12, 2008. In this experimental season, models and CGI animation by Nitrogen Studios were mixed together, with people, animals, and the characters’ faces being animated.
  8. Full CGI render, used since the show went full CGI in 2009. It includes a number of minor visual touches to make him more resemble a real locomotive, like a proper cab interior, underworkings, etc.

Margaret E. Knight (1838-1914) was the first woman to be awarded a patent for an invention in the United States. The device in question was a machine which folded and glued brown paper to form the paper bags which are still used, with the same design, today.

Despite lack of formal education, as she had been forced to work in a cotton mill from age 12, she came up with the idea and built a wooden model of the device. A male coworker stole her design and applied for the patent, but Knight was given due credit after taking him to court and winning in 1871. She went on to apply for 26 more patents throughout her life.

Medieval Feasting

Meals and Courses

The first meal of the day was breakfast, which took place whenever you woke up. Breakfast wasn’t a formal meal and mostly consisted of people eating a few bites before heading out to the fields. Normal breakfast foods were leftovers, sop (bread dipped in milk, ale, wine, or water), and fish (in England).

The first official meal of the day was dinner, which took place from 10 am-12 pm. The second meal of the day was supper, which took place in the evening (Singman and McLean 163). The evening meal was lighter and the time for relaxation; actors, bards, and poets were invited to perform (Bishop 135). Practice varied on which meal was larger. Some laborers had a midday snack of bread and ale and called in noon-shenche or nuncheon, which ultimately gave way to luncheon and lunch. The very rich ate a meal after supper called rear-supper, or, in modern parlance, late night fridge raid.

Ordinary people ate all their food at once. If you were rich, you could afford to have it served in courses. The more courses you had, the wealthier you were. Joffrey’s all-day, seventy-seven course wedding feast in A Storm of Swords is improbable, as most dinners or suppers had four to six courses, not including dishes between courses, which were called entrements or subtleties and more designed for the eye than the mouth (more on them later) (Singman and McLean 163). Most dinners also only lasted about two hours (Mortimer 181). Unlike today, courses went from heaviest to lightest. The first course was the main dish (usually a red meat of some kind) and the dishes following were salads, finger food, or pastries. Sometimes you were only served the main course and the later courses were only for rich or distinguished guests (Singman and McLean 163-4). In 1363, Edward III decreed lords could only have five courses per meal, gentlemen could have three, and grooms could have two (Mortimer 180).

Table Settings & Dining Hall

Most dining halls were actually multipurpose rooms used for all main activities, such as holding court, dancing, etc. Dining tables were long boards set on trestles that could be removed at a moment’s notice (S & M 166). In wealthier households, nobles had contraptions that would raise the tables from a lower level or lower them from a higher level when they were needed (Lacroix 176).

The table was first covered with a tablecloth, then with towels or napkins. In poorer houses they were made of hemp or canvas. Yeomen, merchants, skilled workers, and franklins were likely to use white linen. The richest used silk. People sat on wood stools which sometimes had cushions on them.

The place settings were not elaborate: a napkin, a trencher, a bowl, a cup, and a spoon. Rich houses could afford silver and glass place settings. The poor used wood and ceramics. Pewter served as a middle ground. There were no knives at the place setting because most people had their own eating knife that they brought with them (S & M 166). Knives were single-edged, pointed (they had to spear as well as cut), and smaller than its lethal counterpart the dagger.

Spoons were provided by most households. They were made of wood (boxwood, juniper, popular), bone, horn, pewter, latten (copper and zinc alloy), silver, or gold. They were usually 6-7 in. long. Travelers used a folding spoon, which was hinged in the middle to save space. Forks would not become vogue until the 1600s (S & M 167). During the fourteenth century, the Avignon pope had a few forks made of gold and crystal (Bishop 134).

Keep reading