Pick up an object and describe it in such minute detail that your readers can draw it without ever having seen it.
I have a small collection of turtles that live on my windowsill. Don’t worry, they aren’t live turtles. I’ve got a glass guy from Long Island, a brass one from Hong Kong, a Lapis Lazuli critter from Cairo, an alabaster chap from Alexandria and a tiny jade cutie all the way from the Great Wall of China at Badaling.
The one I would like you to draw is Tiny Jade Cutie, so here goes:
With his little head held high and cocked a little to one side, he measures two inches from nose to tail.
His shell is just over 1 inch from neck to tail. It looks a little like one of those helmets the WWI Tommies wore in the trenches. It sits high on his shoulders and low on his back legs.
He is standing four-square, leaning a little forward – he is posed as though he is looking at something slightly above and in front of him. His head tilts slightly to his left, which makes me think he is curious about something. His little stubby tail is tilted in the opposite direction. His legs and feet are rounded, giving him a chubby, juvenile appearance.
He is made from a dark green jade. If you hold him up to the light, his legs and tail are slightly translucent so you can see that lovely patterning that is characteristic of this material.
Details of his shell markings have been picked out, as have his eyes and mouth. He looks quite serious, glum even, because his mouth has been shaped like an upside-down “V” with a little bit of curve on the apex.
Because he spent part of his life submerged in a fish tank, the etched out markings and facial features have accumulated tiny bits of sand, which serve to highlight the markings, but he retains his lovely jade sheen.
So there you are – if you decide to do the drawing exercise, I would be very interested in seeing the results.
Spoiler: You can see Tiny Jade Cutie here.