Subjected to the first exercise from Nicolaides ‘The Natural Way to Draw’, I drew the contours of the icicles following Nicolaides instruction:

Focus your eyes on some point – any point will do – along the contour of the model. Place the point of your pencil on the paper. Imagine that your pencil is touching the model instead of the paper. Without taking your eyes of the model, wait until you are convinced that the pencil is touching that point on the model upon which your eyes are fastened. Then move your eye slowly along the contour of the model and move the pencil slowly along the paper. As you do this, keep the conviction that the pencil is actually touching the contour. Be guided more by the sense of touch than by sight. THIS MEANS THAT YOU MUST DRAW WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE PAPER, continuously looking at the model.

First, using plants as my models, I was surprised, during the exercise, at the affection I felt for their leaves. Next, I tried the trees outside the window, and then the icicles suspended from the roof.

Being, so far, more of a photographer than a draftsman, I took a snapshot of this wintry scene.