Deagret Wyckland

Nov. 12, 2019, 12:06 a.m.

Barely Treading Water(color)

Sometimes, Deagret had really bad ideas. They were just terrible. Like when she was nine, and she decided to take a bean bag down the stairs like a tubing slide, and ended up with a sprained ankle. Or this summer, when she went to Maine with her family (before The Marshmallow Incident) and didn’t think to look behind her on a red-flag day (she shouldn’t have been out anyway), got smashed by a tall wave, dragged out on a rip, and Graham had to swim out to her while her parents called over a lifeguard. Or when she put a sparkler too close to her face at seven, and the scar above her right eyebrow was only now really starting to fade away.

But sometimes, only sometimes, she had really, really good ideas.

She hadn’t known her friends’ birthdays last year, so she hadn’t gotten the chance to give them anything. But she knew them now, and she wasn’t going to let herself or her friends down again.

Perhaps doing portraits but with watercolor wasn’t the greatest idea, since she was still quite new to the medium, but the idea itself was actually pretty cool.

Having decided that starting with a fresh look at her friends would be a better choice than to just draw them blindly, Deagret planned to start them at the beginning of the school year. She also didn’t want to rely on pictures; to her, it felt like cheating. Dea wanted this to be how she saw them, not how the rest of the world saw them.

The redhead bit her tongue lightly as she sketched out Kit’s face for the fifth time, trying her best to get all the angles rights. She’d already finished Elliot’s face, but currently, he had no hair, because Dea had found that Elliot’s hair was incredibly hard to draw, but that was true of most hair. It didn’t help that his was so dark, either, which would only make painting and shading even harder. So for the time being, she’d decided to leave him bald. She hadn’t started on Jake yet--thought it best to take it one at a time.

Letting out a disgruntled hum and setting her board down on the grass, Deagret repositioned herself to get a new perspective. She reached up to twirl her hair, only to grimace and remember that two-thirds of it was gone. Exhaling sharply out of her nose, she flipped the paper around before securing it back to her clipboard. Sometimes looking at the whole piece upside down helped her make better sense of the dimensions and angles. Maybe it was just like, a placebo effect or something, but hey, it was better than staring at a page for an hour.

And it worked. Because twenty minutes later, Deagret had completely finished the line work for Kit’s portrait, and she actually quite pleased with it. Now, getting into the painting would be something different entirely, so she chose not to think about that yet and slid Kit’s piece into a large manilla folder by her legs.

She was glad she’d chosen to work “out here”. The sunlight helped her keep her spirits up, and the grass under her legs was soft and comforting. So Dea took a deep breath of the best air she’d get till Christmas and pulled out a blank piece of paper for Jake. She hadn’t even thought of starting Gigi’s yet, or Madeleine’s. By the end of it all, she was going to be out of both watercolors and the right paper, and that stuff was expensive.

After finishing most of Jake a while later, and making some adjustments to Kit’s fiery locks, Dea finally got up the courage to try her hand at Elliot’s mess of jet-colored hair once more. She bit her tongue again, and picked up her soft wooden pencil, and proceeded to make a mess of it all.


Sighing, she grabbed her eraser and tried her best to not angrily scrub at the childish marks she’d made.

This was getting ridiculous, and now she just wanted it to be over.

As she grumbled to herself and continued to remove lines from her meager attempt at drawing the dark-haired boy, something suddenly blocked her lighting. At first, she thought it might be one of the artificial clouds, but then realized that clouds don’t tend to have shadows.

Scrambling to put away her work, she blurted out, “I wasn’t doing anything!” just in case it was actually one of her friends (and with her luck, it would be), before turning to face the person who was so rudely blocking her absolutely essential light source. One cannot draw in the dark!

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