How to Use Drawing as a ‘Creative Break’ From Cancer


A professional illustrator and former cancer caregiver uses a detailed step-by-step approach using simple shapes such as circles and rectangles to demonstrate how others can easily draw a lion.

When his late wife was diagnosed with BRCA-associated breast cancer, freelance artist and illustrator Mark Hicks turned to drawing as a method of coping.

In this video, Hicks walks patients with cancer, survivors and caregivers through the step-by-step process to draw a lion.

“To try and help me remain grounded during my wife’s cancer struggles, I often turned to my sketchbook when time allowed,” Hicks said in a prior blog post. “None of it will ever hang in a gallery or museum, but doing it helped me cope with the stress and heartache of being a cancer caregiver.”

More drawing instructions from Hicks:


Today I'll show you how to draw a lion using simple shapes to provide a framework for the drawing. You just need a pencil, an eraser and a piece of paper.

Start by drawing a circle for the lion’s head. Have a small rectangle for the snout and a smaller one below it for the lower jaw.

Next comes the body. Add a large rectangle behind the head circle.

Add legs and paws. Again, rectangles work perfect for this.

Add a small triangle for the eye, a small oval for the ear and a curly line for the lion's tail.

Now go back and darken the outline and erase any unwanted lines.

Finally, add in any details you feel brings a sketch alive: teeth, whiskers etc. You can leave it as a lioness, or you can add a mane. Change the sketch however you feel it should look. Add a background or color or another lion. Be creative.

I hope this has given you a creative break until our next creative break together, take care.

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