Elise held her sketch book on her knees and carefully erased a small section of the drawing. The still life was harder to draw than she thought at first. One strand of her long blonde hair fell into her face as she leaned over the paper. She chewed her lower lip as she carefully drew the line in its proper place. That was much better, she thought.
Miss DeAngelo slowly walked around the room. The soft soles of her shoes made no noise on the linoleum floor. Sometimes Elise did not even know she was there until she caught a whiff of the teacher's perfume as she walked close by.
Today she heard the art teacher make soft comments to the boy who sat two people away. Elise tried to refocus her mind on the drawing. It wasn't bad, but it was not as good as she wished.
Elise really wished she could draw like Leonardo da Vinci. Just last week, Mom and Dad had given her a book about his life. It was full of illustrations. Of course, he did not just paint and draw; he did many other things well, too.
Elise thought about some of the things he had been interested in. He was an artist, and he was also an engineer. He liked to study how things worked and come up with inventions. He designed flying machines and war machines like tanks. He even came up with an idea for a submarine. She would not even know where to start.
After class, Elise stopped for a few minutes to speak with her teacher. Miss DeAngelo would be sure to know the answer.
"You did a nice job on that still life today," said the art teacher.
"Thank you, Miss DeAngelo," said Elise. "Would you be able to answer a question for me?"
"I'll try," she said.