I have to be honest; I was beginning to lose my enthusiasm and run out of steam as I faced these last six days of the sketching challenge. And to make matters worse, on that first day I was working on a small family history project that suddenly had me going down unexpected research rabbit holes (FindaGrave.com is a fabulous resource!) late into the day. Suddenly, I only had about 20 minutes for sketching (I usually spend close to an hour at least), and surprised myself by quickly completing the pencil undersketch before having to move on. The inking and finalizing would have to wait for the morrow. But the morrow was a long and tiring day spent out of town and by the time I returned home I was too spent to do much more than sit in front of the tv. So no finishing the previous day's drawing let alone starting on the current day's. So I have finished out the month a day behind each day, but I finished!
My enthusiasm returned when I remembered that I had a set of gel pens in 8 different colors. Granted, there is value to sketching in black or brown ink, working out shadings to represent color changes and basically reducing an object to something basic and simple. But I was beginning to miss adding bits of color, and the 4 cups I had lined up all cried out to be rendered with some color. I was succumbing to my tendency for literal interpretation while having to be a bit creative when missing the exact colors. It turned out to be a good learning experience, with my brain registering how the solutions I came up with could be applied to similar situations with fabric and thread. Kinda exciting when I made that discovery, since I always hope these dabblings outside of textile work with have cross-over value. I also enjoyed the extra interest and challenge of adding the pencils, pens, scissors, toothbrushes and glue tubes sticking out of the cups (not to mention they often solved the problem of drawing accurate cup rim ellipses). Truth be told, I think this is my favorite page of cups.
I do have one more souvenir coffee cup I could have sketched, but its design is very busy and included three different text types and I just wasn't up to it. I knew I'd be drawing this tea cup so decided to end the month and the challenge by adding its matching teapot. They gave me a chance to draw a handle faced the opposite direction (I had wondered if it would feel awkward or be a problem after drawing so many the other direction, but it was not) and then something with a lid. The pears and basket are raised decorations which isn't evident here, and the pot brews 2 cups of tea. It's a nice little set for when I know I will want more than just one cup, and I can let my mind wander to my sister-in-law who gave it to me.
And in the process of using the gel pens for the last six sketches, I have fallen in love with them. I've only used them sporadically since buying them on a whim a few years ago. Now that I've spent all this time with them and have a feel for their advantages, I'm sure I will be getting them out more often. Is there something like this lurking in your workroom that once you took the time to really try it out has become a favorite thing?
I think I may have gotten this sketch itch out of my system for the moment - thanks for hanging in there with me. I'm hoping I can convert the daily discipline of it to the studio where any semblance of a routine has been missing for a very long time. It's the "just do something every day, if only for 15 minutes" thing I have to convince myself of and really do. Just like sitting down to sketch each day for this challenge.