Feeling comfortable with sketching isn’t easy. I almost have to mentally prepare myself before I begin. Even the process of opening a sketchbook and choosing a pencil (or pen or pastel or…) to draw with can feel overwhelming. And what if I don’t like that quick scribble I’m just about to do for my warm-up? I subconsciously anticipate every step involved in doing a quick 10-minute sketch before I settle down in my studio, and start to worry.
I have over 100 pencils: Graphite (12), Watersoluble Graphite (3), Graphitint coloured watersoluble graphite (24), Watercolour (36), Coloured Drawing (6), Pastel pencils (72). I only know these numbers because they’re mostly stored in their original tins, and the quantities are printed on the lid. So, choosing one pencil isn’t a straightforward task. That’s before I decide what I’m going to draw. But I mostly default to my trusty 2B pencil, because it feels safe, comfortable, unsurprising. For now.
Last week, I decided to join the #100DayProject, with the aim of drawing every day. I started off well, sketching most days – quick pencil drawings of the actors on the TV – but I kept forgetting and have since lost the momentum. It seemed easy at first; spending at least ten minutes every day drawing something just to say I’d done it. After 100 days I would look back on all those pages I’d sketched and then I’d plan the next 100 days. But my focus was elsewhere (when your ironing pile is double the height of your ironing basket, it’s not easy to ignore!).
I have a day off next week, so will plan my own #100DayProject. Ten different tasks, each one lasting ten days. And maybe I’ll shake off my pencil habit while I’m at it.
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