I spent the last week working on a sketch. In a way, there's nothing unusual about that. But in a way, it was different because it reminded me of an important life lesson. Here's the finished sketch:
On Friday, July 23, I started a sketch. It was going to be of a woman facing forward with a flappy hat on her head. But I hated the way I sketched her eyes, so I decided to change it by turning it into a sketch of her back. I covered the face with marks that I thought would be hair, but it ended up looking like a veil or a shroud.
I don't have a great before picture, because I hated the sketch on the first day and thought I would abandon it. Here's a not-great screen capture from my morning watch session:
I put the sketch aside thinking I was done with it. But then I thought about how the hair/veil along with the hat made me think of a beekeeper's headgear. And so, the next morning, I played with it a bit more. I added some bees. I added some beehives in the distance and a jar of honey in the foreground. On day two, just 24 hours after I was ready to abandon the sketch, I decided that it had potential.
On Sunday, July 25, I added the mountains in the background and started to add some color. Over the next days, I continued to add color and to think about the area at the bottom of the sketch. I had thought it would be a fence, but I didn't like my options for fence color. If I made it a wood fence, I worried that it would blend in with the cat, the jar of honey, and the basket. So I decided to make it a stone/marble wall.
As I've sketched each morning and as I've spent the rest of the day thinking about what to do next in the sketch, I've thought back to day one when I planned to abandon the sketch. And as I kept showing up, I found more and more to like, and I had more and more ideas.
Did I execute them all? No. Did I perform them perfectly? No. But that's not the point. My skills have improved, but again, not the point.
The sketch has given me delight and made me interested to know what will come next. And it's reminded me not to give up on a creative endeavor too early.