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Leihu Sketch Challenge: Hot Tea Feet

Just at the end of my lunch break today, James Mathias, a fellow 9rules member designer and blogger, IM'ed a request: “What should I draw today?”

tea-feet-sm.jpgAfter a few moments pondering James' request, here's what suddenly popped out of my head:

"Hmmm... someone drinking a blazing hot cup of tea with their feet."

I have no idea where this came from — the tea part relates to having tea at my desk — but the part about someone in the sketch, drinking it with their feet (and their inevitably uncomfortable position for tea-drinking) came from who-knows-where.

I was inspired by my own weird thought, so I asked James if I could sketch the same concept and see how similar or different mine would be from his. James thought this was a good idea, so off we went. My sketch is shown here.

I decided to fully embrace the complete discomfort of someone balancing a cup, saucer and teapot of blazing hot tea on their bare feet. Why not imagine a poor guy with legs aloft, scalding tea spilling everywhere as he attempts to drink it? :-)

The drawing was done in about 5 minutes using a Faber-Castell thick-leaded pencil in a Moleskine sketchbook. I enjoyed the sense of serendipity and my self-imposed 5 minute limit, to help keep it loose.

Check out James' sketch, "The Great Tea Fiasco" on his Leihu blog, to see how very differently we interpreted the same concept.

Reader Comments (6)

Very cool, thanks for the idea and for joining me on my daily drawing today. I had fun with it.
March 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJames Mathias
Ha.. sometimes strange artificial limitations will yield interesting results. I remember my oil painting instructor coming up with all sorts of goofy assignments, like producing a figure study in only black & white oil paint, in only 5 minutes. This seemed like a terrible limitation for students like me who tended to labor over a single painting for weeks, but I produced one of my best paintings (according to the teacher). I learned a lot about being spontaneous in my work, with the help of that teacher.On the other hand, sometimes these assignments don't work. We had another assignment to produce a painting in only yellow and black oil pigments. I started painting, then the teacher said there was something wrong with my work. It turns out that yellow plus black oil paint will yield a range of greens.. IF you're using cheap student grade paint. I was using artist's extra-fine grade oils. The teacher seemed terribly disappointed that I couldn't produce the green like all the other students.
March 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCharles
Oh.. oops, I forgot to mention the most interesting part of the assignment. We had to produce a B&W figurative work in 5 minutes.. in the DARK with all the room lights turned out and the blinds drawn. It took a few minutes just for my eyes to adjust to the dark.
March 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCharles
Thanks for the idea James!

Charles, this is interesting because in design classes we had teachers who did drills -- drawing the same object with reducing times, like 10, 5, 2, 1 minute intervals � it was amazing how fun that was! As for drawing in the dark I did it drawing a bluegrass band in a dark club, and it turned out OK:

Thanks for your feedback!
March 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Yeah, the limited drawing times sound like my Basic Drawing classes, the teachers always wanted you to do short drawings, to keep you from getting too involved in any one work. The instructors said this would keep you from getting "too precious."But there are some people who go nuts. I knew one painter who said he liked to do oil paintings at night, outdoors in a parking lot under yellow sodium lights. That way, he couldn't judge the colors on his palette and he would have to calculate the colors in his head. I noticed that these works were pretty crappy, but I suppose that was what he was going for.. ha.On the other hand, there are famous artists like Georg Baselitz who have a whole life's work built around arbitrary choices like this, Baselitz is famous for painting upside down. I like his work.
March 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCharles
Pretty interesting notes Charles -- I think in general it's often good to shake up your process a little -- when I do I am usually happy with at least the experience, if not the results. :-)
April 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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