In some ways, my pandemic hand series is easier to continue because I know it’s so close to ending. On the other hand, it’s also harder for the same reason. It’s an odd state. Maybe this is how marathon runners feel on those last couple of miles.
To keep myself challenged and motivated during the final push, I started using my right hand again. It’s been six months since I practiced drawing with my non-dominant hand. That time, my practice lasted for 63 days; I certainly hope this practice will be shorter!
With my first righty drawing, I felt so rusty that I was afraid I was going to have to start all over again. After a couple more, though, my hand started getting its chops back. It helps that Art Stix are soft, thick and forgiving. It probably also helps that the previous practice made me more ambidextrous in general. It feels natural to do some simple tasks with either hand now – scooping peanut butter from a jar, spreading it on toast.
To add to the challenge and tie the righties together visually, I decided to use my gray Stillman & Birn Nova. Of all the toned paper colors I’ve tried, cool gray is my least favorite. I’ve used it on and off for urban sketching in the winter because it matches our months-long sky so well. (Maybe that’s the problem – it reminds me too much of overcast skies.) I’m not sure why, but I have difficulty using gray as an undertone that I don’t have with warm tan and beige papers. Bright white doesn’t seem quite as bright on gray, and some colors look dull.
About half of my 92-page gray sketchbook remains. Let’s see if I can be fully vaccinated before I fill the book.