There are no mistakes

I have made daily sketching a priority these past months, and have various sketchbooks and pens to pick from every day.

This weekend I decided to draw an old tram I saw at the station in Amsterdam a little over a week ago.

I decided to use a fountain pen to draw and then set out to sketch.

A couple minutes in my fountain pen failed (again, I might add!) and a big blob of ink appeared where only a dot was required.

I didn’t have a very good day at that time and when the blob started to stain the paper I felt like a failure (and not only at sketching). I immediately tossed the fountain pen in the trash.

Today I opened my sketchbook to make a new drawing. I opened it to this page, looked at this sketch. I don’t feel the sense of failure about it anymore.

I just see a sketch I made that has good things and bad things. The ink blob has become part of it.

And I am proud that I resisted the urge to tear it out of my book. It belongs there, because you learn from mistakes, even if it takes a while to learn, like with a fountain pen that had shown it was utterly unreliable earlier.

You also learn not to be so damn hard on yourself for making them. Ink blobs happen. You just turn the page and move on to the next sketch, which I am going to do right after posting this.

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