I hadn't done anything yet about paintings to go with desserts for the cookbook. One of our faves around the library for birthday celebrations is Gramercy Tavern's gingerbread as recreated and shared by Smitten Kitchen (what?! you don't know Smitten Kitchen? you're in for a treat), so I gathered a few of the ingredients--molasses, cinnamon and eggs--and painted them.
Last time I painted eggs, I did the drawing first in pen; and the thing with eggs is, if you get their shape even a smidgen off, they don't look so much like eggs as they do misshapen potatoes. So for this illustration I eschewed the pen and stuck to pencil.
It's funny--back before I took Brenda Swenson's sketch journaling workshop and started drawing almost exclusively with pen, I would draw and erase, draw and erase, draw and erase, and take forever to get it right. But since you don't have that option with pen, you have to just go for it. You have to really LOOK at what you're drawing, and do your best to put it on paper, and if you have an occasional jog where you meant to jig, well, so be it. I assumed, therefore, that when I went back to pencil, I would draw, as I did with a pen, with more confidence and less waffling. I do think I have a better chance of getting it right the first time now, but in fact, I discovered today that when I have the option of erasing and fixing, I do still take advantage. Perhaps that was good for this painting, since the eggs do look more like eggs, and the angles on the tops and lids are a bit more realistic. Also, it's easier to get the effect of see-through glass without pen lines. But I did miss having that definite outline to paint to!