Ужин с Чаем

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A4 White Cartridge Paper, 2B and 4B pencils

“Ужин с Чаем” is “Dinner with Tea” in Russian. I thought the title would be appropriate considering what it is literally depicting. The reason why the title is in Russian is due to my appreciation of the language as I have been learning it that time and still am now – I thought it would give the title an exotic taste rather than just having it in English.

The original image I based on was taken during a dinner with my mother. It also comes with a back story:
We came across a Chinese restaurant and both agreed on dining there. Upon assigned to our seats, the waitress cones over and asks for our drinks. My mother decided to have a coke, while I decided to have a teapot full of Pu’er tea. The waitress bursts into laughter and teased that I was old fashioned and how young people are supposed to drink coke, not tea. Despite her comment, as a proud tea enthusiast , I enjoyed my tea. And I loved it.

The teapot was an interesting one. I was suspecting a traditional Chinese porcelain teapot but then was greeted by this glass one. It was interesting to see the contents inside, especially how the tea leaves rose and fell along with the convection currents within (you can’t really see it due to the darkness).

I decided to do a tight tonal drawing of the photo I took just to push myself out of the comfort zone. It was quite hard not to do hard lines to depict the objects since I’m so used to line drawing and messy sketching. To confront that I focused on the negative spaces of the lighter tones and the darker tones, then used a paper towel to smudge things out to allow the shading to be smoother.

What I think was successful was perhaps the tea cup as it seemed somewhat eye catching, perhaps it is due to the contrast between its shiny parts and the darker surroundings. What I found most challenging was definitely portraying the table. Since it is made of marble, there is quite a lot of patterns going on. In addition to that, there is quite a huge variation of tone on it. The combined effect gave me a nightmare, but I tried my best. That would be a room for improvement.

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