Do you ever feel like you're fighting with your art supplies? I just spent the best part of 2 days being beaten down by a piece of paper and a pencil which sounds so ridiculous if you have never experienced it, but if you have, you will know how annoyed I felt ! But every cloud has a silver lining and I learnt a lot from the experience.
I had started a new pencil study of a mouth. Quite quickly I noticed that as I drew over certain areas on the paper, strange blotches were being revealed making it very difficult for me to get a smooth gradient. This is is something I've encountered before and I know how to fix so I plodded on.
If you are a graphite user you will have probably come across pencils before that have hard fragments in the lead that tear into your paper, you can avoid damage if you are careful, notice straight away and sharpen them out which is what I did, but then a few minutes later, there was another, and another and another along with more and more blotches.
So I spent all of last Wednesday battling with my materials. NOT what you want to be spending your time on as a full time artist, time is very precious.
After hours of being beaten down by a pencil and a piece of paper, I admitted defeat, deleted all of my footage and removed the drawing from my desk, threw my pencils in the bin, sulked for a few hours and went to bed early. Ha ha, how dramatic.
The next day I woke up and the sun was shining and I just felt so much better.. I got out a piece of oil painting paper, took some fresh reference photos and began an oil study of the same subject and just had a great time!
So to sum up, your materials are there to work for you, not the other way around, think of them like an employee, if they aren't doing their job, sack them and hire someone better. Time is money and we don't have time to waste. Get some new art supplies (mine arrived the next day!) and remember art is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not stressful :)