Sketchbook Challenge – January 2014

Way back on January 1, a couple of artists I follow on Twitter decided to start a sketchbook challenge and had invited other artists to participate. I had been looking to do more drawing so this sounded like fun!

Funny Houses

A couple of houses, one from a photo, the other from imagination

Drawing each day for 31 days to fill a 110-sheet 5.5″x8″ sketchbook proved to be extremely challenging, fun, and very fulfilling.

To help keep me on track to draw several pages a day, I drew a calendar on the inside cover of the sketchbook then marked each day with a red X. This kept me on target to meet the challenge and a satisfying feeling to see the number of red marks grow. I believe Jerry Seinfeld mentioned this technique to get stuff done in an interview some years ago.


I also found it very handy to keep a table of contents of what was drawn on each page number. It made me realize just how much I actually drew during the month and made it easier for reference purposes should I want to find a particular subject.

What did I learn during this challenge?

  • Drawing with pens for an entire month is extremely challenging, liberating, and fun.
  • I can come up with more ideas than I imagined possible.
  • Drawing every day has become addictive.
  • Keeping a relaxed hand makes for less cramping during long multi-page drawing sessions.
  • Ball-point pens can draw all sorts of lines and textures.
  • Gel pens are great for very smooth and technical lines without bleeding or blotting.

It felt so good to do so much fun drawing that I plan on doing this challenge again in the near future.

Check out all the drawings from my January 2014 Sketchbook.

Who started this challenge? Mike and Victoria of Extracurricular Activities and their Ultra New Year blog post.

Categories: Life

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