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