Sometimes it takes a big push to try something new. That’s what I’m getting this week by participating in the worldwide drawing event One Week 100 People 2017*, started by Urban Sketchers Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel. I barely see 100 people in a week, let alone draw them, so sketching 100 people is taking me to new places, spurring me to experiment with new materials and techniques, and forcing me to study faces and figures after many, many years of not drawing a soul.
I’m just past halfway to the finish line and here you can see the good, the bad, and the way off the mark. But it’s all good and fun, really, and I’m learning a lot. I’ll share the second half and some lessons learned when I reach 100. (Click on any sketch to view larger and see notes.)
1-5 My first sketch took only about 20 seconds, but it marked my commitment to this challenge: I’m in.
6-10 A sense of panic reigned as I began in earnest—the lines are loose, fast and rough; but this is one of my favorite pages from the challenge.
11-20 A lesson in simplification reveals just how much a few strokes of paint can say.
21-24 Learning from the masters is a worthwhile exercise: it’s all about capturing light.
25-28 How different are the strokes of the Japanese masters of the same time period (and what a comparison of 18th and 19th century women)! The Japanese artists had already simplified the features, so their artistry is far more graphic and gave me a sense of lovely flowing lines.
29-33 Here I reverted to fast and rough, just trying to get my numbers up instead of being thoughtful.
34-40 More of the same (see 29-33).
41-43 Slowing down with a water soluble pencil. You can start to see in the faces what I’ve learned from the facial studies.
44-47 I consider the Blue Girls to be my breakthrough sketches. Instead of seeing arms and faces, I began to look at shapes and forms to capture the figures. I also realized that I could slow myself down and be less reckless, even when working quickly. Starting in pencil helped too.
48-54 Back at the library I continued to focus on shape and form, while being more careful with the facial structure. I’m pleased with the results.
55-57 Again, panic. The library was closing in 10 minutes and I want to get my numbers up!