Obsessive, distracting, challenging, fun. Sketching 100 people in a week has been a crazy ride. Instead of eyeing the artistic properties of carrots and beets in the supermarket, I found myself wishing I could draw the man with the waist-length gray beard or the woman in the colorful scarf. I became a spy in the coffee shop and at the library: casing the joints for subjects, finding seats where I could be unobtrusive, stealing glances, occasionally getting caught.
I’ve learned a lot in a week.
- The more you do, the better you get—with a major caveat. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’re just doing the same thing over and over. Taking time to learn (e.g., anatomy, technique, accuracy, etc.) or trying different materials can jump you to the next level. The combination of learning and practice is how you improve.
- Sometimes working from photos is a good thing. By stopping the action and giving yourself time, you can really study your subject. You can mess around, make mistakes, and clean them up. Your sketches might be less lively, but when you go back to working from life, you just might be more prepared.
- There’s no substitute for working from life.
- Studying the work of other artists—whether Masters in a museum or fellow sketchers online—opens up new doors of possibility.
- You are in the driver seat. Sketch what you love, but push the boundaries and take risks every now and then to see what you are capable of.
Click on any sketch to view larger and see notes. (See 1-50 here)
Good for you – and I entirely agree, the portrait should count for way more than one! It is stunning….!
Thanks Sheryl– it was worth doing (as was the whole dang challenge).
Definitely an A+++ on your assignment and congratulations. Loved your little notes and captions as well as your decorative framing lines around some pages!
Thanks Gaelle! So glad you liked the assignment– I did too, but I’m glad for the pressure of it to be over.
Wow! Very impressive! I might give myself an assignment of drawing…say 25…instead of 100. I loved all of your drawings!!! 👏🎨👏🎨
Hi Kathy- I needed a big kick to draw people, so 100 was certainly that. A lot of learning took place between 25 and 100, so it was worth it. Now a couple 1,000 more to really feel proficient.
This is so amazing!
I did the challenge too ! And boy it was stressful fun 😉 love your 100 – and definitely that wonderful watercolor portrait is worth a few for sure !
Congrats on finishing and thanks for your support for mine. Did you do your 100 in mixed media / paint as in your recent painting posts or more traditional media?
graphite only — was trying to squeeze in sketching time during a week where I had to do some extensive long distance preparations for a important/fun family function 🙂 Hope to try them out in other media soon!
Your sketches have been so inspirational and I’m sure encouraged a lot of people to take up the brush. I did more than 100 and it was a stretch, but I concentrated mainly on portraits from photos as I don’t have access to lots of peeps here. I realised my faults and ways of overcoming them. I also used a different medium each day to see what fits me best. It was a crazy fun week and thanks for all your insights into your work.
Hi Ros- It was a crazy/fun challenge– I’m glad you found it a good learning experience too. I’ll be curious to see how what I learned translates into other sketches. It’s nice to have the pressure off this week, isn’t it!?
Wow!!! Love this blog, love the 100 people assignment, and am especially taken by #85: the eyes, the softness of colors, the softness of spirit, so sweet. Thank you for sharing all of your tips and insights. I am inspired!
Great! Glad you found me. Thanks for the nice note and hope you continued to find inspiration here.
Just looking at your blog and interests…you love Arts and Birding, a week long workshop at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine. Check out my workshops page for information and links…or google search it.