Wednesday, 30 July 2014

75 Day Sketch Challenge - slightly adapted

I haven't been around much in blogland lately, over a month since my last post. I meant to write several posts, composed them in my mind, took the photos - and then just never got round to it. Sometimes, one just needs a break. I haven't taken a break from drawing, though. Quite the contrary. I've been drawing and sketching more than ever, and I'm slowly getting into the habit of drawing every day, which I hope I'll be able to keep up when life gets more busy again after the quiet of summer. I haven't touched my acrylic paints in months, but that's okay too. I'm happy exploring different aspects, techniques, styles... of drawing, playing around with watercolours, and experimenting with new mediums. I'm sure the time will come eventually, when I feel ready to pick up those paints again.

We're in the middle of the second course of Sketchbook Skool, and as with the first course, I'm so inspired by the teachers, and my fellow klassmates. Even if I haven't done all the homework (yet), I'm learning something from every new klass, and it all comes together in different ways in my drawings. Brenda Swenson, one of the teachers in the second course, suggested the 75 Day Sketch Challenge. I think this challenge has been around for quite some time, I remember having seen people doing and posting about it before (although it seems to have disappeared now). Basically, the idea is to do 75 pen drawings, without doing an outline in pencil first, within 75 days, preferably one every day. I love drawing with pencils, and I also think that it's quite okay to use it for an initial outline, if it makes you feel more comfortable. But using pen only is a good exercise to build up your drawing skills and confidence, and the challenge itself is a great way to get into the habit of daily drawing. Both things I want to develop (and the reason for doing the challenge).

I have adjusted the rules a little bit, though. For some reason, you're only allowed to use black or blue ink. Not quite sure why, but I've only just managed to get one of my Noodler Ahab flex pens working (I have two, and it seems that I can only get to work one of them at the time), and the ink (Noodler's Brown) flows so beautifully, that I have to make the best of it as long as it lasts. And then there are the red and green Bic pens too... And I'm adding colour to my drawings too, watercolours and coloured pencils. I'll certainly do some sketches without colours too, but for the moment, I just want to play with my new Daniel Smith watercolours (which are finally available in Switzerland), and my new coloured pencils. So here are the first seven of my 75 drawings, all of them drawn in ink, #1 and #3 over a watercolour background, #5 with watercolour over ink, and #2, 4, 76 and seven with coloured pencil over ink:

I'm using a Handbook for the challenge. I was going to my pile of empty sketchbooks to find one that had enough pages for the challenge. I don't know why I felt I had to do each drawing on an individual (single or double) page, as I really like those composite pages, but there you go. They're lovely sketchbooks with paper that seems quite thin but which takes watercolour very well, without bleeding.

I also meant to write something about the re-discovery of a new/old medium - the coloured pencil, but I think I'll have to put that into a separate post, or else this one gets just too long.