Wednesday 22 October 2014

75 Day Sketch Challenge: The End - The Beginning

At last. I meant to write this post over two weeks ago, right after having finished my 75 Day Sketch Challenge. But October hasn't been good to me healthwise, and I didn't have the energy to do anything at all, really. But things are looking up now, and it's time to finally get this post written and posted.

Considering how miserably I have failed with most of the challenges I have tried to undertake in the past few years, I really didn't expect much when I started with this one. I didn't really believe that I would manage to do 75 sketches in 75 days, but decided to just start and not think too much about it. Well, not only did I do 75 drawings in 75 days, but I actually did one sketch a day, for 75 days. And I must admit, that I'm feeling quite a bit proud of myself :)

So here are the last six sketches. The last day of the challenge was a Sunday, so I took my time to sketch all the different pens I used for the drawings.

And here are some thoughts about my experiences withe the challenge:
  • The pencil:  I found the no pencil rule restricting at times. I really like graphite, and I missed it and the option of picking up and experimenting with whatever medium I felt like. And while I can understand the idea behind the no pencil rule, I'm afraid it's not for me. At least not as a permanent rule, which far too often carries the implication that certain tools, such as the pencil, are inferior. There are no inferior tools or techniques, and pencil and eraser are as valuable for whatever purpose you use it as every other tool. There are only tools and techniques that suit you and your style better or less well. Banning a certain tool from your tool box doens't make you a better draughtsman. The only thing that makes you better at drawing is to draw. As much as possible. Experiment with different tools, and with time you will find out which ones suit you best, in gerneral, and in certain situations, styles or techniques. We all work differently, and therefore have different ways to achieve the results we want. And all of them are equally fine. Whatever works for you.
  • The sketchbook: I dedicated a special sketchbook to the challenge, a little square Handbook. It's great to flick through its pages and see all the drawings in one book. The paper was suited well enough for the mediums I used, and its size meant that it was convenient to carry with my everywhere. But at times, I really would have prefered a different format, different paper. I know now that, at least for the moment, I don't want to use just one sketchbook, but different ones, for different purposes and moods.

  • Perfection: Because of the sketchbook I used, and because of my decision to share all of my drawings online, I ended up being a bit afraid to mess up too much. So I wasn't quite experimenting as boldly as I would have liked. I still pushed my boundaries, and a little bit of collage covered up one drawing that was beyond rescue, but I'm looking forward to experiment more now, without the pressure of the result having to look neat and comfortable enough to share.

  • Drawing daily / Daily drawing: I really enjoyed drawing daily, even if it was just a very quick 5 minutes sketch. I know now that I can fit something in every day, no matter how little time. But at times, I found it a bit difficult having to come up with a complete drawing every day. I'm looking forward to be able to take more time for a drawing, to work on it over several days if I feel like doing something more elaborate. I definitely want to keep drawing every day, but it doesn't have to be a drawing a day.

  • Pens: I used a number of different pens, and I really got to know them, and which one I like best. Apart from my Lamy and TWSBI fountain pens, I really enjoyed drawing with fineliners. The Copic Multiliner SP is expensive, but has a nice range of colours as well as matching brush pens. For a simple black pen, the Unipin Fineliner is definitely my favourite at the moment, especially the 0.05. I just love those very, very fine lines. Add a 0.1 and a 0.3 and a couple of brush pens and the odd ballpoint, and I'm happy.

  • Lettering: At the beginning, I only added a sort of title and maybe some comment at times to my drawings, but in the course of the 75 days, I really started to enjoy adding more elaborate lettering and writing. A drawing without it would have felt imcomplete. I definitely want to spend more time exploring lettering and journaling.

  • Goal: My main goal was to get into a regular, if possible daily, drawing habit. In that respect, the challenge was a 100% success.
Of course, the end of the challenge is only the beginning, or maybe the continuing. Anyway, of lots of drawing, hopefully daily, of experimenting of all kinds, of pushing boundaries and comfort zone leaving, of trying out new things, learning, improving... and most of all, having lots of fun with it.