Okay, it may be a little silly, but it sure got me drawing last summer!
Many thanks go out to Brenda Swenson for offering the challenge and encouraging people to dive into drawing in a big way. The "Artistic License" that she awards to everyone who completes the seventy-five day challenge is just a fun way to motivate people to draw.
I started the challenge on June 8 and did my final sketch (shown above) on August 22, 2012. Every day I drew directly in ink in my sketchbook (as stipulated in the challenge rules) - no pencils or erasers were allowed. I also added watercolor to most of the sketches.
Here's how I benefited from doing the challenge:
- My drawing skills improved.
- I learned to observe my subject carefully before putting pen to paper.
- It taught me to pay close attention to the relationships between objects, observing how one thing relates to another in size, angle, and placement in space.
- I was inspired to create new page layouts, since I was using the same 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sketchbook for the entire challenge, and I wanted to introduce some variety into my compositions.
- I tried out new lettering styles.
- I learned that there are no excuses for not drawing. It's not easy to be consistent and sketch every day, but it is possible. It just takes determination and commitment, and a few minutes out of every twenty-four hours.
- I conquered my fear of tackling things that are "hard to draw," like hydrangeas!
- It inspired me to pass on my love of sketching by teaching two sketchbook journaling classes.
- It gave me an excuse to spend long hours drawing and painting.
I've filled one and a half Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbooks with my challenge sketches, and I plan to continue to sketch directly in ink to finish filling the second one. I like the idea of finishing it in the same manner that I started.
I hope the stories of my struggles and triumphs over the past few months of sketching will encourage you to try a 75 Day Sketch Challenge of your own one day. It was a creative boost for me, worth every minute I put into it.
If you would like to see all seventy-five of the challenge sketches, stop by my online gallery and check out the "75 Day Sketch Challenge" album.