During the summer, I finally signed up for classes at SketchBook Skool after pondering them for way too long. The first class I signed up for was “seeing.” It had some of my very favorite sketchers like Danny (who is in all the classes, of course) and Brenda Swenson and Cathy Johnson and Andrea Joseph. Once all the people I loved were on the list, I just couldn’t not sign up.
When it was Brenda Swenson’s week, she shared with us what she calls the 75-Day Sketch Challenge. The way the challenge works is that you have:
- Complete 75 drawings in 75 days. If you miss a day, you have to do two the next, etc. You have 75 days total.
- You can only use black or blue pen.
- You can use any technique, size, and subject you want.
- No pencil allowed. No exceptions.
I will say I was quite intimidated. I have never not used a pencil. The pen was scaring me. But I decided to tackle it anyway.
For the first few days I used a fountain pen. I liked the very first drawing but really disliked all the consequent ones. Here are the first few:
That was the first 14 sketches. Then I decided to use a ballpoint pen instead (thanks to Andrea) and I realized I liked it so very much better.
After a few more days, I started to feel uninspired. I was tired and out of ideas.
I contemplated quitting a bunch of times. Then we went camping and I drew some in the car:
and something simple at the campground:
and then our tent:
and while the boys took a walk, I drew a camper nearby:
I tried to draw Jake’s shoes:
but i hated it so i decided it didn’t count as #31 and drew these penguins instead:
I then tried to draw my mixer and didn’t have much success even though I tried twice:
then I tried my neighbor’s house:
then i got frustrated again. the next few are small and inconsequential:
and the car across the street:
and another neighbor’s house:
then i drew the counter at McDonalds and some scissors and the Advil bottle. I was running out of ideas indeed.
then I drew the smaller items on my table:
and the mini grill in the backyard:
i felt like each time i took a step forward, i was taking two steps backward:
then i drew more items from my desk:
a spoon and a knife that i hated:
some more not-so-great drawings:
then some more desk items like brushes and knives and scissors:
even when i didn’t have time, i tried to draw something, however small.
i drew this knife as i was waiting for the kids to get out of class.
and for the final two, I drew Nathaniel’s flip flops and some pliers.
And there we are 75 sketches in 75 days. Zero pencil!
Even though I dislike as many as I dislike, I am very proud to have accomplished this many days in a row and I am no longer afraid of just starting with a pen!