Sketching Challenge Completed--Next!

February 02, 2015

Saturday I completed my 31 Days of Sketching challenge—and I’m proud to say I didn’t miss a day! On most days I spent at least 15 minutes sketching and/or painting, and there were only a couple of days that I scraped together a few minutes and a few pencil strokes just so I could say I’d sketched. Winter Interrupted came at a good time and helped me add watercolor sketches to my sketchbook. I posted all my sketches on Flickr. (Belle of Belle, Book, and Candle took up the challenge as well, and you can see her sketches here.)

Watercolor pencil
I wanted to become more comfortable sketching, and to make it more a part of my life instead of just done every now and then. I’m still not as comfortable as I’d like, and I did find that I didn’t experiment as much as I would have if I weren’t posting my sketches publicly.  Of course, I could have chosen not to post, but that felt like cheating. This tells me that I still care too much what others think. I don’t like to share my mistakes or what I think will be perceived as not very good. I will continue sketching, though probably not every day. I have several ideas for more sketchbook pages from Winter Interrupted, as well as (ahem) pages I want to complete from our New England trip a year and a half ago.

My favorite page from Winter Interrupted
The month-long challenge seems to work well for me. It’s both finite and concrete; long enough to see progress, but short enough not to be overwhelming or boring. These challenges keep me focused when my natural tendency is to be easily distracted by new and shiny ideas or projects. So what’s next? I’m leaning towards a horsemanship challenge for the month of February. I’m off to a poor start because I did nothing horse-related yesterday—but I could still pick it up today. Do I need that concrete, I-will-do-this-every-day structure? I suspect yes. I could easily do a horsey thing every day, whether it’s play with Tank, finally watch the horsemanship DVDs gathering dust in my bedroom, or delve into the books, articles and internet research on horse topics that I seldom seem to have time to get into. There is tack to clean, or ground work exercises to try, and, of course, February is a lovely month for riding. I’d love to see my riding and horsemanship skills take a big leap forward.

Right now I’m taking delight in these monthly challenges. Will they continue? I’m not sure. In the meantime, I have some riding boots to clean…


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12 comments

  1. It's so great when one finds a structiure that works as a motivator or an aid to focus and persistence. I have gotten away from my sketching habit. Thanks for sharing your process. Oh, your horse activities sound like a dream come true, with, a lot of work & aspects to it. That Tank is a lucky guy & you sound like a lucky team.

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  2. Oh, and I understand the dilemma about the intention of showing or not showing sketches & notes...I think a lot of us struggle with this from time to time...

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  3. Good for you Kathy. I tried but gave it up. I tend to wait for "inspiration" to get me to sketch. I do sketch almost everyday but sometimes it's just practicing some drawing technique.

    Love your horsey challenge and I'm sure that Tank will love it too. Love the boots and I really do like your page composition from the Sunken Gardens. I got all the way home with that sticker still stuck to my shirt. ;-P

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  4. Rita--I'm glad you didn't mind hearing about my experiments. I've found that what motivates me once doesn't always motivate me over and over...I'm hoping to get a little more mileage out of the month-long challenges! I think I'd enjoy a month of horse activities, and Tank probably would like the extra attention.

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  5. Clare--I can't believe you got all the way home with the sticker on you! A good memory, I hope. I want to try more practicing of techniques in sketching, and that's something I'll feel more comfortable doing now that I don't "have" to post all my sketches. Right now I've got a library book on lettering and I've been practicing lettering techniques and sketching with a fountain pen--I'm learning, but I'm glad no one else has to see it.

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  6. I'm thrilled to hear you're sketching more and I hope it becomes more a part of your daily round rather than the thing you do on vacation or after you return.

    And I'm sure Tank would just looooooove all that extra attention! Good luck with your challenge!

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  7. I plan to MAKE it part of my daily (or semi-daily) round. At the very least, I'm keeping a sketchbook and some mark-making tools next to my chair in the family room so I can fool around while we're watching TV. I also have my sketchbook from the beach still out in my office and have a couple more pages I want to do.

    So far I've done nothing about the horsemanship challenge! I'm not organized for it, and I think I needed a little break. I did take a break between the last two challenges, so I guess that's OK.

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  8. Kathy - I think it is wonderful that you sketched everyday. The trip to Florida I am sure kept you inspired and such fun as well.
    Will be looking forward to reading about your horsemanship plans and projects this month. Have a delightful day.

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  9. Kathy - I think it is wonderful that you sketched everyday. The trip to Florida I am sure kept you inspired and such fun as well.
    Will be looking forward to reading about your horsemanship plans and projects this month. Have a delightful day.

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  10. Debbie--The trip did make it easier to sketch for those days. So far, I've done either sketching or lettering practice nearly every day since we got back. I haven't started my horsemanship project--I need a few days to organize myself and recover from the last challenge, apparently! I'll keep you posted, though, when I finally get started.

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  11. Although I've missed a few days, I've been sketching almost every day since we returned from the beach. It really does add a positive spin to my day and I look forward to it. But, there are also other things to do and your mention of shorter goals - like a month of something might be a great idea for some of the things on the to do or want to do list. Thanks for the idea.

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  12. Claire--I like the month-long framework. It's not too overwhelming. Though I admit, I can't seem to string two months at a time together. (In other words, I'm not doing a challenge right now!)

    I've enjoyed seeing your sketches Claire--they are so beautiful. I've been sketching still too, and have another page to post on the class blog.

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