24 January 2011

a new challenge

Since before Christmas, I have allowed too many distractions to deter my daily sketching. Determined to get back into the habit, I read of a 75 day sketch challenge offered by Brenda Swenson, using only ink.

Though I have sketched "graphite free" from time to time, it still intimidates me. How I love leaning heavily on the crutch of a pencil, whether it is erased later or not! As Brenda says, working directly in ink improves drawing and observation skills as well as building confidence.

I happened to have these two sketchbooks on my shelf that would not take watercolor well. So I have decided to take up the challenge with them --- one ink-only sketch a day. Good time to do some continuous contour line drawings. Just for fun.

The larger sketchbook was a gift from a sister-in-law and comes with a really cool pencil made of a rough twig. Since this challenge is ink only, I won't use the pencil for now, but it will be fun for later use . . . maybe when sketching in nature! When it warms up outside. (LOL -- I can be such a baby!)

I'll still be keeping my normal sketch journals; this is just an added boost in creativity. Hopefully it will return me to the daily habit I love.


  1. That's a rustic pencil, looks like a nice sketchbook too. Looking forward to seeing the results!

  2. The pencil feels good in my hand as well! Too bad this is now dedicated to pen drawings only. But then, pencil sketches would only smudge on this paper.
    I like how the pencil holder is part of the binding laces. I guess it can hold a pen as well.

  3. From following you as I have for some time, I have all the confidence in the world you will do great with this challenge. I look forward to following along.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes I'm not so sure . . .

  5. Lovely, Vicky! What a great idea...you GO girl.

    And by the way, it works the same to use a colored pencil or watercolor pencil as it does to use ink-only. Can't erase, but a different effect. Might try that sometime! ;-)

  6. I love the effect of colored pencil under watercolor! But I don't often try it because it is permanent, like ink.

    One reason I'm doing the 75 day challenge is to be able to grab a colored pencil in the future and just run with it. (Another reason: it sure would be quicker on sketch crawls to skip the pencil under-drawing!)

  7. This challenge is a great idea! What a wonderful way to gain speed and loosen up! Love the sketchbook and 'twig' pencil!

  8. It's just plain fun, too, Fyrebird! Definitely shuts down that perfectionist tendency.


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