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Challenge No.1 – the end

January 31, 2010

One week later, I end Challenge No.1: „The Sketchbook“.

What did I do?

At first I tried to include a fixed sketching date to my daily schedule. Most of the mornings after showering and before breakfast I took the time to sketch my favourite cups with the purpose to be able to measure some kind of development. Most of the time I tried different angles to challenge myself. Sometimes I was able to keep the paper clean, sometimes not so much. My progress:

Beside these morning sketches I took the pencils (and later fineliners) in my hand whenever it felt right. Surprising a cat in the bathroom resting on a pile of towles was one of the occasions:

kakashi in the bathroom

I also used the sketchbook for inventing. I took the time to develop a portrait of a character I planned to draw on the pages of my sketchbook. I designed the clothes seperately, with the result that I had cleaner lines than ever before on my watercolour paper and could concentrate on colours and background. I started with sketches for another character .

Moreover when I felt inspired from a book, I was reading – I sketched the main character. On top – cat while eating.


My personal best was the experience to take my sketchbook with me on a walk and to really sit down on a bench and sketch- while people walked by. It’s just a fast sketch, but I am really proud to have done this.

first outside sketch

Once or twice I set down in the evening with the decision to sketch something. I did sketch a plant and some objects from the kitchen. I used fineliners for those sketches and tried to get an effect with washing out the lines.

During the latest role playing seesion I drew silly little sketches (in a different book), something I haven’t done in a while.

little sketches


There are various tutorials online and in books on how to use a sketchbook, but honestly… you have to do it, to really get it!

What I enjoyed and what might have helped were videos on youtube where people go through their sketchbooks while filming. I find it really interesting and to a certain extent encouraging to see how other people use their sketchbooks.

What did I learn?

First thing – I chose the wrong size for my purpose, my sketchbook is too heavy and big to carry it around all the time. Also, I feel uncomfortable with a big sketchbook in public where everyone might see what I do.

I used the sketchbook anyway and discovered that I also chose a sketchbook with a very plain surface which is why at the beginning my pencil drawings smeared over until I put some paper between the pages (which is not very handy!) For pencil sketches with the HB, B1 etc. pencils a rougher surface would be better.

In addition to this material point I also finally understood that working from real life is a big difference. And that I have a lot to learn. Drawing from photos is so much easier but also lifeless. That’s something I really want to work at.

My conclusion

What I did was practically figuring out how I might be able to use a sketchbook and how it might work for me. During this challenge I learned that I really like to sketch, that I can overcome fear and just scribble around. I noticed in various occasions that I would like to sit down and do a sketch. Therefore I will soon get a sketchbook in a smaller size which I can carry around all the time and I am determinded to learn how to sketch in public.

What’s next?

Something really scaryat least for me. I’ll tell you tomorrow!

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