On our New York trip I was determined to do lots of sketching, and brought along a sketchbook especially for the trip plus various pens and a small watercolour set. Alas, I didn’t get a lot of sketching done. We were so busy seeing things for me to take proper sketching breaks and in the evenings I was too tired.
After we came back, I kept meaning to do some sketching from my photos, but you know, life has a habit of getting in the way of these things.
But then the #100dayproject came along and suddenly I had the solution!
What’s the #100dayproject you ask?
The100DayProject is a free art project that takes place online. Every spring, thousands of people all around the world commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity.
The idea is simple: choose a project, do it every day for 100 days, and share your process on Instagram with the hashtag #The100DayProject.
Now I’m doing a sketch from one of my New York photos every day. And because it’s kind of an official project, I can’t skip it. I am accountable to those 100 days and I don’t want to break the chain.
Other than just adding to the stack of sketches every day, little by little I am also getting more confident with my sketching. Especially the perspective and architecture sketching which I don’t feel very confident about, but now I am getting better. And that will help when I sketch out in the world.
And of course, I get to relive our trip, looking at the photos and remembering the very talkative doorman in Macy’s or the discussion Tony and I had about knishes outside NYPL. And so on. It’s not quite the same as sketching on location and embedding the memories in the sketches but it is similar and I didn’t expect that to happen.
I am enjoying the daily sketching most days, but some days I just don’t feel like it but I am finding techniques to make myself do it even if I don’t want to. For example, doing a blind contour sketch which is pretty quick to do and with less pressure because they will inevitably look pretty messy. Another thing I do is pick just a small thing to sketch, a street sign, for example. Again, something that is fairly quick to do so I don’t feel like I have to spend an hour on each sketch. Coz sometimes I don’t have that much time.
I do try to spend around 20 minutes on each sketch, atleast. And often a funny thing happens: once I get into the sketching, I enjoy it so much I don’t want to stop and I keep adding more details and it’s a nice way to trick myself into doing more. :-)