View Full Version : Michelle's 75 Day Sketch Challenge

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12-20-2012, 11:37 AM
I saw a few sketches on Facebook by Jeanne Grant, who is following the 75 Day Sketch Challenge initiated by Brenda Swenson on her blog. It inspired me to start the sketch challenge myself. It is supposed to be 75 consecutive days of sketching with pen. Not one of my strong points. Here are my first two sketches:
This is a sketch of my little tabletop Christmas tree with all the ornaments that I could see from my sofa. I started at the top and worked my way down, which is why my angel topper is a little bit big for the tree. Well, she's a little bit too big anyway, but my kids bought that for me many years ago for what was then a full size tree.

One of the many blooms on my new red poinsettia. I hope to get a watercolor or two from this plant in the next week or so.

Both of these are done with a Micron 05 sepia pen in my 9 x 12 Flexi Sketch sketchbook.

Joan T
12-20-2012, 12:17 PM
I really was surprised to see you actually started this!!! Good for you! When you told me you were thinking about doing it but would probably wait until after the holidays I was convinced you would never start. lol I like the sketch of the little tree with the ornaments. You can sketch each one individually too. nice poinsettia. I'll be watching for more.

12-20-2012, 12:24 PM
Hahaha! You and me both. That's why I started now instead of waiting. I also posted them on Facebook. Making a comittment to continue to post may make me actually follow through. :-)

12-20-2012, 06:20 PM
Wonderful holiday sketches. Good luck on your challenge.

12-20-2012, 06:25 PM
:music: Hurrah! Good for you!

I like how you did each ornament on the tree! What a painstaking job that sketch is! The little pair of skates makes me smile.

The poinsettia is nice, but is begging for a hint of color...if it were mine, I'd do a light blush of colored pencil...:angel: Just suggesting!

Happy holidays!

12-20-2012, 06:27 PM
Wonderful job on the pointsetta. Good luck with the challenge! You can do it :)

12-20-2012, 06:28 PM
WOnderful start!! I love your pen sketches, especially the little tree. Great details.

I did that challenge last year after taking a two hour workshop with Brenda at the art expo, and found it a really helpful exercise!

YAY for you that you are doing it. I might have to get motivated to do it again. :)

12-20-2012, 06:58 PM
Nice line work! It's fun to see sketches "of this season".

12-20-2012, 07:00 PM
Lovely sketches Michelle, great to see your work again. Good luck with the challenge, I started it once but couldn't keep up the consecutive days thing. We are all here cheering you on :)

12-20-2012, 07:39 PM
Thanks so much, Debby, Dragoon, EP,Rainy, Steven, and Jacqui.

Dragoon, I was tempted to add color to it (I love red), but I'm trying to keep it strictly to drawing right now, because I usually prefer to paint and I end up doing minimal drawing. This is an attempt to concentrate on improving my pen work.

Jacqui, I really want to finish the whole 75 days, but I too have issues with the consecutive day thing. There are days when I'm away from home, days when I'm really busy, and days when I just want to chill out. It will truly be a challenge to keep up with this.

12-20-2012, 07:40 PM
Good for you for starting the challenge Michelle. You are off to a great start. Doing this challenge last year was a very good thing for me. I sketched everything I saw in pen including the boxes being packed for the move and then being unpacked. No end of things to put those pens to.

12-21-2012, 02:16 AM
Looking forward to following along with this, Michelle!

12-21-2012, 03:13 AM
What a wonderful idea, Michelle.
I've been trying to draw something every day, so I know how difficult it can be. Please count me in among those who are cheering you on. I hope to see more.
Your poinsettia is beautiful!

12-21-2012, 12:28 PM
Thanks so much, Margo, John and Gloppus!

12-21-2012, 12:30 PM
My third sketch is my "Kiss-Kiss Bears", from a few Christmases ago. They have magnets in their noses so they can kiss. My grandkids all love playing with them.

12-21-2012, 05:25 PM
Darling bears.

12-21-2012, 05:43 PM
very cute bear couple

12-22-2012, 09:27 AM
Thanks, Debby and Jacqui. They were fun to sketch.

12-22-2012, 10:10 AM
oh, how adorable

12-22-2012, 10:17 AM
#4 - a selection of Christmas ornaments.

Joan T
12-22-2012, 12:40 PM
Mickey - The kissing bears came out great! Love the collection of ornaments. Glad you are keeping up with these.

12-22-2012, 05:28 PM
Nice ornaments, esp like the Snoopy.

12-22-2012, 07:03 PM
Delightful sketch of ornaments.

12-23-2012, 01:19 AM
My favorite is Santa Fisherman...!

12-23-2012, 02:27 PM
Thanks, Joan. So far so good! :-)
Jacqui, thanks! Snoopy is one of my favorites. I've had him for a long time.
Thanks, Debby.
John, Fishing Santa is another of my favorites. He represents my late husband, who was an avid fly fisherman.

Here is my next sketch:
I really struggled with this one, a not too successful attempt at a continuous line drawing of the view out my front window. I got lost my way a few times and to improvise, and I had to lift my pen too many times. I like the concept of continuous line drawings though, and I'm sure I will try one again.

12-23-2012, 04:07 PM
You can do this Michelle, throw that sketchbook in your purse and sketch when you are in line or waiting. That is the easy part of this challenge it only requires sketchbook and pen. When I hadn't managed a sketch during the day I did it before or even in bed, as in a view of my foot whilst propped on pillows or a study of the folds in my quilts. I like the continuous line drawing. Loved Hirschfield's drawings for the Times or on Playbills, I'd forgotten all about those until I saw your drawing. Certainly something worth aspiring to.

12-23-2012, 05:24 PM
YAY, Michelle. . . keep them coming. Love that felt Snoopy, btw.

12-23-2012, 06:22 PM
The drawing of the view out your window is wonderful.

12-24-2012, 08:15 AM
Thank you, Margo, Rainy and Debby. I'm not at all happy with my continuous line sketch, but I like doing them and plan to do a few more during this challenge. I've seen some absolutely awesome ones online, but I may need to start with something way simpler.

12-24-2012, 06:01 PM

Day 6 of 75 - My Nativity Set. I think bit off more than I could chew with this one. I have to admit that I marked the placement of the figures lightly with pencil, just to help with proportion and spacing, and so I didn't forget anyone.

I find that I am VERY tentative with the pen. I hope to become more confident as I go along.

12-24-2012, 08:32 PM
Marvelous that you are keeping up with your challenge. The nativity looks great.

Joan T
12-26-2012, 11:32 AM
Mickey - Your continuous line sketch came out really well! I love the sketch of the Nativity set. You seem to be finding such difficult subjects to sketch.

12-27-2012, 02:46 PM
Day 8 - a plate of peppers, carrots and broccoli, done in continuous line (contour drawing) with only a few lifts of the pen.

An old dilapidated horse figurine that my grandpa found and I added to the rest of the animals in our old Nativity set. When I got my new ceramic set, the horse got retired to the attic.

12-27-2012, 04:14 PM
Great new sketches. I love the old horse, what a classic figurine.

12-27-2012, 04:47 PM
So great you are continuing the challenge. The horse figurine is so cute.

12-27-2012, 10:07 PM
Go, Michelle! cool continuous line. . . that is a hard one to do like that I bet as its so intricate

12-28-2012, 11:55 AM
Wow, what a challenge to do a whole plate of veggies with a continuous line technique! The horse is truly a classic.

12-28-2012, 07:27 PM
Thanks, Jacqui, Debby, Rainy and John. Yes, the continuous line drawing of the veggie platter was difficult. Whenever I got lost or had too much space, I just made the next broccoli a little bigger. LOL

Here is today's sketch: Poinsettia plant

(Couldn't get the uploader to work so I had to do it as an attachment)

12-28-2012, 08:47 PM
Nice one, good shading.

12-28-2012, 10:40 PM
Lovely poinsettia.

Joan T
12-29-2012, 11:44 AM
Mickey - I smiled when I saw the horse that we always said was Uncle Stanley's horse. lol That plate of veggies must have been some challenge. I can see why you were getting lost in it. It is much easier to see it here than on Facebook. The poinsettia plant came out great. Keep em comin'!

12-29-2012, 12:14 PM
Keep up the great work!

12-29-2012, 03:44 PM
Thanks, Jacqui, Debby, Joan and Julie.

Day 11 - an amaryllis bulb

12-29-2012, 04:43 PM
Great layout on this page with the bulb overlayed on what the flower will be like. Very nice.

12-29-2012, 05:36 PM
Like the juxtaposition of the flower and the bulb. Clever.

12-30-2012, 12:32 PM

We had snow off and on most of the day yesterday. I woke up to this scene out my living room window.

Day 12 of 75

12-30-2012, 02:33 PM
Lovely snow drawing! We had some snow yesterday but it didn't sick :(

Joan T
12-30-2012, 02:49 PM
Great job on the amaryllis. I like how you composed that page. Looks like you had a lot of snow. We had enough to show white on the grass and windshields and to make the roads slippery, but nothing I could sketch. The house across the street came out great. Now you need to sit in their house and sketch your house...or park across the street and sketch from there. I know....It is too cold to do it today!

12-30-2012, 03:23 PM
Lovely snow sketch.

12-30-2012, 04:36 PM
Very nice Michelle.

12-30-2012, 09:41 PM
You are taking on some awesome sketches here. Everyone is tentative with the pen at first, hence the challenge. It really does work, when you get too hesitant chant to yourself it's only a piece of paper over and over. It's okay to restate lines when your line goes astray, adds character to the drawing.

12-30-2012, 10:42 PM
Thanks, Rainy, Joan, Debby, Jacqui, and Margo.

Hope the snow stays long enough for another sketch, Joan.

12-31-2012, 11:52 AM
Day 13 - A sketch from my car window.

Gotta go shopping for more Micron pens.

12-31-2012, 03:13 PM
Marvelous trees.

12-31-2012, 06:00 PM
Nice shading and depth with those trees. Very brave to head out to sketch, even from the car.

01-01-2013, 02:13 PM
Thanks, Debby and Jacqui. It wasn't too terribly cold yesterday.

01-01-2013, 02:13 PM

Day 14 of 75 - Happy New Year!

01-01-2013, 03:48 PM
nice one and happy new years to you also!

01-01-2013, 05:56 PM
Nicely done and very apt. Cheers :)
Look you have done 2 weeks already, great effort.

01-01-2013, 06:33 PM
Great new year's sketch.

01-02-2013, 07:38 PM
Thank you, Rainy, Jacqui, and Debby, for your nice comments.

Here is Day 15 - Wow! I'm 1/5 of the way there!

Here are three of my elephants, a tiny glass one, a rather large grey metal one, and a tan colored onyx one. My micron pens are running out of ink. I was going to go over to Michael's and get more pens after my dental appointment today, but it was freezing out and I just wanted to get home and get warm. So my pens will have to limp through another day or so.

01-02-2013, 07:43 PM
I think you are doing great, Michelle. I'm glad to see you kept up with this over the holidays. Keep going.

01-02-2013, 08:45 PM
The elephants are delightful. Go you for keeping up with this. And worst case, you could use a ball point pen till you could get some more microns.

01-02-2013, 10:51 PM
great form on the elephants. . . you can get sharpie pens or uniball visions at any office store or even walmart or target and I love both and I use more than Micron because of price

01-03-2013, 01:51 AM
Love the elephants. Nice work.

01-03-2013, 12:02 PM
Thanks everyone! One of my pens still has a little life in it.

Here is today's:
Day 16 of 75 - A few more of my "glass menagerie". A cat, a dolphin, and a little bird. Today was actually sunny, so I had some cast shadows, but too confusing to really do them in pen, with all the reflections and refractions in the glass too. I just suggested a few of them.

My amaryllis stalk is starting to grow, so you may be seeing another amaryllis sketch soon.

01-03-2013, 04:42 PM
Delightful glass trio.

01-03-2013, 05:56 PM
Great work on the glass animals. Look forward to seeing how that amaryllis is going.

01-05-2013, 03:39 PM
Two more entries:
Day 17 of 75 - A view of my amaryllis plant after two weeks. A nice size bud and a stem about six inches tall.

Day 18 of 75 - Some of the items that I will be wearing tomorrow in our senior tap class recital. Those tap shoes were a bear to sketch!!!!

01-05-2013, 04:19 PM
lovely journal, sketching in pen is tuf, hats off to you for keeping this going. Good luck with the show :wave:

01-05-2013, 04:56 PM
Looks like the tap show is going to be lots of fun. Nice sketching.

01-05-2013, 06:46 PM
Lovely sketch of the progress of the amaryllis. So cool that you tap dance.

01-06-2013, 05:09 AM
lovely glass - and tap as well!

01-06-2013, 11:50 PM
These are lovely Michelle! The previous amaryllis and the glass page I like especially!

01-07-2013, 01:19 PM
Thank you to Scatty, Jacqui, Debby, Vivien and Jenny!

My tap class did pretty well in the show. We are a once-a-week "beginner" class, although some of us have been there for several years. The show consists of several tap groups, one or two similar to our class, and a couple of really talented groups who perform regularly, and a duet by two former Rockettes who are in their late 70's. I can breathe easier today, since I didn't make any mistakes this year.

Here are yesterday and today's sketches:

Part of my living room shelf unit - the section that's the least messy.


A clay horse, made to look like it's carved out of turquoise. It looks like I missed one of his back legs. I probably couldn't see it.
The horse has a large head, and a small body, but I think I even exaggerated the head more than it really is. Did you see the horse on my shelf unit in the previous sketch?

01-07-2013, 02:01 PM
So great you are keeping up with this. Yup, noticed the horse on the shelf. Fabulous sketches.

01-09-2013, 02:56 AM
Glad to hear your tap show went well.

More great sketches!

01-09-2013, 12:07 PM
What a great bunch of sketches. If your pen goes dry try using another or ball point. I did my 75 day series and used every pen in my collection to do them. I really liked my Pilot precise V5 for taking out and about sketching with me, and am in love with my Parker jotter, which Vivian also uses. You are going strong keep up the good work.

01-09-2013, 05:45 PM
Caught up on all your sketches since I last checked in. Good to see you are keeping up with the challenge! Nice work here.

01-09-2013, 09:57 PM
Thanks, Debby, Gloppus, Margo and John.

I did manage to get one new sepia and one new black 05 Micron, but I will try some other pens too. I would like to try using a dip pen once or twice, but I haven't had the courage to try it yet. I need to practice a bit first.

Here are the next two:

Day 21 - My hand holding my small watercolor palette. This one was hard to do.

Day 22 - My winter rain/snow shoe, kind of like a short LLBean boot, with shearling liner.

Joan T
01-09-2013, 10:06 PM
Mickey - Congrats on keeping up with the sketches. When I did the challenge I didn't always do consecutive days. The book shelf looks good with all the photos and your beanie babies. The clay horse came out really well, especially the head. Have you used the little palette yet? Make sure to bring it when we go to Springmaid for the class. Hope you don't have much need for the boots this year!

01-10-2013, 04:12 AM
Great sketches! I like the hand with the small palette!

01-10-2013, 05:20 AM
Great hand and palette sketch. Those look like serious boots, nice job. You should try a dip pen, I love using mine, not that I do very often. It is so nice, well worthwhile.

01-10-2013, 04:20 PM
Awesome you are still going on this. The sketches are wonderful.

01-10-2013, 04:51 PM
Jacqui, did you practice with the dip pen a lot before you used it in your journal? I think I need to see what it will do before I use it in a sketch, even though sketching is not supposed to be perfect. LOL!

On Thursdays I paint with my friends at one of their houses. Before I started by painting today though, I did a quick sketch of Anna's African violets.


Day 23 - Anna's African Violets

01-10-2013, 06:27 PM
Practice.... what's that? lol I tend to just jump in and give it a go and see how it turns out. I use a sketchbook rather than a journal and know there will be a variety of work in there. Remember to wipe the side of the nib on the edge of the ink bottle before moving over to your page to help avoid drips, otherwise just go for it. If you work slowly you will probably enjoy it more and not get frustrated by having to redip all the time.

Here is an example of a sketch done with a dip pen

01-10-2013, 06:49 PM
Wow! I like that Jacqui! I was thinking of starting with something simple first. I wish the image was bigger so that I could see the pen lines more clearly. One of these days I will give it a shot.

01-10-2013, 07:35 PM
Lovely African violets in a pot. You are almost 1/3 of the way through. Yay.

Joan T
01-10-2013, 11:22 PM
Mickey - Great job on the African violets. Glad you are finding so many subjects. You should try the dip pen...or maybe we should try it together while we're waiting for David and the kids to show up on Saturday. lol Keep going!

01-11-2013, 12:39 AM
Michelle, I love the African Violets.
You have quite a fan club here cheering you on. Keep it up!

01-11-2013, 07:43 PM
Day 24 - The Dip Pen. A couple of years ago, my sister Joan brought me this cool looking glass dip pen from her trip to Italy. I had intended to learn how to use it then, but I put it away and forgot about it. When I started this challenge I decided to take it for a test run, so today I made a few marks to see how it felt and then did a couple of little sketches.

01-11-2013, 08:33 PM
That sounds/looks like a cool pen! Great start with it.

01-12-2013, 02:33 PM
Looks like a really nice pen. Wonderful you've got it out and are using it. Nice little sketches.

01-12-2013, 09:30 PM
Day 25 of 75 - Justin painting.


Five of my grandkids were visiting today. I decided to set them up with paper and paints, figuring they wouldn't move too much. Hahaha! While I sketched Justin, he managed to find about 1,000 different positions to put his hands, arms and head. I ended up making his head too big and/or his arms too small. I will try this again next time they come.

01-12-2013, 09:47 PM
What a beautiful glass dip pen. So glad you are giving it a try. How do you like it? Really like the little sketches, esp the landscape. Good try drawing the ever moving Justin.

01-12-2013, 10:28 PM
Jacqui, I liked the dip pen a lot. I also bought a set with another handle and several different size nibs, which I will try too. I don't think you can change the nib on the fancy one. I won't take the dip pen to sketch outdoors (way too much trouble carrying ink and worrying about spilling, etc.), but I will be sure to use it a lot indoors. Right now, though, I would prefer to use the Micron for difficult subjects.

01-13-2013, 01:32 PM
Good job on an ever moving model.

01-13-2013, 09:31 PM
Day 26 - Snow Scene
I'm working on a larger version of this in watercolor and thought that it would make a good ink sketch too. From a photo.

01-14-2013, 02:21 PM
That will be a lovely painting. But, it's a great sketch as well.

01-14-2013, 05:51 PM
Love the snow scene. You have got me itching to get my dip pen out :)

01-14-2013, 07:18 PM
Thanks, Debby and Jacqui.

Today I sketched my friend Angel's dog, "Riley", from a photo that Angel provided.

Day 27 - "Riley"
done with Micron 05 pen

01-14-2013, 07:40 PM
Great job on the snow scene landscape! And Riley looks like a big, friendly lap dog...my favorite kind of pooch. :)

01-14-2013, 10:00 PM
Great job on the dog.

01-15-2013, 10:36 AM
Day 28 - Amaryllis starting to open


I know that this can't compete with the dog sketch from yesterday, but I wanted to get a sketch of this phase of the amaryllis plant before it opens fully in a couple of days. It's amazing how tall the plant has gotten so soon. I may have to find a larger stake for it.

This was done with Micron 05 pens in sepia, green and red.

01-15-2013, 11:17 AM
very well done at keeping up this sketch challenge, particularly like the glass ornaments, new year champers, the progress of your amyrllis, hats and shoes, your trees are well sketched, and of course the littley painting, all good stuff...:wave:

01-15-2013, 05:40 PM
Great to see the progress of your amaryllis. I like how you added color with pen.

01-15-2013, 05:53 PM
Riley looks like he wants to jump on you and lick you, great job. Wow the amaryllis has grown so tall, what a great sense of excitement to see the bud just starting to crack open.

01-16-2013, 12:34 PM
Day 29 - Bare Tree


We had some snow mixed with sleet last night. The lawns and sidewalks were covered with wet snow, and there was a very little bit of snow on some of the tree branches. This tree is visible out my living room window.

01-16-2013, 01:46 PM
great form on that tree. . .

01-16-2013, 04:09 PM
Marvelous tree. Will you be doing this long enough to do the tree again as it starts to leaf out in the spring?

01-17-2013, 01:17 AM
I haven't been commenting everyday, but I am following along.
I really like what you have been doing, Michelle.

01-17-2013, 10:47 AM
So many beautiful drawings! Great done!

01-17-2013, 04:34 PM
Beautiful flowers. You are doing so well keeping up with this everyday.

01-17-2013, 04:36 PM
Thank you, Rainy, Debby, Gloppus, and Martina.
Debby, it's possible that the trees might be getting leaves before I'm finished. I guess it depends on the weather.

Here is today's sketch of a floral bouquet at my friend Anna's house:


(I cut off a bit of the right side when I scanned it)

01-17-2013, 05:28 PM
Nice tree Michele. There is so much detail in that floral display, wonderful job. How are you liking drawing with pen now? Enjoying it?

01-19-2013, 02:41 PM
Yes, Jacqui, I'm really enjoying the pen, although I've only done the one with the dip pen. Here is another amaryllis sketch.

Day 31 - Amaryllis opening more


I don't know whether I prefer just the black or sepia pen, or the addition of the red and green.

Day 32 - Today is the Worldwide Sketchcrawl #38. Here is one of the seven sketches I did during a solo sketch at the Paramus Park Mall. I will make a new thread for the rest of the Sketchcrawl.


This guy was waiting for his wife to finish shopping. I liked the tree decorated with lights and hanging ornaments.

01-19-2013, 04:47 PM
The amaryllis is opening nicely.

01-19-2013, 05:21 PM
Watching your amaryllis drawings is like watching it bloom without having to take care of it myself. :) Great drawing of the fellow on the bench. Looks like he's bored and unhappy.

01-20-2013, 03:57 PM
For those of you who like my amaryllis sketches, here's one from today. I did something a little different today, and I like it enough that I may try it in a watercolor.

Day 33 of 75

01-20-2013, 04:04 PM
Oh, that's lovely.

01-21-2013, 10:18 AM
Day 34 - Two faces done in continuous line (contour). I had seen some faces done this way on another artist's blog, and they looked really cool and it looked like fun. NOT as easy as it looks!!!!

And the weird part was in the photo references, these two women looked NOTHING alike! LOL! I will try some of these sometime.

01-21-2013, 11:40 AM
Catching up on your sketches...

The bare tree and flower bouquet are particularly well done! And yes, continuous line drawing is a challenge for sure.

01-21-2013, 03:26 PM
Interesting doing a continual line on a portrait. I've not seen that done before. Good for you trying it.

01-22-2013, 11:12 AM
Day 35 - Back to the amaryllis again. I now have one flower fully open and one almost. It's kind of a deep orangy red in the light, and maroon in the shadows.


Joan T
01-22-2013, 11:30 AM
I like your continuous line portraits. The amaryllis is looking good. I hope you are taking photos so you can do some in color.

01-22-2013, 06:20 PM
Lovely amaryllis. Are you doing this in color too, somewhere else?

01-23-2013, 03:58 PM
Day 36 - Amaryllis in pen and ink and watercolor

I just had to do at least one with real color. But...My big Flexi-Sketch sketchbook doesn't really like watercolor much. It buckled a bit, not so much to spoil the sketch, but the other side may be too lumpy to do a decent pen sketch on now. I also learned that if I want to add pen hatching in the shadows, it's best to add it BEFORE the watercolor wash, as the pen goes on much better on unpainted paper.

01-23-2013, 06:34 PM
The continuous line portraits look fun. Well done. Wow the amaryllis looks beautiful. Has opened so quickly. Great colouring.

01-24-2013, 04:14 PM
Beautiful color on the amaryllis.

01-24-2013, 08:05 PM
Day 37 - "Zero" the Beanie Baby penguin. Inspired by the almost zero (okay, 4 degrees) this morning.


01-24-2013, 09:13 PM
Woohoo!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: You've kept with it, I thought you would and that amazing drawings would result, nice to be right. All sketches are awesome but your flowers drawings are amazing, it must be your favorite subject.

01-24-2013, 09:15 PM
Darling penguin sketch. Sorry about the cold. You want my 36F?

01-24-2013, 10:42 PM
Thanks, Margo. Yes, flowers are my favorite subject, but I'd like to branch out a bit more.

Debby, thanks! Hmm...well, I would take 36, unless there's someone out there who will offer me a 75????

01-25-2013, 03:22 AM
Zero is so cute. I can offer you a fairly regular 36oC if you'd like that. Luckily only got to 33 today and has cooled down now to low 20s.

01-25-2013, 05:37 AM
The Amarillys is very well done! I love the colors you used. Ans I really like Zero penguin :)

01-26-2013, 03:14 PM
Thanks, Jacqui and Martina.

I was trying to decide whether to sketch the amaryllis again, when I noticed the shadows on my kitchen table from the poinsettia, the amaryllis, and my vertical blinds. I thought that made a great subject.


Now that I spent all that time hatching and cross hatching, I'm thinking how much faster it would have been to just do it with paint. :-)

01-26-2013, 04:18 PM
This worked out really well. All that cross hatching was worth it :)

01-26-2013, 06:33 PM
Michelle, this is beautiful!! All that crosshatching certainly was worth it! Look at the interesting effect that it has created. So different from paint. And the drawing of the silhouetted pistil and stamen from the center of the blossoms is just the right amount of fine detail that really makes this "sing"!

01-26-2013, 07:21 PM
This is fabulous. Your cross hatching is great.

Joan T
01-26-2013, 07:29 PM
That was something different to do with the shadows. Looks like a lot of work to do all that hatching. lol

01-26-2013, 10:03 PM
Thanks, Jacqui, Steven, Debby, and Joan. Yes, the cross hatching was a lot of work, and yes, it was worth it, but I don't think I will be doing that very often. I couldn't resist this time though, because the silhouettes were so interesting.

Here is today's sketch of a bare tree with it's spidery branches.

Day 39 - Another Bare Tree

01-26-2013, 10:24 PM
You realize you are past the half way point, right? That's awesome. The tree looks wonderful.

01-27-2013, 11:44 AM
The flower sketch with the crosshatching is fantastic!
And also is the tree sketch!

01-27-2013, 04:04 PM
Thanks, Debby and Martina. Yes, I do realize that I'm past the halfway point. :)

Yesterday my son and daughter-in-law went to see Evita on it's last day on Broadway. They took a photo outside the theater which I thought would make a good sketch.

Day 40 of 75 - Flor standing outside Evita


01-27-2013, 06:24 PM
More great sketches. The movie poster is really good.

01-27-2013, 06:57 PM
Nice job on both the tree and the movie poster.

01-27-2013, 07:13 PM
Great movie poster and figure.

01-28-2013, 11:40 AM
Thanks all of you for sticking with me so long. Here is another sketch, this time of the full blown amaryllis. As you can see, there is another bud pressing up underneath the flowers. I've never had the second one come up before the first one was spent and shrivelled up, so I don't know what's going to happen as the two shoots get in each other's way. I may have to lop off the first one before it's ready.

Day 41 - Full Amaryllis


01-28-2013, 12:19 PM
Day 20 is a great page! Very unique. Nice form on the flower of day 41!

01-28-2013, 05:37 PM
Great to see the progress of the amaryllis in this sketchbook.

01-29-2013, 02:46 AM
Wow! I really like the movie poster!

01-29-2013, 04:15 AM
Michelle I think you are branching out quite nicely. When I need something new to sketch I look around the house and find an amazing array of still life subjects just standing there waiting to be drawn or painted as they are. Kitchens are awesome for that. Condiments on the table, and all good practice with the ink pen in your sketch challenge. Applause on your use of line in the cross hatched piece and the movie poster.

01-29-2013, 01:48 PM
Thankyou, Rainy, Debby, Martina and Margo.

This morning it was sunny and mild. (How can it go from single digits to the 50's in the same week?). Unfortunately I had an appointment early in the day, and the sun disappeared by lunchtime. But it was still reasonably pleasant, so I took advantage and headed outside. I did this small sketch at our local wildlife center.

Day 42 - Wildlife Center

01-29-2013, 04:32 PM
Delightful sketch. The swan in the water is great.

01-30-2013, 05:28 PM
You've got the form of the swan captured nicely.

01-31-2013, 04:02 AM
Nice drawing!

02-01-2013, 03:13 PM
Oh, no! I missed a couple of days and I'm playing catch-up. Here's my next sketch, out my kitchen window of the houses behind me.


02-01-2013, 03:32 PM
bravo on keeping this up. Love the progress on the beautiful amyrillis, and sweet chilly penguin :D

02-01-2013, 03:49 PM
The important thing is you got back to it. Great sketch of the neighborhood.

02-01-2013, 06:35 PM
Nice view, nice sketch. I am sure you will be able to catch up fine. You didn't give up which is great. :)

Joan T
02-01-2013, 08:44 PM
Nice job on the neighborhood houses. Keep going!

02-02-2013, 05:31 AM
nice one :)

02-02-2013, 04:19 PM
Thanks, everyone!

Here are the next two:
Day 44 - "Patience", NY Library Lion
This is "Patience", one of the lions at the entrance to the NYC Public Library. I've wanted to sketch these lions for years, but never had the opportunity, and so I did this from a photo.

Day 45 - Sandals

02-02-2013, 04:28 PM
Love the lion, and very snazzy shoes. Nice work. You are well into the home stretch now.

02-02-2013, 04:35 PM
Very regal lion. Cute shoes.

Joan T
02-02-2013, 09:18 PM
Mickey - Great job on Patience!!! Was that from your own photo? I recognize those sandals of yours! They look very fancy the way you sketched them!

02-03-2013, 08:48 PM
I figured that you would recognize the sandals, Joan. LOL!

No, the lion isn't from my own photo. When I worked on 42nd street and used the library, it never occurred to me to take their photos, and I haven't been back since. But I think of them from time to time, and wish I had sketched and/or photographed them when I had the opportunity.

Here are two more, and I think I'm caught up now.

Day 46 - Sea shells

Day 47 - Artist Mouse

02-03-2013, 08:51 PM
Marvelous shell collection. The mouse it darling.

02-04-2013, 07:06 PM
The shells are well done, and the mouse is off the charts on the cuteness scale.

02-04-2013, 11:00 PM
Yesterday, coming out of church, one of my friends asked me why I haven't done a sketch ouf our church for this challenge. Well, I thought of all the excuses - it's too cold to sit out and sketch, there really isn't a good place to sketch from, I'm not good at buildings, etc. She suggested taking a photo, so today I drove down there and parked in the lot of an old house across the street, and took a photo. Because I was looking at the building mostly head on, I didn't have any of my usual perspective problems.

Day 48 of 75 - St. Luke's Church

Unfortunately, when I went to take my sketchbook off my scanner, the page accidentally tore, which also tore the artist mouse on the other side of the page. I must be more careful when scanning. :-(

Joan T
02-05-2013, 03:55 PM
Nice job on St. Lukes!

02-05-2013, 04:43 PM
Great job on the shells, cute mouse. Nice job on the church. Bummer about ripping the page.

02-05-2013, 05:17 PM
While I was taking a photo of St. Luke's Church for yesterday's sketch, I also took a photo of the Hermitage, which is across the street. It's a very interesting building that started out as a two room house and was added to many times over the years. It has a lot of dormers, chimneys, windows, and decorative stuff, and is a nightmare to sketch for a perspectively challenged person like myself. After being very pleased with yesterday's sketch, all I feel with this one is relief that I lived through it. I struggled mightily.

Supposedly this building housed some of G. Washington's troops, and Aaron Burr got married here.

Day 49 - "The Hermitage"

02-05-2013, 08:12 PM
Bummer about the torn page. So sad. It may have been a struggle for you, but both buildings came out great. And you are stretching, growing and challenging yourself. All good.

02-06-2013, 12:27 PM
I love the trees on your most recently picture. The darker shading on them compared to the background works really well. Lots of depth!

02-06-2013, 03:32 PM
Thanks, Debby and Davy. A portrait today, from a photo in the WC! reference library.


02-06-2013, 04:49 PM
Nice portrait.

02-07-2013, 11:32 AM
The page with the shadows of the flowers on the table is great! I have to agree that all the crossing makes it special! Impressive lion too, and even if you said you struggled with the Hermitage house, I wouldn't mind visiting the house thanks to your sketch of it...

02-07-2013, 04:11 PM
Thanks, Debby and Jenny!

Here is today's sketch:

Day 51 - Floral Bouquet

02-07-2013, 06:01 PM
Lovely flowers. I like how the box can't contain it all. :)

02-07-2013, 07:49 PM
You are doing wonderfully to keep this up, congratulations. Great job on the portrait you made him look rugged, which he does in the ref too. Lovely flowers as always.

02-08-2013, 02:17 PM
This was an attempt to depict the "fogginess" and softness of a snowstorm in pen and ink. Instead of diluting the ink, I used diluted paynes grey w/c paint, which didn't work particularly well with my dip pen. I think I had too much water, the paint kept drying way too light, and the lines kept merging together to form small washes. I let it get away from me, but I think I know what to do next time.

Day 52 - Snowstorm

02-08-2013, 04:55 PM
Great experiment. It looks foggy.

02-08-2013, 05:57 PM
Despite the problems you said you had it turned out really well. Very atmospheric, nice.

Joan T
02-08-2013, 08:27 PM
The snow one looks snowy. Good job!

02-10-2013, 01:10 AM
Day 53 - Spruce with snowy branches


02-10-2013, 05:08 AM
The spruce with the snowy branches looks wonderful!

Joan T
02-10-2013, 10:11 AM
With the snowstorm it is good that you have a few things to sketch from your windows. Nice!!

02-10-2013, 12:46 PM
Delightful snow laden spruce tree.

02-10-2013, 05:21 PM
Your grey one does look foggy and the snow covered tree works well too :)

02-10-2013, 08:00 PM
Thanks, Martina, Joan, Debby and Vivien!

This one is from a photo taken yesterday of my son cleaning off the cars, driveway, and walk.
Day 54 - Snow Shovelling

02-11-2013, 01:05 AM
The spruce looks great. And...seeing the sketch of your son makes my back hurt vicariously! :lol: I remember wielding the snowshovel way too many times growing up in PA - glad I live where we get very little snow each winter now. :)

02-11-2013, 11:43 AM
I forgot that you were from PA, John! My late hubby was from Reynoldsville. He loved the snow and was always disappointed that here in NJ we don't get "enough" snow. He would have been happy with the 15 inches we got this weekend. I, on the other hand, only like snow if I'm looking at it out the window with a cup of hot cocoa in my hands. LOL! Glad I have my own snow removal guy.

02-11-2013, 02:50 PM
Nice you have a dedicated snow shoveler. Great sketch.

02-11-2013, 04:33 PM
Today is a rainy, nasty day. No inspiration from outside, so I decided to do another portrait from the WC! Reference Library. Photo by Terence P.

Day 55 - Another Portrait

02-11-2013, 07:27 PM
Sorry about the weather. Nice choice. Marvelous portrait.

02-12-2013, 12:30 PM
Day 56 - Pineapple


Joan T
02-12-2013, 05:07 PM
It's hard to resist cutting the pineapple and sketching it instead. You could have done a before and after. lol

02-12-2013, 10:37 PM
Wow, that's an awesome sketch of the pineapple.

02-13-2013, 02:32 AM
Great done! Do you call it "ananas" in USA, too? Or is it called "pineapple"? just curious, because I saw the word "ananas" on your journal page.


02-13-2013, 02:52 AM
I've always known it as pineapple....altho that might just be a southern US thing. Anyone else?

02-13-2013, 11:45 AM
Thanks, everyone. "Ananas" is Spanish. The pineapple came from Costa Rica, and the tag was written in Spanish. My daughter-in-law is from the Dominican Republic, and she bought it in her predominantly Spanish neighborhood. I'm trying to learn a little Spanish, so I added the words to my sketch.

02-13-2013, 01:55 PM
In Germany it is called "Ananas", too. I didn`t know that it is the same in spanish. However, the sketch is great :thumbsup:

02-13-2013, 04:34 PM
Day 57 - Girl with a hat


(from photo by Devimarie in WC! Reference Library)

02-13-2013, 06:01 PM
Lovely portrait.

02-14-2013, 11:17 AM
Nice job on the portrait and the pineapple. My wife was born and raised in Hawaii, and is a pineapple connosieur (spelling?) as a result...there apparently is an art/science to selecting the sweetest and juiciest fresh pineapple. All I knew was that when she picked one it tasted great. :)

02-14-2013, 01:22 PM
John, my daughter and family lived in Hawaii for three years while her husband was stationed there. She always picked one called Maui Gold (which they don't sell here in NJ) and they were always awesome.

Today's sketch is of two more of my glass animals. This time a Rhino and a bunny. They belonged to a couple of my aunts. The rhino has a pink area in his middle - I'm not sure if it's supposed to be his heart, his stomach, or just an interesting shape to give it color.

Day 58 - Glass Rhino and Bunny

02-14-2013, 01:48 PM
Marvelous sketches of your glass critters.

02-15-2013, 03:57 PM
This sketch of two red roses would have been perfect for yesterday, Valentine's Day, but I did it from a photo and I only remembered that I had the photo today. I've decided that I love pen sketches in ink only, and I love them with watercolor added, but I don't much like using the colored ink. It's too hard to get the correct shading with the color pens. The photo had the roses laying on my Aunt Mary's crocheted doily, but I didn't think I could quite pull that off.

Day 59 - Two Roses

02-15-2013, 07:08 PM
Beautiful roses.

Joan T
02-15-2013, 09:11 PM
Mickey - You are really ready to sketch anything!!!

02-15-2013, 11:00 PM
Michelle you are getting awesome textures in your ink drawing. Do you feel more confident with the ink now? It certainly looks like it. I'm not a challenge kind of person but that is one challenge I'm glad I undertook to do.

02-16-2013, 01:47 PM
Thanks, Debbie.

Joan, I'm ready to sketch ALMOST anything, but that crocheted doily without using pencil and eraser first was just too intimidating!

Margo, yes, I'm a lot more confident now, maybe with the exception of Aunt Mary's doily. LOL

Today's sketch was done from my television. For as long as I've been doing this sketch challenge, I've also been exercising to "Walk Away the Pounds" each morning, and for a while now I've been thinking of sketching Leslie Sansone as she demonstrates the steps.

Day 60 - "Walk Away the Pounds"

02-16-2013, 04:03 PM
Exercise and art. You go girl!

02-17-2013, 09:44 PM
Day 61 - Cockatoos - photo from WC! Weekly Drawing Event


02-18-2013, 02:31 AM
They are adorable, you really captured their mischievous faces.

02-18-2013, 02:57 PM
Thanks, Jennifer!

Day 62 - winter coat and hat

Joan T
02-18-2013, 05:24 PM
Love the birds. Hopefully we can do without the coats soon...at least when we are in Myrtle Beach for the class.

02-18-2013, 06:39 PM
Delightful sketch of the birds. Great subject using the coat and hat.

02-18-2013, 06:42 PM
Great job on both the birds and the jacket!

02-19-2013, 08:10 PM
Day 63 - The Springmaid Pelican

02-19-2013, 09:48 PM
A handsome fellow to be sure. :)

02-20-2013, 02:44 AM
Great pelican sketch. They make fairly good subjects to sketch from life because they are a lot less skittish than other birds.

Joan T
02-20-2013, 09:25 PM
Hopefully he will be there when we get to Myrtle Beach so you can do another one live.

02-21-2013, 12:08 PM
Fantastic pelican sketch!

02-21-2013, 03:19 PM
Good one :)

02-21-2013, 10:34 PM
Thank you, Debby, Jennifer, Joan, and Martina.

Day 64 - Basket of Flowers

Joan T
02-22-2013, 11:22 AM
Nice texture to the basket and great lines on the flowers.

02-22-2013, 03:18 PM
Very pretty.

02-22-2013, 09:07 PM
Thanks, Debby!

Joan, this was Anna's last floral arrangement. I don't know what I will sketch next Thursday when I go to her house. LOL!

Here is one I did today from a photo, of my neighbor's white rose hanging over the fence.

Day 65 - Rose on fence

02-22-2013, 09:32 PM
Woot! Only 10 more to go. The rose is beautiful. Lots of nice texture going on here.

02-23-2013, 04:18 PM
That's right, Debby. And here's two more, which leaves me with only 8 more to go. I did two today because I was a day behind.

Day 66 - Dahlia (Photo by Sharrm WDE 2/22/13)

Day 67 - Lisianthus (Photo by Sharrm WDE 2/22/13)

02-23-2013, 04:30 PM
Beautiful flowers.

02-24-2013, 08:32 PM
Day 68 - "Meg" (ref photo by Annie in previous WDE)

02-27-2013, 08:33 AM
Day 69 - Self Portrait as a child

Day 70 - Eat More Veggies!

Joan T
02-27-2013, 09:43 AM
Good collection of veggies...makes me feel healthy. lol

02-27-2013, 03:29 PM
You're doing fabulous with this challenge. Wonderful sketches.

02-27-2013, 11:19 PM
Squeezing this one in tonight before bedtime.

Day 71 - Tulips

02-28-2013, 06:30 AM
The tulips are great done!

02-28-2013, 04:27 PM
Delightful tulips. Glad you got your sketch in.

02-28-2013, 05:28 PM
Day 72 - TulipDoodle


02-28-2013, 07:07 PM
I'm so excited you are almost to the finish line. The tulip doodle is great.

03-01-2013, 02:12 PM
Day 73 - "Orchidoodle"

I had so much fun doing the tulip doodle yesterday that I decided to do another one with an orchid.

This is number 73. Tomorrow I will be on the road with my sister Joan for a workshop at Springmaid Beach. My next sketch may be done in the car or at the stopover hotel. And the last should be at our destination the day before the workshop. Good plannng or what!!! Don't know if I will have internet access to post the last two. I may have to wait to post until we get back.

03-01-2013, 06:30 PM
Great persistence and follow-through on getting so close to being done...!

03-01-2013, 06:58 PM
I've really enjoyed reading through your challenge-I can really see a lot of progress, too! I really love looking at all the snowy drawings and buildings (you're better at buildings than you give yourself credit for!). We get almost no snow here (unless you count the few flakes that fell a few weeks back and melted on contact! lol) & I really miss it :p

Seeing this makes me want to do a challenge-pen & ink is really great for building confidence I bet! What kind of sketchbook are you using for this? Sorry if you already mentioned it.

03-01-2013, 07:33 PM
Love the orchidoodle.

03-03-2013, 09:01 PM
Day 74 - At the hotel in NC, halfway to Myrtle Beach

03-03-2013, 09:06 PM
Day 75 of 75 Yippee!!!! I made it!!!!!! This is a view at Springmaid Beach, at Myrtle Beach, SC where Joan and I wii be taking a workshop this week.

03-04-2013, 03:10 PM
Congrats! :clap: :clap: :clap: These are great sketches.

03-04-2013, 06:23 PM
Thanks, Debby, John and Jaxhil. When I started this I wasn't entirely sure that I would stick it out, but the more I got into it the more confident I got. I really enjoyed sketching directly in pen. Now I need to start another project.