View Full Version : October Sketchbook Challenge

10-01-2010, 12:09 AM
This is so exciting now that I've decided to join in. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's sketchbooks develop, and definitely hoping to break some of the ceilings I've put on myself with sketching and drawing. Over the last few years I've gone through very artsy periods and then lulled and so my abilities would always slip below the sub par that they were at beforehand.

My main goal here is to try and build my confidence in taking risks in art, maybe even a life lesson involved as well. You'll notice that in my first page where I had written a saying to inspire me with the sketchbook and in other situations. I'm studying abroad in Chile for the semester, I've been here since the end of July and am going to mid-December. Some things haven't gone how I thought they'd go and I just need to remind myself to keep truckin' sometimes :).

Anyway, the sketchbook I bought here so I'm unfamiliar with the brand (tegraph) and the paper is very smooth and thinner than I normally go for. It's 100 pages of white paper and 16x21 centimeters (A5). One of the things that I'm taking a chance with in this book is that I'm going to try and do more pen and ink drawings, scary since I'm always erasing things! But because the paper is relatively thin, I'll likely only use one side of each paper. I bought a set of Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens to get me inspired. I had just recently bought a single black pen of the same style and loved it, so I wanted all the colors!

Up until today I wasn't planning on doing this challenge, and I had bought the pens and the book on Tuesday. So I started a teensy bit early.

First Pic is my sketchbook and pens, followed by Page 1 which I mentioned above, Page 3 which was just a doodle to try out some of the colors in my new pens and Page 4 which has my color swatches. I've skipped page 2 for the time being as it is a thought/reminder/resource page and only has one line reminding me that sketchbooks are just doodles and experiments, hardly do they become finished drawings. Enjoy!


10-01-2010, 12:14 AM
Woops. Last three pics didn't go.

Sorry about how dark they are! I'll try and fix it next time, or take my pictures during the day :)

10-01-2010, 12:17 AM
Great sentiment. Yes, it is better to take pictures in daylight. But, can clearly see what is being drawn. Your doodle came out just fine.

10-01-2010, 12:41 AM
Great sentiment! I can clearly see what you've drawn and written - beautiful start to a grand project. I love those pens, have a set of them and they're so much fun for pen drawing. Cool landscape!

10-01-2010, 02:13 AM
FANTASTIC START, LOVE the colour swatches, VERY HANDY!!!!!
The landscape is excellent, great use of line and colour.

10-01-2010, 08:37 AM
I really relate to what you say. You'll get encouragement all the way here to keep going. Thats a great sketch set you've got together there - no fussing and you've made a good lively start. ENJOY your materials. ENJOY October sketching. ENJOY the challenge.

10-01-2010, 09:46 AM
love that first sketch of a kitty under a tree :)

10-01-2010, 12:36 PM
Great sentiment - and so TRUE

Joan T
10-01-2010, 12:39 PM
Nice start to your sketchbook!!! I hope we get to see something of Chile in your sketches.

Vivien Maloney
10-01-2010, 01:52 PM
Great start to your sketchbook. I also would love to see "something of Chile" in your sketchbook. Love what you've written there!

10-01-2010, 02:11 PM
I love those markers in their case with all their creative potential :) :) :)

10-01-2010, 04:25 PM
A positive start to your journal! It would be lovely to see something of Chile. Good luck!

10-01-2010, 06:11 PM
I'm definitely planning on getting a little bit of Chile in this book, along with a lot of other little randoms :) I already have a couple of ideas bouncing around in my head.

I'm really excited about this, however I'm not sure how much I'll be getting done today, we got three of my little host nieces over for the night - the oldest being six, and let me tell you they have A LOT of energy right now. We'll see how this goes :lol::rolleyes:

10-01-2010, 07:53 PM
Good luck with the "visitors", hopefully you will have enough energy left to do at least one sketch!!!! LOL

10-01-2010, 08:13 PM
Yay Denyalle! Fantastic start, I am one of those people who like putting down inspirational quotes to remind me of how I want to be....! Like your first sketch, your pens make me drool (I love sets like that!) and the book itself looks cool. Have fun!

10-01-2010, 08:59 PM
Great start, Denyalle! Really glad you decided to join in, all the way from Chile, even. :)

10-01-2010, 10:13 PM
Denyalle, yeah you did join! I'm always the curious cat, what is your field of study? It will be not only fun to do a sketchbook while you are there, but it will be a nice keepsake from your trip. Maybe you should sketch the "nieces"! Have fun.

10-02-2010, 03:28 AM
wonderful start! I look forward to seeing more!

10-02-2010, 11:56 AM
Margo, I actually thought of drawing the girls earlier last night, the youngest is cute as a button and she'd be the prefect subject. They however are very active and I'm not the point in my drawing or sketching where I can easily sketch rambunctious moving children :D I'll try and get a picture one of these days though!

My field of study is Spanish and International Relations with an emphasis in International Business... For now :lol: I've discovered in recent years that I'm a lifelong learner, so even though I graduate this coming Spring, (Fall for the southern hemisphere) I'm already planning my next three degrees... an Associates in Fine Arts in studio art, MBA in either organizational management or business communications and another Bachelors that I'm still deciding on the best course of action for, but I will at the very least be minoring in Portuguese, Swedish and Norwegian... The major would either be linguistics, or a double in Scandinavian Studies and Spanish/Portugese studies... :rolleyes: I'm a little crazy with it all :lol: Most people wouldn't even think of going back to school and here I am dreaming of being forever in the university...

10-02-2010, 01:06 PM
I waited until I had some daylight this morning to take pictures of my sketches from yesterday and last night. The first picture is the Orange Lily from the September Monthly Pen and Ink project - it was so pretty that I had to draw it with my markers even though it isn't September anymore :D reference image from Madmum, then the English Allsorts from the same project from ponting. They looked like they'd be fun to draw so I had to do those as well, and lastly is one of Valparaíso's funiculars or ascensores (translated to lifts or elevators). It's a quick sketch so not the prettiest but I wanted to get a drawing of at least one in here.

A little background since many of you probably don't know what or where I am talking about, other than Chile. The city of my study-abroad program is technically Valparaíso (paraíso is translated to paradise), it is Chile's port city about two hours to the west of the capital Santiago. Before the Panama Canal was built Valparaíso was one of the main port cities for ships to dock in since they would have to go around the cone to get from one side to the other of the Americas. This is the city that the university that I am attending is based out of. I however live in it's "sister" or "twin" city Viña del Mar (translating roughly to Vineyard of the Sea) which is more resort-y and vacation-y than Valpo. Most Chileans from Santiago and elsewhere have a vacation home that they spend their summer (December-March-ish) weekends here, so it tends to get crowded in the summer.

Chile is definitely not a flat country, it is filled with hills, valleys and of course the Andes Mountains on it's eastern border. Valparaíso and Viña del Mar are no exception to this they are very VERY hilly and populated, houses have been built all over the hills up to the top. Eventually when technology made it possible they built these lifts or elevators that make it easier for inhabitants to get from the top of the hill to the bottom with a lot less effort. I'll post a picture of mine of the view from Pablo Neruda's bedroom of Valparaíso to give you all an idea :)

10-02-2010, 01:43 PM
Hello Denyalle,
what wonderful pen sketeches. . . that candy looks good enough to eat and beautiful flower.

Vivien Maloney
10-02-2010, 02:36 PM
Great job on all your sketches. Thanks for sharing with us about Chile It sounds a really interesting country.

10-02-2010, 09:57 PM
Denyalle reading about your studies is like listening to my daughter talk about hers. Very cool! Her languages so far Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Arabic, Latin (if she remembers any of it from 3 years in junior high!) You must have a very good ear. Do you sing too? I'm excited to see what else you sketch up from Chile, you are off to a great start.
I understand about sketching the little girls. My fav model is my dog who goes from asleep to 60 miles and hour in less than a blink. I sketch her asleep alot, and have many unfinished sketches of her awake.

10-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Great drawings. Quite a spectacular photo too.

10-02-2010, 10:25 PM
FANTASTIC sketches, each so full of life and colour!!!!!!

THANKYOU about the information, makes it better to understand where you are and what you are up ta!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

10-03-2010, 02:12 AM
very nice sketches, that is interesting about those Chile lifts....

10-03-2010, 02:59 AM
great pages, the plate of lollies looks good to me!! (I must need a sugar hit at this time of the afternoon) - looking forward to seeing how your journal develops over the month

10-03-2010, 03:12 AM
Nice work! The allsorts are really well done -of course I'm partial to them because I'm a licorice fan...! :)

WC Lee
10-03-2010, 04:48 AM
great start, quite a few pages for day one :) and thanks for the information about the area where you are at

10-03-2010, 06:34 AM
Wowee, what a busy life and you still find time to draw - I feel embarrassed! It is great to know a little background - good luck with it all and the sketches are looking great :)

10-03-2010, 02:09 PM
Thanks for the encouragement everyone :) I'm finding that I enjoy drawing in pen and ink because I kind of have to let go and draw instead of worrying about getting each line perfect. I can't erase so I just have to go with it, which is always hard for me to do!

Jackie - Don't feel that way! I was meaning to put this weekend towards studying, but reading my history text on Latin American econimics in Spanish was not going very well... So I gave up on studying and did some sketching. :rolleyes::eek: It's always a crossroads of what I "should" be doing (studying) and what I want to be doing and normally end up doing (sketching, surfing the net, Skyping, etc).

Anyway, got two sketches done yesterday, both based on photo references of mine from the beginning of the semester here. The first one is a staircase in one of the parks in Viña del Mar and the second is a quick sketch of a woman dancing Chile's national dance Cueca. It's a relatively simple dance where each pair (or threesome in some instances) dance in a circle and when the occasional turn comes in they switch sides cutting the circle in half. In many cases it looks like an innocent and modest dance, but it can get VERY flirty and sometimes pretty outrageous. Each person uses a handkerchief that at the very least they twirl above their head in the right hand, but it is used to express very insinuating ideas. Depends on what the man or woman thinks about their partner... Sometimes the woman will do the dance with a bottle of wine balancing on her head, which forces her to look up at her partner instead of down at the ground avoiding eye contact.


10-03-2010, 08:08 PM
Wonderful job on the licorice and the woman. Stunning photo of the hilly city :)

10-03-2010, 09:59 PM
Lovely sketches. Thanks for the information on the dance.

10-04-2010, 01:56 AM
Chile sounds like an interesting place, good job on the sketches...

10-04-2010, 02:28 AM
I agree with Chuck - sounds fascinating. Your study sounds intense - I understand too about doing what you should be doing versus what you'd like to be doing!!

Great sketches, I like the way you handled the girls hair :)

10-04-2010, 11:47 AM
great sketches!

Joan T
10-04-2010, 01:28 PM
Wonderful sketches. I like the lily and the candy (who wouldn't) and just love the sketch of the staircase :thumbsup: and the dancer. I love reading your descripitions of what you've drawn! Thanks for getting you page down to a normal screen size. It is so much easier to read that way.

10-04-2010, 04:24 PM
Here's another three pages that I did quick sketches on yesterday - nothing really exciting this time, just some things to take my mind off of my studies. The first two are some quick pen sketches that were at most 10-min. The last one, I was planning on drawing a plant from a photo I took in Puerto Rico last year, but instead got tired/unhappy with it so what's there is what I came up with.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2010/139924-Page_10.JPGhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2010/139924-Page_11.JPGhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2010/139924-Page_12.JPG

10-04-2010, 05:40 PM
Marvelous practice pieces. Like your notes to self about what you are doing.

10-04-2010, 06:07 PM
Good stuff! The butterfly swimmer is good - you've captured the position and expression on the face really well. The dancers legs are neat the way you have caught the "pointed" stance :)

10-04-2010, 09:54 PM
I like the Tango legs
your "Fairy Tale Ending" makes me smile...sometimes what we start out with is not what we finish with, which is not always a bad thing! :)

10-05-2010, 01:14 AM
Nice sketches! My favorite is the butterfly swimmer. My wife was a very strong swimmer in high school and college but the fly always struck me as sort of a torturous way to try to swim. :)

10-05-2010, 09:59 AM
Thanks guys! :) I've been swimming since I was five, but took three years off in high school because soccer and swimming were both in the fall season, then after high school another three years since my first college didn't have a team. I used to be a really good butterfly swimmer, but this last year that I've been back it's been hard to get my stamina back for it. Like John said, it's a pretty torturous "event" if you don't know how to do it, or aren't strong enough. I've heard a lot of horror stories about swimmers attempting the fly at a meet or somewhere without having a lot of prior experience. So for any of you who might be interested in trying it, be careful ;)

10-06-2010, 10:51 AM
Here's a page I did Monday night. Didn't get anything done yesterday as I've been studying for another Spanish business exam today. Hopefully I'll find some time tonight to get some more sketches in.

This sketch is based on a series of photographs I took in Central Park this spring with the intent on doing a study of the lampposts, so I figure now is as good of time as any to start practicing and working on them.


10-06-2010, 02:48 PM
very nice :) the highlight areas on the middle and bottom of the lampost are really working well

10-06-2010, 06:23 PM
tricky perspective at the top of the lamp but you nailed those highlights perfectly :thumbsup:

10-06-2010, 06:37 PM
great central park drawing

10-06-2010, 09:39 PM
Marvelous scene. Good work on the lamp, especially the highlights.

10-06-2010, 10:05 PM
A very good start to your lampost study!

10-07-2010, 01:42 AM
Good modeling on the lamppost - which is hard to do with black or very dark subjects.

10-07-2010, 01:28 PM
Thanks for all your wonderful comments everyone, they definitely make me feel much better about my work when it doesn't come out as nicely as I expect them to.

Here's the next sketches from my book that I did last night. The first one is based off a photo I took at the beginning of my semester here when we took a short trip to Valparaíso to see one of Pablo Neruda's houses (La Serena) and walked the streets of Valpo looking at pieces in the Museo de Cielo Abierto (translates to Open Air Museum). The "museum" is basically the streets of Valparaíso and is a project of the art school at my university, partially in efforts to beautify the city. It involves paintings of artists such as Roberto Matta on the walls of buildings as well as the graffiti artists of Chile and South America and others. Unlike in other places, graffiti is embraced here and on our tour we actually ran into two graffiti artists making their mark on one of the buildings in the area. Some of the graffiti's are beautiful works and others are just your basic tags that are fading away. My sketch isn't of any of the art in the museum, but just a picturesque moment for me along the way.

Sketch number two is my cat Millie who's back at home attempting to fit into one of my Vans.


10-08-2010, 12:55 AM
You just have to wonder what the cat was thinking...

Great sketches.

10-08-2010, 01:19 AM
Nice sketches, especially the one of the cat trying to fit into the shoe! I have a story regarding cats and small, cozy spaces. A friend of mine ordered a custom made guitar. It showed up and he was ecstatic so he picked up the guitar and sat down to play immediately. Unfortunately, he left the case open, and his cat crawled in. And peed all over the inside of the case...:crying::envy: !

WC Lee
10-08-2010, 04:00 AM
a cat's curiosity just makes them fun to watch at times ... wonderful sketch

10-08-2010, 10:55 AM
the texture created for your kitty's fur is wonderful :)
I just love how cats play...they can be so funny :cat:

10-09-2010, 04:20 AM
Hi Denyalle

Excellent sketches of the staircase and woman dancing!

EXCELLENT tango legs.

Well done on the Butterfly Swimmer!

Fabulous drawing of the lamp in Central Park!

Great sketches of Mille.

Gentle Hugs, Stacey:grouphug:

10-09-2010, 12:04 PM
The last two are so cute. Cats are so funny! Carol posted a photo in the Acrylics forum chat thread of her cat curled up in a glass mixing bowl :)

10-09-2010, 09:28 PM
:lol: at Millie!

Vivien Maloney
10-10-2010, 05:04 AM
Nice sketches and I love the cat one!

10-11-2010, 06:40 AM
That kitty-cat is classic! We've a Norwegian Forest Cat cross, he's a BIG lad! Doesn't stop him from attempting to squeeze into the most absurdly tiny spaces... bet most cats do, so it's an immediately relateable sketch! :)

10-11-2010, 11:40 AM
My sketches from this weekend :)

The first one is my first attempt at a decent self portrait with pens. When it comes to portraits I have a lot of room for improvement with this medium but I'll keep working at it. My second sketch is my friend holding a wine glass when we went to Mendoza, Argentina for the weekend and did a biking wine tour through Argentina's wine country. If you ever go there, I strongly recommend doing the wine tours via bike. Super fun :thumbsup: I did another kitty drawing, this one is from one of the events around here that I had saved on my computer but don't remember from where. My boyfriend almost brought home a new kitty for me to come home to earlier last week when he came across a really cute one at work, he felt that I would be upset that I wasn't there to get it. Silly boy, a new kitty is a new kitty. :) So in order to mend my broken heart of not getting a new kitty to come home to, I'll just have to keep drawing them. :cat::lol:

The next two are based (or roughly based) on a Tango painting that I roughly started before I left, mostly in my head, and just wanted to get some notes down for me to remember it. While I was looking at reference images on google I kept coming across this little car. I don't know why anyone would really want it, but to each his own huh? It's a horrible sketch, but I had to get the thought of it down for a laugh every now and then. Apologies if anyone owns or wants to own the Tango. :) My last page for today is just a set of quotes I found yesterday about living in the moment and not the future, as that is a habit of mine and I need to remember that the present is the only thing I need to focus most of my efforts on. Enjoy!

10-11-2010, 03:32 PM
Great tango pieces :) :) :)

10-11-2010, 04:38 PM
Splendid sketches. The wine glass in hand is well done. Including the distortion of the little finger behind the glass.

10-11-2010, 09:07 PM
interesting collection of sketches, it is good to experiment to see which medium suits which subject best!! I like the page with the quotes - you've got some pretty good ones to remember there ;)

10-11-2010, 09:56 PM
A very fun and creative group of sketches! The tango vignettes are great.

10-12-2010, 02:45 PM
Very nice collection. I like the thumbnails of the dance movements, and the hand is done nicely. I like all the writing as well

10-12-2010, 10:24 PM
your sketchbook is looking great, love the variety

10-13-2010, 11:25 PM
These are really nice sketches! I especially love the butterfly swimmer. I swam competitively while growing up and really miss feeling that strong and fast. Butterfly is HARD! Breast stroke was always my best and most comfortable, though. My sister was a strong butterflier.

I know what you meant in your note about being too close to the lane rope- "ouch!" is right!

10-15-2010, 02:48 AM
Hi Denyalle,

These sketches are FANTASTIC and the quotes WONDERFUL and BEAUTIFUL.

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

10-20-2010, 05:00 PM
I've fallen a little behind on my sketching in the last week, but I was also kind of planning on that happening at the beginning of this challenge due to my schedule. This last weekend I went with a group of girls from my program to Patagonia, I brought my sketchbook with hoping to get a lot of sketching done, but I only got one page done in the hostel and another three done at the airport waiting for our return flight. It was an amazing trip, so much so that I can't really explain it, well actually I can, I put it all in my blog for the semester which is here (http://deeda-de.blogspot.com) if you really want to know. It will partially explain things that I'll be leaving out in this post, simply because I don't have much time today to spend racking my brain for all the important and relevant things because I have a history test/paper to write for tomorrow. I did however want to take a break and figured that an update on my sketchbook is long overdue. :)

The first three pages are Patagonia related, the fourth is a drawing from a fashion spread in the Chilean Cosmopolitan magazine and the last is something I wrote after having a Skype chat with my mom back at home.

Also, the lighting has been very poor for me lately, so I apologize for the cruddy photos.


10-20-2010, 06:37 PM
Great sketches and fantastic page design. My favorites are the penguins and of course the sleeping cuddly cat is so lovable it warms my heart. Cat sketching can get addictive!

10-20-2010, 08:27 PM
love the penguin and the girl in the chair - cool!

10-20-2010, 10:38 PM
Great sketches from a wonderful adventure. The penguins are sooo cute!

10-20-2010, 10:57 PM
The penguins are adorable!! I enjoyed my visit to your blog, too. :) What a beautiful place you visited!!

10-20-2010, 11:58 PM
Nice collection of sketches, Denyalle. The penguins are my favorites of the group. Sound like a great trip!

10-23-2010, 07:57 AM
Fun sketches! I like your Tango page. :-)

10-24-2010, 01:34 AM
how fun. . . love the snoozing kitty and the cute penquin

10-24-2010, 04:13 PM
Penguins! :D