Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This time with you has been "Highly Prized"

Jill K Berry here...

This is the last day of a great adventure, and the start of something new. It is bittersweet, being here for this last day of the live Sketchbook Challenge.

Four years ago I wrote the very first post on this blog. A few of us agreed to share our love of sketching with the cyber world, and all of you came. You came to learn, share, and celebrate our collective love of sketching and all of its related art forms.

Aside from the fact that this collection of people has come to mean a great deal to me, I have learned to admire so many of you that I did not know before, but I was challenged to be better, to try new things as we were asking you to do. Because all of you were watching and so many unique and wonderful artists were sharing here, the bar was raised, I think for all of us.

So I want to share with you what I ended up doing with some sketches I have done this year, using the theme we started with, HIGHLY PRIZED. That means, to me, the creatures and characters I live with and around. Most recently I painted my dogs from lots of sketches I did first (most of the sketches were from photos since these dogs move so fast).

This is Finn, my standard poodle puppy. I did this of him as a gift to my son Sam for Christmas. It is acrylic on canvas now. He is the happiest dog on the planet. Literally.

I did this one for Sam for his birthday. It is my other standard poodle, Thiebaud, who smiles a lot and loves being out in the hills with us.

This one is my baby girl. She is big now, getting ready to move overseas, and I am so challenged by letting her grow and use her wings. I spent the day with her baby self doing this watercolor painting, and will gift it to my mother for Christmas. My mom made the pink stuffed bunny she is loving in this picture. Sydney still has that bunny. I may hug it a lot when she goes.

Here she is at 14, after a haircut she was not sure about. 
She was so perfectly beautiful, but did not believe it.

Drawing people is not easy, even for me. There is always a small voice in my head judging. Still, I am so rewarded by looking at my people and pets for the long time it takes me to do this. This is when I really see them, my loved ones, my Highly Prized. 

Practice, that is all it is, practice looking and seeing and sketching. There are many resources for learning to draw people. Check out artgraphica for all kinds of free lessons. 
And check out the Drawing Club Facebook page.

Go do that, push to the next level, add on to the skills you have learned here and enjoy the fact that you are brave and creative. 

Thank you, all of you, for four years of goodness. 


  1. And a great big thank you to you, Jill, and everyone else who has contributed over the years. It has been a wonderful ride!

  2. A huge thank you for four years of inspiration. Happy New Year. Best wishes for continued success~

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed the ride, will carry on in some form or other by myself

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  5. Hi, are you thinking on opening another sketchbook challenge this year? I would love to be part of it :)

    1. no sorry, the sketchbook challenge ended in 2015 and we don't have any plans to bring it back.