Sunday, December 30, 2018

my drawing process and a new flickr group

Okay we're just two days out from the official start of the challenge! I have gotten several emails from those of you who want to be able to share your photos but are not on instagram or facebook.  So I've set up a new flickr group for the sketchbook challenge to make it easy for you to share your photos.  You'll have to have a flickr account to upload to the group though and there is no way to get around that.  I've set the group up as a public group so anyone can join and you will find it here. If you need help with Flickr you can find that here.

I see from the comments that you're leaving that a lot of you have got your supplies gathered and are ready to jump in on the 1st and I can't even tell you how thrilled I am that so many of you want to participate in this challenge with me!  Like I said in my last post, I know the idea of a daily challenge can be daunting so remember to keep it simple.  No need to get hung up on rendering perfect replicas of what your drawing.  Or spend half your day drawing and painting scenes with lots of details (unless you want to!) leaving you no time for anything else.  Draw in your own style, use colors you like and enjoy the process.  I have been averaging about 30 minutes on my daily drawings.  For instance, yesterday I took an early morning yoga class so I decided that would be the subject for my dailydraw. 

I always start with a light quick sketch in pencil, then I go over the pencil lines with my Staedtler Pigment Liner (0.3).  I use this pen because it's waterproof so I don't have to worry about the lines running when I add watercolor.  Then I erase all the pencil lines and then color with my water brushes and watercolor paint.  Why do I draw with a pencil first?  Because it's less stressful for me - it gives me a chance to make mistakes and change things in the drawing before committing it to ink.

Are you worried about running ideas about what you are going to draw every day?  Here's a short list of ideas to get you started:

Something from your breakfast
The tea box or coffee bag
A piece of fruit you ate
The vegetables you had with dinner
The wine bottle
Something from lunch
Your dessert
Shampoo bottle
The milk jug
A stack of books
One of the places you visited - a store, museum, salon etc
The mailbox
What was in the  mailbox
The friend you talked with
Your afternoon snack
Did you do laundry? - draw the washer machine, the dryer, the laundry or the detergent bottle
The weather - was it raining, snowing, sunny, hot, cold?
Something you saw on your walk
The car you drove
The bus or taxi you rode in
The place you bought your coffee
A magazine you read
Cans, bottles, the take out containers
The house plants you watered
Book shelf
Medicine cabinet shelf
Something from the kitchen junk drawer
Something from an errand you had to run
Your alarm clock
Your favorite chair

You get the idea - anything can make a great subject for a sketchbook page.  Just remember to keep it simple!  




Friday, December 28, 2018

3 days to go...

We're only 3 days away from the kick off for The 2019 Sketchbook Challenge re-boot!  I am really excited about getting to see all your sketches - I think we are going to have a lot of fun sketching together every day.  I'll be posting my sketches on the Sketchbook Challenge instagram page and the facebook page and I'll be using the hashtags #dailydraw2019 #thesketchbookchallenge and #drawingwithsueb so make sure you tag your posts with those hashtags too.  You can also post photos of your sketches on the The Sketchbook Challenge facebook page as a reply to any of the posts there if you're not on Instagram (which is free and very easy to use by the way so you might want to consider it). 


Now I know that the idea of a daily challenge can be daunting and can get overwhelming pretty quickly especially when you miss a day so let me just say this to you:  This challenge is supposed to be fun.  It's not supposed to add any stress or angst to your life (we've all got enough of that these days) so if you miss a day or two here and there, it's okay.  Don't let it derail you from staying with the challenge and continuing with it.  Just pick up your pencil and jump back in whenever you can.

Now as far as what to sketch that's up to you.  I have found that sticking to sketching something from my day - something I did, saw, experienced, ate - whatever is working really well for me.  Even something as mundane as doing the laundry can make a fun subject to sketch.  For me, this approach keeps the challenge limited in scope which helps keep it from getting overwhelming.   I am using one dedicated sized sketchbook (my favorite 5" square one) and I will only do my daily challenge sketches in this book throughout the year starting a new one each time I run out of pages. 


Can't wait to see your sketchbook pages!  If you have gotten a head start on the challenge don't forget to use hashtags #dailydraw2019 #thesketchbookchallenge and #drawingwithsueb  

Also: don't forget that the giveaway I am hosting is still open for comments so you still have time to get in on it!   Click here to get the details!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Are you ready?

The new Sketchbook Challenge begins in just 9 days!  I am really excited about the challenge and based on the number of comments and emails and the spike in traffic to this blog and the facebook page I can see that you all are too.  One of my goals for the sketchbook challenge is to keep it approachable and easy to do for everyone and anyone regardless of whether or not you have ever drawn anything or have been sketching for years.  One of the things that I think can help you stick with the challenge is to have a sketching supply kit put together so that whenever you are ready to sit and make a quick drawing you won't have to worry about trying to find your supplies.  

I keep my sketching/coloring kit in one of my zipit beast pencil cases (I have several of these cases folding travel watercolor set, a fewwaterbrushes, blackwing pencils, black waterproof pens, eraser, pencil sharpener and a little 6″ long ruler.  That's it, that's all I need to make a sketch in my little 5" square Global Art Materials sketchbook . I absolutely love the size of this sketchbook for this project.  The pages are large enough to create a fairly detailed sketch without being so large that the amount of space to fill becomes overwhelming.  Perfect for keeping this project simple and stress free!  Oh and I also have a piece of paper towel folded up in a small ziplock bag so I can easily clean my water brushes. 

Why not take a few minutes between now and January 1st to put together a little daily sketching kit?  Your kit doesn't have to be a replica of mine because you should work with whatever materials and tools that you like.  If watercolors don't appeal then go ahead and use colored pencils, markers, brush pens, crayons, acrylics, pastels etc.  Use what you like so that the process of drawing every day feels like a joy and not a chore.  Just make sure whatever sketchbook you use has paper that is appropriate for the medium that you are using.  Maybe you prefer to use a mechanical pencil instead of a traditional one - great!  Go head and use that.  Not interested in adding color to your pages - that's okay too.  Go ahead and work in black and white - there are no rules here!

Actually I take that back - there is a rule for this challenge.  Are you ready to hear what it is?   Okay here it is:

Enjoy the process and have fun with it

That's it.  It's as simple as that.

Okay so I want to get this challenge kicked off with a little "getting started sketchbook kit" giveaway!  I am going to give this kit away to one lucky Sketchbook Challenge reader.  



Here's what's in this kit: a 5" square Global Art Materials sketchbook, a set of 12 double sided colored pencils, a set of 10 Superior Needle drawing pens, 2 blackwing pencils,  an eraser, a pencil sharpener, a set of 7 metallic Gelly Roll pens and a pencil/paintbrush.

Want a chance to win this pretty awesome little sketchbook kit?  All you have to do is leave a comment here on the blog by 12/31/18 and I will pull a name randomly from all the comments and announce the winner on January 1, 2019.  

Good luck!


p.s. If you have gotten a head start on the challenge don't forget to tag your photos with the hashtags “drawingwithsueb” and “dailydraw2019”  You can also post on the Sketchbook Challenge Facebook page here and don't forget to follow the  Sketchbook Challenge Instagram account too!







Thursday, December 20, 2018

And we’re back!

It's been a long time since the original Sketchbook Challenge ran and lately I (Sue Bleiweiss) have been missing it.    I had such a great time with that project and the result of it was the publication of my first book and it also started me on the path to working and developing my own style of quilting.  I still do use a sketchbook but the focus is primarily on working through ideas for quilts.  I don’t spend much, if any time on just drawing random things.  Then I read the book Draw your Day (which I reviewed here) and I like the concept so much I thought I would give it a try but I found that it wasn’t working for me.  I was spending too much time drawing random things from my day and it was taking time from other things.   I would end up spending a couple hours or more drawing and then painting and while I love doing it, I was starting to feel like it was too much to commit to as an every day project.  So I simplified a bit…

I picked up a small 5″ square watercolor sketchbook and starting drawing just one thing a day.  One
thing that represents something that I did that particular day.  This makes it much more manageable and because the size of the paper is small I don’t feel overwhelmed by having to fill it up.  There’s just enough room for one large drawing or several small ones.  I spend anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes at any one point during the day.  I do a quick pencil sketch, then outline in black waterproof ink and add color with a portable watercolor kit and my water brushes.  Sometimes I break up the steps throughout the day.  I might have time to do a pencil sketch and outline but will come back to add color later and there have been a couple of times when I didn’t add the color until the next day.

As you can see I am keeping my drawings simple.  Nothing fancy here!  Just drawing something that
represents what I spent some of my time doing that day.   I have found that it’s very relaxing and it helps disconnect me from the chaos of the day for a little while.  I put together a little sketching/coloring kit in one of my zipit beast pencil cases (I have several of these cases and I love them) so everything I need is portable and easy to grab.  Plenty of room to fit my travel watercolors, a few waterbrushes, pencils, black waterproof pens, eraser, pencil sharpener and a little 6″ long ruler.

My goal is to continue doing a drawing a day through 2019.  If you’re interested in joining along with me pull together a few supplies of your choice and grab one of those sketchbooks gathering dust on the shelf that is still empty because you couldn’t decide what to draw in it.  Start with just one small element from your day.  If you want you can also add some text with your drawing and don’t forget to date your pages.  Just keep it simple! It’s up to you whether or not you want to share photos of your pages but if you do use the hashtag “drawingwithsueb” or “dailydraw2019” so we can find each others drawings easily.  You can also post on the Sketchbook Challenge Facebook page here and there's also a Sketchbook Challenge Instagram account that you can follow now.


Looking forward to sharing this drawing adventure with you through 2019!