Yesterday was the last day of this year’s 100 Day Project, which is an annual global art project, free for anyone to join in. All you have to do to take part is choose a creative project that you can work on every day and do it every day for 100 days. If you choose, you share your work online with the hashtag #the100dayproject.
I’ve taken part twice in the past, making patterns and hand lettering. This year I decided that every day I would make a small drawing with a botanical theme – flowers, fruit, vegetables, leaves… These are the 100 drawings I made and as you can see, I played around with different mediums and styles and I really enjoyed it.
There were times when it felt difficult or like I really didn’t want to draw another flower ever again but I kept going and I’m glad I did. It’s been a really good way to create a new body of work and be playful at the same time.
I have some ideas about what I want to do next but for the moment I have a big piece of work to finish and then I think I’m going to have a bit of a rest from making new drawings for a bit.
In the meantime, I’m slowly adding all of these 100 drawings to my Etsy shop. Some have already sold but if the one you like isn’t there yet it will probably appear over the next couple of weeks.
A few weeks ago the London Graphic Centre very kindly sent me some new art supplies to try and I thought you might like to see what I received. I haven’t had the time to try them out properly yet but these are my first impressions.
As you probably know, I use watercolour paints a lot in my work so I was excited to received this hot press watercolor block from the brand Fluid. I’ve never actually used a block of paper before but the idea is that the sheets are glued together *almost* all the way around, meaning that the paper should stay nice and flat while you work on it. When you’re finished working, you find the tiny gap in the glue and run a sharp knife around the edge to remove the top sheet.
This paper is 300gsm, acid-free and feels lovely and smooth. I’m a big fan of smooth, thick watercolour paper so I’m sure I’ll enjoy using this.
I was convinced I hadn’t tried the Winsor and Newton watercolour paper but I actually have a tiny spiral bound sketchbook which I’ve used for one or two urban sketches and the paper is really nice to use and takes watercolour washes very well.
Tombow pens are really handy and they have 2 different nibs – a brush nib at one end and a finer bullet nib at the other. They’re not something I use every day but I find them quite useful for quick sketches.
When I did the One Week 100 People challenge I found this was the best pen for loose, fast sketches, especially the finer nib. It doesn’t drag and because it’s a bit thicker than a standard fine liner, it forces you to be less precious about the outcome.
All Kinds of Pencils
During my current 100 Day Project I’ve started using coloured pencils combined with watercolour paints so I was really excited to receive this selection of pencils by Derwent. I love their watercolour pencils and lately I’ve loved playing with the Inktense range, so I know that I’ve got some really high quality pencils here.
I haven’t tried Derwent’s Procolour or Coloursoft before but I really like the look and feel of both of them. As the name suggests, the Coloursoft makes a nice soft, almost grainy texture, while the Procolour is slightly more waxy so it will be interesting to compare them in a bit more detail soon.
I didn’t know that Derwent made a pastel pencil. It feels almost chalky to use and I’m already trying to think of ways to incorporate it into my work.
Very occasionally I make pencils drawings but usually the only time I usually use graphite pencils is for sketching outlines or making rough sketches before I start a final piece of work, but this Derwent Graphic pencil may convert me. For a 2B it has quite a light coverage and doesn’t smudge easily so I think I’ll get along with this one very nicely.
One thing I had been thinking about buying is a good quality mechanical pencil, partly for the convenience when out and about, and partly for achieving a consistent pencil line without having to sharpen it. This Precision pencil, also from Derwent, looks really nice. It has a 0.5mm lead and a full metal body which suggests to me that it should be sturdy and long lasting.
Something else I haven’t tried before is this watercolour stick from Winsor and Newton. It feels almost like a wax crayon and goes on to the paper in that sort of way too. But then when you add water over the top it transforms into a lovely watercolour wash. I’m wondering if I could use it in my 100 Day Project and I think they’d be really handy for urban sketching too. A few of these and a water brush could be a very practical part of a sketching kit.
I also have 2 colours of gouache from Caran D’Ache. I love the watercolour pencils I have from Caran D’Ache but I didn’t realise they also made gouache so I’ll be interested to see how this pan and tube compare to other brands I’ve used.
Finally, I have this set of 12 watercolour pencils from Winsor and Newton. The label states that they are ‘premium artist quality’ and highly pigmented. They go onto the paper very smoothly and certainly seem to produce a vibrant wash when water’s added so I’m very keen to start using these regularly alongside my Winsor and Newton paints (and paper!).
A big thank you to London Graphic Centre for adding to my stash of art supplies. If you’ve used any of the things I’ve mentioned here I’d love to here your thoughts about them and if you’d like to see a more detailed review of any of them, please let me know!
A bear I painted in my sketchbook a few weeks ago. I’m thinking of making more drawings of animals in knitwear and more animals in general. Are there any animals in particular that you’d like to see me draw/paint?
This week I started a new kourse with Sketchbook Skool. I haven’t taken one of their multi-teacher kourses in a long time and this one – called The Whimsical Sketchbook – looked like fun so I signed up.
The first teacher was illustrator Rebecca Green and the assignment was to illustrate a character or scene from one of your favourite books. I chose to illustrate a short story from a book by Tove Jansson called Letters From Klara. I didn’t feel confident enough to draw a character so I decided to draw all the details mentioned in the first short story of the book – also called Letters From Klara.
I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out and I felt slightly out of my comfort zone but I was pleased with the finished drawing, although I feel like I could keep tweaking this one for ages.
Earlier this month I met with the London Urban Sketchers at Leadenhall Market in the City of London. Leadenhall market is one of the oldest covered markets in London and was designed by the same architect behind Smithfield Market and Tower Bridge. It’s also been the backdrop for many films, perhaps the most famous one being Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone.
I spent the first part of the day inside the market sketching the Lamb Tavern pub and after the lunchtime sketchbook sharing, I ventured outside.
Leadenhall Market sits alongside some of the City’s modern skyscrapers, including the iconic Lloyds of London building. I couldn’t get too close the the Lloyds building because the Pokemon movie was being filmed that day but I did manage to find one spot where there was a partial view of it and got a sketch done before we all met up at the end of the day to share the rest of our sketches.