I was toying with the idea of doing the 100 Day Project. Last year it got me out of my sketchbook funk and if I was going to do it, I wanted to do something that I could really sink my teeth in and get something big out of it.
I just got back from a trip with my family and while I was on it, the day before the 100 Day Project was to start, I doodled parts of the hotel while waiting for everyone to get ready. My initial response was “huh, I really don’t draw a lot of scenery.” Well, actually, if I’m really honest, it was more like “I think I can do better, but I just don’t draw a lot of scenery.” That was my eureka moment. Here’s the sketch that sparked it all:
I realized while drawing that I don’t really have a language for scenery, still life stuff, and things that are not character centered. I believe that you really don’t figure out your style unless you’ve drawn… A LOT. It’s all about practice and noticing certain things you gravitate towards as well as how you decide to short hand everything. I feel like my style when it comes to character has matured over the years pretty well because I have it the time it needed, but when it comes to scenery non-character centric things, it’s lacking in comparison.
So my 100 Day Project has been born! All the drawings while I was on my trip are just pencil sketches since that’s all I had time to do and all I had with me at the time. I might expand to color work or mixed media work later but for now, I’m keeping it simple. Below are all the ones I’ve posted so far on Instagram and Twitter.
So far, it’s been a fun challenge. It really shows how little practice I’ve given this stuff over the years in comparison to my character art. My goal is to create my own visual language that could be recognizable.
In the beginning, I will mostly do observational sketches and sketches from life. This helps me pay attention to my surroundings, angles and other things I might forget or leave out if I were to come up with scenery out of my head immediately. I need to ease into it. I might come up with my own settings towards the end of the project after I’ve practiced but for now, I find it’s best to stick to learning from my surroundings and observations.
In some of the photos, I was able to also take a photo of the setting I was drawing. Some drawings are rushed due to time limits, but I think the time limits are a good thing. It helps me figure out how I might short hand certain things or easily forgive mistakes I might make while drawing since I don’t have all day to figure it out. I’ve found I like leaving in the mistakes.
Almost all of these are from direct observation of my surroundings with the exception of the image above. That one was from a photo I found online that I thought was charming. I wanted to see how I would short hand a building with lots of greenery surrounding it.
I’ve also found settings create fond memories. I’ve found I like drawing all the little tiny details that normally I don’t pay attention to since it gives the surrounding character.
This is still early in the project so I’m curious to see how my drawings change and evolve over time. That’s part of the fun of the 100 Day Project! You get to experiment and see all you’ve learned over the course of 100 Days.
I personally love this project. It helps to have a clear and simple goal in mind that could be done in 5-10 mins or for much longer if you have the time. Some of these sketches were done in 10 mins just because of how short of time I had to draw them. Having a goal that can be done is such a short amount of time helps you achieve it even during very busy days.
Here’s to the many days ahead of me of drawing scenery and other non-character art! I’m excited to see how everything evolves!