Remember Sketches from the Cube? The little game I play where I complete 100 sketches of something at the office during my lunch break?
This time I chose birds. Why? Because:
- I had an old day calendar devoted to them with 365 images to choose from.
- I'm a self-confessed bird nerd.
- I'd never tried drawing birds before, I wanted to know if I could do it.
- one mix media sketchbook with 7"x10" sheets of 98lb/160g paper
- one black Sharpie (I used a black gel pen for a while when my Sharpie ran out)
- one old bird lover's day calendar
- pull a blank sheet from my sketchbook and gently tear it in quarters, creating four 3 1/2"x5" pieces
- flip through the pages of my day calendar and choose an image that speaks to me
- sketch it quickly, no fuss
- add a background or setting*
- repeat the process once more to create two sketches per sitting
* Sketching birds took more time than the florals and faces did. The birds were quick enough - though some were more intricate than others, but figuring out what kind of setting or background I wanted to draw around them was a real head-scratcher sometimes. On some days inspiration hit as I flipped through my calendar and saw a specific bird, on other days my imagination came up short and left me frustrated.
- 100 bird drawings, sketched one sitting at a time
- a pleasantly surprising revelation that I can draw birds
- the discovery that I enjoy creating patterns as backgrounds and have a fondness for drawing birds wearing hats
- increased confidence in my ability to draw and meet a set goal
- You don't need fancy tools to make art.
- You don't need a lot of time to make art (two sketches took me about 1/2 hour to complete).
- You don't have to be super precise in your markings to draw a bird that looks like a bird. Scribble with confidence!
- Regular practice leads to progress.
- That being said, there will be "off" days.
- Pinning art on your cubicle wall is a good conversation starter.
- Completing 100 instances of something builds confidence.
- Bringing an art practice to the office reminds you that you are more than your day job.
I wasn't sold on this series when I first started it. It was harder than the floral drawings and the images looked a lot "heavier" on my cubicle wall, I thought 100 might be too much. This series also took longer to finish than the other two, work was busy and I didn't always take the time to sketch. But I persisted.
I'm glad I did.
I'm already starting to toy with ideas for a fourth series, but will let it percolate for a while. Perhaps you'll join in when the time comes?
In the meantime I leave you with a few favourite sketches.