Sometimes You Just Need A Challenge

ArtisticLicenseIf you know Brenda Swenson’s “75-day Challenge”, you know the concept of casting aside the pencil, even for organizational purposes and sketching directly with pen.  It’s said, and I believe it to be true, that doing so for a lot of sketches, will improve your ability to see and put what you see on paper.  The process moves a lot of thinking to early in the process, ensuring that when you do lay down a line it’s in the right place.

I do a lot of ink work but typically use a pencil to lightly outline main masses and relationships in a sketch.  But sometimes a guy just needs a challenge and I was feeling like one when I started looking at this railing and post.

I set up to sketch it (Stillman & Birn Zeta -5×8, Pilot Prera) and decided to do it ‘ink-only’, though I confess that I drew a pencil horizontal line at the top of the railing and a vertical line at the inside of the post.  Then I got out my pen and stared.  And then I stared some more, measuring, seeing, and occasionally putting a dot on my paper.  Then I drew the lines… and the curves.  For me it was a struggle with all the curved wrought iron to render.  And there are screw ups… there are always screw ups.  It’s my signature move.  But generally, I like the results and had a lot of fun with the process.



2 Responses to “Sometimes You Just Need A Challenge”

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  1. Yvan Breton says:

    Hi Larry,
    Did you keep a description of the exercices and goal of the 75 days challenge. It seems the Brenda Swenson blog page is no longer available.

  2. The challenge is simple. One sketch a day. Use pen only to do the sketch. No pencil…no erasers…no other ‘goals’.

    Cheers — Larry