Thursday 16 July 2020

The completion of my 100 day project

I had been meaning to start a 100 day project for a little while now. In fact it was one of my Ten Things to do in 2020.  The reason that it has taken me this long is because we always seem to have a holiday booked within a period of 100 days and I didn't want that to be a distraction. At the beginning of April, with one big holiday cancelled and the prospect of having a lot of time to spend at home, it seemed like the obvious time to give it a go. 

I've always wanted to improve my drawing and painting. I had a set of good quality watercolour paints left over from my A-Level Art days, but I never really learned to use them and I hadn't touched them since. I treated myself to a new sketchbook for my birthday last year, and I have plenty of drawing pencils and brushes. So I decided that each day I would draw and/or paint a page in my sketchbook.

It took me a little while to get going as I flitted around with different things. I tried sketching the children but I wasn't happy with the result. With the beautiful weather over Easter I turned to the garden, painting the leaves and flowers and moving on to both realistic and more stylised flowers. I also found a few tutorials that helped me to use the watercolours in different ways.

Watercolour flower experiments

I carried on painting my flowers, and discovered that my favourite colour was definitely blue. I also started trying a few paintings of scenery, like this beach scene.

Simple watercolour beach scene

After the halfway point I revisited my attempts at drawing and painting the children. I started working on an artist's journal about the pandemic, and illustrated it with some pictures of the children doing various things. They aren't great but I was quite pleased with them, I like to think that they capture a moment! I'm not very good with faces so I tend to draw the children from behind or at an angle!

Watercolour painting of a child on a swing

For the final quarter of the challenge I repeated some of my favourite subjects, especially the stylised flowers and a few more pictures of the children. I also worked hard on my artist's journal which helped me to practice watercolour washes in different colours. 

Watercolour child from behind in meadow

I really liked the image of Mia from behind that I used above, and I repeated it with a few different backgrounds. I also returned to painting flowers from the garden as they started to bloom. Here are my marigolds, used to make a pattern that looks like fancy wallpaper.

Watercolour marigold pattern

And the first sweet peas in a champagne glass, trying to capture all the different colours. 

Watercolour sweet peas in a champagne glass

The 100 day project has been a great focus during lockdown and will be a big part of my memories of this period. I've really enjoyed trying something new, and I like to think that my skills have improved. I've definitely increased my confidence - I'm no longer too intimidated to sit down in front of an empty sketchbook or a blank page.

I'm hoping to develop my skills further, perhaps by finding some YouTube drawing tutorial videos to follow. I especially want to be more confident with sketching the children. I'm not sure that I'll be drawing every day, but I'm definitely going to continue, and also perhaps work on some longer paintings that will take several days. 

There's also my illustrated journal to complete, I'll share some of the pages when it's finished!

I'd definitely recommend giving a 100 day project a go, it's a great way to challenge yourself and begin to learn a new skill.

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