112 hours. One fountain pen ink. One pen. 100 faces.

Reality infringes on my desire to do ALL of the creative things. Instead, I choose to ricochet between projects and mediums and ideas, zig-zagging my way up and around the learning curve. A challenge is a great way to SHAKE THINGS UP and focus on something you have been wanting to do but haven’t tackled.

Five days dedicated to drawing 100 things in spare moments is surprisingly intense! From the outside it might look like a mini-Inktober or mini-ICAD, but definitely not. As I read many other sketchers say…. I’d definitely do One Week 100 People again. I drew so much that I didn’t have a choice but to allow myself to loosen up and not micro-manage or I wouldn’t have finished. It’s like everything else fell away and I just had to keep moving forward, next face, next face. That pushed perfectionistic tendencies away!

And usually I will share pretty much anything I create, yet I felt hesitant to share these sketches! But it’s part of it, part of a challenge, part of the process. It drives improvement. After I posted the first two pages, the rest were easier somehow. Looking back I am really happy I shared these pages and it made the challenge all the more powerful.

One week 100 people. Drew 20 faces per page. All drawn upside down from reference images w/ Iroshizuku Shin-Kai ink.

One week 100 people. Drew 20 faces per page. All drawn upside down from reference images w/ Iroshizuku Shin-Kai ink.

Which fountain pen ink to use to draw 100 faces?

I knew that it was going to be blue, because that was my mood. Moody blues. So I narrowed down my ink decision to 4 dreamy blues, all good choices with good flow ➸

🐰 Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun [ see Grey Ink is not Boring + review of Fuyu-Syogun + examples of how I’ve used this gem],
🐰 Iroshizuku Shin-Kai
🐰 J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir
🐰 Diamine Denim [my hand-lettering with dip pen and Diamine Denim].

Of the four, I’d used Shin-Kai the least, and so that was the decision point.

Reference ——> Intro at Intro to One Week 100 People at Liz Steele’s blog and fab pep talk at about drawing via Citizen Sketcher


Oh my gosh. So many faces.

Oh my gosh. So many faces.

Why. not use a BUNCH of different inks? I ruled this option out because I wanted the set to be cohesive and to be able to see any concrete progress without having to adjust for ink color and characteristics. Look, it’s all about the lines.

Next, what nib? I like the G-nib and had done some lettering with an oblique holder and wanted to get more comfy with that process. Nothing better than a BUILT-IN constraint + practice… so the equation….

G-nib + oblique holder + Iroshizuku Shin-Kai

And I didn’t talk myself out of it like I did last year.

As for my substrate, definitely watercolor paper… but what size? A few faces on small cards? A lot of faces on big cards? Pre-drawn grid to fill? Start a fresh journal? SO MANY OPTIONS. I contemplated dedicating my last Clairefontaine 1951 lined notebook —- at the last minute I eyed a stack of 7x10" papers that I'd cut + folded with the intention of making signatures. Some day.

The fold was a perfect dividing line. So I drew 10 faces per section, 20 faces per front. Before the starting date, I gathered about 40 magazine images, knowing my daily drawing target was 20 [100 faces/5 days].

I needed to get out of my head and not over-analyze the subject so focused on faces rather than full people. Did not feel ready to tackle full people. Oh, and by the way, I drew all of the faces UPSIDE DOWN so that I could draw what I see — not what my brain thinks it sees. You may think that made it more difficult, but indeed it made it much easier.

I drew 100 faces on folded sheets of watercolor paper.

I drew 100 faces on folded sheets of watercolor paper.

One week 100 people, 01-20.

One week 100 people, 01-20.

№ 01-20 for this wild sketch challenge that I’m doing because I want to push myself to draw more faces 🍸🤩


One week 100 people, 21-40.

One week 100 people, 21-40.

№ 21-40 ✔️ In a perfect world I’d go to a café every day and sip cappuccinos and draw real people [right-side-up]. Don’t wait for the perfect moment - just draw. This is a super challenging challenge. 🙃

One week 100 people, 41-60.

One week 100 people, 41-60.

№ 41-60 I felt this level of frustration — not being able to get exactly what I visualize — the images don’t look at all like the reference images. But I did not let that become a roadblock. 🙃 Felt good to push myself, even though results were continuously wonky! With this set I switched to reference images on computer screen {first 40 were from magazine magazines}. This switch definitely helped because I could SEE the images much more clearly.

At some point around No. 50 [guesstimate] I started feeling like I was making progress.,

One week 100 people, 61-80.

One week 100 people, 61-80.

№ 61-80/100 — what a wickedly challenging 🥳 challenge — SO valuable + intensive. Spent way more time drawing than I had ever envisioned. I wonder if I might dedicate a week of ICAD to drawing faces in index cards? That might be neat.

One week 100 people, 81-100.

One week 100 people, 81-100.

№ 81-100 —and that’s a wrap! I can’t believe I finished! O M G!!!

Wrap-Up!

What a wickedly wonderful whirlwind of a 🥳 challenge. So valuable + intensive. I spent way more time drawing than I had ever envisioned. The challenge fell inside of an already BUSY week [ —-> taxes + spreadsheets] and so I squeezed in drawing time and rewarded myself with drawing time in return for sticking with some other deadlines. The good news is that I do see some progress if I compare the way it FELT to draw page one vs. page five. It felt like the ink was flowing and I was less hesitant. I also felt more comfortable putting on headphones and a spotify playlist, because I could get out of my head and draw.

One week 100 people 2019. I drew 20 faces on each 7x10" page of watercolor paper... all drawn from images from the web UPSIDE DOWN to isolate the shapes and not overthink. Drawn w/ Iroshizuku Shin-Kai.

One week 100 people 2019. I drew 20 faces on each 7x10" page of watercolor paper... all drawn from images from the web UPSIDE DOWN to isolate the shapes and not overthink. Drawn w/ Iroshizuku Shin-Kai.

I’ve been using this ink with a dip pen for a few months [along with many other inks], and here’s how much ink I still have left.

I’ve been using this ink with a dip pen for a few months [along with many other inks], and here’s how much ink I still have left.

Guessing you might imagine that I used a TON of ink? Here’s how much ink I still have left. That’s amazing. And I’d actually been using it for awhile before the challenge began!

Thanks for reading the entire post! I appreciate that!!! I want to remind you that the 9th Annual Daisy Yellow Index-Card-a-Day Challenge runs June 1 - July 31, 2019 and I hope you’ll join the festivities.


Plus? I made a list of 15+ things to draw to improve your lines.

drawing, inkDaisy Yellow