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Announcing a new event! #OneWeek100People2017: Monday March 6th – Friday March 10th

February 21, 2017

UPDATE!: EVERYTHING TO DO WITH #ONEWEEK100PEOPLE IS NOW ON IT’S OWN PAGE: [ HERE ]  Or just click on the tab #OneWeek100People in the navigation bar above. Thanks! ~m

Do you want to get better at drawing portraits? Or people in action?

Every aspiring artist has heard the advice, ‘Carry a small sketchbook at all times!’. We’re all told ‘Practice drawing every day!’. This is of course great advice.

But sometimes we need a little extra motivation.

I’ve always enjoyed giving myself a playful challenge. A short- term tangible goal.

It has to be something that’s achievable – but also a bit of a stretch. We need to commit to giving a little extra effort! Plus – we need to give ourselves permission to clear our busy schedules and make time for art.


Taking inspiration from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), this year, from March 6th to 10th, urban sketchers Marc Taro Holmes (Montreal, CA) and Liz Steel (Sydney, AUS) invite the world to join in with #OneWeek100People2017.

100 People_12

The simple goal is: Draw 100 people in one week.

You can do it any way you want. Pencil drawings, or pen and ink, maybe watercolor sketches. Whatever it is that you’d like to practice most.

We’re committing to draw about 20 people a day. We’ll be posting our work every day for the week of March 6-10. If you want to join in, use the hashtag #OneWeek100People2017 and everyone can find your work too!

100 People_17

We just want everyone to see what it feels like to follow through on that advice ‘practice every day’. It’s a big commitment. But it’s possible to do without completely disrupting your life. Or at least – you can choose how disruptive you want it to be :)

The goal is PRACTICE. Not perfection. So maybe it’s only 20 minutes of work each day if you’re doing one minute gesture drawings. Or maybe a few of them are 5 to 10 minute studies, and you have to find a way to catch up later in the week.

100 People_02

The first time I did this 2015, I just decided – for one week, I’ll be ten minutes late for everything. I would skip my train and sketch people waiting on the platform. Or go to the movies and get a few drawings of the people in line, and keep sketching at dinner after. Whatever it takes to draw 100 people in five days.

Here’s some suggestions:

  • Use the hashtag #OneWeek100People2017 and we can keep each other on track. (Hashtags like #OneWeek100People2017 aren’t just for Twitter anymore! They’ll work on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram,Tumblr, Google+, almost anywhere you post your art normally, there will be a way to use a hashtag. It’s the easiest way, nobody has to change where they usually post :)
  • Plan to swap out any ‘scheduled free time’ for drawing. Tivo your shows, skip the gym, don’t start up that video gaming night – just for one week.
  • Be prepared! Work up a list of crowded places to draw people – visit a park, the public library, go shopping, or to a sporting event.
  • Maybe search out public performances (live music at a pub, a lecture, or a reading); somewhere you have people on stage. It’s easier to stare at a performer.
  • Go drawing in groups. If it looks like you’re a club or a class, people give you the benefit of the doubt.
  • If you don’t want to do it live-on-location, cue up a you tube play-list, sign up for Flickr, or download the iOS app SKTCHY.
  • Give yourself permission to succeed. Don’t overthink the results – just draw! I promise you’ll see results at the end of the week. No matter how fast you sketch, over a whole week, at least ONE will be amazing :)

100 People_06


61 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2017 10:39 PM

    Great news, Marc. I did this challenge with you last time around (tho’ I didn’t make the target 100)…nevertheless I really enjoyed it… count me in this time!

  2. Susan Wilson permalink
    February 21, 2017 11:07 PM

    I’m in. Thanks Marc for all your great posts, they are quite an inspiration.

  3. Cornelia Emery permalink
    February 22, 2017 12:29 AM

    One week is 5 days in Canada?


  4. February 22, 2017 5:34 AM

    I am in! Thanks for the daily inspiration!

  5. Kathy Kreidler permalink
    February 22, 2017 6:29 AM

    I’m looking forward to it. Any particular place to post? Facebook, Instagram?

  6. Joy Taylor permalink
    February 22, 2017 6:33 AM

    Hi silly question but as I’m struggling to open the window of technology that closed about 50 years ago – when you say use the hash tag – is that twitter?

    I love sketching people and would love to join this challenge. Not on twitter but can find out about it.

    Love getting your emails.



    • February 22, 2017 10:13 AM

      You can use tags in most places now – Flickr, here in WordPress, in Facebook – anyplace there’s image hosting has it these days.

      • lynn cooper permalink
        March 6, 2017 7:05 AM

        like, what is “image hosting”? allows photo uploading?

  7. lackerley permalink
    February 22, 2017 6:41 AM

    Looking forward to it! Ironic that I just rewatched some of your Craftsy People in motion videos!

  8. February 22, 2017 7:59 AM

    Dumb question Marc, do we post it on Twitter? I will share this with my friends!

    • February 22, 2017 10:11 AM

      Anywhere is fine really – just use the hashtag and google can find it on all the platforms!

  9. lizvargasart permalink
    February 22, 2017 10:43 AM

    I’m in!! Sounds fun. I like challenges! I’m in the 10,000 steps challenge everyday, so you are a big inspiration for my sketchy and personal life 😀

  10. February 22, 2017 12:28 PM

    Sounds like great fun! I’m in! Thanks, Marc and Liz,

  11. February 22, 2017 4:21 PM

    ok, Marc and Liz, I’ve got the invite from both of you…what’s life without another challenge? I’m in…. and a chance to finish a sketchbook I have devoted to people with sparrows… so that means 100 people, 100 sparrows! Yahoo!!

  12. February 22, 2017 4:52 PM

    I’m in! But yeah, I might take 7 days. :) Lots more sketch time on weekends … and I’ll be traveling, so will be getting some good new-place sketching done as well. Fun fun.

    • February 22, 2017 4:53 PM

      Been doing a daily Sktchy sketch since I saw your post on it, btw. I’m really enjoying it. So this is just … ramping that up by 20x. No prob. ;)

  13. daveyone1 permalink
    February 22, 2017 5:54 PM

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  14. February 23, 2017 11:11 AM

    I’m in. sounds like a fun challenge.

  15. February 23, 2017 3:30 PM

    A great challenge, count me in.
    Even though I like the idea of sketching lots of different people in various locations I’m considering the idea of sketching my youngest son 100 times at home, school and play during the course of that week. It would be an interesting study.
    Thanks Marc and Liz

  16. Fabee permalink
    February 24, 2017 12:05 AM

    I’ll try. But in 7 days, like a proper week. ;)

  17. February 24, 2017 3:18 AM

    Ok, I’m in! I suck at drawing people so the practise will be useful no doubt! Nice to find your blog btw, I’m gonna enjoy having a nosey around :)

  18. Jerry permalink
    February 24, 2017 7:29 AM

    I’m in Marc! Thanks for your commitment to getting better and challenging fellow artists.

  19. joantav permalink
    February 24, 2017 6:58 PM

    Sounds like a great challenge. I’m going to give it a try!

  20. February 27, 2017 9:29 PM

    I don’t use twitter, what can i do to post my draws ?

    • February 27, 2017 9:44 PM

      Hashtags like #OneWeek100People2017 aren’t just for Twitter anyomre! They’ll work on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram,Tumblr, Google+, almost anywhere you post your art normally, there will be a way to use a hashtag! It’s the easiest way, nobody has to change where they usually post :)

  21. February 28, 2017 6:49 AM

    Hi Liz and Marc,

    the challenge sounds great. I’m going to give it a try, here in germany! Perhaps there are other german speakers around, wich participate?

    I’ll blog about my sketches here:

    Thanks for the motivation and ideas!


  22. Babs Jennings permalink
    February 28, 2017 4:18 PM

    #OneWeek100People2017 You’re on!

  23. Grace permalink
    March 2, 2017 7:42 AM

    I’ll give it a try. See you in Chicago. Grace

  24. March 2, 2017 11:17 AM

    I’m in! :-)
    Thanks Marc for organising this challenge, it’s the perfect motivation to get me to draw.
    As my goal is more toward getting confortable with quick figure drawing for my fashion design gig, I’ll be looking into Croquis Café videos to sketch.
    I’ve wrote about the challenge on my blog ( and will be posting on Instagram my progress.

    I’m also going to watch one more time your Craftsy classes to prepare for the event.
    Excited! :-)

    • March 2, 2017 1:30 PM

      Fashion design! What great idea! It would be awesome to do a Fashion blog based on sketches of street style :)

  25. Rita Cleary permalink
    March 2, 2017 11:40 AM

    Marc….I am not on anything that requires a “hashtag” to post…..I am probably going to try this challenge (although it seems daunting), and of course I could do it without posting the results….but are there alternative ways to show my results???

  26. Rita Cleary permalink
    March 2, 2017 2:29 PM

    OK Mark…I’ll open a FB account just for this purpose….I was on FB in the past, but found it to be time addictive….but this hopefully will be time-well-spent, and inspirational to see the results of others…

    • March 2, 2017 4:45 PM

      Wow! Rita I feel bad about dragging you back in once you got out alive! Are you sure you want to do that :) Maybe just a twitter account? It’s much less addictive I think – less hooked into every life activity :) Up to you but I don’t want to be an enabler :)

      • Rita Cleary permalink
        March 2, 2017 5:16 PM

        That is exactly how I feel about FB. Never tried Twitter…maybe I’ll give it a go. Same hashtag identifier?

        • March 2, 2017 5:18 PM

          Yup you just say “Bla Bla, here’s my sketch for #OneWeek100People2017, bla bla” and attach the image. It will automatically show the image next to everyone else’s when anyone searches the tag. Even from a google search.

        • March 3, 2017 1:05 PM

          Or Instagram maybe, if you have a mobile … ?

          • Rita Cleary permalink
            March 3, 2017 1:17 PM

            I signed up for Twitter. No sych thing as keeping a low prifile anymore…have received two “hellos” already (computer links my email). Meanwhile, I get a lot of tweets from people I don’t know, and entities I don’t care to bechearing from. I wiil de-activate from Twitter when this sketching challwnge is over.

            • Rita Cleary permalink
              March 3, 2017 1:19 PM

              Sorry for the typos. When will I learn to review things before sending?

  27. Audrey permalink
    March 3, 2017 8:02 PM

    Would really like to do this….as sketching peeps is my nemesis…..any tips to get me started?

  28. March 5, 2017 8:00 PM

    I’m in! Always wanting to get better at drawing people, and this will pressure me to get more done!

  29. March 12, 2017 10:53 PM

    Hi Marc, I love this idea! I just missed it for this year however, as I was on vacation when it started. I will do it next year though! In the meantime, I might do it on my own next week, just because it would be so good for me and my sketchbook. I might also invite a few friends to join me. I will leave your specific hashtag phrase off of it, since it is connected to a March 6-10 annual event, but I will give you credit for the idea. :)

    • March 14, 2017 9:56 AM

      Excellent Connie – no reason to wait :) Try it now and then next year we can all see our progress!

  30. Rita Cleary permalink
    March 16, 2017 10:56 PM

    I made it to about 85, which I was happy with. I turned a corner around day 4, and I am liking the result–there is improvement! Yay! Marc–I am reading and enjoying your book. Will probably read it thru, then go back and do the exercises. I nearly fell off my chair when I read your suggestion in Exercise 2: “go out for a few hours, and see if you can fill at least 3 sketchbook spreads”; the first time I read it, I thought you said to go out for a few hours and fill three sketchbooks! Yikes! (Makes three sketchbook SPREADS much more manageable!) I need a push to do this, but you are motivating me. I keep telling myself that DOING IT is the only way to improve.

  31. Travis permalink
    April 18, 2018 2:25 AM

    Such a good idea! What kind of sketchbook is this btw? I really like those tear out pages.

    • April 18, 2018 9:30 AM

      They Travis. I tend to just use cut sheets these days. If you buy watercolor or drawing paper in full sheets, and trim it to size, its cheaper in the long run. I like Fabriano for watercolor and any bristol for ink drawing.


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