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#OneWeek100People2017: Day Five: Winding down with studio portraits

March 10, 2017

I have been loving this little artistic vacation. Thanks to everyone who has been drawing their own 100 – you’ve all been keeping me motivated!

I know, I know – I’m very fortunate to be able to sketch as much as I do. And I’m just gloating about it in front of you guys who have to take time off work or find drawing time after taking care of the household. I know everyone might not have the luxury of all this free time.

But of course, there are always trade offs. I have to go back into the salt-mines of digital art next week, and every minute of this fun is going to make the next deadline harder. I’ve been relishing every drop of watercolor these last few days.

>Note: You can read the rest of this series of posts HERE <

I spend so much time at home, I think I don’t have a healthy immune system. Going out and being around humans – definitely makes me sick. These were all done with a thudding head cold. I had numerous close calls. Trying not to blow my nose with a tissue dabbed in Perylene Maroon.

These heads are done from people in the Sktchy app.

I used little 4×6″ cards of watercolor paper, so they’re kind of ‘life size’ next to my iPad. I would say they were about 20 minutes each? Definitely faster and smaller than my last Sktchy binge. No particular reason, I just wanted to see how many I could do in a single day, and working smaller is usually faster.

The answer when you’re sick with a cold is: 15 in a day.

I wasn’t timing myself, and I would work on two or three at once. Laying big shapes (planes of the head, pools of eye sockets) on one head, then starting the next head. By the time I had a few ‘sculpted’, I could go back and put dark details on top of the dried wash.

With these, I’m trying to use less modelling than I might normally. Seeing how much I can do in the first pass. The guy on the left, being the only really successful example. His beard, the brows, pupils and nostrils are the only ‘retouches’. The entire head is otherwise done in the first pass. I will be impressed if one day I can manage to completely paint in one go. That would be awesome. I think it’s possible. But in the others here, I think you can see I had to go back into the shadows my usual three times.

This fellow is my absolute favorite of the day. Keeping the retouches to the minimum each layer. Trying to make the under painting do more work. This is the upside of this whole process. If you can keep up the pace, at least ONE of them will be a gem.  Whereas, if you work the whole week on a single masterpiece – it’s kind of a gamble.

Anyway – getting somewhere Less is More-ish with him. But he’s such a character! It’s actually much easier painting a guy like this – over say, a smooth faced young lady.

If you want to check out the before/after of the reference photos, you’ll need to get Sktchy on an iOS device. Find me in there (under Marc Holmes) and these will be tagged to the models profiles. And thanks also to you guys who gave of your faces!

So that’s #OneWeek100People2017 for me.

It will be interesting to do it again with you all next year. I have no idea what I’ll be thinking about that far in the future:) But we’ll all be able to post our progress – these ones, next to the 100 in 2018!

>Note: You can read the rest of this series of posts HERE <

20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2017 9:50 AM


  2. Maggie Marszewski permalink
    March 10, 2017 10:06 AM

    Marc, your work is so good, so expressive…love it all!

  3. Jason Mullins permalink
    March 10, 2017 10:08 AM

    Good Stuff Marc! I recently bought your book and a DVD on sketching birds. Thanks for posting your work as it is very inspiring. – Jason Mullins

  4. Jacqui permalink
    March 10, 2017 10:27 AM

    These are beautiful Marc. I love the colour of the skin tones; can you share how you achieve them?

  5. March 10, 2017 10:28 AM

    Beautiful skin tones Marc. Can you share how you achieve them?

    • March 10, 2017 11:33 AM

      I think the main thing is working quickly. I get a wet shape that is “all the shadows fused together” made of perlyne maroon usually mixed with grey of grey and buff titanium – then tweak that wet shape with turquoise, Naples yellow, Quinn gold, etc. Coming soon l hope to have some video showing this in depth :) Subscribe for updates on that :)

  6. March 10, 2017 12:19 PM

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. Thank you for a marvellous challenge. I’m short 30 but have enjoyed it immensely.

  7. March 10, 2017 12:20 PM

    You are always so inspiring Marc! I saw the challenge and started a day late, and got my 100 done. It was such a great learning experience! Thank you.

  8. March 10, 2017 2:17 PM

    Thank you, Marc, for your inspiration. I have two of your Craftsy courses ready to go now, and I did the 100 people challenge. I’m amazed was able to do it!! Actually, I can’t believe I was able to sketch that fast…Those pesky people just don’t stay still! Now I need to begin those classes so I learn how to do it! 👩‍🎨

  9. Paula permalink
    March 10, 2017 5:23 PM

    A huge thanks for posting this challenge and showing us your wonderful work. It was cool to see participation from around the world. It was a struggle to finish my 100th sketch today, but there’s a gem or two in there somewhere. Time to celebrate with a cold one!

  10. joantav permalink
    March 10, 2017 6:02 PM

    Love seeing the portraits too. I started a Sktchy collection but haven’t gotten to do any of them. Maybe I’ll have a little time to do that the rest of the month. Thanks for the challenge!

  11. March 11, 2017 9:13 AM

    Thanks for wonderful challenge last week..I was completley worn out at the end, but I loved it and learned soooo much.

  12. Marie-Anne Erki permalink
    March 11, 2017 10:57 AM

    Thank you for proposing this challenge. I had a great time doing it!

  13. Babs permalink
    March 17, 2017 5:20 PM

    Marc, I got my 100 done on time in 5 days and tried to make every page a montage with a theme as opposed to going out to sketch random people everywhere. I posted them in your class on drawing people. I really felt I improved my sketching ability regarding people and saw my confidence rise a good deal. Afterwards, I kind of fell into a blue funk as I felt lost for awhile without a new goal or challenge. Took a week to get back on course. Loved the challenge, however, as it really pushes one to work harder and faster and it was nice to be doing something right along with so many other people. Thanks for the challenge and your own work posted here. As usual, you are the man!

    • March 19, 2017 8:54 AM

      That’s very interesting – a little bit of burn out afterwards? My reaction is to always have the next goal lined up so we move from one to the next? I was already onto a big illustration job (that I’m still in the midst of in fact) so there was no down time for me. I wonder if there’s advice from marathon runners we can take :) Great you got it done! You can compare progress next year :)

  14. May 23, 2017 11:48 PM

    Marc, your work is so good, so expressive…love it all!


  1. Announcing: #OneWeek100People2018 starts Monday March 5! | Citizen Sketcher

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