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Day One : #OneWeek100People 2020 : Eyes on the Prize!

March 9, 2020

Welcome to day one of #OneWeek100People, 2020.

I like to start with a big push – get all 100 people on the first day. That way I can be free to mess about for the rest of the week :)

Well – to be honest, I hit that goal in year one, and then I meant to do it in year two and didn’t pace myself. I wasted half the day at a motorcycle show, drawing the bikes instead of the people. In year three I was just busy with life. So this year four, I said – alright! – all 100, first day, or bust!

But, as you can see, I didn’t exactly sprain my wrist doing it :)

I think I spent three or four hours actually drawing. Depending how you count it (lots of sketching while snacking). So that’s approximately 100 x two minute drawings.

That kind of seems like a waste of time when you say it.

A whole day of doodling!

BUT! In my defense – I was *thinking* about watercolor the whole time.

I really wanted to be doing big paintings filled with dozens of people – but I didn’t want to carry a drawing board or an easel as I ran round the city. Today was all about travelling light and getting to 100.

I figured – I’ll spend the day doing silhouettes in pen – and IMAGINE the watercolor I’ll do later.

All these little shapes I’ve sketched are imitations – visualizations – of how I’d make a figure in wash.


A few years ago, during our 30×30 painting event, I realised some of my favorite paintings come from bad photos.

Dark, blurry cellphone photos – they’re perfect. The less you have – the easier it is to simplify.

Another trick is to get further away. Or paint a backlit subject. These are ways to give yourself LESS complexity to look at.

All these tricks can help you supress unnecessary detail.

With my little pen silhouettes, I’ve left out everything except the major form.

Painting from doodles is almost too easy! It’s certainly a fun way to get a solid sketch.

Ok – so, instead of reading about what I’m doing – how about a video demonstration?

This short video shows how I make the figure, all-in-one-go. Fusing brushstrokes to get a solid, blended shape – but – leaving white gaps in just the right places.

Ok! So that’s my ‘homework’ for this year’s #OneWeek100People.

I hope other people have specific things they hope to get out of the event?

You don’t have to do it like me!

If you’re trying to be a portrait painter – by all means, do 100 heads. If you’re trying to be a comic book artist – do 100 characters from imagination.

As with all of these online challenges – you should do whatever you need, to develop the skills you see yourself using in five years.

Otherwise five years will come around and you won’t find yourself making the works of art you imagined.

So please – post your sketches up to the Facebook group – (or just leave a comment here) and share with us!


10 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason Mullins permalink
    March 9, 2020 11:27 AM

    Great Stuff Marc. I missed seeing your awesome watercolors….so this is a treat!

  2. March 9, 2020 11:37 AM

    It doesn’t matter what you do, you’re still my favorite sketcher! I love the slight variation of colour change for these figures and then adding the background in the last one. ,!!!

  3. March 9, 2020 11:39 AM

    Wonderful and inspiring, Marc! Have been telling all my artist buddies about your video. Thanks so much!

  4. Sophie permalink
    March 9, 2020 3:58 PM

    Hi Marc, thank you for such an inspiring video! Would you mind elaborating on how you mix your skin tones ? Thanks again!

    • March 9, 2020 7:18 PM

      Hey Sophie – Well for Caucasians I tend to rely on Perlyne Maroon (my alternate for the falsely named fugitive Permanent Alizarin Crimson) mixed with Buff Titanium or Holbein Gris-a-Gris in various proportions. I use the near-whites in order to make a richer mix of a higher key tone. If you just dilute, you don’t have a nice viscosity. Sometimes a tiny tiny touch of indigo or turquoise if you need a cool shadow. Often it grey’s off automatically by touching the collar or hair, or a shadow. If you check out this post below, you can sort of see how the hair and shadow colors might mix on the page with the pink:

      • Sophie permalink
        March 10, 2020 3:56 PM

        Thank you so much for your insights and for taking the time to share your experience!

  5. R Duncan permalink
    March 9, 2020 5:33 PM

    Love this. I have missed you Marc!

  6. Kathy Wesson permalink
    March 9, 2020 7:54 PM

    Inspiring. Thank you. I’m going to give your way a go.

  7. March 10, 2020 3:42 PM

    Thanks so much for hosting this challenge again. My main goal is to just draw more, fill up a sketchbook. A bit hard to draw from life this time so I’m just using Pinterest.


  1. Day One : #30x30DirectWatercolor : False Starts are Normal! | Citizen Sketcher

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