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My 100-Day Challenge Journey: Exploring Sketching Techniques

In February, I embarked on a 100-day art challenge that promised to stretch my creativity and technical skills in new and exciting ways. This journey was not just about improving my skills, but also about exploring new mediums and sketching techniques outside my usual practice with soft pastels. This challenge has been an avenue for experimentation and growth, pushing me to embrace new forms of expression through quick, spontaneous sketches and urban scenes.

Each day, I dedicated time to create something new, deliberately stepping outside my comfort zone. I established specific rules to guide my challenge: each sketch or painting would be limited to 30 minutes of work, utilizing various materials like liners, markers, and charcoal – mediums perfect for quick sketches that capture the essence of a moment.

Overcoming Challenges and Strategic Planning

One of the biggest hurdles I faced was managing time effectively, which led to a strategic approach: planning my week in advance. I gathered ideas and prepared references ahead of each week, ensuring I could dive straight into creating each evening without delay. This preparation proved crucial in maintaining the challenge’s momentum and allowed me to focus fully on the artistic process.

Lessons Learned and Artistic Growth

Throughout the early stages of my 100-day art challenge, I encountered numerous lessons that not only refined my approach but also deepened my understanding and appreciation of the artistic process. I'm planning to prepare a separate post about these lessons, so stay tuned for more insights!

Essential Sketching Tools

During the first part of my 100-day sketching challenge, I relied on a carefully selected set of tools that helped me explore and refine different sketching techniques. Here's a closer look at the materials that I used till a week 7:

Fine Liners from Molotow

  • 0.2 mm Liner: Perfect for intricate details and delicate lines, this fine liner allowed me to add precise touches to my sketches, enhancing the overall clarity and definition.

  • 0.5 mm Liner: A versatile choice for both detailed work and broader strokes, this medium-sized liner was ideal for outlining and adding depth to my drawings.

  • 1.0 mm Liner: With its bold and expressive line, this liner was my go-to for creating strong outlines and emphasizing key elements in my sketches.

Grey Markers from Copic

  • WG9 (Warm Grey 9): The darkest shade in my grey marker set, WG9 was essential for creating deep shadows and adding contrast to my sketches.

  • WG7 (Warm Grey 7): A slightly lighter shade, WG7 helped me build mid-tones and gradients, providing a smooth transition between light and dark areas.

  • WG5 (Warm Grey 5): Perfect for adding subtle shadows and enhancing textures, WG5 brought a balanced depth to my sketches.

  • WG3 (Warm Grey 3): This lighter grey marker was great for creating soft shadows and adding dimension without overwhelming the drawing.

  • WG1 (Warm Grey 1): The lightest shade, WG1 was ideal for light shading and adding delicate highlights to my work.

Colorful Markers from Various Brands

  • Vibrant Colors: To infuse my sketches with life and energy, I used a variety of colorful markers from different brands. These markers allowed me to experiment with bold hues and create dynamic, eye-catching illustrations.

These tools were perfect for experimenting with different sketching techniques and capturing the nuances of each subject. They helped me explore various styles and approaches, enhancing my ability to create expressive and detailed drawings quickly.


The 100-day challenge has been a transformative journey, pushing my artistic boundaries and enhancing my sketching skills. As I approach the end of this challenge in May, coinciding with a sketch tour, the culmination of this experience promises to be a significant milestone in the evolution of my sketching skills and confidence.

For a closer look at the results of each week and to see how my techniques have evolved, check out my updates on Instagram @painted_by_natalia.

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4 comentários

It has been a valuable exercise! I have watched your skills and confidence build along the way. Well done, Natalia!

17 de mai.
Respondendo a

Thank you so much, Judith! Still few more weeks to post and one week to do. And I am very excited to use all these knowledge on the sketchtour from Bettina!.. Maybe I even finally go for Inktober this year 😅


My hat goes off to you! Congratulations on your dedication and success!

17 de mai.
Respondendo a

Thank you so much, Carole! Although I am looking forward to finishing this project. It is quite difficult to keep concentration and motivation for such a long time...

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