Week in Review 2021 – 01/29

100 Day Art Project

Have you heard of the 100 Day Art Project? Apparently it started as an assignment by Michael Beirut, a graphic design professor at Yale. I was completely oblivious until I read about it in a weekly SAQA eBlast this time last year. So, on February 1, 2020 I committed to doing a pencil drawing a day for 100 days, perhaps not all in a row, but as often as I could. One of the silver linings of the pandemic was only six weeks into the project I was sheltering in place, with all my travel plans canceled. So, instead of drawing between trips and events, I actually created a pencil drawing every single day for 100 days in a row. I even posted them on my instagram account.

Rules are Guidelines

I highly recommend joining the 100 Day Art Project this year. It starts on Sunday, January 31st. I have a caveat I find useful. It is, “my project, my rules and rules are just guidelines”. I very quickly turned from drawing my original designs to following tutorials available through multiple YouTube accounts. I found these by googling “how to draw step by step for beginners”.

My very first drawing

Once the 100 days were up, I was so enamored with having a regular drawing practice, I have continued it. Once again, following my own rules. Instead of a drawing a day, I do a drawing a week. This allows me to take my time and really get into the drawing/tutorial.

Why Stop Now?

What surprised me, isn’t that my drawing improved. I expected that. It is how much it improved and how confident I have become. Recently, I have started to include drawings done with just the basics drafted with pencil, then the majority done in fine point Sharpie. The drawings have sharpened my understanding of perspective, including how to use one and two point perspective, but also atmospheric perspective. Many drawings have involved faces. So, my ability to draw eyes, mouth, nose and even hair has improved.

What a difference now that I had 86 drawings under my belt. This continues to be a personal favorite. Those eyes draw you in and I love the individual hairs in the eyebrows.

Why spend time drawing when my media is fiber art? Simple. The connection is art. Drawing slows the understanding of how the various elements of design come together. It is has honed my knowledge of shadow and highlights, balance, the need for a focal point, and so much more.

The tutorials available through Circle Line Art School are great for practicing perspective.

I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


  1. I have seen your drawings before and I think they are terrific. You have tapped an inner talent. My drawing skills are terrible, but right now I am committed to my daily stitching. Perhaps I should give it another try.

  2. Trying agin to leave comment. It didn’t go thru on my iPad. You have become quite accomplished in your drawing skills. I particularly like the drawing of the woman.

    1. Both comments came through. The first WP filed under Spam, but all I have to do is mark it Not Spam and it moves to Pending, where I can approve and reply. Not sure why WP thinks some of your comments are Spam and not others. I do check the Spam and Trash folder several times each week after a post, just to make sure nothing is held there that shouldn’t be.

      Wish I could take credit for coming up with the design of the woman in Habib design. Can’t say drawing along to a tutorial is like following a pattern, or painting by numbers. It does help break down where to start and the logic steps of a drawing.

  3. I am not surprised to discover how well you can draw — I was surprised that someone like you who is so immersed in your art all the time still discovered significant improvement from maintaining a daily practice habit. I would have thought, once you’ve learned a skill, it kind of levels off. I am curious — do you feel like the skill development and new insights you’re gaining from your drawing practice will impact your art quilting in any way?

    1. You ask the most insightful questions, Rebecca. They cause me to think deeply to retrieve an answer. One thought is does it matter whether one practice, drawing, will impact another practice, making art quilts. That has never been my intent. However, I don’t see why it won’t. My journey to making art quilts as been long, circuitous and full of surprises. One surprise is how my past studies and practices, way before it ever occurred to me to learn how to make an art quilt, gave me some useful building blocks to add to the foundation of my practice. Two quick examples. First, I did a junior abroad in London as a drama major. One course available was History of Art taught at the Victoria and Albert Museum by the its head curator. The idea was to learn about design over time with an an to set design and costume. The curator was a master at taking apparently unrelated objects, like a vase and spinneret and pointing out the lines, patterns, style, etc. that were the same. He taught me to see design. The second was my career in group health insurance, that included standing before groups of employees to explain their new health insurance coverage. This taught me how to speak in public in an engaging and clear manner. Something every artist needs to do when lecturing, presenting, or giving an elevator speech. What I can say about the regular practice of drawing is it helps me see, much the way the History of Art class did. It goes beyond that, though, because now I must translate what I see to the page. Drawing is a key element of free motion quilting, too.

      Once again, thanks for the question, Rebecca. The answer will become clearer with time.

  4. I have found that almost all of my creative endeavors (and some not so creative) inform my work with fabric. Nothing is wasted, even if it only teaches us discipline or perseverance and trains our eye or fine motor skills. I haven’t always taken the time to do daily practice but I have found it always to be beneficial on a number of levels.
    I did a 100 day project a year or two back. Like you, I set my own rules; 100 small motifs in about 100 days, and not necessarily one/day and sometimes multiples (or none)/day depending on what life looked like that particular day. I found it manageable and not self defeating. And most importantly I completed it.

    1. Well said, Lynne. There are many benefits to a regular practice, some anticipated and others a delightful surprise. There is something reassuring about setting a goal, such as doing 100 motifs or drawings and completing the goal.

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