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September Drawing Challenge
Drawing as the seasons turn
September! I love this month. The landscape starts to shift out of summer as we head towards autumn and the equinox. I’m always grateful to my drawing and painting practice for teaching me to learn to see more in my surroundings, and tune in to the shifting seasons. Watching colours shift and textures change always fills me with so much excitement - like a new lease of life, and happy energy. So I got thinking, what if we can do a bit of that noticing together?
I’ve titled this blog ‘The Outdoor Sketchbook Collective’. The word ‘Collective’ in this was very deliberate. The choice of words is a reflection on my hope for community, and a space to share and learn from others too, on what it means to connect to nature, and how we can use art to share, notice and grow.
In a step towards this, I thought it’d be lovely to launch a quarterly drawing challenge - one for every seasonal shift. We have the Autumnal equinox coming soon on the 23rd September - so now is the perfect time to launch the first challenge!
To get outside drawing for seven days in September, and notice details in nature.
An abstract colour and texture study, exploring elements of landscape up close. The drawings made will be playful and explorative - with a focus on learning to look closely over creating finished masterpieces (although that of course is welcome too if you’d like!) We will be examining 7 different element of the landscape, one for each outdoor drawing session. With each prompt we will be zooming in up close, and drawing sections scaled up on our page.
Anywhere outdoors! You might be in in a huge city, you might be living in the mountains. Regardless of your habitat, nature is everywhere. There’s no pressure to go far on a big adventure or walk to complete each of these drawings - sitting on a bench or taking your usual stroll will provide inspiration a plenty :)
The time line:
I’ve tried to take part in month long drawing challenges before, but I find them totally overwhelming, and they inevitably become another thing on my to-do list.
I thought, why not start out slow? Seven days outsite drawing in one month sounds pretty impressive to me. Seven days, spread across September, starting whenever suits you best. Lets aim to have completed the seven drawings during the run up to the Autumn equinox, for the 23rd.
I’ll be sharing the work I make over on my instagram account at @orlastevens
If you’d like to share the work you make on this challenge, lets use the hashtag #outdoorsketchbookcollective - and please tag me so I can find you easily!
There’s not much better than drawing with friends, so if you can grab a buddy to do this with remotely or in person, send them this post and go for a stomp & draw together :)
I’ve selected seven prompts I think we should be able to find in most locations, that we can zoom in to draw. There is no right or wrong way to approach this challenge, so use what materials you like, and feel free to interpret as suits you!
Daylight (or lack of!)
Trees / Leaves
I’ll be sharing my examples here and on instagram as we move through the month, and if you have any suggestions or questions let me know!