I’m participating in One Week 100 People again! Last time, I completed the art challenge in 2019. You can see all the sketches and commentary in the blog post here. Since then, this art challenge has grown and has a Facebook group you can join and post your own sketches.
It is still too cold and snowy outside to do this challenge the way I did last time by wandering around Montreal. Considering world events, I picked a more personal theme. I am not Ukrainian nor Russian, but I am Polish and all of us slavs are related in ways, so I chose to use the journalistic photos from the war conflict as references.
I have set up a charity funding event until April 30th through my art stream. You can either donate through this page or tip during my stream. Streamlabs is currently doubling all donations received with their own funding. You can donate even when the stream is offline.
The charity I selected is Project USA, which are the peacekeepers in Poland supporting refugees.
I will also be selling the sketches in this post as complete paintings and donating the funds.
I drew this late at night, so the energetic slant is incidental. The watercolor bloom of the fur hat inspires me to paint a bigger portrait.
My dad told me one of the reasons we moved to Canada is because he anticipated this conflict over land, resources and ideological power with Russia to return. Some two decades later, he is right. It’s a dreadful thought to think of this progressing towards Poland and my home town and extended family being hurt. There’s many people who say this won’t happen, but we don’t know… It’s awful seeing people lose their homes and be forced to flee. It’s sad knowing many Russians don’t support this either. I planned to visit my family again this year, but it looks like that is too risky to happen.
I have pretty thin ties to my country as a Canadian at this point, but your home is your home and war is war.
I saw many artists using runny water-soluble pens (like uni-ball and Pilot) in their sketches, and gave it try. I wanted to draw facial expressions. So far, these sketches are more detailed than my previous year’s.
I frankly don’t know enough about the history of these conflicts besides what I absorbed growing up, so it’s on my agenda to learn more instead of simply demonizing Russian people and generalizing decades if not hundreds of years of conflict with multiple countries into “Putin is evil”. One of the things I remember from growing up that I’d need to learn more about is the dissolve of Yugoslavia. It’s a bit strange having some people ask me for input as if being a Polish child means I was taught this information since it’s not any easier to learn and just as veiled.
I wanted to continue playing with the water-soluble pens and perhaps refining the outcome. The best combos are using permanent ink for some features, like the face, and letting the blue ink color the clothing. I wanted to focus on military on this sheet. Depending how these are counted, I have 20-25 remaining.
I really needed to do this exercise. I haven’t been outside painting for a while and I’ve been working on laborious projects. I needed to exercise the ability to draw fast and observe. With every art challenge, I end up learning something useful for the future. This time it is this ink combo, plus seeing how well muted tones work with it. I also learned how well sap green and violet work for military and earth tones. I never had Payne’s grey in my palette before either, so it was nice to try it out.
I had no particular plan today except use the bleeding ink with a warmer color of ink. I spent the entire time drawing listening to university lectures on the conflict. I hit around 100 people! Compared to last time, I was able to create more detailed sketches thanks to using only photographs and video while staying indoors.
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