Saturday, March 12, 2022

#OneWeek100People2022: Live!


3/7/22 Northgate Light Rail Station from the John Lewis pedestrian bridge

One Week 100 People, the annual sketching challenge initiated by Marc Holmes and Liz Steel, has always been one of my favorites. It’s a fun opportunity to work on my people-sketching chops while seeing other sketchers’ work online. Since its inception in 2017, I haven’t missed a year. Although the challenge rules include drawing from photos, I always prefer drawing from life. Using photos invites spending too much time on a single drawing. When you know you have to do a hundred of them, it’s easiest and most efficient to simply capture people in public going about their business.

The 2020 challenge has a strong emotional connotation for me. One Week 100 People was to begin just as news of COVID was becoming increasingly alarming. We had planned an Urban Sketchers outing for the purpose of participating in the challenge, but by the time the outing rolled around, we had serious concerns. The other admins and I went back and forth about whether we should cancel or go forward. Ultimately, we went ahead with it, and I participated, but not without trepidation. As it turned out, that outing was USk Seattle’s last for 15 long months.

One of 58 selfies from 2021

Last year COVID continued to take the fun out of the challenge. Not feeling safe in places where I might see enough people to draw a hundred, I decided to make self-portraits using a mirror. I only made it to 58, but I learned plenty (and gave myself a giggle or guffaw each day). Although it wasn’t my favorite way to do the challenge, it was still worthwhile as a drawing exercise.

As I started seeing announcements from Marc and Liz for this year’s challenge, I was still not feeling completely comfortable going into crowds, but I felt safe enough in outdoor spaces. I zipped up my jacket, straightened my hat and declared that One Week 100 People was on! Usually I give myself additional goals (besides hitting 100). This year, however, my people-sketching skills were so rusty, and I was so thrilled just to be back at it, that I decided to give myself a break. I would be happy enough if I simply captured 100 gestures from life, even if they were nothing more than glorified stick figures.

Although the official first day was Monday, March 7, I got started on the Saturday before (a “week” is seven days long, right?) because I wanted a busy weekend day at Metropolitan Market. In the parking lot, I nabbed 24 victims rushing to and from their cars with groceries.

On Monday, which turned out to be cold and windy, I invited USk Seattle to join me at Northgate Light Rail Station. Only one other sketcher showed up, but we had fun catching the steady stream of commuters going into and out of the main station entrance. Standing on the John Lewis Memorial pedestrian bridge, I was hoping to get a few more people near the upper-level entrance, but only one made it into my sketch (top of page). The wind was biting up there! That took care of 25 through 47.

Joyce and Tina at Northgate Light Rail Station

Tuesday was a scattered, busy day of errands and appointments, so I got only a few more. I made a quick stop at Volunteer Park, which was empty that drizzly afternoon, but I knew that people always stop for photos near Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture, Black Sun.

On Wednesday I was meeting a friend to walk around Green Lake, so I arrived a little early to catch a few more people. My challenge there was to draw the legs and arms of runners so that they look different from walkers.

The weather report was sunny for Thursday, so USk Seattle scheduled a sketch outing at Volunteer Park – our first in-person outing since December. So much for the promised sunshine – it was cloudy and cold. I had really hoped (and expected) to finish my hundred at the park, but I only got 66 through 84 – not to mention chilled to the bone! Even so, it was fun to be out with the group again.

Friday was my last chance, and you know me – I was going to finish, come hell or high water. Right after breakfast, I headed out to the PCC Market parking lot, which is much smaller than the Metro Market lot. It meant that I could park facing the entrance and get a better view of shoppers going in and out of their cars and the store. It took me all week to warm up, but I felt like I was finally hitting my stride. I finished off my last 16 in a half-hour and then did a couple more for good measure.

Whew! It was like running a marathon without training first! Though I was creaky and out of practice, there’s nothing like the endorphin rush of trying to keep up with moving people. It was the most sketching fun I’ve had in months!


  1. Congrats on a strong finish and a good week! This year it seemed like the challenge was harder. For some reason there weren't as many people around to capture. I also stared a day early because I wanted to have at least Sunday when I knew there would be a lot of people around at the food court.

    1. My thoughts exactly! I was avoiding the usual places I go for this because I'm still wary of crowds, but even so, I didn't feel like I could get as many in one day as I used to. Maybe just rusty! Congrats to you, too!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...