Why you should do the 100 heads challenge

Pencil sketches from the 100 heads challenges, I really enjoyed fitting the different heads together on the right

I love sketching and getting better at it, but it's hard for me to stay consistent. I tend to go through cycles of productive and unproductive creative periods due to the various distractions that life tends to throw at us. Whenever a life challenge arises, often the first activity that gets benched is art making. And it's always difficult to get back into it. 

One way to overcome the obstacles of getting back into art making has been to challenge myself into doing something relatively simple. Recently, it has been to take part in the 100 heads challenge, where artists create 100 sketches of people. Some do it really quickly. Others, like myself, use it as a way to ease back into being creative. I started this challenge last year and recently just completed sketch No 55. I haven't been as fast as other artists, but I did find myself creating more reels, writing more, joining artist groups online and initiating other creative projects as a result. 
One of my goals as an artists is to master portraiture and the human figure. Maybe I can become a portrait artist one day, who knows. Regardless, this simple exercise is a great way for me to practice and get a better understanding of how to create great portraits with the tools I have. 

Throughout this process, I've been getting more acquainted with the possibilities of art mediums such as pencils, graphite, coloured pencils, ballpoint pens and markers. I've been playing with contrasts, experimenting with compositions and studying human expressions. There's so much to learn from this simple exercise. It even got me into the concept of face reading, which I'd like to explore a little more in the near future.  

The sketches shown here are some of the earlier portraits I made for this challenge. I first started with simple pencil sketches, and then started to include lyrics from songs inspired by the portraits as you can see below. 

The model for the head on the right had an expression that reminded me of a song by Evanescence called Going Under, so I added the lyrics to it. 

Many of the models came from Pinterest, there's usually something about them that captivate me to the point of wanting to reproduce them. 

I highly recommend you challenging yourself to draw 100 heads, no matter how long it takes you. Pay attention to what comes up as you continue to create them. Not only are you going to become better at it, but it will help build your confidence as an artists and reduce your hesitation to create and show up for yourself. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks into my art journal in the future.