159 Daily Sketches (discontinued)

100 min read

Deviation Actions

RetSamys's avatar
This was something nice to try out. I made a total of 159 daily sketches, both pencil drawings and digital creations. I might do this again, but for now, I have to stop. For one thing, it was draining me: It takes time to do this and I often lost sleep to do these. I miss sleep. Also, the day that would have been 160, I had no time at all, I needed to concentrate on other things and I will have to continue concentrating on other things.

It's a huge collection I have left behind! I am proud of myself, I didn't expect to get over 10, 50, 100 or even 150, but I did it!
Did I get any better? I did, I think. I tried out things and I learned things and I am pleased with the outcome. Thank you to all who supported me, who left comments and :+fav:Fav'ed and everyone who simply had a look at what I did. Without you, I would have stopped way earlier.

There are a few additional things I will upload. Not much and not officially part of the daily sketches.

The entirety of this project has been documented here, you can see every single day below.

I will do one traditional sketch every day! Here's how I came to this decision: Two things came together; I had just finished watching Groundhog Day for the first time and although I don't count this to my favourite movies, I felt restless, and it must be good, because so far, it is the only movie to have potentially changed my life; the second thing is ToddNTheShiningSword, my deviantArt friend whom I suspect to be a professional artist who is trolling the internet by creating flawed drawings (do check him out, you will be surprised what lies beyond the illusion of crayon colouring).

Here are the rules I set for myself:
    Edit: Something unforeseeable happened: I got a graphics tablet. I intend to use it. This is why the rules needed to change!
  • Pencil drawings on paper Pencil drawings or drawing pad creations
  • One every day, no excuses, no matter where I am or how tired I am
  • If one day, I don't make one, this will stop. No more daily pencil drawings
  • It will mainly be submitted to Scraps
  • For those who don't want to +watch my scraps, I will also put it in this Journal entry, notification for watchers will be once a month on the first (or the next day I can).

The goal is to eventually become better. Let's see if I can reach that goal.
It is possible that dA posts will not be regular.

Day 159:
[D159] My first stickman animation by RetSamys
I've seen a lot of stickman animations. But I never made one myself.

Day 158:
[D158] What if I could talk? by RetSamys
This was inspired by the newest video of Aug(De)Mented Reality:

Day 157:
[D157] The Alphabet A-Z by RetSamys
Uh-oh, not a lot of time in the coming days. Better do something simple. I'v always wanted to do a simple wobbling lines animation, so I made the alphabet with three frames.

Day 156:
[D156] Heartbeat of a Star by RetSamys
OK, so I was out of ideas again, but then I found a contest!

This is my entry for this contest by :iconraiinysummer:. I incorporated the themes rhythm by making the star pulse like a living thing and wind by making the solar winds.

Flash is useful because converting the image to a GIF decreases the quality massively.

Day 155:
[D155] Science Fiction Conspiracy by RetSamys
Started out in my brain long time ago, when I was watching an episode of Elementary where Everyone was watching. This is one of the few opportunities to see the initial sketch right next to the next step.

Day 154:
[D154] Star Rider (Foreigner) by RetSamys
It's getting increasingly hard to find ideas again. Lyrics can only replace ideas that much.
I stole a ride on a passing star
Not knowing where I was going
How near or how far
Through years of light, lands of future and past
Until the heavenly gates
Were sighted at last

Starrider, rider, rider
Take me to the stars
Starrider, rider, rider
Show me where you are

Starrider by Foreigner
Day 153:
[D153] Mr Bubbles Is Sleeping (Snoring) by RetSamys
Here's Mr Bubbles again from 142, resting after a long day. Some say he is sleeping. Others say he is trying to take the whole building down with a pneumatic drill.

Day 152:
[D152] Bear vs. Kangaroo. Fight! by RetSamys
Ummm... it started with a random doodle... of a bear... and then, I drew a kangaroo...
I might or might not have quickly searched kangaroos on Google Images.

Day 151:
[D151] Lost memories... (Oren Lavie) by RetSamys
Remember when I said I needed more colour? This is what I meant!!!
Oren Lavie is a great musician. Too bad he didn't write more music. One of his most impressive tracks is "A Dance 'Round the Memory Tree", which I tried to capture. Also, after having binge-watched several videos of him on YouTube, I drew him almost from memory. I had to check for his hair and his beard, but I think this looks great.

Words we have said
Grew in my head
Colored my thoughts
Sang me to bed

Lost memories
Grew into trees
Covered the doors
Swallowed the keys

Dance 'Round The Memory Tree by Oren Lavie

Day 150:
[D150] Desert Winds by RetSamys
After the last animation, I thought I needed more colour. This is a loop test, each frame has about three lines of sand particles.

Day 149:
[D149] The Five Elements by RetSamys
In search of new ideas, I thought I'd check out contest. Unfortunately, contests are mostly about character drawings... =(
Finally, I found the Elementals Contest by :iconcassy-blue:. I read "Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Uranium?" and immediately thought "I can do that!". So I did.

Day 148:
[D148] Rocket Launch! by RetSamys
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! Also not accurate, but who cares?

Day 147:
[D147] #EsterDay plug (August 3rd) by RetSamys
Nerdfighters! This is obviously traced from a photo that I made. You may call it a self-portrait. =P

This is my entry to the monthly challenge by :icondreamers-welcome:. July's theme was plug.

From the Nerdfighter Wiki:
Esther Day is a holiday on August 3, commemorating Nerdfighter Esther Earl's birthday. It is celebrated to remind Nerdfighters to vocalize their love for friends and family. It is a celebration of love, specifically non-romantic love, and involves nerdfighters telling friends, family members and others that they love them.

Nerdfighter Esther Earl died of thyroid cancer in 2010. Before her passing, John spoke with Esther and proposed that he and Hank would like to continue to celebrate her birthday for as long as vlogbrothers continued. The love theme was requested by Esther when told that the day could be about anything she chose

Basically, it's like Valentine's Day, just for all kinds of love, not just for lovers.

Spread the message! estherday.org

Day 146:
[D146] The Table Ghost glidecycle by RetSamys
Animating monsters is fun? Animating monsters is fun.
This was made while watching an episode of The Art Assignment. Right now I cannot participate in the newer episodes because I lack the resources. Or rather: The resources are too far away right now. Grmbl.

Day 145:
[D145] Dark Magic by RetSamys
I was tired and I didn't really know what to do... so I combined a few things: :dev-flyingislands-here:, pencil sketching, day 58 and um... more pressure on the paper than I should use.
I am aware of the hands. Luckily, this is a fantasy drawing. Even though it wasn't intended that way. At all.

Day 144:
[D144] Wiggle Monster walkcycle (complete) by RetSamys
There! I did it! A complete walkcycle. Now I just need someone to use my animations in a video game or something like that. Heck, if those people want me to alter something, I'd gladly do it.

Day 143:
[D143] Wiggle Monster walkcycle WIP by RetSamys
Continued the next day. I like doing those. Maybe I should do more monster walkcycles.

Day 142:
[D142] Mr Bubbles by RetSamys
That looks weirder than I wanted it to be. But I like the bubbles.
During a chat event of :iconprojectcomment:, :iconsaiyron: made the suggestion that I animate a man swimming underwater. So that's what I made. Not swimming, but still underwater. =P

Day 141
[D141] Steaming Teapot by RetSamys
Because this, somehow, is one of the earliest animations I remember. So I recreated it.

Day 140:
[D140] Floating Island rotation by RetSamys
Another one for :iconflying-islands-here:. I planned to make it a good 3D rotation, but apparently, after all that work, I failed.

Day 139:
[D139] Paper Fight by RetSamys
You might recognise this from one of my bookmarks:
Bookmarks 2 by RetSamys
That's right, not much time, so I'm re-purposing again.

Day 138:
[D138] Test Cube 4: Expansion by RetSamys
Time for a 3D fail. Well, this is what the test cubes are all about.

Day 137:
[D137] Circles never stop themselves by RetSamys
Just a random doodle, I guess. Do you recognise the lyrics in the title?

Day 136:
[D136] Some walk test by RetSamys
First animation for a while. Wasn't entirely ready to let go the topic of the last days. For those of you who don't recognise it, these are fingers walking. Mh...

Day 135:
[D135] These Come In Handy by RetSamys
All right, last hand study! For now. Back to animations.

Day 134:
[D134] Taking It Into My Own Hands by RetSamys
Red and green, cramped hand and thumbs up, wrong and right. In truth, the colours are random.

Day 133:
[D133] Hand Over The Knowledge! by RetSamys
I could have sworn I drew those on different days... chronologically, the right one was created first.
I like ambiguous titles.

Day 132:
[D132] In Safe Hands by RetSamys
I think this is when I realised that there is a limited amount of interesting hand poses.

Day 131:
[D131] Can't Put My Finger On It by RetSamys
More hands. I realised that I had to draw more hands because they were so fun to draw!

Day 130
[D130] Second Hand Experience by RetSamys
More self-portraits! =D
OK, so this is the first part of a series of hands I drew. I have a small confession to make: I know in what order I drew these hands, but I don't remember how many and which ones I drew at what day. I'll still apply the numbers for the days as if nothing happened.
I'm fairly certain that I got day 130 right.

Day 129:
[D129] Slippers by RetSamys
Having comfortable footwear is important. So here's a pair of slippers.

Day 128:
[D128] Old Corkscrew by RetSamys
I think that's the corkscrew I grew up with. Wait, that sounds weird.
I don't drink a lot. Only occasionally, really. I don't like the efect alcohol has on me, but in moderation... insert joke about how my drinking behaviour seems like homoeopathy to some.

Day 127:
[D127] Watermelon by RetSamys
Wow. That looks much nicer, now that I have coloured it.
I used to dislike watermelons as a kid (but I liked the artificial flavour called watermelon). Now, I'm OK with them.

Day 126:
[D126] Human studies by RetSamys
A hot day, a long trip behind us, so instead of playing volley ball at this oversized sand box, most of us just chilled in the sun loungers. I liked the temparature. So I took the opportunity and studied two girls, about 20-30 minutes each (after that, they suddenly decide that it's important to socialise and they tend to move a lot during their conversations).

Day 125:
[D125] Dogs by RetSamys
Before meeting with some guys and their search and rescue dogs, I drew the two dogs on the left. Obviously, I had no idea what a dog actually looked like.
Afterwards, I knew more about canine anatomy and drew the rest. Which shows that I am incredibly good... at drawing ugly dogs not corresponding to reality. Those dogs are constantly in motion, making a study virtually impossible for me. Which is why I had to draw from memory.

Day 124:
[D124] Wild West by RetSamys
Realising I left my stylus at home, I had to begin pencil sketches again. This is the first one. A Western. I don't watch Westerns. And I can't draw horses (or human faces, for that matter).

Day 123:
[D123] Board Game by RetSamys
What a funny number. Long time, no update. I was away for a week and after that, I forgot where I saved the file. Also, now I need to scan all those pencil drawings I did because I forgot to bring along the stylus of my drawing pad...

This would be the second time I used Reddit's daily sketch topics.
You know that one game called Mensch ärgere dich nicht, right?

Day 122:
[D122] Runny Nose keyframes by RetSamys
Taking idioms literally. OK, to have a running nose has been done so many times already. But I wanted to try something walking from another angle.

Day 121:
[D121] Drops Falling Down by RetSamys
Because why not? This idea came rather quickly to me.

Day 120:
[D120] Time and Time Off #theartassignment ep. 9 by RetSamys
Sarah and John introduced us to Lauren Zoll and she had an interesting challenge for us: Turning off a screen (for a change) and look at what reflects in it.

I chose the display of my digital clock and I chose to put my analogue watch in front of it. You know, à la: time goes on even without the clock. Of course, as it is part of my daily challenge, it is not a photo, it is a study.

The red yellow and blue colours are not randomly chosen, in fact, they were the colours from the different light sources, I only exaggerated it a bit. Blue: It's the light of my webcam. Yellow: It's the light of my regular light bulb. Red: There's some wood in the background, the light reflecting from there makes it a bit reddish.

Why did I make it so small!? I almost finished with the whole thing and I noticed that it was just way too small!


1. Turn off a screen.

2. Take a photo of only the screen.

3. Make sure to think about color, pattern, and form. Do not include any humans in the frame. 

4. Upload it to your social media platform of choice using #theartassignment.

5. Fame and glory (your work might be featured in a future episode).

Day 119:
[D119] Gnome Working Out keyframes by RetSamys
I thought 118's gnome was so good that I made another version of him. Who knows, maybe I'll make a turnaround of him sometime in the future.

Day 118:
[D118] Gnome walkcycle keyframes by RetSamys
The library I work in has this mascot: a reading dwarf. I made this, but they didn't ask for it, so I didn't show them... I think I'll leave it on their image folder so that they can discover it after I left.
It could also be something I could easily use somewhere else.

Day 117:
[D117] Oppa Patreon Style by RetSamys
:iconpatreonplz:Eeeeeeeeeh, sexy content... Op, op, op, oppa Patreon style!

This was done right after a live-stream with the Patreon team (including founders Jack Conte and Sam Yam) and some Patreon artists (Trudbol/Julien Neel was there) and investors (Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and Chris Paik).

Patreon is a website that allows fans to support artists financially by giving money for every released work. Like Kickstarter, just not for one-time projects, but for continuous support. Some great artists release only 4 creations per month (or even less) and it costs money for those to be made without being payable (i.e. publicly available and maybe, maybe some ads bringing in very little money).
Plus, you get perks.

As soon as my paying information are set up, I will finally be able to support my favourite creators!

Day 116:
[D116] Waiting Swordsman 2 by RetSamys
Even less time. So I re-purposed 115's material.

Day 115:
[D115] Waiting Swordsman 1 by RetSamys
Not much time these next few days.

Day 114:
[D114] Under Lock And Key by RetSamys
Encouraged by day 112, I made this. It's pretty much OK, but it looks like it's melting, which isn't quite as impressive as the last time.

Day 113:
[D113] Test Cube 3: Order by RetSamys
This is my entry for :icondreamers-welcome:'s monthly challenge. June's theme was order.
I didn't know what to do, so it was time for some more test cubes.

Day 112:
[D112] The Magic Trick by RetSamys
Yes! A great idea, a good execution, what more can I ask for? Morphing is fun.

I'm a magician, I'll say it's real. I got nothing up my, nothing up my sleeve.
Freaks and Clowns by Jack Conte

Day 111:
[D111] Bird of Flight by RetSamys
I was out of ideas again. I probably should have tried to do something anyway, but there was a live chat for ProjectComment and it's always a good time there. Luckily, Riemea gave me this idea.
I obviously don't know a thing about how birds fly, but I think it looks cool anyway.

Day 110:
[D110] The Book of Pages by RetSamys
Tired again. This time, I had a plan: repurposing.
A long time ago - 2 or 3 years back - I designed bookmarks. Nothing fancy, just bookmarks with books in them:
Bookmarks 1 by RetSamys
Kids have a great time colouring them and cutting them out. Anyway, I used the bookmark on the top and made this animation out of the book.

Day 109:
[D109] So tired, I don't even know what this is by RetSamys
Huge failure. I was really tired. And then, I had this idea. What was I thinking!?
Let's just move on.

Day 108:
[D108] Kajak In The Stars by RetSamys
As always, I was running out of ideas. So, I went to the chat and finally, Primitica suggested something like drawing a girl in a boat, touching the stars below like she would touch water. That was a bit too complex a drawing, for it was late in the evening. Instead, I only drew the boat. Man, 3D is hard. For the background, I looked up tutorials, instead I ended up using an online drawing tool called Neonfames. And I drew my onw nebula. Now it has colours. Pretty.

I uploaded the background as a separate, big deviation: click here

Day 107:
[D107] Chitin Warrior walkcycle by RetSamys
Hehehe, I don't know, I like the idea.
Yay, another walkcycle!

Day 106:
[D106] Shape Shifting by RetSamys
It all started with the octahedron, but then I began watching John Green's livestream about the opening game of the football world cup.
The sphere doesn't look as good as planned.

Day 105:
[D105] Crab Robot walkcycle keyframes by RetSamys
I took the crab robot from the day before and now you can see why I named it that way. If I had more time, I would have made the animation more fluid. These are only the basic keyframes of the animation.

Day 104:
[D104] Crab Robot Laser by RetSamys
Originally, I intended to make the robot walk, but there was no time! Instead I tried something else. Lasers!
Hm... I have looked on Reddit's daily sketch topics for quite a while now, but this is the first time I made something out of it.

Day 103:
[D103] Cannot Grasp by RetSamys
Look Ma, no reference! Ugh...
The lack of correct anatomy is doubled by the incorrect animation. However, I did apply what I learned from my self-portrait on day 2.
I made a skeleton first. Because that's how professionals do it.
Drawn in a train. Don't draw in trains.

Day 102:
[D102] Almost Inactive Volcano by RetSamys
I guess it's time for more lyrics.

Don't build your world around
Volcanoes melt you down

And What I am to you is not real
What I am to you, you do not need
What I am to you is not what you mean to me
You give me miles and miles of mountains
And I'll ask for the sea

Volcano by Damien Rice

Day 101:
[D101] Ageometrical Rotation by RetSamys
Drawn in a train. Don't draw in trains.
I made perspective lines first. Which is the only way I can draw something in 3D, apparently.
Yay for tetrahedrons! It's not a regular one, but it still is a tetrahedron.

Day 100:
[D100] Hammer Time by RetSamys
Inspired by day 99, I made this. And then decided to not continue to do this the next day. Because I am simply not good at human figures, even if it is as simplified as this one.

Day 99:
[D99] Pew, Pew by RetSamys
Probably inspired by Lore and StarCrafts.
Maybe add some background motion...

Day 98:
[D98] Test Cube 2: Twisting, Turning by RetSamys
Less time. More test cubes.

Day 97:
[D97] Animated too hastily #theartassignment ep. 8 by RetSamys
Name: Ret Samys
Assignment: Episode 8 - Walk on it
Title: [D97] Animated too hastily
Preferred pronouns: he/his

This art assignment was about walking on a painted surface. The art of process and result. Which means digital media are excluded from this one. And I don't care. There's no way I will upload a film or a photo for the art assignment. So I'm doing my own thing (and not officially submit it to Sarah Green, both because I didn't follow the instructions and because the result is rather mediocre).

Episode 8 Instructions:
1. Find a big piece of wood or board
2. Paint it heavy with a color that you love
3. Put on a fabulous pair of shoes and walk on it. When it looks cool, you’re done.
4. Upload it to your social media platform of choice with #theartassignment
5. Fame and glory. (Your work might be featured in a future episode.)

Watch the episode here.

Day 96:
[D96] Test Cube 1: Melting by RetSamys
No ideas. Not much time. What to do? Tests. Cubes. Test cubes.

Day 95:
[D95] The Very Hungry Lemon by RetSamys
Drawn in a train. Don't draw in trains.
You might remember my surreal fruits... well, I have another one for you! You probably shouldn't get too close. Throw ice cream at it!

Day 94:
[D94] Simplest Turnaround sketch by RetSamys
How hard are turnarounds? Hard. Very hard. I don't really think threedimensional.
Oh, and I can't draw circles if I'm tired.
I made this after coming back home late, watching X-Men:Days of Future Past.
And hey, first time using colour in an animation!

Day 93:
[D93] The Caterpillar Slug by RetSamys
I am proud of myself. This is... the only real animation I made. It's frame-by-frame. It was planned out by using both keyframes and a skeleton-like structure.
It could have been better if I actually looked at how caterpillars move. Even briefly. But I didn't.
Have a look at these contractions:
[D93a] Caterpillar Slug walkcycle sketch by RetSamys
Drawn in a train. Don't draw in trains.

Day 92:
[D92] Hellu by RetSamys
That didn't work and I know why. I should have thought of the arm as an arm with an ellbow instead of something without any bones in it at all. That way, it would have looked more naturally.

Day 91:
[D91] Talking Watering Can by RetSamys
One of the most generic and simple ideas, but I really didn't know what else to do. And I was tired again. So, here's a talking watering can. Have fun!

Day 90:
[D90] Take off your mask by RetSamys
I was bored and sometimes, I visit the chat to see if someone can help me find an idea. I had a discussion with jesseyyy and she showed me her poem Words Hurt. While the poem was not my cup of tea, I had this idea. And I like it! I think it's well done.

Day 89:
[D89] As tired as a fuzzball by RetSamys
A fluffball, a hair headed creature, a thing that just came out of its bed and it's tired enough to go right back to bed. It's about as tired as I felt while creating it.

Day 88:
[D88] Chatterboard Box by RetSamys
It's a human (ostensibly)... with a talking cardboard box as a head. And all is hand drawn - as always. Which is why part of the animation is out of perspective (more than the rest).

Day 87:
[D87] A Moment Alone by RetSamys
Humans are hard. No reference used, obviously.
I still have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I mean, there must be something wrong, right? I am bad at anatomy, so there is something anatomically totally incorrect in this image. But I can try as much as I want, I won't find out what it is. If someone could point me in the right direction?

Bonus points to everyone who can guess what music video inspired this.

Day 86:
[D86] Simplest walk cycle by RetSamys
Too lazy to fix the preview image.
What is the simplest possible walkcycle? Aside from lowering the amount of keyframes, I'd say it's only having one foot!

Day 85:
[D85] Animation: How trees grow by RetSamys
OK. That was fun!!! Takes a looot of time, though.
As far as I know, this is how trees grow - in an oversimplified way.
Looking forward to making more animations.

Day 84:
[D84] Freefall animation by RetSamys
This is for :icondreamers-welcome:'s monthly challenge. This month, the theme was fall.
I used :icongimpplz: the GIMP and my Wacon Bamboo for the drawings (the rocks, the figure and the frames of the figure with the flapping clothing) and :iconcreatoon: CreaToon for the falling animation. Compiled and optimised in GIMP.

One of the many advantages of using a drawing tablet and GIMP is that I can finally do some frame-by-frame animation! This is the first of hopefully many more animations I did with it.
These kinds of animations take a lot of time. No matter how simple it is, it'll always take at least two hours. Both the initial sketch and the tracing demand way more than expected. Oh well...

Rocks: [a] [b] [c] [d]

Day 83:
[D83] Dawn of imperfection by RetSamys
Well... this is about trying new things. Maybe I should have a look at some tutorials before trying something like this. Moving on.

Day 82:
[D82] Lunch Box by RetSamys
Well, that looks nice, doesn't it?
Lunch boxes have been part of my life as long as I can remember.

Day 81:
[D81] Flat Screen by RetSamys
Hm... sketches with the drawing tablet will take a lot more time than pencil sketches. Pencil work can be done in 30 minutes, I need at least 1 hour for the tablet work

Day 80:
[D80] Water Bottle and Plate with Fork by RetSamys
So, here we are! First real sketch with the drawing tablet. I chose to study what was on my desk. One of the big advantages with the drawing tablet is that you can overlay reflections and other bright areas without any problem.
I have much to learn!

Day 79:
[D79] Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet by RetSamys
This is a graphics tablet. It's the Wacom Bamboo model. I got it as a belated birthday present. This marks the end of the sketches as you have come to know it. From now on, traditional pencil sketches will only be made if it is inconvenient for me to make a digital drawing.
Coincidentally, this also fills the last page of my sketchbook. Having completed the sketchbook was a partial goal for the daily sketches (as were some numbers: 50 - which I managed to achieve and 100 - which I am still progressing to).
Without putting in any real effort, I made a quick test with the tablet. I chose to draw November, a doodle that I use pretty much whenever I doodle:
What's your name? by RetSamys
There are many advantages to a drawing tablet. The main disadvantage is my lack of experience. I have drawn with pencils ever since I was a little child, now I actually need to learn how to use the digital tools properly. Exciting times lie ahead.

Day 78:
[D78] Demons by RetSamys
I hate it not to have time and being tired, but sometimes that's just what happens. This is one of those days and I tried making some demons.

Day 77:
[D77] Red Peony Flower by RetSamys
Good thing the internet could help me identify the flower. A peony. Never heard of it. Probably would have called it a rose...
I took a walk and after what felt like an hour, I found a small garden and the light was just right to draw one of those flowers. This time, I really took advantage of the fact that I would digitally colour it and deliberately didn't shade it.

Day 76:
[D76] Whathowwhere am I? #theartassignment ep. 7 by RetSamys
In this episode of The Art Assignment, we found out about the beginnings of surrealism. Intriguing. Now it is our turn to make something out of random parts of sentences glued together. Watch the episode here.
Episode 7 Instructions:

1. Visit www.whathowandwhere.com and click to receive an instruction.
2. Do the instruction and document it using any museum medium.
3. Upload to social media using #theartassignment
4. Fame and glory. (Your work might be featured in a future episode.)

The generator gave me look at the sky in a deserted place with a stone and this is what I came up with.

I made the lines with a pencil and I tried out my drawing tablet for the colours. Improvised background. Improvised rocks, stones, clouds and anything else in the background. OK, I had a brief look at some speed-paints for the clouds.

I still fail at anatomy.

Day 75:
[D75] Sketch Dump by RetSamys
Oh, I was tired. I started to sketch a water bottle and realised that I did everything wrong. I then made a dragon, making soap bubble fishies, but I didn't like that either. Same went for the vampire. Then, I pretty much gave up, just made a doll, an eye and then November and then the page was filled... pffff...

Day 74:
[D74] Glass Bowl On Stand by RetSamys
I think I must have changed my point of view at one time, because this clearly merges two different perspectives together.

Day 73:
[D73] Toilet Paper by RetSamys

Toilet paper. Remember when I said I am running out of ideas? Well... this is what happens. I edited it to be red because I did blue with the pillow some days before... and I don't think that other colours would fit well. Here's the alternate version in blue:
[D73a] Toilet Paper in blue by RetSamys

Day 72:
[D72] Landscape before the fall of night by RetSamys
Mmmh... I am not a landscape artist. It is no excuse that it was getting dark faster than expected.

Day 71:
[D71] Creatures by RetSamys
That day and some of the following days, I was tired and it is getting much too late to draw something good (apparently). So, here, have some terrible monsters. I don't really know what I was thinking.
Also, since I'm not always home, I tried out an online image editing website called Pixlr. I am missing some very important tools there, but it is better than nothing, I guess. I still have high hopes for dA Muro, it seems to be improving.

Day 70:
[D70] The Bridge before the rain by RetSamys
I was going outside and after 25 minutes of walking and looking what I could draw, I came to a river and found this bridge. It looks older than it is.
After 15 minutes of drawing, the wind begun to blow. Five to ten minutes later, it began to rain. I quickly traced some lines and ran home. Good thing I did that, I was all wet when I got back and it continued to rain some more.

Day 69:
[D69] Lazy Birthday Sketch by RetSamys
It was my birthday and I thought I'd reward myself with a really, really simple cake. Nothing big.

Day 68:
[D68] Pillow by RetSamys
This was a great idea! Why didn't I think of it before? I also like it with the blue background that I added digitally.

Day 67:
[D67] Electric Iron by RetSamys
As you can see, I have little experience with irons.

Day 66:
[D66] A Pebble Stone Mouse by RetSamys
This is not a real mouse. Obviously. This is a pebble stone that was painted green, then a wool tail and some Styrofoam paper for the ears were glued to the right places and a permanent marker made the face. My mother made lots of them. They look nice.

Day 65:
[D65] Camera by RetSamys
I see less and less digital cameras (and even less film cameras) these days because people use their mobile devices. But that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Day 64:
[D64] The Winds of Tomorrow by RetSamys
I felt like doing something surreal again. So I mixed a ship, a coffee mill and a windmill together and tried out some clouds. I like windmills. Maybe I should go see a real one and draw it one day...

Day 63:
[D63] MP3 Player by RetSamys
Are these dying out, too, now that we have smartphones?

Day 62:
[D62] Floppy Disc by RetSamys
Are you old enough to remember these? This is a Floppy Disc and people used it to store data. It's magnetic. Which means you have to keep it away from magnets or everything on it will be erased. I realised it was rather flat and thus not very interesting, but it was already too late, so I did this very quickly and sloppily.

Day 61:
[D61] Paint Brushes by RetSamys
These are just lying around, never used. I got a whole painting set once... but I cannot operate it. I'm not a painter and I wouldn't like the thought of being one - I don't know why, it's just not me.

Day 60:
[D60] Lyrics: The Dolls of New Albion by RetSamys
Steampunk. I like most aspects of steampunk. And the internet is a wonderful place, providing me with what I am interested in. And I wanted some steampunk music. It was surprisingly hard to find something I liked. "The Dolls of New Albion, A Steampunk Opera" finally hit me with its overture. Fantastic. I listened to the rest and was a bit disappointed because it became repetitive and a biit dull at places. I found out that it was supposed to be a musical and that explained everything.
However, there are a few songs that I did like and some are now amongst my favourites.
I recommend these songs:
  • Overture
  • New Albion 1
  • The Old Trunk in the Attic
  • Fay Considers Edgar's Proposal
  • Voodoopunk
  • Priscilla and Jasper play Cards
Some of these are great when it comes to music, others have good lyrics. But the only one besides the overture to capture my heart was New Albion 1, the epic story about a town, building itself around a perfect introduction: a gambler and a monk, travelling and arguing about god and chance and fate, and the game of cards to resolve the discussion doesn't end!!! Poetic.

Here now, we have New Albion in the first act, at its cultural peak, airships, machines, mafia, alchemists... and Annabelle McAlistair who invents the formula for raising up the dead. She probably didn't know that this would be the start of the New Albion trilogy, starting with the Steampunk Opera, continuing with "The New Albion Radio Hour, A Dieselpunk Opera" and ending with the yet to be released Atompunk Opera.

New Albion today
With bustling streets, machines, cafes
And the nice, the wise, the eccentric and insane
The Mafia’s run by
A red haired dwarf with just one eye
Whose affairs he decides with a pair of silver dice

Over the Zeppelin Union Pilots
A castrati boss presides
And we hear his song each afternoon as he flies by
There’s prisons made of lead
And gargoyles of iron shreds
And Annabelle McAlistair who’s raising up the dead
Annabelle McAlistair who’s raising up the dead

The Dolls Of New Albion, A Steampunk Opera - New Albion 1 by Paul Shapera (Mochalab)

Day 59:
[D59] Light Switches with Power Outlet by RetSamys
You know you have no idea what to draw when you draw the wall in front of you...

Day 58:
[D58] Overly Dramatic #theartassignment ep.6 by RetSamys
I participated in ep. 5 of the Art Assignment and I think that I will try to participate in as many of the future ones as possible - as long as I do the daily sketches, of course.

In this episode, Robyn O’Neil told us about the figure-ground relationship and challenged us to draw a psychological landscape. You can see the episode here and these are the instructions:
  1. Get a piece of paper and something to draw with.
  2. Create a ground on your picture plane
  3. Populate the ground with figures and give them human-like characteristics.
  4. Upload it using #theartassignment
  5. Fame and glory. (Your work might be featured in an upcoming video.)

Somehow, after a few lines, I knew exactly what I wanted to draw. The deserted, Moon- or Mars-like desolated surface with craters and cracks together with the lonely character walking around in his own realm is massively influenced by modern media. Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen, some villains made out of ravens or feathers or emanate smoke (from The Prince of Persia to Snow White and the Huntsman, they seem to be lurking in places you would never expect and they seem to share the same characteristics). Also, a substantial amount of visual effects and very dramatic camera movement made it into this still image.

That's why I thought that the title "Overly Dramatic" was appropriate. Maybe it's cliché or exaggerated, but it is something that gets me every time I see it on screen. And dark characters in high contrast. And fantastic, verging on surreal, landscapes. And visual effects. Sometimes even an indestructible person in a hostile environment.

Day 57:
[D57] Fountain Pipe by RetSamys
I went back to my quiet place and there's a fountain not far from there. After looking it up and having trouble with the translation (in German, springs and fountains and wells are all called Brunnen unless further specified), I finally found out that this kind of fountain is called an abreuvoir. I didn't draw the basin.
The full number is 1887.

Day 56:
[D56] I can't draw cars by RetSamys
I don't understand cars. I don't know anything about their design. And that's probably why I can't draw them...

Day 55:
[D55] Kingdom of Diamonds by RetSamys
This is my entry to :icondreamers-welcome:'s monthly challenge. This month's challenge was Kingdom. Here are the single cards:
Jack of Diamonds by RetSamys Queen of Diamonds by RetSamys King of Diamonds by RetSamys

This is what my old art would have looked like if I had the knowledge. Well, OK, I can do much more and it would look way better, but I didn't want to invest too much time. Editing the daily sketches shouldn't be too consuming.

Considering that I like Alice, it shouldn't have taken me so long to come up with the concept, but yeah, it took me over two weeks to have the idea for the challenge.

Day 54:
[D54] Travelling Bag by RetSamys
This travelling bag is well in use. I need it regularly. Good thing this is just a sketch, it would be bad if a featured deviation was cut off just because I went out of paper on one side.

Day 53:
[D53] Pencil Sharpener by RetSamys
The pencil sharpener has become an important tool over the eternity that is now more than 50 days. Usually, I use one that has a shavings box so that I don't have to stand right next to a bin to avoid a mess. This is a right-handed sharpener, which means that you have to rotate the pencil clockwise. I don't even remember having ever used a left-handed sharpener.

Day 52:
[D52] Toothbrush With Toothpaste by RetSamys
I already knew what I would draw, but I panicked when I couldn't find my sketchbook! Sure, I could have drawn on a normal sheet of paper, but I wouldn't have my sketchbook filled as quickly. So I brushed my teeth first, looked for my sketchbook everywhere and finally found it... inside the photo album that you see opened below! It was well beyond midnight, but thankfully, I could afford to stay up late. So I put some more toothpaste on my toothbrush and began to draw. Some would consider this a waste, but a splat of dentifrice is well worth the art, I'd say.

Day 51:
[D51] Photo Album by RetSamys
For a "baby shower" (or "baby party", something that slowly becomes a thing in the non-US parts of the world where I am), I had to choose from photos of my first moments. Interesting that the times I have no memories of are safely contained in vast quantities in these books.
Oh yeah, more books!

Day 50:
[D50] 3D Glasses by RetSamys
I still can't believe 3D is a thing now. I don't know, somehow a waste of technology, at least for most films.

Day 49:
[D49] Quietest Place #theartassignment by RetSamys
The colours didn't come out the way I wanted them to. But that's to be expected, I have no experience in this kind of stuff.

This is my entry to Sarah Green's (and John Green's) The Art Assignment. It's my first time participating, but I don't think it will be my last time.
The Art Assignment is a weekly video challenge about art that anybody can participate in - you don't even have to be skilled at anything! As long as you create and document, it can be written, it can be photographed - and in my case, due to my daily sketches, it is drawn (and digitally coloured).
The Episode 5 challenge was made by Jace Clayton, aka DJ Rupture. Here are the instructions:
  1. Go outside and talk a walk from where you live or are staying at the moment.
  2. Continue until you’ve found the quietest place possible.
  3. Take a moment to absorb it. Then document the place through photography or video. Upload it to your social media platform of choice using #theartassignment.
  4. Fame and glory. (Your work might be featured in an upcoming video.)

I watched the newest Art Assignment video. I was restless.
So I went for a walk. I decided to give it a try.
Finding a quiet place in a small town isn't so difficult, but finding the quietest place turned out to be impossible. I thought it would be easier, but it was a sunny day, there are people everywhere, streets and cars everywhere, lawn mowers, a whole lot of bikers... and birds. They were quite loud at places, so that didn't really count, right?
Then, finally, I thought I had found the place. Mid-town (surprisingly), isolated, big walls everywhere - a bit further, there's lots of grass and more plants, but you'll have a street near there.
It took me five minutes (which is more than it sounds like) to have a look around. The place looks old. That's only partially due to the older buildings, some parts were deliberately left unattended, plants grew wildly on a balcony higher up...
I began sketching. I noticed it was getting dark, I had to hurry a bit.
Ten minutes in, two cars drove in, a door opened, people began talking very joyfully and very loudly. I finished my sketch and when I left, they began to play music. I don't think that's the quietest place any more. But it was at one time, for at least twenty minutes.

I was a bit disappointed, but when I returned home, I realised that I had fun and that I will participate in the Art Assignment in the future!

Day 48:
[D48] Razor by RetSamys
In search of a new object, I paid my bathroom a visit. Had to, really.
I found this advertising gift that I haven't used. A useless thing that demands to be drawn.

Day 47:

Mature Content

[D47] Anatomy fail by RetSamys

I apologise to those without a dA account and to those with the mature filter on, but this is a nude woman I tried to draw, so I had to check "Mature Content".
I swear, this just started with the hair and I somehow just couldn't stop!
I like the colours. The background is very easy to look at. The colours I digitally mixed into the drawing are a bit random, but I like those, too.
For those of you who are like me and have no understanding of anatomy: This one is very faulty. The most obvious bad parts are the neck (way too thick), the head dimension (too small in comparison with the body) and the face (faces are the most difficult thing to draw, period!).

Nevertheless, I am very satisfied with this one, since no reference and, obviously, no model was used. This was made from scratch.

Day 46:
[D46] Lyrics: Celldweller and Savlonic (APNG) by RetSamys
I tried to draw some lyrics again. This is what came out. If you use Firefox, you'll be able to see some animation.
This is still a pencil sketch, but the colours are inverted and I digitally coloured some of the lines red.

First picture: Inspired by "It Makes No Difference Who We Are" by Celldweller. I drew a black star and November on it. A bit like the little prince. November is kind of my OC, I scribble him a lot.
Second picture: Inspired by "The Driver" by Savlonic. Anatomy fail. I tried to compensate by colouring it digitally in red.
I noticed too late that I didn't write the lyrics before scanning it. So I had to add the text in the GIMP.

No price to great no distance too far
If I can wish upon a Blackstar
It makes no difference where they are
They'll grant my wish upon a Blackstar

It Makes No Difference Who We Are by Celldweller

I stole your keys 'cos you stole my heart
It seems like a fair trade to me
Now I will drive around in your car
It helps me to feel free

The Driver by Savlonic

Day 45:
[D45] Mobile Phone in Phone Case by RetSamys
This is my phone. In its casing. Model: Samsung Player One

Day 44:
[D44] Books by RetSamys
It was just a matter of time until I began drawing books. Or a whole pile of books...

Day 43:
[D43] Umbrella by RetSamys
I don't really use umbrellas, but this bent old thing was lying around and I had something to draw.

Day 42:
[D42] Lyrics: Jack Conte and Splashdown by RetSamys
I didn't know what to draw again, so I turned on my favourite tracks. After a while, I began scribbling.

Where, oh where did this come from?
Oh my God, my head's a gun.
I let myself go.

Kitchen Fork by Jack Conte

I drew a sound from the belly of the well.
I've loosened my grip on the rope that pulls the water pail.
I threw a quarter down.
I'm gonna dive down after it.
I hope that Truth of Soul was right to say there isn't a bottom to hit,
'cause if there is, then throw a shovel down
To let the world come in as an easy fit.
I'm gonna dig, dig, dig.
I'm gonna dig, dig, dig.

Dig by Splashdown with the amazingly talented Melissa Kaplan

Day 41:
[D41] Yellow Bell Pepper by RetSamys
I drew this, not knowing that I the sketch from the day before was named similarly to this one in English. Black pepper and bell pepper are two very different things.
I'm really running out of things to draw. I might have to give up studies. Not quite yet. But what could I draw next?

Day 40:
[D40] Pepper by RetSamys
I'm slowly running out of things to draw. So I drew this pepper can.

Day 39:
[D39] Carabiner Pen by RetSamys
This is the same object twice. You can pull the carabiner apart and it transforms into a pen. I got this one on the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Day 38:
[D38] Dice quickie by RetSamys
Oh, this is horrible. I hate it when I don't have time. It's the same dice three times, by the way.

Day 37:
[D37] Wooden Mortar And Pestle by RetSamys
The other side of the mortar says 'Tahiti'. I have no idea how to draw textures such as wood...
I don't think this has ever been used.

Day 36:
[D36] I took my head for its midnight walk by RetSamys
Ignore that weird head on the bottom...
And it's really sketchy...
OK, so I thought: If I don't find things to study fast enough, I'll have to find something else. And something else means song lyrics!
This song is Like a Match by Jack Conte.

I took my head for its midnight walk.
No, no, I hadn't been outside in days.
I kept the leash by my side, but it wasn't quite tight,
And I lost it.

Ah, beautiful.

Day 35:
[D35] Bottle of Beer quickie by RetSamys
Ugh. Just... what? I'm not proud of this one. It was a long day of seminar and I was tired. Let's just move on...

Day 34:
[D34] Match and Leaf by RetSamys
Another day in seminar. I borrowed a match from someone. While drawing, I realised that today's matches lack imperfection, which leads to less details. Boring. So I went outside and chose a leaf. I don't even know what kind of leaf, other than it comes from a tree.

Day 33:
[D33] Forsythia Flowers by RetSamys
I was on a seminar, no internet connection. Still, I needed to continue my challenge. Luckily, there are objects everywhere. Phew.

Day 32:
[D32] Croissant by RetSamys
OK, so apparently, croissants do not have to be crescent shaped, especially when it's not made in a real bakery, but mass produced in a convenient store in their ovens.
Hm... I'm too lazy to fix the colour. I don't like it. It makes it look a bit like what it unbecomes after it has served its purpose.

Day 31:
[D31] The Dappy Alien by RetSamys
This is an original character and an original creature by :icontoddntheshiningsword:. I'm so sorry. No, I'm not, but it looks weird and different from Dappy.
I did not reference any image other than to look up how the eyes looked and how many legs Dappy had (he seems to have six legs and two arms). I tried to imagine how his body worked. Dappy seems to be a mollusc, as far as his arms are concerned, a dinosaur, as far as his head+neck+torso is concerned, a spider when he runs towards you... yet, it seems to be clear that his head is somehow supported by something other than muscles and brain.
So, I went ahead and thought about cartilage and muscles while drawing him. Other than that, I thought of Dappy like of a regular mammal (because that's what I'm used to). This means there is a spine which would look interesting, considering there are three legs that need to be cushioned... I don't know about the pelvis(es?). The neck doesn't fit into that, I should have thought it out a bit more...

Day 30:
[D30] German Bread Roll by RetSamys
Apparently, it's not all that easy to translate "Brötchen" into English. The English buns or rolls differ from the German bread rolls. Oh well, bread is different everywhere and yet the same.

Day 29:
[D29] Rocking Stones by RetSamys
I found some stones. This one got a bit chaotic, but I like it.

Day 28: