Drawing 1. Nonstop-50 Drawings in Four Hours Challenge from the book, ‘Experimental Drawing’ by Robert Kaupelis, Chapter Six, page 119.

Recommended reading for Drawing One course; ‘Experimental Drawing’ by Robert Kaupelis, 1980. Watson-Guptill, Publication/New York.

After reading this book ‘Experimental Drawing’ by Robert Kaupelis. I decided to try the exercise in chapter six, Probing a Single Form-Idea on page 119. Which is, Nonstop- 50 Drawings in Four Hours.

I did my challenge on 17th August 2018 between one and three thirty pm. I drew on white squared shaped paper with a variety of drawing tools, pens, pencil, graphite, watercolour pencils and watercolour paint.I drew my collection of sea shells.

My reason for trying this exercise was to really explore and probe the sea shell form, shapes and textures. Stretch myself to draw in a concentrated way, to loosen up, to explore lines and marks, and just because I like a challenge !!

Here are my results. First I drew in my square sketch book using my shell collection and drawing tools. Making many decisions as what to draw with had to be done quickly, fours hours seem a long time but it went quickly.

My first ten drawings were swiftly drawn and I sketched with a smooth flowing felt pen. Many of my drawings are created in an open line, with the idea of warming up and capturing the ‘gist’ or ‘feel’ of the shell shape. I supposed I used a blind contour drawing technique, where I just looked at the shell and not the paper. Hence I have gaps in the lines and as I progressed I started to look at the shell searching for detail and texture. I also changed the shell for different shapes.

1 to 10  drawings
The first set of ten drawings in felt pen.

The next ten shell studies were evolving into something different, as I started to add tone, texture and details. My need to paint in watercolour took over, the open line was no longer satisfactory, as I knew I wanted to make deeper dark areas to express the shape of the shell.  I also drew with a pen that made thinner lines.

11 to 20 drawings
The second set of drawings.

From numbers 21 to 30 my shell drawings became my friends, as I added more and more details. This time I drew with a fine pen, pencil, wax and paint and picked shells with more marks, lines and textures than before.

21 to 30 drawings
Next 21 to 30 drawings in pencil, pen and paint.


31 to 40 drawings were mainly painted in watercolour washes with wax to add highlights. I included pencil and watercolour pencils too. Now I was painting or scribbling in a background. drawing with a brush too and adding lots of details I saw on the shell surface, such as barnacles, broken spaces, shiny insides, colours such as pinks and blues. I enjoyed this the most because I could paint and combine drawing line, which I love.

31 to 40 drawings
31 to 40 shell drawings in ink, paint and pencil.

With my final ten drawings I took a different approach and drew using my left hand ( I am right handed). I started with a pencil, but changed to a black felt pen, as it moves freely over the paper  and felt easier in my hand. My shells took on a darker and heavier feel as I emphasised the lines and shaded in the background parts. Also they slant like they are sliding off the paper.

41 to 50 drawings
The last ten drawings in pencil and pen. Drawn with my left hand.


Well I really enjoyed all of this exercise. And that’s because I chose to draw my beautiful shell collection, plus I love to draw quickly and grabbing just the essence of the subject really thrills me. I know, I have drawn my shells before, but expressing their lines and marks is still exciting.

As for my drawing, I changed my medium to suit the shell in an intuitive way, which I often do in my drawing. I don’t think there is anything I would change, as this was a nonstop drawing challenge it made me think quickly and work within the time boundary.  Working in this way, I thought the shells may have become more abstract, but I seem to have kept them realistic but deployed in a loose style.

I now have fifty pieces of paper with lovely drawings, so I may display them in a square shaped book. Or get some reproduced for cards.

I took some close up photos of my drawings, so here’s a selection. They look like I have laid them out in a museum style box to be viewed. Perhaps that’s how I wanted to show them as objects and drawings with out thinking about it.



2 thoughts on “Drawing 1. Nonstop-50 Drawings in Four Hours Challenge from the book, ‘Experimental Drawing’ by Robert Kaupelis, Chapter Six, page 119.”

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