I Give You The Sketch – The Last 31 Days

Hello December! 

Good morning Summer! 

Who knew that when I decided hundreds and hundreds and HUNDREDS of days ago that I wanted to draw every day in 2016, that I’d actually do it? Not me, that’s for sure. 

Yesterday was day 335 of my #IGYTsketch adventure, and with 31 sketches left to create, I’m pleased as punch (why not Judy?) that I’ve continued to put pen or brush to paper for 11 months straight. Well, almost… I have missed days, and played catch up – which is silly, because actually there are no creativity police out there! 

The point is, I’ve kept going, not because I have to, but because creating has become part of my life. It makes me happy, relaxes and challenges me and puts me in touch with something bigger than myself. Art opens me up. 

I have had great ideas that I couldn’t quite pull off, and drawn more leaves than you could poke a stick at in a deciduous wood. I’ve drawn by the beach, at work, at home, in bed, in cafes, anywhere I’ve found myself. 

It’s all very Jack Dawson a la Titanic – I have air in my lungs, a pencil, a scrap of paper and now I’m here with you fine folks! 

Let’s take a little screenshot trip down memory lane, shall we? I posted all my sketches on Instagram, using the natty hashie #IGYTsketch, which I modified to include the month. 







To kick the year off, I sketched along with one of my now favourite artists and illustrators, Lisa Congdon. 

Lisa taught a month long class online through CreativeBug, and it was a great way to find my feet with the daily habit of creating. Love, love, loved watching her videos and seeing how my brain and hand translated what she drew. 

I think the absolute BEST thing about drawing 335 pictures (so far) and posting them online this year has been the way that’s connected me with other artists. I have met so many sensationally talented, lovely people through creating, it’s really helped me feel like part of something bigger, even though I’ve spent most of this year at home by myself. 

I bang on about people’s generosity and kindness a lot on this blog – I know – but it’s because that’s my experience of life online and off. Whether I’m writing or sharing art, people are overwhelmingly kind and encouraging. That’s RAD. 

Thank you so much people of the interweb. I have needed you this year and you’ve been here for me. 

I hope I’ve returned the kindnesses I’ve received, in some small way. 

Let’s continue our screenshot tour through the past five months, shall we? 






When I look through these snapshots of each month, I remember lots of the days I drew these things – flowers and abstracts, huts and shells and things from the IKEA catalogue, and SO many leaves, and I feel so damn grateful that I signed up for that little online creativity course Inspiration Information, I think back in July 2014. 

I had NO IDEA where that one decision could lead me. No idea whatsoever. I believed wholeheartedly that I could not draw when I started that course. I was wrong! 

Hmmm, seems to me that I need that reminder right now, and maybe you do too. 

We don’t know what’s ahead of us. No matter how much we plan or make New Year’s resolutions or how secure we feel in the world, we just don’t know what’s next. And the limits we put on ourselves, sometimes they’re total bullshit. 

That one decision, to sign up to a course that I think cost me $50, has altered my life. I was going to write, altered my creative life, but I don’t think it’s right to rope it off, to put one aspect of who I am over there, sectioned off from the other parts of me. 

With 31 days left of 2016, I plan to keep giving you the sketch. I hope you’ll see something that makes you smile or triggers a memory or brightens your day. 

I have made myself happy on crap days by picking up a pen and sketch book. I’ve looked up more than I ever have and seen more than I ever knew was around me, and within me this year, thanks to drawing and painting. 

Not bad for a girl who spent 40+ years thinking she wasn’t artistic. 

I wonder what you’re wrong about as far as your talents and capabilities. I know this, you’ll never know until you have a crack. 

Got air in your lungs? Got a pencil and a scrap of paper? 

You know what to do next.  

As Jack said, make it count. 

Much love to you, 

Annette xx 


Here’s my favourite sketch of the year, little me, drawn from one of my first memories. 



I give you the sketch

When I started this blog two and a half years ago (wow, how time flies!) I thought it would be all about giving you the verbs, and the nouns, and the adjectives, in snappy sentences and witty paragraphs. 

Little did I know that along the way, I would discover new creative passions in drawing and painting. It’s funny what you don’t know until you do, isn’t it? And even funnier what you’re convinced you can’t do. 

As last year came to a close, I decided to undertake a year long creative project. 

I decided that I would sketch every day in 2016, that’s 366 consecutive days. 

I began here, with a sketch of my creative space. 

Day 1 of #IGYTsketch

I’m happy, and a little bit proud, that I have just crossed the half way point of my self-imposed challenge. 

Yippee! It’s all downhill from here, or something like that. 

I haven’t drawn every single day; I’d give myself about 95% in the consistency stakes, but I have drawn 188 times, with sketch 189 still to come for today. 

Some days I’ve picked up a pen, some days I’ve picked up a paintbrush, some days I’ve done both, and forming the daily habit of creating something, no matter how rushed or laboured, has given me a great deal of pleasure. 

I wanted to mark the half way milestone by sharing some of my daily sketches and paintings with you, because I’ve had such lovely encouragement of my beginner’s efforts. 

Honestly, I doubt that I would have kept going without the affirmation I’ve received. 

We never really know how much our encouragement of others means do we? 

That’s why I’m such a fan of saying out loud the positive things we think when we read a great article, or taste a delicious meal, or see a painting that makes us happy, or love someone’s speech, or shoes, or smile. It only takes a moment to say “that was so great/your words really moved me/thank you for sharing that” or tweet someone a high five, or shoot an email to a friend, or even a writer or artist whose style speaks to you. 

I can’t possibly pick my favourites, so I offer this sampling of the past 188 days. 

I give you the sketch…

Self portrait

Mid-century moment

The first thing I pack now – my art supplies

Whooo me?

Abstract no. 1


The beginnings of a collaboration

The end result. Thanks Rach!

Winter Peaks

Doorstep inspiration


House plants


Oooh I’m half way there…

Are you a sketcher? A doodler? A maker? A creative dreamer? 

Fan the flame. You never know what it might ignite. 


Annette xx 


All my daily sketches are on Instagram @igiveyoutheverbs, you can search for them using my hashtag #IGYTsketch, and by month using #IGYTsketchJanuary etc.