365 Days of Drawing

A Retrospective

Cynthia Koo
Dec 29, 2014 · 7 min read

To learn how to do your own 365 day project, check out my Skillshare class on “How To Start (And Finish!) Your Very Own 365 Day Project”!

On Black Friday, I finished my 365 day project to learn how to draw.

This was my 10th:

Image for post
Image for post
From Mark Kistler’s You Can Draw in 30 Days, Lesson 2 (Bonus)

This was my 30th:

Image for post
Image for post
Also from Mark Kistler’s You Can Draw in 30 Days, Lesson 12 (Bonus)

And this was my hundredth:

Image for post
Image for post
Based on this reference photo on Pinterest

This was the first drawing I gave away (day 22):

To my cofounder and his family

This was the second—and my absolute cutest (day 98):

Image for post
Image for post
Based on this reference drawing from Pinterest, and given to my boyfriend

This was my first “real” (not manga ☺) portrait (day 58):

Image for post
Image for post
Lesson 28 of 30 from Mark Kistler’s You Can Learn to Draw in 30 Days

This was the 15th (266 to 273):

Image for post
Image for post
Emma Watson

This was the portrait that I was most surprised by (day 74):

Because it was the first time I thought I could actually be any good at this ;)

Image for post
Image for post
Finished in a hotel room in LA, mid-road trip from the Bay Area to San Diego, and based off of this reference drawing

This was the portrait that took the longest amount of time—5 attempts in total, over the course of 47 days:

Attempt #1 (301 to 310)

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Attempt #2 (311 to 318)

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Attempt #2.5 (day 319)

Failed attempt at a scribbly pen drawing ;)

Image for post
Image for post

Attempt #3 (320 to 323)

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Attempt #4 (324 to 328)

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Attempt #5 (329 to 347)

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
For my big sis and her new husband

(And the reference drawing)

Image for post
Image for post

This is the portrait that took the shortest amount of time—one hour, in one day (day 286):

Image for post
Image for post
Rest in Peace Robin Williams

These were the portraits I did of my family:

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
The Koo’s (Mama Koo on days 216 to 219, Papa Koo on days 227 to 240, Grandma Koo on days 348 to 355, Grandpa Koo on days 241 to 255)

And of my best friend (361 to 365):

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

This was the first drawing I abandoned in the middle because I decided to give myself permission to start again (day 170):

Image for post
Image for post

And this was the last (356 to 359):

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

… at least for this year. ☺

Thanks for reading! And for all the words of encouragement. It’s been an eye-opening, instructive, and progress-filled year. When I started this project, I had no idea how long 365 days could feel. ;) And I never would have anticipated that I could go from these:

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

To these:

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

So, thanks, 2014! It’s been a good year. ☺

As a part of my endeavor to rediscover my love of writing, I’m writing one post every week for a year, about designing a life I love.

Chasing Magic

My year of writing every week.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store