29 Dec 2012
Scroodl Post-Mortem
“Scroodl: The Post Mortem”

Tonight I am smugly basking in the afterglow of my completion of the scroodl challenge.

This time a [leap] year ago, disgusted with my terminal indolence when it came to actually producing artwork and presumably under the influence of what remained of my Christmas booze stash, I resolved that I would make a slightly premature New Year Resolution. I vowed to do some drawing every day for a whole year. As if that was not idiotic enough, I decided that the best way to ensure I stuck to this pledge was by making it public.

So I set up the scroodl website, in order that the intarwebs at large --or at least the old man and his dog who occasionally read any of the shite I put online-- could monitor my progress. For, as we all know, if you are going to fall flat on your arse, you don’t want to do it where there’s the chance of anyone seeing.


I also put out the clarion call for other people to rise to the scroodl challenge. Needless to say, as with all my great ideas, this was largely ignored by the world at large, apart from a few adventurous scribblers who decided to join in the 'fun'. Most of these other scroodlers fell by the wayside before they were properly out of the starting blocks but, if you train your opera glasses down the track, you should be able to see that a couple of hardy souls have just about turned into the final straight and should be crossing the finish line in the next few days. So thanks to JenDen and Rob, for keeping me company on this idiotic venture.

And so to the big question: "was it worth it?"

Well, on the one hand I’m quite chuffed that I have managed to draw 'something' every day for a whole year. On the other hand, probably 90% of it was complete crap. So I have to ask whether managing to produce about 30 odd decent drawings --if even that!-- over the course of an entire year represents a good signal-to-noise ratio? Probably not and, sadly, I don’t feel that I’ve particularly improved as an artist over the past 12 months as so many of my scroodls were reluctantly done in as short a time as possible at the end of the working day, when I really couldnae be arsed at all.

Half-arsedness at its finest:


Another of my big disappointments is that I don’t think my cartooning has improved at all. I still can’t draw the human form very well and my cartoon hands are as bad as ever --although ironically I did actually produce a couple of my favourite scroodls when I went through a brief period of drawing my 'real' hand from life.

I can’t draw cartoon hands, but I can sometimes draw real ones!


On the up side, I did actually get back into dabbling in watercolours during the summer --a medium I haven’t worked in since I was a callow youth at art college-- and I did spend some very relaxing hours drawing outside on my annual visit home to Ireland.

Dunmoran Strand on a lovely summer’s day --blissful scroodling


And, of course, no round up of my scroodling year would be complete without a mention of Colonel Wanderbury, the fat, handlebar-moustacheo’d, involuntary bra-wearing British war hero and his thrilling adventures --trying to thwart the evil plans of arch-nemesis, the aristocratic Baron von Brücken-Stempfl with his army of nazi triffids. A couple of characters who cropped up with tedious frequency earlier in the year and who I may well do "something" with in future, just as soon as I work out what that "something" should be.

Colonel Wanderbury and Baron von Brücken-Stempfl


And so, there you have it folks. Today officially marked the end of my self-imposed scroodl challenge. I wonder what it’ll be like tomorrow when it gets to about six o’clock and I momentarily get that familiar "Sigh! --I suppose I’d better do my scroodl.." feeling, before realising that the cell door is lying wide open and I can walk out if I want.

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