365 Sketch Challenge, New Beginnings!


First I want to say how exciting this week has been, with my first Solo Show at Gold Standard Cafe. I met a lot of great people at the opening, and enjoyed cheese and wine as well as some beers. There was a great turnout, sold numerous illustrations, and I could not be happier. The show runs till the end of November, so stop by and check it out.Michael Bencik Art Show

This was an exciting few months of sketches. I got a chance to draw my youngest model, my new nephew Kazmer, and also nearly died for my art.  Getting everything scanned in was way more difficult than I would have thought plusI am missing a few sketches, and a few days. So that is why I am publishing this in November instead of August. So enjoy, and I promise to get the next installment out sooner.

Well  210 days to go! I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

June 1, 2015, #110


Sometimes you need to draw on whatever you have near, this time a yellow folder was in my hand. Random people at the bar. A fun start to this new round art.

June 2, 2015, #111


Waiting for an appointment, something I do way too often.

June 3, 2015, #112


Riding the subway in Philly.

June 4, 2015, #113


Joking around with my buddy Alex Weaver.

June 6, 2015, #114


Playing Cards Against Humanity.

June 7, 2015, #115



Dock Street Brewery was having an outdoor festival to celebrate the end of Beer Week.

Dock Street Brewery Philly Beer Week

June 9, 2015, #116


Guy hanging out.

June 10, 2015, #117


Digital draing on my cell phone of Booboo

June 11, 2015, #118



Old fashion drawing of Booboo with pencils. How she gets comfy I have no idea.

June 12, 2015, #119


My nephew Bodie playing in the sand at Atlantic City beach.

 June 15, 2015, #120


Our Peruvian “Adopted Family”, Athena, hanging out watching TV with my family.

June 16, 2015, #121 Independance Hall


Independence Hall

June 17, 2015, #122 Independance Hall


Digital drawing of good ole Ben Franklin on the cell phone for fun.

June 19, 2015, #123


When you take the Bolt Bus, you are going to find some people to draw. Fall asleep at your own risk. Philly to Pittsburgh here I come!

June 20, 2015, #124


Pittsburgh, hanging out on John Marshall’s veranda drinking beer and relaxing. Last party weekend in this house!


The main man, Anthony Ballios, chilling out at John Marshall’s house.

June 21, 2015, #125



Hungover as hell, I still managed to get this drawing of this girl.


June 22, 2015, #126


Digital cell phone drawing of Clark Park.


June 23, 2015, #127


A quick but powerful storm ripped through our neighbor hood. When ligtning struck, Yvonne jumped a mile high. When we looked across the street the tree fell down. It also chipped some of the roofing tiles.

July 24, 2015, #128


It must be annoying living with someone who will draw you when you least feel like being drawn. Good thing my wife is awesome and has excepted my annoying habits, most of them anyway. Don’t leave your shoes where she might trip, then there will be hell to pay.

June 25, 2015, #129

MJB62515 MJB62515B

Doctors office’s waiting rooms. Been to a lot of these lately.

June 28, 2015, #131


WARNING: You may see something you can not un-see below. 

Oh boy, this one is a doozy for sure. Seemed like a lovely spot to draw, on Forbidden Drive, part way up the ravine. A nice rock, sun dappled stream, a dog playing below. What could go wrong. After an hour or so of sketching, an empty big gulp next to me, and a strong urge to releive myself. So one step to the right, ZIPPPP, BUZZZZ, SWAT, and a mad dash later, surrounded by the buzzing of a swarm, completely unexpected. I am not one for littering, but I tossed the big gulp and ran like the wind. 150 feet down the trail I decided to finish my business, only to be stung yet again. Nasty buggers, thought they were dying out. Well by the time we got to the car I was woozy, so Yvonne drove. Went straight to the pharmacy at Target, and realized they are useless. My arm pits were swelling like marshmallows over the fire, and they would not even grab me some Benadryl. We ended up in urgent care. I guess  they would rather wheel out a swollen dead person then help stop the reaction.



Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

June 29, 2015, #132


The owner of Hibiscus chilling outside his restaurant, Vegan and Vegetarian fare.

Hibiscus Restaurant

June 30, 2015, #133



A very distraught and stressed guy, I decided to make up various scenarios that had him in such a mood.

July 1, 2015, #134


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

A gorgeous night, warm but not too hot, with the sun slowly sinking. The tiny almost not even there public garden at 46th and Baltimore Avenue in Philly. A downed tree makes it private even at the junction of really busy corners.

July 3, 2015, #135



Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

Booboo sleeping.

July 4, 2015, #136


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

Fourth of July fireworks. A million people hanging out, we bar hopped getting fancy appetizers, and were they ever good. Lobster Ravioli? MMMMmmm.


July 7, 2015, 137


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

The beach again.

July 8, 2015, #139


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

Gorgeous Rittenhouse Square in Philly. A frog statue.

July 14, 2015, #140


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

July 15, 2015, #141


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

Philadelphia Museum of Art. The date is wrong on the drawing, it was done on July 15.

Philadelphia Art Museum

July 16, 2015, #142


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

These woman were probably from Staten Island by their accents, and they were just divulging all the greatest gossip, from Sex, Politics, to insurance scams. My favorite story was how they would cheat on their husbands.

July 17, 2015, #143



 July 18, 2015, #144


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

Bathroom art.

July 19, 2015, #145


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

A little volleyball.

July 21, 2015, #146


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015


Copyright Michael Bencik 2015

Saving the best for last on this series. My youngest model, being less than 24 hours old, Kazmer Roman Bencik was born on July 20, 2015. He posed excellently for me. Apparently, new born babies only sleep, eat, and poop. So excellent models. Congrats to the new parents.


5 responses to “365 Sketch Challenge, New Beginnings!

  1. Michael, Thank you sincerely for your blog. I am impressed you have a wonderful gift. Am I to understand clearly that the baby is yours. How wonderful and congratulations! both for the birth of the child but for all your wonderful sketches. I of course cannot come to an exhibition but am privileged to be able see your work this way. I hope the future looms bright for you and your family.

    • Hi Faye,
      Thanks so much for the kind words.
      The baby is my brother Jeff’s, though we are do one in the next week or so. I am sure there will be many sketches of our unknown baby, because apparently our life will never be the same and we will never sleep again.

  2. … you will never sleep again. ha ha! But you’ll decide it’s worth it. 🙂

    Love the scene from Marshall’s veranda. It’s just what I imagine a Pittsburgh neighborhood scene would be. But my faves above all are the sleeping people on public transit.

    Most fabulous congratulations on the show!! Super exciting. I am really pleased to hear that you sold some work too. You look great and so happy. Wish I could have been there to share your night.

    • Thanks, yeah it was a ton of fun. Long trips are always great places for sketching, people are so bored they don’t pay any attention.
      I think I will probably do a blog with all the pieces in it, so if anyone is interested they can get them. They are all already out there in various blogs, but you through a frame on it and it makes a world of difference.
      Its probably a bit far for a road trip from the West Coast, but you are always welcome.

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