The Tropical November 30-Day Sketch-A-Day | Skillshare Projects

Claudia Cerantola

Illustrator and Surface pattern designer



The Tropical November 30-Day Sketch-A-Day

Hello everybody,

I'm very happy to be part of the 30 days sketch a day community! It's going to be very inspiring for all of us!

I'm just at the beginning of a new career in the surface design. I'm from Curitiba in the south of Brazil and for this challenge I decided to share with you a little part of my country every day.


I have a lot of pens, I'm a compulsive buyer but I end up not using them, except from the microns that I use all the time. What a great opportunity to finally use them and discover how many things I can do!

Day #1 Fall

Materials : micron, watercolor

For today prompt I decided to draw one of my favorites fall fruits, the guava. When I was a child I used to harvest it for my mother so she would make a delicious jam. That's my wonderful memory of the fall.


Day #2 Gourds

Materials : micron, japanese calligraphy pens (I used the different tips to make some textures)

In the South of Brasil, we use the purungo, a type of gourd, to make a calabash gourd to drink chimarrão which is a preparation of steeped dried leaves of yerba mate.


Day #3 Colors

Materials : cotton swabs, gouache

Only 10 min to go today to try to show you the beautiful colors of the Ipê flowers, of course nature is much better than me to do it. This tree is one of the symbols of Brazil. Here in my city we are lucky enough to have a bunch of them.


Day #4 Hay

Materials : micron, coloring pencils, black pencil,fibre tip pens

Upcycling is part of the Brazilian culture so I decided to transform some hay into furniture.


Day #5 Hay

Materials : micron, SAI brush pens

Festa junina is a typical winter party in Brazil and my favorite since I went to the first one when i was a kid.

It's a wonderful feast with food (especially the pinhão that is typical from the south of Brazil), people wearing costumes, music, dancing, fireworks, bonfire, sky lanterns, games such as the easy fishing game (my favorite), etc.


Day #6 Bonfire

Materials : micron, watercolor

Bonfire reminds me the Festa junina, which I wrote and sketch about yesterday, so I decidede to do today's sketch about the phrase of one of the songs we sing in this party.

"São João, São João, acende a fogueira do meu coração."

"St. John, St. John, light up the bonfire of my heart."


Day #7 Home

Materials : micron, acrylic ink, SAI brush pens, paper, toothpick, cork stopper

I lived abroad for many years so I can say right the way what makes me feel at home. I feel that I'm at home when I see the Araucárias also known as Pinheiros do Paraná.

For this sketch I have decided to use different material to draw the Araucárias.

Here some acrylic paint used with cork stopper and toothpick.


Magazine paper to do some collage.


The final sketch, my Araucaria moist forest.


Day #8 Gathering

Materials : micron, colored pencils

Gathering as a collection. I love books and I have them all over the house. So, this is me and a pile of books.



Day #9 Season

Materials : pencil, colored pencils

Here in Brazil is the season of cashew fruits and as we are going to the summer time, it's a great idea to make a caipirinha version with this wonderful fruit.


Day #10 Chill

Materials : micron, Koi coloring brush pen

Capivaras are very common to see in parks around Curitiba and there is one near my home that has a lot of them, so I imagined one during the winter time.

The idea of birds came after when I saw some pictures of capivaras with a bird on the top of their heads. While thinking about if I would start the sketch again to integrate birds I decided that, as birds, they have to be able to fly, so, do some bird watching and see they fly around! :o)))





Day #11 Tea

Materials : micron

Erva mate was used by the indigenous Guarani before the Europians arrived in Brazil. It grows in the south of South America.

We used it to make chimarrão, hot tea and iced tea.

Here is my blazon for the mate tea, with erva mate branches, an indian headdress and a cup decoreted with some indian basketry motifs.


Day #12 Apple

Materials : micron, rubber handcarved stamp, ink pads for stamps


Day #13 Leaves

Materials : micron, Koi coloring brush pen, SAI brush pens

I decided to represent both, the noun and the verb. The mulungu-do-litoral tree is native to the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. As Curitiba has part of the Atlantic Rainforest we are lucky to have this beauty around.

Leaves have to leave in order to the flowers and the hummingbirds to arrive.

I couldn't resist to make this little joke because this is what happen. In order to have the flowers the tree looses all the leaves.

As in the chill theme, I cut out some elements, here hummingbirds and leaves, to play around.





Day #14 Acorn

Materials : micron

Acorn is not part of our culture as in Brazil we don't have it, so I found a way of integrating it into our culture. I decided to make a portuguese style tile out of the acorn and the elements from the oak tree.


Day #15 Socks

Materials : micron, SAI brush pen

We have a wolf species here in Brazil that has very long legs, the lobo guará, so I thought that he would look really fashion with some cool socks. His belly is decorated with the fruta do lobo a kind of tomato like fruit that is one of his main food.





Day #16 Boots

Materials : micron, gauache, sponge

Since the spring arrived here it is rainning almost every day, so I invite you to a Curitiba tour by rain boots.



Day #17 Family

Materials : micron, japanese caligraphy pen, colored paper

Unconditional love is what came into my mind when I saw today's prompt. Here in Brazil there is a bird called chupim which lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species. The tico-tico's nest is one of the species that they choose to lay their eggs on.

Tico-tico show us that it has unconditional love for this strange bird that somehow came out of his nest. It is awkward to see this small brown bird feeding this much bigger black bird as it was its own, no distinction at all. That's a great sense of what a family has to have : Unconditional love.


Day #18 Park

Materials : micron, staedtler pigment liner, brush pens

Curitiba has over 20 parks so I decided to sketch only two of them, the oldest one, Passeio Público, and the biggest one, Parque Barigui. 


Day #19 Spice

Materials : mricon, watercolor

I chose the urucum (annatto) to try to make a vintage look illustration. Even dough I'm not completely satisfy, it is always an excellent exercise to do it analogically. No ctrl z go ahead and experiment!

Urucum was used by some tribes for rituals and decorative body painting, just later on it started to be used to impart a red color to foods.


Day #20 Pie

Materials : mricon, brush pens

The banana pie is the most popular pie in Brazil, so here it is, banana pie and a little macaco prego to help with the bananas. :o))


Day #21 Cabin

Materials : stabilo point visco pens, staedtler triplus roller pens

Cabin can be translated as cabana or cabine in portuguese. Cabana also means oca (typical indigenous house) so I decided to sketch it.

I invite you to spend a weekend in this wonderful place, enjoying the oca, the hammock and the canoe in the middle of the nature.


Day #22 Scarf

Materials : pilot frixion colors pen

During the winter time in 2014 in Curitiba, a movement start asking people to leave clothes to the homeless people on hungers left on trees in the squares. The project is called : Sympathetic tree.

That gave me the idea for today's sketch : sympathetic trees giving some scarves to the homeless.


Day #23 Still

Materials : micron, paper mate flair felt tip pens

Enjoy the stillness in this tropical garden!


Day #24 Snuggle

Materials : micron, brush pens

Sloths snuggling to remenber this November 5th when two dams holding millions of cubic meters of mining waste collapsed, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in our history here in Brazil.


Day #25 Hat

Materials : micron, speedball elegant writer pen

The golden grass is a grass-like species which only exists in the region of Jalapão, state of Tocantins, Brazil. Its main characteristic is the bright and gold color, hence their common name "Capim Dourado", which literally means "golden grass".

The Afro-Brazilian community of Mumbuca in Jalapão, makes many handicrafts from it and one of them are hats.


Day #26 Warmth

Materials : micron, paper mate flair felt tip pen, Koi coloring brush pen

The warmth from the sun...

The sun is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth.


Day #27 Coat

Materials : micron, brush pens

As I said before, it is raining here in Curitiba almost every day since the spring started, so I decided to draw a raincoat to go with the rain boots from day #16.


Day #28 Lanterns

Materials : micron, brush pens, colored pencil, cotton swab

As I said on prompt #4, upcycling is part of the Brazilian culture, so I had a look around nternet and draw some of the DIY upcycled lanterns I found.


Day #29 Full

Materials : micron, pentel slicci silver, black indian ink, colored paper

Inspired by the collages that Kara did I decided to make one about the river dolphin folklore. Here I represent the pink river dolphin.

The Amazon river folklore tells that during the full moon's nights, the river dolphin becomes a handsome young man who seduces girls, impregnates them, and then returns to the river in the morning to become a dolphin again. One of the belives for this myth is that it serves as a way to explain pregnancy outside of marriage.


Day #30 Giving Thanks

Materials : rubber handcarved stamp, ink pads for stamps, colored paper

I had a lot of fun cutting out the letters without drawing them before. I didn't glue them, they are free to write their onw words. :o))))



Final thoughts :

It was a wonderful experience to take part in this challenge. Hope you liked to discover some new things about Brazil.

As I'm just changing my professional life to finally do what I'm passionate about, this journey was a great exercise for me to discover a little bit more about me and my art and where I want to go with it.
In the way I also learned about new subjects during my researches for the prompts and I practiced my English. A perfect combination for the creativity to flourishes.

Doing sketches analogically was a fabulous exercise! You cannot use ctrl z, you have to use creativity to "fix" your errors. Errors may turn out into something amazingly beautiful and unexpected.

Sometimes my sketches didn't end up looking as good as I imagined they would. In the past that would have stopped me to continue. I would think I was not good enough and I could never be better, but during this challenge I learned how to keep going even if some days things just don't turn out as you would expect. No matter what you learn from everything you do.
Don't be ashamed!

Thank you to all my peers and thank you Ria for this class and for keep us motivate with this challenge.

                   --------------------------------------  OBRIGADA!  --------------------------------------


Please sign in or sign up to comment.