Why don’t YOU start drawing every day? Take the challenge!

Do you feel as if your artistic skills haven’t improved at all since you were 10?
Do you have 15 minutes a day to spare?

Then why not spend them

Making a drawing a day!

SONY DSCThe sketchbooks will start to pile up after a few months. I’ve got some with watercolor paper most recently!

Do a 365-days challenge where you draw every day for one whole year or why not two? (Or start with a month, if that makes you feel more at ease)
Making a drawing each day is an excellent way to learn, to improve or to challenge yourself to get better – make a habit out of it, and drawing will soon just be a way of expressing yourself

Since I started drawing every day, I’ve improved tremendously (well.. In all modesty..), and the thought of stopping just gets more and more crazy in my mind!

SO..

How to get started with a daily drawing habit:

book pencils and eraserA sketchbook, two pencils and an eraser! (please.. no feedback needed on this drawing!)

Go out and get yourself a little black sketchbook. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but I must admit to have taken a liking to Moleskine’s watercolor sketchbooks. Don’t get the Moleskine classic or the notebook, though, the quality of the paper isn’t that good. Whatever sketchbook you chose,  it just needs to be something handy that you can carry around. No need for it to have a fancy name. It’s got to be black, though!
You can even make one yourself out of printing-paper, it doesn’t matter! I usually use smaller sketchbooks that measure around 10x14cm (4*6″) because a small drawing is quicker to finish than a big one – but go with what you prefer!

You’ll also need something to draw with – Pencils would be a good choice –  start with a HB (normal medium-hard graphite) and a B4 which is softer and darker -for when you draw Jack Sparrow’s eye-makup.. (Please don’t draw Jack Sparrow) There are a lot of “kits” out there with a range of pencils. You can go ahead and pick one up, like this one with six pencils with a pencil sharpener and and eraser. But you can start with just two pencils though.

But do get an eraser!

That’s all you need! – Don’t buy a lot of stuff to begin with, you’ll discover what you need and what you like to play and experiment with later on!

But I don’t know how to draw!?

A self portrait that i did a few months back! Don’t be ashamed of being a beginner!

No one knows how to draw before they learn – don’t let that stop you! Just start drawing and don’t stop, and you’ll very soon get the bases down. It’s quite simple actually!
Whatever you do, if you do it a lot, you will improve!
People say that you need to train a skill for 10.000 hours in order to become a “master”. I don’t know about that, but i DO know that you can become pretty good at drawing if you do it every day for just a couple of months. (I’ve done it) If you’re not good at it, it’s actually your best argument to start doing it!

But how do I stay motivated?

comment bubbleComment unto others as you would have them comment unto you

Use the community! It’s been a great help for me to share my daily drawings on the internet! There are literally thousands (millions?) of people out there who share your interest, and who would love to give you encouragement, suggestions and pointers on your work – no matter your level! With WordPress or Blogger you can easily and free of charge create a blog (like this one) where you can post everything you do! Go comment on other peoples blogs, and quickly people will start checking in on yours regularly.
There are also sites like Deviatnart where you can create a user-account and post your work for people to comment on
And I just created a sub-reddit at Reddit, where you’re very very welcome to come and share your daily work
It’s called /r/onedrawingdaily and I promise that you’ll get feedback in there!

What if i don’t know what to draw?

One day I just drew this thing…

It’s crazy, but even though you can draw anything in the world, it can still sometimes be hard to chose something! But fear not!  here are 400 suggestions  and if you don’t like those, draw everything in your glove compartment, draw something beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day, draw your hand, make a drawing of your cat draw what’s in your fridge (before it goes bad, please) copy your favorite artist’s work (that’s how all the great masters of art-history learned by the way), draw from the photos of your last vacation, draw all political leaders of the world like I do!

You still haven’t found anything to draw? Then try this little book, with 642 writing prompts. Some are quite simple, like a “toothbrush” whereas some prompt you to draw more abstracts concepts like “girlish laughter” – something to make you think out of the box! This kind of book is great for just opening on a random page every day for a writing suggestion. It’s got some empty space on each page that you may or may not use for your sketches.

That’s all for now – I hope that you’ll join me with your own “One Drawing Daily” adventure! Do drop a link if you’ve got your blog up and running! I’d REALLY REALLY like to see them!

66 thoughts on “Why don’t YOU start drawing every day? Take the challenge!”

  1. I think it’s a fantastic project. I wish I could join you. I do “art” every day (well most days) but it doesn’t always lead to a start to finished completed piece in the time frame of one day. Back in September I did a drawing a day challenge (subject was Greek Mythology) and I found it was a struggle to fit it into my schedule. Some days it felt like a chore (you can tell which because it shows in my drawings). I accept that I’m a busy mother of four with volunteering commitments and who solo parents on weekdays. I, therefore, just create when I can. I do like to have challenges to keep me focused, however. Right now that’s the mixed media e-course I am doing and my self-imposed Into the Woods theme. I have a long list of future challenges too. I wish means didn’t have to be cooked or laundry done so I could get stuck into my art more but it is what it is.

    Reply
    • I understand 100% what you mean… When i do “one a day” it’s only possible because what i do is small drawings or watercolors.. Bigger, more complicated pieces would need to be planned and nurtured in another way, and it would be a shame to rush them.. What i am doing is more like turning the “rush” into a thing.. Quantity over quality.. But that’s not the only thing i want to do either.. I actually have to control myself a little bit, because i also have other things that i need to do during the day.. So yeah!.. How about half a drawing a day? 😉

      Reply
  2. I think it’s a fantastic project. I wish I could join you. I do “art” every day (well most days) but it doesn’t always lead to a start to finished completed piece in the time frame of one day. Back in September I did a drawing a day challenge (subject was Greek Mythology) and I found it was a struggle to fit it into my schedule. Some days it felt like a chore (you can tell which because it shows in my drawings). I accept that I’m a busy mother of four with volunteering commitments and who solo parents on weekdays. I, therefore, just create when I can. I do like to have challenges to keep me focused, however. Right now that’s the mixed media e-course I am doing and my self-imposed Into the Woods theme. I have a long list of future challenges too. I wish means didn’t have to be cooked or laundry done so I could get stuck into my art more but it is what it is.

    Reply
    • I understand 100% what you mean… When i do “one a day” it’s only possible because what i do is small drawings or watercolors.. Bigger, more complicated pieces would need to be planned and nurtured in another way, and it would be a shame to rush them.. What i am doing is more like turning the “rush” into a thing.. Quantity over quality.. But that’s not the only thing i want to do either.. I actually have to control myself a little bit, because i also have other things that i need to do during the day.. So yeah!.. How about half a drawing a day? 😉

      Reply
  3. Great post! It´s really much more fun than I thought and not hard at all if you have a little “audience” that is supporting you. Today I did not have time the whole day to do my watercolor, but still sat down in the evening to get it done. Okay, it´s only day 5 and I probably shouldn´t shout too loud… But I´m happy to have started this whole thing. 😊

    Reply
  4. Great post! It´s really much more fun than I thought and not hard at all if you have a little “audience” that is supporting you. Today I did not have time the whole day to do my watercolor, but still sat down in the evening to get it done. Okay, it´s only day 5 and I probably shouldn´t shout too loud… But I´m happy to have started this whole thing. 😊

    Reply
  5. You have been tempting me to draw since I read your update post. As I read your post I was wishing I could draw but I have tried before and I could see nothing in what I was drawing. Then I saw your first posted drawing and I thought, “That looks like something I have drawn.” So the idea is idling within my mind which has always been focused on words and their use in expression.

    So many times I have sought photos to put along with my poems and can’t find exactly what I want. Just a couple of days ago I thought, “If only I could draw exactly what I want.”

    So I will start drawing my little stick figures and then go from there. Practice each day until I see something within what I draw, rather than a bunch of lines that don’t make any sense. Maybe something will come of it. At least I may become good enough to draw my own pictures that are exactly what I am looking for to further enhances my writing.

    Reply
      • Okay, 15 minutes is a bit overly optimistic. I don’t have the simple supplies you suggest yet, so I took out a thin clipboard, so as to hold the paper down. Using a mechanical pencil, with a new eraser, I started decided to draw an apartment building from my mind so as to simply work with shapes and some shading. I am doing it freehand, no rulers, so as to get a feel for my own coordination. 45 minutes have passes and I’m not even a quarter of the way done. Possibly because I am making a brick structure and the bricks take time.

        As I see what I have done so far I can see the windows out of shape and not equal to the others. I can quickly correct this as I go. The first thing I have noticed is the focus that I have upon the drawing, taking me away from any problems or thoughts that were on my mind before. I’m not going to judge it. Instead simply experience the journey of drawing it. When I’m finished I might find a photo, or another sketch and go from there. All I’m working with now are simple vertical and horizontal lines for the most part. I will work on curves later in another drawing. There are more esoteric aspects I want to add to it but I am first trying to get the basic form and main components in.

        I don’t think I have ever tried to draw, even as I am right now. I can see a little potential. Hopefully this will improve in later drawings. I can see how it could become addicting, especially when I one day experience a successful work. As I said, the best part is being able to escape unnecessary worries and thoughts about life as I focus on the drawing itself. Maybe I will start another blog to post my drawings on. Something like yours, but with a different name of course.

        Thank you for promoting the challenge.

        Reply
        • I can really recommend starting a blog – it’s a great way of getting feedback as well as keeping a “record” of what you’re doing. If you feel off one day, you can just go one or two months back in the archive and see the progress you’ve made. Congratulations on starting your first drawing! I hope you’ll share it once it’s finished!

          Reply
      • Have you taken art classes? I know you are studying architecture. I just tried to draw a coffee cup and I struggle with perspective. It might be because I don’t have the proper pencils to allow me to shadow lighter and darker. I have found an inexpensive drawing pencil set and a simple sketch pad, I will go and pick them up once the store opens later this morning. I have found that I can quickly sketch something and it doesn’t look natural, then I can shade out the seeming imperfections. The apartment building I have been working on ended up being out of scale. I don’t care, I will finish it. I put 5 hours into it. It also lacks perspective. It is simply 2 dimensional. I was just wondering what your previous drawing experience was before you started on your current journey.

        Sorry for all the questions but I really want to get started because I enjoy how I get lost into the drawings.Once I see some sort of understanding on my part I will create a new blog. I was thinking of the title, “A Poet Attempting to Draw” or something like that. I will let you know the link once I create the blog.

        Reply
        • Sounds like a great idea. I haven’t had any formal art education but there has been a few courses here and there.. mainly in technical drawing.. Rulers and t-squares.. But also a workshop in perspective drawing for 2-3 days at some point. These courses mostly helped me with the theory.. You can get the same from the Internet. In perspective you need to be aware of the horizon and the two vanishing points ( http://www.design-technology.info/IndProd/_wp_generated/ppf350ab2d.jpg ) and then the rest is a matter of experience and “learning to see”.. three years ago i tried to draw occasionally, and i did end up almost filling a little sketchbook after almost a year, but this little sketching here and there didn’t amount to much..
          For me, perspective is still one of the hardest things, and i enjoy drawing organic things much more (tons of portraits and hands) – so i’m impressed that you put 5 hours into a perspective drawing just like that! I think that in learning a new skill and sticking with it, it’s all about success stories. You keep going when you feel that you’re going somewhere, but if you end up feel frustrated, it can kill all motivation. After a few months, i have gone from spending 15 minutes per drawing to sometimes 1h30 minutes because i get “pulled in”.. If i were to spend a long time on a drawing in the beginning, i would have given up after a few days because i would be so dissatisfies with my result.. I think that in the beginning – the best thing you can do, is do some quick sketches. If you feel happy about them, it’s great, if they such, it’s only a question of starting over…
          But anyway – long story short, when you do something a lot, you learn – it doesn’t matter if it’s in a class or by yourself. The most useful thing about a class is the feedback, but you’ve got the world before you on the internet, why not use that resource instead of having some teacher try and push his/her ideas of good art unto you? 😉

          Reply
  6. You have been tempting me to draw since I read your update post. As I read your post I was wishing I could draw but I have tried before and I could see nothing in what I was drawing. Then I saw your first posted drawing and I thought, “That looks like something I have drawn.” So the idea is idling within my mind which has always been focused on words and their use in expression.

    So many times I have sought photos to put along with my poems and can’t find exactly what I want. Just a couple of days ago I thought, “If only I could draw exactly what I want.”

    So I will start drawing my little stick figures and then go from there. Practice each day until I see something within what I draw, rather than a bunch of lines that don’t make any sense. Maybe something will come of it. At least I may become good enough to draw my own pictures that are exactly what I am looking for to further enhances my writing.

    Reply
      • Okay, 15 minutes is a bit overly optimistic. I don’t have the simple supplies you suggest yet, so I took out a thin clipboard, so as to hold the paper down. Using a mechanical pencil, with a new eraser, I started decided to draw an apartment building from my mind so as to simply work with shapes and some shading. I am doing it freehand, no rulers, so as to get a feel for my own coordination. 45 minutes have passes and I’m not even a quarter of the way done. Possibly because I am making a brick structure and the bricks take time.

        As I see what I have done so far I can see the windows out of shape and not equal to the others. I can quickly correct this as I go. The first thing I have noticed is the focus that I have upon the drawing, taking me away from any problems or thoughts that were on my mind before. I’m not going to judge it. Instead simply experience the journey of drawing it. When I’m finished I might find a photo, or another sketch and go from there. All I’m working with now are simple vertical and horizontal lines for the most part. I will work on curves later in another drawing. There are more esoteric aspects I want to add to it but I am first trying to get the basic form and main components in.

        I don’t think I have ever tried to draw, even as I am right now. I can see a little potential. Hopefully this will improve in later drawings. I can see how it could become addicting, especially when I one day experience a successful work. As I said, the best part is being able to escape unnecessary worries and thoughts about life as I focus on the drawing itself. Maybe I will start another blog to post my drawings on. Something like yours, but with a different name of course.

        Thank you for promoting the challenge.

        Reply
        • I can really recommend starting a blog – it’s a great way of getting feedback as well as keeping a “record” of what you’re doing. If you feel off one day, you can just go one or two months back in the archive and see the progress you’ve made. Congratulations on starting your first drawing! I hope you’ll share it once it’s finished!

          Reply
      • Have you taken art classes? I know you are studying architecture. I just tried to draw a coffee cup and I struggle with perspective. It might be because I don’t have the proper pencils to allow me to shadow lighter and darker. I have found an inexpensive drawing pencil set and a simple sketch pad, I will go and pick them up once the store opens later this morning. I have found that I can quickly sketch something and it doesn’t look natural, then I can shade out the seeming imperfections. The apartment building I have been working on ended up being out of scale. I don’t care, I will finish it. I put 5 hours into it. It also lacks perspective. It is simply 2 dimensional. I was just wondering what your previous drawing experience was before you started on your current journey.

        Sorry for all the questions but I really want to get started because I enjoy how I get lost into the drawings.Once I see some sort of understanding on my part I will create a new blog. I was thinking of the title, “A Poet Attempting to Draw” or something like that. I will let you know the link once I create the blog.

        Reply
        • Sounds like a great idea. I haven’t had any formal art education but there has been a few courses here and there.. mainly in technical drawing.. Rulers and t-squares.. But also a workshop in perspective drawing for 2-3 days at some point. These courses mostly helped me with the theory.. You can get the same from the Internet. In perspective you need to be aware of the horizon and the two vanishing points ( http://www.design-technology.info/IndProd/_wp_generated/ppf350ab2d.jpg ) and then the rest is a matter of experience and “learning to see”.. three years ago i tried to draw occasionally, and i did end up almost filling a little sketchbook after almost a year, but this little sketching here and there didn’t amount to much..
          For me, perspective is still one of the hardest things, and i enjoy drawing organic things much more (tons of portraits and hands) – so i’m impressed that you put 5 hours into a perspective drawing just like that! I think that in learning a new skill and sticking with it, it’s all about success stories. You keep going when you feel that you’re going somewhere, but if you end up feel frustrated, it can kill all motivation. After a few months, i have gone from spending 15 minutes per drawing to sometimes 1h30 minutes because i get “pulled in”.. If i were to spend a long time on a drawing in the beginning, i would have given up after a few days because i would be so dissatisfies with my result.. I think that in the beginning – the best thing you can do, is do some quick sketches. If you feel happy about them, it’s great, if they such, it’s only a question of starting over…
          But anyway – long story short, when you do something a lot, you learn – it doesn’t matter if it’s in a class or by yourself. The most useful thing about a class is the feedback, but you’ve got the world before you on the internet, why not use that resource instead of having some teacher try and push his/her ideas of good art unto you? 😉

          Reply
  7. You are really inspiring. I had several years of drawing in art school (seven semesters, as I recall) and the teachers constantly reminded us to DRAW EVERY DAY. I have definitely seen improvement in your work over the time I’ve been following you. I’m not drawing these days because I’m doing lots of other art, and knitting, and stitchery, and keeping two blogs (my art blog is jillybeanswiggins.wordpress.com). The important thing is to do what you love and do it every day!

    Reply
  8. I really commend your enthusiasm for drawing! I do try to draw daily but some days I can’t get inspired. I’ve been having lots of inspiration problems as of late. I get seasonal depression and should turn to my art to help me feel better, but its hard. And I will take the challenge and try to draw, sketch or doodle something everyday. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
  9. I really commend your enthusiasm for drawing! I do try to draw daily but some days I can’t get inspired. I’ve been having lots of inspiration problems as of late. I get seasonal depression and should turn to my art to help me feel better, but its hard. And I will take the challenge and try to draw, sketch or doodle something everyday. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
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