Thirty Days of Drawing

Lilacs Sketch

Lilacs

I hear so many people say they can’t draw well but the truth is that they can with just regular practice.

Here’s a challenge for you, draw something everyday for thirty days and see how much your drawing ability improves.

Something very interesting happens when you slip into your “drawing mode” everyday for four weeks. The whole process becomes easier. The act of reaching for pencil and paper becomes a natural extension of yourself instead of triggering fear of failure.

I take this challenge myself whenever I’m feeling rusty, which happens easily. Life loves to through me curve balls that I have to chase after, and not drawing for just a couple weeks leaves me feeling stiff and awkward.

Here are some surprising things about the 30 day challenge that I’ve discovered.

1. Twenty minutes is probably about the right length of time to shoot for, but if you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, that’s okay too. Any drawing is better than no drawing at all.

2. The drawings don’t have to be good. As long as you enter your drawing mode, you’ve got it.

3. Nothing has to be formal. Draw anywhere you want. Draw during lunch, in the car, in the morning, at night, in a tree, hiding under the bed, they’ll all do. Draw on anything you want. The backs of envelopes, used sticky notes, walls, significant others, etc. are fine.

4. Doing drawing is the thing here. Not quality, or attitude, or purpose, or any other personal bug-a-boo you can invent.

5. This is not easy.

6. Drawing daily is addictive, and you may end up craving a few minutes of private drawing time every day after the challenge is over.

7. The artistic reward is huge.

9/8/2010 Update:

I wrote this post a few years ago, and my discoveries about the challenge still hold true.

1/23/11 Update:

Here’s a more recent post with my “stick it to your sketchbook” method of drawing that makes it easier to get through those 30 days.

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About Carol

I'm an artist, an accidental author, and lover of life. I grew up in Yorktown, Indiana, and I've been writing this website since 1999.
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2 Responses to Thirty Days of Drawing

  1. Christie Hughes says:

    Carol…
    I’ve been a graphic artist for over 20 years and am adding to my Associates Degree by finishing my Fine Arts Diploma. I’m constantly surfing the internet in search of sites like yours and just found your site and blog. I’ve been “catching up” by reading all your posts from the beginning. This particular post; namely the 30-Day Challenge, is more important (and fun) than people realize. Not only is it true, but it’s great therapy. I carry a small sketchbook and pencils with me everywhere. I use it when I’m bored, frustrated, excited, or just plain daydreaming.

    Thank you for putting together this site and offering fellow artists such inspirational messages. You’ve become my daily dose of “Toad Hollow”.

    Thanks again…
    Christie

    • Carol says:

      Thank you Christie, but I’m horrible at blogging. I just can’t stand following a posting schedule. So I’m going to concentrate on writing longer drawing lessons instead of blog posts.

      I’ve used “30 days of drawing” to get my life drawing skills back into shape a few times, and it always works. I carry drawing supplies with all the time too, and I’ve got a drawing app on my ipod that’s fun and very handy.

      You sound very excited about going for your Fine Arts Diploma and I’m glad to hear it. I can tell that art is your passion and I envy your focus on that degree. I hope it opens lots of new doors for you!

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