A drawing a day challenge

August 8th, 2016

Lately, I’ve been so angry for not painting as much as I used to. I told myself that I would try to paint in the evenings, but never could. I tried to paint during the weekends, but always had more important things to do. 

So, since I wasn’t able to create literally anything, I decided it would be better to create something. That’s why I started doing the “A drawing a day” challenge. 

The challenge

  1. For thirty days, I have to create one drawing a day. 
  2. It can be a painting, that would be great, it can be a detailed drawing, but it can also be a doodle if that’s all I can draw.
  3. I can skip days, but I have to do the extra work the next day.
  4. I have to post a picture of my drawing even though I hate it.


The biggest issues

1. Time

Having a baby and a day job means I’m only free for about 2-3 hours a day, sometimes even less. I wish I was capable of staying up until the middle of the night, but I’m not. On rare occasions, I can even stay up until midnight :) But my baby usually falls asleep around 9-10pm, wakes up around 6am, so I have little time left for drawing and painting. 

2. Being tired

Trying to make something good around 10pm after being awake since 6am is basically mission impossible. I managed to find good ideas for drawings, but was then too tired to realise them.

3. Ideas

I had great ideas about what to draw during the first few days, but I got to day 10 soon and realised I’ll be doing this for another 20 days, and have no idea what I’ll do. I’d go for a portrait, but wasn’t up for it most of the time. I’d make a digital painting, but didn’t feel like sitting in front of a computer screen. So coming up with something to draw or paint took so much time and energy and left me with even less time to actually do the work. I could have gone with drawing something on my kitchen table, but none of the objects seemed cool enough.

4. The results were terrible

Some of the times I created something that I felt was truly terrible and didn’t want to share it with anyone, but the challenge was still on, and I just had to upload the pic, no matter how awful. 


What happened?

I did cheat, a little, from time to time. I skipped a few days, and then did two drawings the next. I don’t have 30 drawings, because sometimes I made a sketch one day, and finished the next. So most of the days, I did draw at least something.


What I learned from this challenge

1. I love challenges

I love to challenge myself because it gives me motivation, not to finish the challenge for others, but to finish it for me. I think I’ll keep giving myself other challenges (not necessarily artistic ones) because it really drives me to the finish line.

2. I don’t give up easily 

I did think about quitting from time to time. When I was complaining about how I can’t take it anymore, my husband would ask me why don’t I just quit, no one would care. Are you kidding me? I’d care! I couldn’t live with myself.

3. I can fall asleep while sitting down and drawing

On day 20 I was drawing some penguins, was really tired and exhausted, didn’t sleep at all the night before. But I wanted to do the penguins no matter what. Drawing and sketching, I realised I was half asleep and just moving my pencil randomly, messing up the drawing completely.

4. I don’t have the patience to make detailed drawings

Years ago, I used to spend hours, no, days in front of a paper, drawing with pencils or coloured pencils, and I had the patience to do it. But since I started painting, I just can’t keep my hand still enough to draw, I’m constantly trying to paint with my pencils. And some of the times, I nearly did paint while drawing.

5. I love charcoal

Drawing with charcoal is as close to painting as drawing can get. And since I got so used to painting that my hand started doing painting movements while drawing, charcoal was the perfect fit.

6. I know when I mess up

I used to draw while using a photo or an object as reference, and couldn’t tell what the problems with anatomy, structure, or proportions were. But continuing with this challenge, suddenly I was able to clearly see my mistakes while working and correct them on the go. Sometimes, other times I just left things as they were. 

7. Portraits and people

My favourite subjects are still portraits and people. I know people love looking at (and buying) paintings and drawings of landscapes, sea sunrises, still life, animals - I know I do. But people are still what fascinates me the most. Even when I don’t want to spend any time around them :)

So there it is, I tried to be short, but this challenge was a really big deal for me. Now that I’m done, I have the urge to still continue creating something every day. But I need a break. Will probably see you again in September :)



The drawings:

Day 1
Portrait of Vida, graphite on paper
Day 2
Quinn from Homeland, a digital painting
Day 3
Apples, red chalk and white pastel
Day 4
Female figure with added wings, graphite
Day 5
Quick doodle - cheat day on the eve of my exhibition
Day 6
Added colours to an older sketch
Day 7
Elephant, charcoal
Day 8
Dana Scully, graphite
Day 9
Babywearing sketch, red chalk
Day 10
Profile portrait, charcoal
Day 11
Branches, digital painting
Day 12
Grumpy cat in graphite
Day 13
A castle in Scotland and almost falling asleep
Day 14
Finished the castle - this counts, right?
Day 15
A stormtrooper in charcoal
Day 16
Another tired sketch
Day 17
Some progress on yesterday's sketch
Day 18
This makes up for it, right? Right?
Day 19
Let's keep it simple - pastel and graphite
Day 20
Falling asleep with some penguins
Day 21
Keanu's eyes
Day 22
Portrait of feeling like crap
Day 23
Just breath, guache
Day 24
A sphere, charcoal
Day 25
A butterfly, quick sketch
Day 26
This turned out... Strange
Day 27
Pears, red chalk
Day 28
Some trees, charcoal
Day 29
Portrait of Michelangelo's David
Day 30
A quick painting over a background painting over another painting :)
Day 31
Quick Pusheen sketch