"ABC challenge" and challenges in general

  • Hello everyone,

    I've only been drawing for almost 2 months. During that time I copied some pieces (photos, objects) which came out OK but I realized I wasn't doing good when I wanted to draw something purely from imagination. I decided I'd give myself a challenge and would post a daily picture on Instagram, each starting with a consecutive letter of the alphabet.

    So far I'm on letter G. I wasn't able to do it every day, in part because of time, but also because, especially on the later ones, I felt I wasn't really improving or learning, but mostly doing it to have something to post that day. And I think this is a problem with this type of challenges, how to make it something useful instead of just a checklist to cross off every day.

    How you ever participated in a daily/periodical challenge? If so, how do you keep it a learning experience instead of just "a thing to post"? How much time do you invest in your piece? Do you feel you have improved by the end of the challenge?

    I'm continuing with the ABC challenge but I'm not posting every day because I want to put a little more effort in the drawings. I still have a lot of things to learn like figure drawing and shading (I'm terrible at shading; I have tried shading with pencil and pen and also used Copics in a couple of them). I do like the ideas I come up with (they are macabre) but they not always come out the way I imagine them.

    Here are some of the images I have so far. Any input on proportions, shading and technique will be very appreciated.







  • You've just started and these are pretty good for 2 months in. ๐Ÿ™‚ Drawing from imagination is helping whether you realize it or not. I've been trying to follow Jake's 1% rule and can see the steady improvements month after month (only started last year myself). Check out Jake's blog post on the subject.

    I would see the a-z through even if it takes more than the normal amount of days. Focus on one skill at a time. Don't try to impress everyone during a challenge. Just consider it practice and you'll feel a lot better. It's not about "will this get me 1000 likes" at this stage, it's more about "did I learn anything from this?". You'll have ups and downs along the way. Just keep chugging and improvements will come if you're making the effort.

  • @therealcpg Planning to do Aprilbet which I will be ABCโ€™ing different types of plants/flowers. Iโ€™m hoping to work in either gouache, digital or both for each work.

    Last year I did Inktober and it was more about building up a daily habit of drawing or at least wanting to draw. That has stuck with me so it is a success for me! I also worked on a subject matter that interested me -animals. That really helped.

    I would say post what you want and what you feel may be of a benifit for others not just for the sake of likes. And post to get constructive criticism with 1-2 specific questions.

    You have stayed in black and white thatโ€™s good, thatโ€™s consistent. If you struggle with shading, practise one way till you get good at it and see progression.

  • It's really great to see you giving yourself a challenge like this, it will definitely help you to improve so keep going with it and you'll definitely see a difference when you've finished the whole alphabet.
    I did Inktober last year and found it quite hard to draw something everyday, even though they were really small ink drawings. It really take practice to draw every single day but it's a good starting point to just try and draw one thing each week or every couple of days. Last July I attempted to do a black and white story about a Lion, I was aiming to do one spread everyday and failed miserably because I took on too much and it was just impossible with a full time job. But I ended up taking a week on each piece, and even though it's still not finished I was really pleased with the results and I think I improved my black and white skills and my lighting/composition skills. You can see the ones I did on my social media pages, so hopefully they'll be finished one day!

    I'd say just start with line drawings and get yourself comfortable with that before moving on to shading etc! If you're only just starting out things like perspective/proportion etc are more important at this point and I wouldn't rush it, do you doodle in a sketchbook too? You can then move on to things like shading once you feel comfortable with the basics. It just takes practice, practice, practice! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep posting your stuff on here as it will be great to see how your work progresses and we're always here for feedback! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @SketchyArtish Thanks for the link and for the nice comments! I'm getting back on track, just did G and working on H. Just like you said, I need to worry less about likes and focus on the learning.

  • @Heather-Boyd Thanks, Heather. Hope it goes well with Aprilbet, sounds like fun. I hope to do Inktober later this year. Like you say I will stick to black and white for now and work on shading. Just finished another one and tried a little blending for volume. Baby steps ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • @hannahmccaffery Thanks, Hannah! I checked out some of your drawings on IG, I really like your use of color and your b+w pieces look really good! I do have a sketchbook where I try some things and also have a little one I try to carry around. I usually do thumbnails of the alphabet drawings as I come up with them. Just finished G and working on H.


  • @therealcpg Really cool perspective on this one ๐Ÿ™‚

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