Practice makes progress, so it's good to make a habit out of practice. However, it's not easy to keep such a habit when there are so many important things to do every day: work, family, friends, chores... And even if you manage to finally find some time for yourself, you may stare blankly at a sheet of paper, having no idea how to spend this precious time the most efficiently.
This is where the idea of daily art challenges can help. It's pretty simple: you get a clearly defined task to do every day for a specified amount of time. It reduces thinking to a minimum to give you more space for the actual creating.
Besides this, challenges provide extra motivation—you can post your work under a specific hashtag, making your followers your witnesses, and receive encouraging comments from other participants. And every finished challenge gives you an amazing feeling of accomplishment!
In this article, I compiled a list of daily challenges you can try over the year. Why not add them to your New Year resolutions list?
Do you like hand lettering? You'll love this challenge then! You can use the author's Instagram as a source of inspiration. Post your works every day under the hashtag #DNDChallenge.
Same author, a different premise: here you're supposed to create something in a specific color from the prompts list every day. Perfect to discover all the colors you might have never used before! Use the tag #DNDyearofcolor.
- TypographyThe Difference Between Typography & Hand Lettering: Typography in 60 SecondsMelody Nieves
- Hand LetteringNew Course: Hand Lettering for BeginnersAndrew Blackman
- TypographyHow to Create Floral Typography With InkMonika Zagrobelna
It's not a very popular challenge yet, but it's certainly very inspiring. After all, faeries come in all shapes and colors! The prompt list is full of ideas that immediately awaken a vision in your mind. What would a galaxy fairy look like? Or a winter one? Only one way to find out: draw them and post your works under #faeriefeb, #faeriefebruary, and #feabruary.
Draw a robot or a scene including a robot every day and post it under the tag #marchofrobots. All techniques are allowed, but it's best to choose something simple that will allow you to stick with the challenge for the whole of March.
- Poster DesignMaking of Robot Earth 3009 Typographic IllustrationTom Whalen
- Photo ManipulationHow to Create a Sci-Fi, Robot Photo Manipulation in Adobe PhotoshopMelody Nieves
- Puppet Warp ToolHow to Create Bender From Futurama With the New Puppet Warp Tool in Adobe IllustratorAndrei Stefan
A fun challenge with a very inspiring prompt list. This one is perfect for fantasy artists, especially for character designers. Each prompt awakens a vision in your mind—so just take any tool, draw what you see, and post under the tag #AdventureApril.
This challenge's prompt list is general enough to be used for any kind of art. You can draw it, you can sculpt it, but you can also use this list for a unique typography challenge! The hashtag for it is #aprilartchallenge.
This is a really nice challenge for painters, putting the focus on using colors in your work. It's a good opportunity to experiment with shades/compositions that you've avoided or ignored for some reason. And this stepping out of the comfort zone can be very educational! Use the hashtags #aprilcolorschallenge and #faunwoodcolors.
This extremely popular challenge was created by former Disney animator Tom Bancroft. Your job is simple: just draw a mermaid every day! There are also multiple prompt lists you can find on the Internet, if you need some help in sparking your imagination. Use the hashtag #mermay.
- Digital PaintingHow to Draw & Paint a Beautiful Mermaid in Adobe PhotoshopDaisy Ein
- Character DesignHow to Create a Watercolor Mermaid Illustration in Adobe IllustratorMaria Dimova
- Photo ManipulationHow to Create a Mermaid in Adobe PhotoshopMonika Zagrobelna
- Fan ArtCreate an Ariel Inspired Mermaid Painting in Adobe PhotoshopMelody Nieves
This is a great challenge for beginners, and a nice warm-up before all the other challenges. It can be hard to produce a drawing every day, but a sketch? You can doodle it during a short break! So sketch whatever you wish for 31 days and post under the tag #maysketchaday.
- DrawingHow to Learn to Draw: Stage One, Manual SkillsMonika Zagrobelna
- Drawing TheoryQuick Tip: Create Dynamic Poses Using Gesture DrawingRowena Aitken
- Drawing100 Easy Drawing Tutorials for Beginners and Beyond!Monika Zagrobelna
- Drawing TheoryHow to Draw Cartoon MouthsDaisy Ein
Like every fantasy creature, unicorns can come in many forms. Can you imagine 30 of them? If so, this challenge is for you! Draw a unicorn every day for the whole of June and post under the tag #junicorn.
- FantasyHow to Draw a Unicorn Step by StepMonika Zagrobelna
- FantasyHow to Create a Unicorn Illustration in Adobe IllustratorNataliya Dolotko
- IllustrationHow to Draw & Paint a Starry Unicorn Portrait in Adobe PhotoshopDaisy Ein
- IllustrationCreate a Rainbow Vomiting, Kawaii Unicorn in Adobe IllustratorMary Winkler
Kaiju is a term for giant monsters that you may know from Japanese movies about strange creatures attacking cities. Let your imagination go wild and create 30 depictions of beasts destroying the world! The hashtag is #kaijune.
- Adobe PhotoshopNew Course: How to Create Monster Art in Adobe PhotoshopAndrew Blackman
- Poster DesignCreate an Epic Godzilla-Inspired Movie Poster in Adobe PhotoshopTony Aube
This one was created to raise awareness of the importance of art and creativity, as well as to help children in need of art supplies through the Dreaming Zebra Foundation. Join the artists all around the world and paint a watercolor painting every day. Post under the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth.
- PaintingHow to Create Unique Paint Effects With Watercolour and GouacheTracy Butler
- DrawingHow to Stretch Paper for Watercolour and Gouache and Avoid My Mistakes!Tracy Butler
- WatercolorIntroduction to Traditional Media: WatercolourTracy Butler
If you love drawing dragons, here's a perfect excuse to draw them every day for a whole month! It's inspired by the name of the dragon in the Hobbit, Smaug, but you're free to draw any dragon you wish. Use the hashtag #smaugust.
- DrawingHow to Draw a Dragon Step by StepMonika Zagrobelna
- Photo ManipulationHow to Create a Cute Baby Dragon Photo Manipulation in Adobe PhotoshopMonika Zagrobelna
- TexturesHow to Draw ScalesMonika Zagrobelna
If you find the other drawing challenges a little bit intimidating and too time-consuming, try this one. Produce a sketch every day, using the prompt list to save time. Every doodle counts! The hashtag is #sketchtember.
- DrawingHow to Draw Anime CharactersMonika Zagrobelna
- DrawingHow to Draw Disney AnimalsMonika Zagrobelna
- NatureHow to Draw a TreeEugenia Hauss
This challenge was created by artist Jake Parker with a goal of improving his inking skills. It was warmly welcomed by the artistic community, and now millions of artists follow this challenge every year. It grew so popular that even digital artists started to join it! Use the prompt list (or not) and post a fresh ink drawing every day under the tag #inktober.
- VintageHow to Shade in a Vintage StyleMonika Zagrobelna
- AnimalsHow to Draw an Octopus Step by StepEugenia Hauss
- TexturesHow to Draw Different Kinds of Texture With Ink and NibEugenia Hauss
If you love Halloween, you can start celebrating it right on 1 October by following this challenge. The prompt list is full of crazy, spooky ideas that will surely inspire your imagination! The hashtag for this challenge is #drawlloween.
- HalloweenCreate Zombie Dragon Concept Art: Design and SketchMonika Zagrobelna
- DrawingHow to Draw a Spider Web Step by StepMonika Zagrobelna
- AnimalsHow to Draw a Spider, Step by StepMonika Zagrobelna
If you want to bring your childhood love of dinosaurs back to life, use this challenge for an excuse to draw a dinosaur every day. Use a prompt list, or simply draw your favorite dinosaurs. The tags are #drawdinovember and #dinovember (not to be confused with the original Dinovember).
This is a perfect challenge for all artists and designers alike: post something created in a single hue every day, according to the prompt list. This isn't only a chance to explore all hues in your work, but also a unique opportunity to create a rainbow out of your artworks! You can use a consistent theme, or create something new every day. Use the tag #huevember for this.
- Color TheoryThe 5 Problems With Fundamental Color TheoryMonika Zagrobelna
- DrawingColor Fundamentals: ShadingMonika Zagrobelna
- PortraitHow to Create a Portrait With One Colour in Adobe IllustratorSharon Milne
Originally created by an artist who missed Inktober, Drawcember is a universal challenge where you can draw anything you like. Be careful, though—December is a busy month, and it can be a challenge in itself to make it through! The hashtag is #drawcember.
If you don't like the idea of waiting for a specific month to follow a challenge, there are also other challenges that run all year long.
Finally, something for UI designers! Join the mailing list to receive a prompt every day for 100 days, with a chance to win something after reaching the milestones. Post your works under the hashtag #dailyui.
If you're a logo designer, here's a challenge for you: get a new prompt every day for 50 days, and build a portfolio in the meantime! Use the hashtag #dailylogochallenge.
If you want to take a challenge on your own terms, use this generator of prompts for as many days as you wish. Doesn't "Design a jacket patch for a monthly vodka subscription box" sound fun and inspiring? With this generator, you'll never run out of ideas! It's not really an official challenge, but you can use the tags #sharpendesign and #madewithsharpen for this.
There's no better way to understand the basics of drawing objects than by actually drawing them from real life. Even if you want to draw dragons, it's necessary to learn how to draw a light bulb first. So use this prompt list to cover a lot of basic forms without thinking—you'll see yourself getting better over these 30 days!
If you need a fresh drawing idea every day, and you like sharing your work and talking about the works of others, you can use this subreddit—with prompts as posts and artworks posted as comments.
While some of these challenges may seem intimidating, keep in mind that the main goal is to develop a habit of creating. So if you managed to create something every day for a period of time, you already succeeded—even if your works are not outstanding.
Remember that although some of these challenges are monthly themed, you don't have to wait for a specific month to follow them. Sure, it's nice to work alongside a whole community following the same challenge, but if you want to try something right now, you don't have to wait—nobody is stopping you from using the #inktober tag in February!