I love daily drawing projects. They’re a great way to get motivated and develop your drawing skills.
I often assign this kind of project to my drawing students. I ask them to complete a series of related drawings over a number of consecutive days. Before they start they need to develop a framework for their project; a set of parameters that determines the format of their daily drawings. These parameters must challenge their abilities and sustain their interest (both formally and conceptually) for the duration of the project. I ask them to consider the following:
- WHEN they intend to do their drawing (e.g. at night before they go to sleep, on the bus to school, etc.) By linking this activity to something they do every day they have a better chance of remembering to do it.
- The DURATION of their drawing (e.g. 10 minutes, not less that 5 minutes and not more than 30, etc.)
- The MEDIUM they will use (e.g. a 4B pencil, watercolour paints, etc.).
- The SUBJECT of their drawing (e.g. images from their dreams, their own face, an abstract gesture, a character for the graphic novel they’re developing, etc.)
- They need to use a dedicated notebook or compile a uniform set of papers they can use throughout the project.
Over the years my students have surprised and delighted me with their creative responses to this assignment. I’ve seen what someone ate for dinner every night, someone’s extensive makeup collection (drawn using makeup), the daily view outside a window and a series of intricate scribbles that moved across the pages of a notebook. There’s something very satisfying about completing a group of related drawings like this… they function as a diary, encapsulating a specific period of your life.
Today I came across a daily drawing project I completed in a small (3″ x 4″) notebook last spring, while my students worked on their own projects. Each coloured pencil drawing was of an item found within my office, that took no longer than 10 minutes. I included phrases from something I was reading on the day I did the drawing.