How to Draw- Day 1 of 30 Day Drawing Challenge

30 Day Drawing Challenge For Painters: Day 1

Today begins a 30 Day drawing challenge for painters.  If you’ve ever wondered how to draw, then beginning with this 30 Day challenge will be a great place to start!   Painters often skip over drawing if they begin to paint as “mature” adults.  If this sounds like you then you are in the right place!

This challenge is during our 2020 Quarantine and should help to keep you busy and sharpen your drawing skills as well as your artistic vision. Day 1 is a simple project that should be accessible to anyone.

If you’ve been frustrated in the past and wondered how to get better at drawing, then here is my answer…JUST DO IT!

Don’t say, “I’ll try. ” Commit to getting better by practice!  There is no intellectual way to learn to draw better.  There is no substitute for digging in and just doing it! 😊

If You Really Want to See the World…Draw It!

I really believe that if we really want to “see the world” the best way to do that is to DRAW.  When we draw, our ability to really “see” becomes sharper and more sensitive. If you’re like me, then you’ll find yourself looking at things and thinking, “How would I draw that?”  or “How might I capture that?”.

Here’s a way to Draw Better in Just 30 Days!
How about joining me in this challenge?  I will post 30 days of drawing suggestions.  I am going to limit this 30 days to drawing with a slant on drawing techniques helpful to painters.  If you draw with a water-soluble ink, pencil or crayon, and want to enliven your drawing with some water or watercolor, you have permission.  Any painting will be for extra credit…and I’d suggest you use a good watercolor sketch pad if that is your plan.  The paper in a regular sketch pad will break down if it gets too wet.
Have fun and make this 30 day commitment to yourself.  When I took this challenge, it was one of the best gifts I ever gave myself as an artist.  And, it’s a gift that keeps on giving!  I hope you’ll end up feeling as if you received that same gift after you get finished.  🎁
 Feel Free to Share!
If you think anyone else would care to join us in this drawing challenge, you can include them by sharing the blog from my website to your Facebook page or via email.  Please let me know if you like this lesson.  I send this out into the world in the hope that my students and other people interested in fostering a creative practice will benefit…and I LOVE to continue the conversation! ❤️
Happy drawing!!!🎨

Once you get a pad and a drawing instrument, then you’ll be ready to start Day 1 of this Drawing Challenge…

Materials: Watercolor sketchpad and a pen

  • My favorite sketch pads are Moleskine but for this series of challenges, a less expensive option would be the Canson Mixed Media sketch pad.  I would encourage you not to work too small.  Sometimes that can make things harder.  So get a nice sized pad like one of these below.  A watercolor paper will make sure that you can add a little paint later ( or just in case you decide you’d like to do that someday 😉).
  • One of my favorite pens to sketch with is a Zebra Gr8 Gen pen in black.  The ink will run ever so slightly if a damp brush is brought to the ink, and that can help you to add shadows quickly.
Here are some Amazon shopping links if you’d like to order some for yourself.

Let’s Get Started!

Day 1
Part A-  
  • Your first assignment of the drawing challenge is simple.  Draw something you have within reach… your coffee cup, your toothbrush, a pen, or your shoe .
This first drawing is important because it becomes a record of where you began.  Don’t stress over this, and limit your drawing to about 5-15 minutes.  Most importantly, use a pen.  Using a pen automatically makes us attend to what we are doing more carefully.  When we know we can’t erase, we somehow change our approach and look a little more carefully. And that’s the key!   Looking carefully is the ticket to drawing well, so take these few minutes and draw that item you chose or the shoe you’re wearing.

My Shoe

My shoe- I used a Zebra Gr8t Gel black pen in my watercolor sketchpad .  I got tired of making hatch marks, so, I used a wet brush to spread the ink out a little and quickly cover more ground. They call this “pen and wash”.  The term also applies to adding a little watercolor. Beneath the drawing, I made note of what my inner critic, “Negative Nellie” was whispering in my ear as I drew…
Part B- Hearing Voices?
  • I made note of a few of the thoughts that were coming to mind as I drew my shoe.  I listed them below my drawing above. You can do the same if you’d like.
Hearing Voices?
Try not to judge this drawing or censor the thoughts you have.  Remember we are gonna JUST DO IT…your first efforts will be a little rusty and judgments need to be reserved till later. I know it’s really hard to look with kindness at your own efforts!  Most of us are our own worst critics.
Write them Down then let ’em go…
It might be interesting for you to note what negative or positive comments were swirling around in your head as you drew.  Writing them down will give you some distance from them and allow you to let them go, or maybe even gain some insight into insecurities that might be holding you back.
I have a Negative Nellie that likes to inject herself into my artistic efforts almost every time I paint or draw.  My Negative Nellie is an extremely insecure perfectionist.  I have to tell her to pipe down all the time.  Often it takes extra effort to look for things I like about my work to counteract her negative input.
My friend Kathie George has a whole committee in her head that she calls the “IBSC” or (“Itty Bitty Shitty Committee”).  Isn’t that funny?! Whether you have a Negative Nellie or a whole committee weighing in negatively about your work, we all deal with this phenomenon. We all need to overcome it with positive thinking.

Now that you’re done you can say, “Whew! Day 1 complete!”

I believe drawing can be taught.  I believe drawing can be practiced and that you WILL improve the more you do it.  Art is craft, and craft takes practice in order to gain mastery.
Keep this in mind as you look ahead to tomorrow and our next assignment.  Till then, congratulate yourself on beginning this journey.  I’ll meet you here again tomorrow.
Let me hear from you! I read every comment and it means a lot to know you are out there reading.
Post your photos to my Facebook page- Rebecca Zdybel- Artist and use #30daydrawrebeccaz for instagram and twitter.
With love and light,
Studio address: 
9713 N Kings Hwy, Unit 207
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Share Love, Spread Light,
DO ART! Give Back
“I am always doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it.”- Picasso

Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at

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