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It took a while to realize that, no matter how pretty the last few sketch-dumps where, I wasn't really learning anymore.
Sometimes a large user-base just feels like pressure. And pressure makes it feel like you can't afford to fail anymore. And you'll stay inside your comfort zone. And with result. Last years improvement was close to non-existent. But I realize now that staying in my comfort zone will not get me anywhere.

The lack of improvement and recent login issues made me think. So I went back at where I came from. I took a pencil and started sketching again. Real, ugly sketches, with a lot of wobbly lines and such. Anatomy, dogs, and various other things. I realize now; I want to keep this up. Really. I want to draw things that are (slightly) out of my comfort zone, in order to learn.

And I want you to help me.

Come up with anything fun to draw, that is slightly outside my comfort zone.
Things like rocks, objects, something in a specific style, specific poses, or anything that might've helped you getting insight when you were learning to draw.

Try to keep it simple and reasonable. I must be able to sketch it with pencil on paper within 1 hour.
You're free to provide me with references (preferably pictures) or any object or style that you want me to try.

You're free to request the object or style of your liking, but no "sketch my character", please.
This isn't about doing requests, no matter how much you want me to draw your characters. This is about learning.
(And tbh... I think drawing characters is kinda inside my comfort zone... even though it's my view on an unfamiliar character. I've done that a lot already)

I will pick the things that I think I will learn most from. 
And if you're willing to learn as well... follow this journal and it's comments. There might be something useful in it for you as well.

So let's make 2014 the year of improvement! 
Challenge me to draw stuff.
Challenge yourself to draw better!
Or copy this journal to your own page and invite your friends to challenge you!

Up to a whole awesome new year of sketches! :la:

:star::star::star: Good suggestions :star::star::star:
I've decided to put some good suggestions I got up here, so it would be useful for other people as well :)

Anatomy / Characters
Sports poses
For shorting
Old people
Character interaction
Character half light/half shadow
Action scene
Different body types
Distressed person
General fashion:
Carnival Venice costume
Angels (wings)
Gothic Lolita costume
Masculine character
Dynamic lighting
Breaking through a window:…

Animals / Creatures

Hosipital props
Ball jointed doll
Boat in the ocean

Stone bridge
Cliff nearby the sea
Chinese city/market
Modern architecture
Winter landscape

Something cute
Something disturbing

Perspective practice
Fisheye perspective
Light in darkness:
Self portrait
Still life
Reflective objects (glass,water,bottles)

3 colors challenge
30 day drawing challenge:…
Another artists style
Speed paint challenge:…
Randomized painting:…
Add a Comment:
ChildrenOfLight Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist

Try drawing something like an optical illusion. Not the swirly kind, but the type that makes people want to bash their heads into the wall for not realising it.


Something like this:…


If you look closely, it's the girl that's carrying the boy, not the other way around.


I love drawings like that. So maybe you could try it.

PrettyBirdie1 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course, biased that I am, I say you should draw birds. Lots of birds. :D

On a bit more serious of a note, a good way to practice making your drawings proportionally accurate is to draw the "x-ray" look, I think.  I recently did that for a bird's wing, and even though I think I'm really good at drawing a bird's wing already, it helped me understand the inner workings a bit more, and not just the shape. Understanding the inside helps when drawing the outside, I believe. ^^

Here's the link if you don't exactly understand what I'm talking about.…
Windee-CZ Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey, if you want some challenge, try Creativity cards.…

My first one was "draw yourself as a unicorn king" And I still don't know how to draw that :D

Out of the list, I agree with Insects.
Wimsy113 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Student General Artist
No zombie eh? I see how it is lol. JK not a bad idea actually might pick up a couple of these myself
AdaStreet Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Insects. If you hardly ever draw them, I recommend them for good observational drawing practice. Not only are they shaped different from a lot of other things, but they also come in a wide variety of textures, from glassy and metallic-looking beetles, to fuzzy moths with soft wings, to bees and dragonflies and lacewing-flies with their sheer-transparent and delicate wings... also grasshoppers have interesting shapes to them with their springy back legs, and some of them actually have cool patterns on their wings, which you hardly ever see in most pictures because they're usually folded up.

You could easily find pics on the internet, but if you have a museum nearby that includes insect collections of any sort, I recommend going there to sketch... or borrow/make someone's or your own insect collection of local insects, or an ant farm, or catch some to temporarily keep in a jar while you draw them. If you catch and draw live insects, I recommend very clear plastic containers with a square/rectangular shape instead of glass jars, so you don't get the same distortions you might from looking at it through curved glass.

Also, if you know someone who has a pet tarantula, (or other spider) or pet snakes or any other kind of reptile or amphibian, see if you can go for a sketching visit and spend a little time drawing said pets.
ZatchZ Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Draw a Pony out of G1 My Little Pony.
Oh, I went there.
knghtmre Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Draw a perfect circle, free hand. ;)
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's not that hard ^^
knghtmre Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe for you... :P
kadvas Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A Mish mash of a cthulhu/Pirate ship combination
BambooFoxFire Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student Filmographer

Was thinking about it more, and maybe this sounds strange, but I actually found that doing animation helped me improve in all aspects of my art(because of the repetition of drawing the same things, ya?)

Like, maybe not big, grand, completed animations but just really rough, loose motion sketches and playing around with that.

Personally I find it pretty easy to break out a good 15-30 frames for a 3-6 second animation in the span of an hour if I keep it very simple and loose(and I find it kind of relaxing personally, since I don't have to worry about necessarily "neat" or perfect lines, since people only see them for a second, but maybe you don't feel the same way XD).

Like, maybe someone/something jumping across the page, or a dog chasing it's tail, or something simple and short like that.

DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've done quite a lot of flash animations in the past. Most of them for school assignments. But I never was so much into the animation itself. Yeah... the drawing was fun. But over time drawing the same thing over and over again was getting too boring. I didn't have the patience it took, I guess
BambooFoxFire Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Student Filmographer

Lol that's understandable XD

Though oddly enough it's the opposite for me. I have unlimited patience for animation and like...none for still art.

I'm an odd duck lol

ChrisPendergraft Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey Damai, 

We spoke a while back about art and web design a while back, and I noticed your post here. A few years ago I felt really the same about subject stagnation, and being a developer, I thought about how i could use random number generation to create suggestions for art and subject matter. Originally I wrote an app in flash that could generate an random song title, kinda funny idea for band improvisation, that lead later to this idea "Digital Art Director". I imagined that what I needed was just a push in the right direction, to step out of my comfort zone. So I want to ask you to try it out, its dead simple, you goto my blog and I have a flash app hosted. its a box and you request an assignment, you will have a little card pop up and it will have a idea for you, an assignment card. It easier to see then explain. Once you find a card you want to do, you accept the assignment, and it will time stamp it, and when you are finished you can post it with the assignment card. I joined DA to share this app, cuz it has helped me. I am currently expanding it to focus on character design. 

Well I hope you dig it and that it can help,
Chris Pendergraft

woot4anime64 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student General Artist
maybe a mythical creature like a hydra or something owo
qpalzmsk12 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
a fight scene in teen titans? :iconteentitansplz:
Dragonicus Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
You could try searching for "Draaiorgel" on Google Images, they have a lot of detail. (I don't want to enforce on you what I like and you may or may not like)
DoctorRocket Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Try drawing a coral reef formation:…
Lorizza Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
What about 3-D art? like this
Or a realism challenge:…

This is a fun idea, I'll try it out too :D
SeiFlynnYuri Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Writer
or a pokemon over looking a stone bridge ...
do some perspective practice :)
SeiFlynnYuri Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Writer
with the use of pencil as the only medium
make the angels stand out :) thank u :)
Dr-Carrot Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
Try drawing a city skyline, in reasonable detail. or even a perspective shot of a building. 
You can also go out,sketchbook in hand, observe your surroundings, find a nice spot, and just sketch what you see and take notice of the atmosphere. The drawings can be scribbles, but as long as you observe,i think it will help you :)
together-we-fall Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thespa16 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You've gotten a lot of really good ideas here, and I might take one or two of these things on my self. Like you described I have found my self in somewhat of a rut. The last time I greatly improved my art I did it by Drawing a self portrait. Look in a mirror large enough to see your head and shoulders, and draw a self portrait. When I did this it helped me, so maybe it will help you too.
SY-Paint Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
by "For shorting" do you mean "foreshortening"?

and thanks so much for putting it all up there, it will help a lot :D
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Spell checker messed it up T__T
SY-Paint Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student General Artist
lol sokay XD
Rey-of-Arcadia Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student
How about trying to draw a gryffin 
Or your own animal hybrid.
It's interesting to create your own anatomy of a creature.
Tophlee Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You can try drawing someone frombehind, looking over his shoulder. To me that is a difficult pose to get right.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think I've done that before already.
It's not that hard
Tophlee Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh... Okay ^_^
RoseofNoonvale Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student
I like your Deviant ID.
Tenioenai Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Realistic Wings. Or like Birds in motion instead of just sitting there or whatever.

Maybe Like a bird cleaning it's feathers, taking off or landing. I attempt to do it a lot to improve just different things I don't normally draw.
Kameleoneyez Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
How about settings? You have a few pictures where there is a setting in the background, but mostly it's just a series of colors or patterns. Maybe draw a kitchen, or a bathroom, a room in a house or an office that looks used. A bedroom with clothes on the floor, and an unmade bed, cluttered dresser top, etc. A kitchen with food out on the counter, pots on the stove, dishes in the sink a broom propped up against the wall and a pile of dirt on the floor waiting to be swept up. A bathroom with a toothbrush on the counter, toothpaste stuck on the walls of the sink, splatters of water droplets dried on the mirror, a used rag wadded up on the floor of the tub, a rug that has been flipped on the corner... or something like that ^.^
RabenPrinzessin Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Natural looking movements of toddlers.
Ever so often I see drawn toddlers but their poses are totally off, like they are taking an adult pose. This might be possible with some, but toddlers anatomy differs quite a bit from the adult one. Furthermore, they move completely different, mostly because they are still learning.
I think this might be one of the challenging things and I couldn't spot that many young ones in your gallery. ;)
CHatterBOx010 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I challenge you to draw Niagara Falls from this (or one of these, if the link doesnt work for you) picture…
And you can only look at it twice!
flakface Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I challenge you...

to draw without using an eraser!

and to draw things like electronics!
CakeofDemise Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Try redrawing one of your old art pieces, but maybe distort it in some way...?
originalcoldplayer Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Someone shooting a bow... I dunno I've always wanted to draw that but every time I try it comes out crummy its a lot harder to draw than it looks! 
Adanpaw Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
Do a realistic drawing for all 649 Pokemon, making them resemble the actual animals/monsters/etc. they are meant to be. I'm sure that'll be a challenge :D
Frostridge-Dragoone Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ok here is a challenge, make a planet in a universe with a race of sentient robot aliens with all manor of space craft as well and make it yer own :3
three-dollars21 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
You can draw a steampunk whale underwater or a seraphim (angel) surrounded by flowers! (I think I'll draw this myself someday...= u = )
bronzebug Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
If characters are inside your zone but new styles outside why don't you try changing one of your characters or one you like into a certain style, like, draw your character like it was in a Disney movie. This way you get to try drawing in a new style but you don't have to spend any time designing a new one cause it already exists. IDK
Lilo1990 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Dit is mijn challenge voor de komende weken ;)…
suzukoyan Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Artisan Crafter
how about a fairy looking at the sky sitting on a mushroom?
Violet-Eyed-Angel Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
If you're going back to traditional then how about painting things in styles from different movements? Impressionism/abstract impressionism was really enjoyable in my experience :) You could try those styles in different media too~ New media always allows room for learning and improvement!
moonfairy1999 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I like this idea the most of all the suggestions. 
Impressionism is a very interesting concept to try if you haven't already done so.
Violet-Eyed-Angel Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
Haha I always found Impressionism the most enjoyable from the ones I've studied and practiced~  ^-^
moonfairy1999 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Me, too.
Although, one of my favs was Van Gough, and he came after the impressionists.
=P (Razz) 
Violet-Eyed-Angel Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student General Artist
Yeah, they do tend to mix XD In my case I don't really have a favourite XD
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