Creative exercises for every month

10 Minutes of Drawing a Day 2019

The updated course 2020 is available here

We ran this course in June 2019 on our Facebook group, it's a great way to spend a month improving your drawing. The exercises are varied and will hopefully challenge you. Our group is open to all skill levels and is very friendly and encouraging.

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Exercise #1

I chose this little ornamental shoe that was handed down to me (or maybe I took it cause I liked it the most— can’t remember). I did two quick sketches which took up the first two minutes then spent the remainder of the time on a more detailed sketch. I basically just tried to get the dark areas in the right place.

Exercise #2

Self portrait. Quick small drawings mean more practice with less pressure on yourself . I used my camera function on my phone as a mirror and did these very quick portraits. Exactly 10 mins on this exercise. I’m not thrilled with any of them, I just worked quickly then moved on— changing positions slightly too. I will do a few of these this month 👍

Exercise #3

Copy a master work. The perfect way to appreciate The Masters, you see so much in a piece of work when you copy it. This one is great because it’s pen and ink so you can clearly see the lines.

Madame Manet and her son Leon at Arcachon,  by Edouard Manet, watercolour, 1871.

Exercise #4

Today I set my timer for one minute to do 10 one minute drawings of the same subject. Thank you Emily for being my subject. I used a willow charcoal and kept my drawings small. I really enjoyed this, I didn't have time to think too hard about each drawing.

Exercise #5

For this drawing I chose to use charcoal and a tissue. I first did a quick sketch of my little pot plant 👉 wiped it over roughly with a tissue 👉 worked on it again 👉 wiped it away roughly 👉 worked on it once more. This adds depth to your work without having to try too hard. It only took me 7 minutes so I did another smaller one.

Exercise #6

Today I forgot about the sketch book and went for the mirror! I found a whiteboard marker and created a self portrait. It was fun scribbling on the mirror, there's a sense of freedom knowing it will only last a few moments. I did a couple, not spending more than 5 minutes on each. This was the one I was most happy with.

Exercise #7

 With this one I have just gone for a change in tools. Drawing some art supplies with blue oil pastel today.

Exercise #8

I decided to skip looking at the page I was drawing on and just look at the subject. I really enjoyed the results. I used a biro and spent a few minutes on 3 different subjects, my partner, a plant and a cup. I think it's obvious which is which.

Exercise #9

Drawing a little plant from a couple of different angles. Focusing on light and dark areas — using blue ballpoint pen.

Exercise #10

 I chose Constable’s oil sketch to draw. Charcoal worked well for this. I concentrated on trying to get the feel of his brushstrokes. I really enjoyed this one. Feel free to copy this painting or choose one which you find inspiring.

A Cottage among Trees with a Sand Bank, by John Constable, Oil on paper on canvas, 1830

Exercise #11

I spent the full 10 minutes on this teapot and it's reflection. I was tempted to stop and do another quick sketch, but I'm glad I kept going with it and kept working into it.

Exercise #12

Today I drew a couple of self portraits. I used a felt tip pen for one and pen for the other.

Exercise #13

I chose a plant today as my subject for 10 one minute drawings. I like pen for these and got a bit bolder by the end. The plant has so many leaves that it was easy to get lost in it.

Exercise #14

charcoal and tissue again today. I like the way rubbing over your work with the tissue does some of the tonal work for you... If you need a recap on how to do this 👉roughly draw your subject with charcoal 👉 rub across the whole page with a tissue or cloth 👉 draw over the top 👉 rub over it at least once more and then draw over the top again.

Exercise #15

Drawing without taking the pen from the paper. I spent 10 minutes on this one study.

Exercise #16

Here is a contour drawing of my bag, no shading, just outlining the bag and it's creases. It took me 4 minutes, I did another contour drawing but this was my favourite.

Exercise #17

 Going for some colour with this one. Red oil pastel drawing of two cups.


Exercise #18

Today I drew looking at the subject and not at my page. We did this earlier in the month but this time I worked into each drawing more by spending longer and focusing on all those little details.

Exercise #19

Exploring the master painters. I was watching an episode of Fake or Fortune last night— they were trying to confirm the legitimacy of a sketchbook belonging to Henri Toulouse-Lautrec so I thought I’d have a look at one of his most famous paintings ‘The Laundress’.

The Laundress, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Oil on canvas, 1886

Exercise #20

I drew in only one direction for today's 10 minute drawing. I kept the drawings really small so I could finish it all in 10 minutes. I found this one tricky and had to stay disciplined, it was so tempting to scribble.

Exercise #21

A combination of 1 and 2 minute sketches of a still-life.

Exercise #22

 I spent 10 minutes of drawing the objects I could see around me.

Exercise #23

 Drawing in red ballpoint pen. Sunday morning breakfast utensils.

Exercise #24

 I really wanted to emphasise the 3D aspect in my drawing, so I've picked round objects and focused on using lines to show their roundness.

Exercise #25

Contour drawing of my lounge room. I didn’t try to make it accurate I just looked for the lines.

Exercise #26

Morning ritual. I went with another contour drawing this morning. The three stages of my cup of tea— kettle boiling, tea brewing and finally tea with toast.

Exercise #27

Couldn't resist doing my self portrait on the mirror again. I think it looks a bit ghostly.

Exercise #28

Copying a master drawing by Kathe Kollwitz, using charcoal. I'm pleased with the result but can see what I need to do to fix it. I think I'll keep working on it.

Home Worker, Asleep at the Table, Kathe Kollwitz, Charcoal, 1909.

Exercise #29

Drawing in vertical lines— fun, fun, fun, bananas today! Just enjoying it and letting it go a bit abstract.

Exercise #30

Our last day for 10 minutes of drawing a day. I decided to do two drawings of my boyfriend, one not looking at my page, the other looking. I think the first one worked better