When first entered the creative blogosphere a few months ago, I almost immediately stumbled across Carla Sonheim . Not so much herself, but her book, ‘Drawing lab: 52 creative exercises to make drawing fun’. It was all the buzz amongst arty bloggers and it caught my curiosity.

I now have a copy in my grotty little hands and have been drooling over it ever since.

Just over a week ago, I stumbled across Carla Sonheim herself and her online workshop ‘The Art of Silliness’.  After some decision making (I’ve never done an online workshop before), I jumped in head first and have been having a great time drawing things that I wouldn’t otherwise have considered drawing at all.


I want to do the 52 creative exercises in the book.  I want company so we can all cajol each other and share the experience. I wanna have fun (I am a girl, after all :D).

So I’m declaring a Challenge!

  • Every Friday for four weeks I will be choosing an exercise from the book, ‘Drawing lab: 52 creative exercises to make drawing fun’. We will have a week to complete it (but late work is always accepted, RL can be evil, I know).
  • On the fifth week, there will be no exercise set, that week being used to either catch up, or complete a finished work directly related or inspired by one of the exercises.
  • The following week will then start up a new cycle of four exercises over four weeks followed by catch up week.  This pattern will continue until we either run out of exercises, or steam (though wouldn’t it be great to complete them all????).
  • All that you need is a copy of ‘Drawing lab: 52 creative exercises to make drawing fun’, access to the internet, a variety of art materials, and determination to have fun.

The finer details

  • I will be issuing the weekly challenge by Lab number (exercise number in the book) and page number only in order to protect the author’s copyright, so you will need a copy of the book.
  • When you’ve completed the exercise, either post a link to your creation here on the weekly challenge post or load it up to the Flickr group

items in Drawing Lab "flickr" More in Drawing Lab “flickr” pool
  • Some of the exercises are specific in a way that might not be possible for everyone, eg. a visit to the zoo, or drawing a pet, etc. I’m thinking that as long as we follow the spirit of the exercise, then an alternative version of the assignment is totally acceptable, eg. couldn’t visit the zoo, but the exercise required drawing moving animals, so the artist drew people in the street, or kids, or a bird that flew into their backyard; didn’t own a pet, so the artist drew their children, next door neighbour, a plant moving in the wind.
  • I’m also a big believer in following inspiration and using everything I create. So if you get inspired by an exercise and want to create a grand masterpiece, go for it! If you want to bend an exercise to an idea that has suddenly reared up and thwapped you across the head, do it! It’s great to have a finished piece of work that you can hang on the wall, exhibit, or give as a birthday pressie. This is the reason for the fifth week. Time to review the ideas generated from the previous four weeks and polish them up.

So, would you like to join me? I’d love your company. I think we all work better with a cheering squad. Comment here so I know who is daring enough and we can meet each other.

Challenge No. 1 will be issued on Friday 1st October. I hope to see you there.

Best wishes,
(I dare ya)

Update: You can find the full details for the challenge on a permanent page of this blog, it includes a list of the challenges both current and past, and also a list of all the valiant challengers participating.  Join us!