Too Grown Up for Homework?

I'm not qualified to tell anyone what they should or should not do, but if I was to give us–and by "us" I mean those artistically inclined individuals who love painting, drawing, and mixed media art–a universal homework assignment, it would be to sketch every day. Every. Single. Day.

Julie by Jon deMartin, 2007, chalk drawing, 20 x 18.
Julie by Jon deMartin, 2007, chalk drawing, 20 x 18.

Why? Simply because we get good at the things we do every single day. But I know it is a lot to ask. Responsibilities and work take up the lion's share of our daily hours. Most of us do the things we love a few times a week if we are lucky. But the rewards of finding a few minutes every day for our art are tantamount to the weeks and months in the studio that we may never get.

A quick mixed media portrait with pen and ink and watercolor of a family member watching TV, taking your sketchbook outside for a quick drawing session of the landscape, or creating a charcoal sketch of your kitchen table clutter are relatively quick and accessible ways to make sure you get to practice your art once a day. So what if it isn't the greatest artwork you'll ever create? I'm willing to bet that after a month has passed, you'll have a stack of works–an impressive feat in itself–and a few of them will be pieces you wouldn't mind showing around or taking into the studio to build upon.

A pen and ink drawing of an abandoned house by Claudia Nice .
A pen and ink drawing of an abandoned house
by Claudia Nice.

Practicing my art in fits and starts–well, mostly in fits–is what I do. And I know most of you do, too. But spending as little as 15 minutes on drawing every day is a really substantial way of putting your art smack dab in the middle of your life without putting too much pressure on yourself.

If you are looking for strategies or inspirations to get you going, Discover Your World in Pen, Ink & Watercolor is a popular resource by well-known instructor Claudia Nice that can help put you on the right path. Enjoy!


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

3 thoughts on “Too Grown Up for Homework?

  1. I do. I work on large projects, and small. My ti,e spent drawing runs from the early morning to 5pm when I stop my self, to pick up.again where ever I left off. Wantong to be a realist artists, I hqve drawing book set aside.for.just facials from live, in person subjects or pictures, but nearly every day, I draw somegthing, try out new techniques, etc. Good article.