We Are Finished

with our three challenges for the year 2018.  We have 365 daily challenges, 52 weekly challenges and 12 monthly challenges.  That’s 429 different prompts for 2018.  I’ll be adding all in a downloadable PDF.

My hope is you were inspired to try new things and grow as an artist through 2018.  Many art materials and techniques were not covered because I wanted to use supplies which most people would already have in their stash.  I was very conscious of cost and availability of the materials and offered frugal options for most.  I certainly didn’t want the challenges to be a financial burden for anyone.

Once you have the complete list of all the prompts, you can make a set of cards-use inexpensive index cards or make decorated ATC’s, as always whatever you want works- and add each prompt to a card.  Store in a box on your work table.  When you feel stuck and don’t know what to do, grab a card and do that.  Pull a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth-as many as you want-and make one art piece using all the prompts you pulled.  Each time you do this, the art created will be one of a kind and totally unique.

Keep adding cards as you think of more prompts.  Add prompts using materials and supplies you have which weren’t covered in the challenges.  As you purchase new supplies, add their techniques to your cards.  You could end up with several hundred prompts to choose from, providing you with countless art options.

I hope you had fun participating in one or more of these challenges.  I did all of them and that was quite a challenge in itself.   I’m not sure what we’ll be doing for the year 2019, but I have a couple ideas I’m kicking around.  Whatever it is, we’ll learn new things, expand our skills and, hopefully, have a lot of fun in the process.

Thank you for joining me on our journey this year.  My prayer is you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday and a blessed New Year.


Weekly Techniques Challenge: Week 52

This is our final techniques challenge for 2018.  We’re creating books with all our materials, supplies, tools and mediums.  This is a reference we can carry with us when shopping.  Here’s how:

  1. Divide your supplies into catagories.  Let’s use water-soluble media as our example.
  2. List the types of water-soluble media you have.  Each page will be a type.
  3. Under the heading Watercolor Paint, add your brands, colors and type.  Pan or tube.
  4. If they are sets, list the colors included, the size of the tubes, cost you paid for the set and where you bought them.
  5. Do this for each brand.
  6. Include your review of the products as well.
  7. Once you’re finished with paint, move on to water-soluble crayons.
  8. Then watercolor pencils, and on and on until you’ve finished all water-soluble media.
  9. Next might be pastels.  Or colored pencils, pens or markers.  Repeat the above steps for each type of art matetial and all brands.
  10. Continue through all your art media. Inks, stamp pads, sprays, adhesives, ribbon, clay, whatever you have.
  11. Add all the mediums you use with each.  I have a lot of acrylic mediums, for example.  They are listed by brand, cost and where I bought them.
  12. Next move onto tools.  Watercolor brushes, acrylic brushes, palette knives, stamps, stencils, decorative scissors, punches, everything you use in your art.
  13. You might want to include your papers, canvases and journals.  Include sizes, types, brands and cost.
  14. Palettes, easels, drawing boards, mahls, jewelry tools and wire, storage, studio equipment, work surfaces, craft mats, cutting mats, sewing machines, die cutters, art books, laminators, lighting, computers, printers, light boxes, projectors-everything you’ve purchased from a store (not DIY items, unless you want to.)
  15. We’re making an inventory, as well as a reference, for future purchases.
  16. There is good reason for this.  It’s easy to forget what we have and purchase duplicates.  I have bought one stencil three times, because I forgot I already had it.  It’s really easy to forget which stamps we have, if we have a large collection.  I stamp mine in my book so I can see clesrly what they look like.
  17. By adding the price, you can decide whether somethibg is a good deal or not.  It may be “on sale” at one store, but if you can purchase it cheaper on line with free shipping-that’s good information to know.
  18. This can be done on your computer.  A complete inventory which you can access witjh your phone.  Then you don’t have to carry a book with you.  (Technology isn’t my strong suit, so I have small books.  One for tools, one for materials, one for stamps and stencils, one for studio stuff like lights, palettes and easels.  Of course, this only works when I remember to bring them with me.  A downside, certainly.)

While this may seem like a tremendous amount of work, it really does give you great reference.  You can add materials as you purchase them, make lists of things you’re running out of, keep track of your brand preferences.  You can see at a glance what you have and what you need to add.  Because we’ve just cleared out our unloved, unused and unwanted stuff, we’re starting fresh.

Yes, I know this isn’t a technique.  But having this information will help you make wise purchases in the future, add materials your lacking and rediscover old friends you haven’t used in a while.

Daily Art Challenge: December 31

Our last daily challenge for the year 2018.

As I’ve mentioned, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  I pick a subject I want to learn about.  I’ve studied historic royal jewels, puppetry, bible history and geography, and for the year 2018, hand lettering.  Our final challenge for 2018 is to pick any subject, art movement, material, or artist, and learn everything there is to know about it.

If you’re unfamiliar with acrylic paints, take this year to explore the medium in depth.  If you are interested in a particular art movement, study it, the prominent artists and their works, how the art is made and with what media, and make some of your own art in the method and style of that movement.  Perhaps you have always wanted to create with wood, but never had the chance to learn how.  Take some classes in woodworking and create some stuff.  If you’ve loved the idea of making jewelry but don’t know how-find some online tutorials and jump in.  If you’re fascinated with a particular time period, study it.  What was going on at the time politically, who were the major players in events at the time, what was life like then as compared to now.  What were the society norms and customs.  What did people do for a living, where did they live and in what type of shelter, what did they eat and how did they cook it?

There are so many topics, subjects, historic people and events that fascinate me.  There are artists who blow my mind by their creativity and amazing works.  There are techniques I would love to explore and master.  There are books I’d like to read and to write.  I’m sure there are things you’re interested in and would like to learn more about.

Choose something and dive in.  Explore the topic fully.  Do in depth research.  Take online classes.  Find a mentor to teach you new skills.  Become a better artist and person by growing in new ways this coming year.

And may you and yours be blessed in the upcoming year.

Daily Art Challenge: December 30

Today our challenge is to organize our recycled materials we gathered earlier.  Separate into catagories, store in plastic totes, boxes, file folders, whatever works for your space and your style.  Having organized things helps us in our ability to create art.  You can’t use it if you can’t find it.



Daily Art Challenge: December 29

Liner brushes, sometimes called script liners, are a versatile tool in your art practice.  They make fine lines, swirls, hand lettering, and doodle outlines with ease.  I have several in different bristle types.  They vary in size, some are little more than one thin bristle, while others are wider for thicker lines.

Fluid acrylics, inks, and watercolors are my most used mediums with liner brushes.  Hand lettering, doodle outlines, swirls, branches, grasses, stars, fur and hair are a few things liner brushes do well.  I have a book with all the things I can do with my various brushes.  This is a good way to learn your tools, and create a reference which you can go back to.  Normally I would suggest you paint an entire painting or two using that one brush, but speciality brushes are a bit different.  Nevertheless, work with your tools.  Get to know them well, and use them to their full potential.

Daily Art Challenge: December 28

Many of us have recieved new art materials as gifts this holiday season.  You challenge today is to play with your new supplies.  Find out what they do, what they work well with, make color charts is necessary, and just have fun with your new goodies!  (If you didn’t receive anything new, head out to the store and pick up that art item you’ve had your heart set on.  Then have fun with your goodies!)

Daily Art Challenge: December 27

Today’s challenge is to make a kaleidoscope doodle.  My grandparents brought a kaleidoscope home for us from Germany after their visit to my uncle when he was stationed there.  I thought it was magical!

I’ve been working on a colored pencil background with lots of blended colors.  As I worked through it, I noticed it was becoming very kaleidoscope-esque.  Search for copyright free images and make some of your own really colorful, magical backgrounds.

Daily Art Challenge: December 26

Our challenge today is to gather together usable packaging for our future art projects.  The thick, flat plastic that often comes with kids toys is perfect for so many things.  Cardboard boxes are great storage.  Paper, ribbons and bows are wonderful art materials.  Gather what you can and build a stash.

Daily Art Challenge: December 24

Christmas Eve.  Our challenge today is to turn on some music and use wrapping paper scraps to make our own holiday paper.  Use gloopy glue to add the scraps to a sheet of copy paper, cardstock, drop papers-whatever you have.  Doodle images over dried papers if desired.  Otherwise toss into your hand made paper storage until you have time to create something with it.