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If you are part of the art community, you may have come across art challenges on social media. There are a huge variety of art challenges across a range of different mediums and platforms, and they are a fun way to practice your skills and explore different mediums and subjects, while also building your following and portfolio. We have compiled a list of popular art challenges for you to do throughout the year or whenever you are looking for some inspiration.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is an Art Challenge?
- 2 List of Popular Art Challenges
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is an Art Challenge?
Made popular on social media, art challenges usually relate to specific themes or mediums and involve a series of prompts that guide your art. There is no one type of artistic challenge, but they usually involve a set of rules or subjects, which guide your work over a period of time. The most popular type of art challenge are monthly art challenges, but some have no time limit at all.
Art challenges can also be personal goals that you have set for yourself to focus on aspects that you would like to improve or explore.
Why Participate in an Art Challenge?
Art challenges offer many benefits to both novice and seasoned artists, and these benefits go beyond just improving your skills. Many art challenges focus on a particular theme or medium and this allows you to be continuously practicing and improving throughout the challenge. If you are new to the medium or this is your first time drawing a particular subject, then art challenges are also a great way to improve or gain experience outside of your comfort zone.
If you are in a creative rut and that blank canvas feels a little daunting, the specific themes and prompts offered in many art challenges can help. They not only provide inspiration but also remove some of your decision-making, leaving you free to just create. Thinking up drawing challenge ideas can also get your creativity flowing and help with an art block. The volume of pieces created in many art challenges can also help you develop your art style and portfolio.
Art challenges can extend beyond creative growth and improve your problem-solving, time management, and communication skills. The routine offered by art challenges is great for developing positive habits beyond the canvas. Art challenges can improve your accountability by allowing you to practice staying productive and pushing you to meet challenge deadlines. Art challenges often use hashtags and various social media, and engaging with this and other artists online are great ways for getting your art seen and maybe even gaining a few more followers along the way.
Of all these reasons, the best reason to participate in an art challenge is that it is just a lot of fun.
How to Find the Best Art Challenges
There are many ways to find art challenges, but the best place to find them is online. Art sites usually report on challenges and provide updated prompt lists, so a quick internet search will likely turn up a whole list of art challenges for that month and beyond.
Social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, is also a great place to find art challenges. Artists will usually post their daily pieces with the hashtag or link of that challenge, making them easy to find. Following prominent artists that often participate in challenges can ensure you are notified early.
Do not forget to check your local art supply shop as they may also be advertising art challenges, especially if they are sponsoring the challenge, materials, or have produced their own prompt list.
If you still cannot find an art challenge that interests you, why not create your own. The benefit of creating your own art challenge is that it allows you to tailor it to what you would like to improve on or something new you want to explore. All you need to create your challenge is a theme or subject and a period for how long you want your challenge to last. A random art generator can help if you are looking for some art challenge ideas or struggling to find some inspiration.
You can further customize the suggested challenge idea to focus on a particular medium, or decide if you will include a prompt list. Others may also enjoy your challenge, which may increase your presence online, so be sure to create a title and hashtag for your challenge.
List of Popular Art Challenges
Now that you know how art challenges can benefit you and your art as well as how to find them, we have compiled a list of popular art challenges to get you started. This list includes challenges for all mediums and tools, including digital art challenges. Artistic challenges can have various time commitments, from monthly challenges to ones that have no limits at all.
Remember that art challenges are supposed to be fun so, although there might be some that have rules or guidelines, many of these can be freely customized to fit you and your schedule.
Non-Monthly Art Challenges
Not everyone can commit a lot of time to an art challenge, luckily there are many out there that do not have a set period in which you have to complete them. We have provided you with a few challenges that give you the freedom to complete them at your own pace, while still benefiting you and your art.
Art vs Artist
The #ArtvArtist challenge works to literally center the artist and link them to their work. In this challenge, you post a photo of yourself surrounded by your work to create a 3×3 grid. You can make use of any medium or media and this challenge has even spread to music, video, and gaming artists in recent years. This challenge has no official webpage, but you can find out more about it and get a simple template to use on this website.
While not an official rule, some artists choose to post annually, usually in November, and compare their progress across the years.
Draw This again
The object of the #drawthisagain challenge is to redraw an old favorite piece that you love or used to love and post them side-by-side. This challenge highlights your journey and the improvement and progress you have made since you started. You can see the incredible results of this challenge if you search the hashtag on social media or this site has compiled around 50 posts for you to look at.
Different Art Style Challenge
#Stylechallenge is a great way to explore other art styles and compare them to your own. In this challenge, you take your original piece, usually a character, and redraw it in a different art style. Popular styles to use are Disney or Tim Burton, and even cartoons such as Adventure Time or The Simpsons. This challenge was created by beautifulness87 on Instagram, and you can find out more about the challenge and get a template to use here.
Face Your Art
This challenge, created by artist Chao, is a little different. Unlike other challenges, the #faceyourartchallenge does not require you to create anything but rather asks you to compile a collage of nine of your previous works, usually portraits of faces, and compare their differences and similarities, as well as reflect on what you would improve or would have done differently. You then write your reflections and post them in the description of your piece.
You can learn more about this challenge here.
Six Fanarts Challenge
The #6Fanarts or #SixFanartsChallenge is the reverse of the #styechallenge. In this challenge, you do not draw your piece in other styles but instead, redraw other popular characters in your own style. This challenge was created in 2020 by artist Melissa and is still relatively new, but it is quickly becoming a favorite of many.
Animal Art Challenges
Many art drawing challenges throughout the year are animal themed. Many of them are month-long challenges, which provide a great way to practice drawing all kinds of animals while giving you a new appreciation of them.
For bird lovers, there are both the #Febirdary and #Decembird drawing challenges.
During them, you draw a bird for every day of February and December respectively. #FrogMarch is a month dedicated to all things amphibian, including frogs, tadpoles, and toads. There are many different prompt lists available online, some of which even include (fantastical prompts such as dragon frogs). #Junebug is a drawing challenge where you create artworks based on insects, and reveal a whole new side to them. Junebug has no official prompt list, and some versions span the whole month while some only run for a week. The most popular lists are posted by Sophie McPike and artist Revision Lightning Art.
#31AnimalsAugust does not focus on a particular animal but challenges you to create a piece of animal art every day for the month of August. This is not the only animal-themed August art challenge. #Doggust or #DogsInAugust challenges you to draw different dog breeds for every day of August. The prompt list is posted on the official challenge Instagram page and aims to not repeat any breeds over the years. Cat lovers do not miss out on art challenges either.
Inspired by the black cats of Halloween, #Catober is a challenge in which you draw cats and other feline-inspired drawings for the whole month of October.
Art Challenges Per Month
Most art challenges are monthly challenges, which require you to post a piece every day relating to that month’s theme or daily prompt. If you find the daily posting is too much, many opt for every second day or every week focusing on the prompt that they are most inspired by. While many challenges have official prompt lists, a lot of them only require you to follow the theme of the challenge, and several artists even create and publish their own lists.
Many have no strict rules on medium or art tools allowing you to use both traditional and digital media.
January Art Challenges
#ArtJournalJanuary challenges you to create an illustrated journal page for each day of January. It could be your morning cup of coffee or the shoes you wore, as long as it tells a story about that day. Do not forget to add some text about your day and the date to the journal entry to complete the piece. This challenge was created by Kick in the Creatives, who make a lot of fun and interesting art challenges throughout the year.
One of the most popular drawing challenges, #creatuanary was created by Joshua, Rafater, and Dibujante in 2017. The name combines “creature” and “January” and challenges you to create a creature each day in January to start the year off on the right foot.
You can check out @creatuanary on Instagram to get the official prompt list, or to check out the creators’ pages linked in the bio.
The #JanuaryArt Challenge is a daily prompt challenge hosted by Tinkerlab. The prompt list is posted on their website and is filled with inspirational words for you to interpret and encourages you to explore new and inventive ways to create in the new year.
February Art Challenges
Although this month is short it is not short on art challenges for you to try and enjoy. #Fairyary is a daily art challenge inspired by all things fay, including fairies, gnomes, pixies, and even goblins. #Fairyary was one of the first fairy-themed art challenges created by French artist Laura in 2018.
She no longer releases an official prompt list, but there are many available online with keywords to inspire that day’s piece, or you can feel free to create your own.
#Figuary is a figure drawing challenge run by the creators of Love Life Drawing and Croquis Café. This challenge is great for practicing or learning about drawing the human figure as, in addition to supplying the prompts for that year’s challenge, Kenzo and Mayko from Love Life Drawing provide short figure drawing tutorials on their website.
If you are looking for something more flexible, then the #28DrawingsLater challenge is perfect for you. This challenge, created by Glasgow artist Victoria Evans in 2011, has no themes or prompts. The only requirement for this challenge is to do something creative every day of the month. This challenge has a great online community where you can share your pieces and encourage others.
March Art Challenges
#MagicalMarch or #MagicalGirl is a popular drawing art challenge where you draw a magical girl each day of the month related to the prompt. Drawings can be done in any medium and any art style. The most popular prompt lists are created by Mariana Real, which is anime-inspired, or Aaria, which is more Disney-style inspired, but you can try this challenge with your style too.
The mechanically themed #MARCHOFROBOTS is a great challenge for practicing your bot drawing skills.
Created by DaCosta Bayley in 2014, this challenge encourages you to draw a robot, or a scene featuring a robot, every day. You can find the daily prompt list at the official site, like most challenges, following it is optional so long as you stick to the theme.
If you are interested in speed drawing, then #5MinuteMarch is another fun challenge from Kick in the Creatives that could be excellent to try. This challenge is all about drawing a five-minute sketch every day and is great for those who tend to overwork or overthink their drawings.
April Art Challenges
#AprilShowers is a relatively new challenge created by artist Kelsey. This challenge consists of daily prompts, all related to storms and rainy weather, such as thunder and umbrellas. #AprilShowers is the perfect way to celebrate spring and the showers that come with it.
Kick in the Creatives also creates “Quick Kicks”, which are daily challenges that can be done in under 15 minutes each day. One of our favorites is #QuickKickApril which is a continuous line drawing challenge. This challenge forces you to think outside the box to create fun and unique pieces.
May Art Challenges
If you are interested in fantasy creatures, then #MerMay is a fantastic challenge for you to try. #MerMay was created by famous character designer Tom Bancroft and challenges you to draw a daily mermaid based on a daily prompt. It is fun to explore beyond the traditional concept of mermaids and get some practice drawing those scales.
#MunchyMay is a unique challenge in which the prompt list comes from your own life. This challenge asks you to illustrate a piece relating to food you have eaten that day and then reflect on what this meal has made you grateful for in your life.
It is an inspirational challenge that reminds us to appreciate the small things in our lives.
June Art Challenges
Another fantastical challenge is #Junicorn. During this 30-day art challenge, you draw a unicorn every day for June. This challenge has been around since 2016 and there is no official prompt list, but various artists create and post their own. It is fun to see artists explore not only these creatures in lots of different ways but also the prompt lists themselves.
#Kaijune is a very popular drawing art challenge in which you draw a creature or monster every day of June. Created by Riley Phillips in 2017, it again has no official prompt list, however, the most popular lists are created by artist @flancortes on Instagram.
This challenge is perfect for strengthening your creature and concept creation skills. If you miss out on this challenge in June, do not fear, #Kaijuly is available for you to participate in the next month.
#TonalJune is a fun painting challenge in which you just use one color for your whole piece for every day of June. Each day has a different color prompt and, as the name suggests, the only other color you are allowed to use is white to create different tones. If you are using watercolor paints, then you can add more water to the color to create the same effect.
July Art Challenges
#Julycantrophy is an artist or writing challenge originating in the deviant art community. During this challenge, you create werewolves or other canine-inspired pieces for the month of July. There is no official prompt list but artist Cami creates very popular lists and posts it on their social media.
Faces are one of the hardest parts of the human form to draw so the #PortraitJuly challenge offers an opportunity to practice your face drawing skills. The daily prompts focus on one aspect of the face to highlight in your piece, so it is not too overwhelming.
You do not even have to draw a human face, so it is a great challenge to combine with other character drawing art challenges.
August Art Challenges
#Smaugust is a Lord of the Rings-inspired challenge, popularized by artist Kamakru in 2016, in which you draw dragons throughout the month. The name of the challenge is a cool combination of two words: Smaug, the dragon from Lord of The Rings, and August.
All varieties of dragons are welcome in this challenge from drakes to amphitheriidae, and while there is no official prompt list, many are available online.
The #AugustTrio challenge is more difficult than it first appears to be. In this challenge, you are only allowed to use the three primary colors and their tones to complete the daily prompts. #AugustTrio is a fun way to play with colors and refresh your color mixing theory.
September Art Challenges
Another unusual art drawing challenge is #Sketchtember. This 30-day art challenge asks you to post a sketch every day, rather than a finished piece. On their website, the creators define a sketch as “simple, gestural, unrefined”. Your sketch is meant to capture your idea that was inspired by the two prompts given that day, a single word and an idiom.
#Sketchtember offers a unique daily exercise in letting go.
#Scriptember is a lettering or calligraphy challenge where artists use ink or paints to write a daily inspirational quote. These quotes can be well-known, or you could try and make your own. In this challenge, you create art that can be great to look back on later and be inspired.
October Art Challenges
#Inktober is one of the most well-known art challenges available. As the name suggests this is a drawing challenge in which you use the daily prompts to draw a piece in ink every day. The creator Jake Parker publishes an official prompt list every October, but you also have the freedom to create whatever you wish as long as it is in ink.
If you are looking to get into the spooky spirit, #Drawlloween is a wonderful Halloween-based drawing challenge. The challenge was started by Brian Soria in 2012 and has daily spooky, weird, and creepy prompts to inspire you.
The creator also offers small prizes at the end of the challenge for pieces that they enjoyed so be sure to use the hashtag when you post your work.
#Goretober is a drawing challenge for those looking for the scarier side of Halloween. In this challenge, you draw a picture based on daily gory prompts. While there is no official prompt list, many are available online to prepare for Halloween or have some anatomy practice.
November Art Challenges
Similar to Tonal June, the #Huevember challenge has you draw something with the hue of the day. You can freely change the saturation or value of the hue as well as use other colors in this challenge, as long as the hue of the day remains the most prominent color.
#Slowvember is unlike other monthly art challenges.
Where the objective is usually to create one drawing every day, this challenge requires you to do one piece over the entire 30 days. This challenge was also created by Jake Parker with the aim to slow things down and work little by little to produce a portfolio-level piece.
December Art Challenges
#Drawcember was originally started by Disney Creates in 2012. The challenge includes daily drawing prompts, many of which are holiday and winter inspired. While there are no official lists, this popular Reddit forum posts one you can choose to follow.
This challenge can keep you motivated to create through those chilly winter days while also getting you into the festive spirit.
There are many digital art challenges, and they are a great way to get started with creating digital art. #DigitalArtDecember requires you to create a piece of digital art every day on any device inspired by the official prompts. You can even use a camera to capture photos or videos, making it one of the more flexible artistic challenges, which is great if you are very busy over the holiday season but still want to participate in a challenge and be creative.
The last, but definitely not the least, challenge on our list is #Talecember. #Talecember is an amazing world-building challenge in which you draw, write stories, create maps, or even create games inspired by the given prompt. This challenge is very new, created in 2020 by artist Fran on the subreddit r/worldbuilding, but is quickly gaining a well-deserved following.
Art challenges are great whether you are looking for motivation to better your art, some inspiration to overcome an art block, building your portfolio, or just a fun challenge. They come in all different shapes and sizes so you are bound to find a few artistic challenges that are right for you, but if not, you can always create your own.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Start an Art Challenge?
To start your own art challenge, you will first need to pick the theme and the time frame that your challenge will run. If you are looking for art challenge ideas you can find random art challenge generators online. You can then decide if you want to create a prompt list – the most common is a daily or weekly prompt, but this is not essential. Finally, name your challenge, and do not forget to create a hashtag and share it on social media so other artists can also participate.
Where Can I Find an Art Challenge?
The best place to find art challenges is online. A quick internet search for art challenges usually brings up challenges in that month and beyond. Social media is also a great place to find art challenges through #artchallenge or through other artists who are participating and sharing their pieces. Additionally, your local art supply shop may also know of upcoming art challenges.
Do Art Challenges Help?
Art challenges are great for practicing specific skills and for breaking out of your comfort zone. Art challenges offer the perfect remedy to overcoming an Art Block and inspire you as the prompts or themes take away most of the decision-making, allowing you to just create. Coming up with drawing challenge ideas is also great for stimulating your creativity. Art challenges also let you practice meeting deadlines and so are excellent for building time management skills and accountability.