Drawing Ideas

Easy Drawing Challenge for Beginner

This easy drawing challenge is for beginners and also more experienced artists, hopefully, it will inspire you for new drawing ideas and improve your visual memory.

Origin of the Easy Drawing Challenge

I remember, when I was in 4th grade, a classmate asked me if I could draw a cartoon character.

I was surprised how it was expected of me. I remember that drawing very vividly to this day. I did and I was amazed how could draw something so complex like a character completely from memory.

I’m sure you did draw things in childhood from memory like Mickey Mouse and other favourite cartoon characters. Then with time, we forget what we are capable of. Everything we see is memorised and we are able to recall and it’s not much different to drawing something from life. It still relies on memory, short term memory, in this case, to be precise.

So, if you are a beginner this will help you get over the copying and help you improve observation and studying what you want to draw. If you are more experienced then take this as a challenge to push the comfort zone and the boundaries of your skill.

I share with you an exercise that I do at least once a month, in the form of a challenge.

If you are stuck for ideas or you’d feel more motivated in a group. I recommend you join our Art Club Facebook community – You can also join Urbansketchers – They have regular excellent Free outdoor sketching, painting and drawing events organised all over the world. Urban sketchers Events

Challenge: Sketch on location


  1. Don’t take a photo, don’t use a photo reference
  2. Use 1 medium only, ink, pencil, graphite, ballpoint pen… don’t mix
  3. Use a timer, 15 minutes duration is best

Helpful tips and instructions

Daylight is your friend.

Just like photography, the best time to sketch outdoor is early morning or when daylight offers the most contrast. The reason for this is strong contrast makes the dark is well defined vs light and this makes drawing the outlines much more simple.

A Drawing starts with a sketch and sketching is fast.

Every great art artwork starts with a sketch and some of the most striking works in the history of art are, but rough sketches.

So this why, we have decided the purpose of this challenge is to get you comfortable with quick sketches with no overthinking. So, keep it loose, relaxed and sketch fast.


  • I use a graphite 2B (fast, not very forgiving, but very fast).
  • Sakura Micron Pens. When I have more time
  • I use a Charcoal for indoor and when I use a larger paper or sketchbook.
  • Learn more about drawing material from this excellent article by Jackson’sArt 

Challenge Steps:

  1. Use only one medium; pen or pencil, no colouring
  2. Draw only 20-50% of what you intend to capture in the artwork
  3. Take 1 picture only from the same angle (but don’t use this picture for reference)
  4. You can paint the final artwork but for the initial rough sketch no colour
  5. Constrain your time to only 1hr 50% on location and 50% for completion.
  6. Later, your challenge is to try to finish the drawing from memory and not refer to the reference photo.
  7. Lastly, take a picture of your finished piece and send it here to be featured in our art club gallery.
unfinished sketch of dog - Whitstable
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