As we have learned already, sticking to a theme or rule can really force oursevles to come up with creative ideas, and like so, freeing us from our temporary art blocks. 

At some point of our lives we all said “I’d love to sketch more” but found ourselves stuck as soon as we put the tip of the oencil on the piece of paper in front of us.

Well.. why not just choosing an object only and picturing it differently everyday?

I remember that one of the first drawing exercises* I did in art school was drawing an apple. Was it boring? Surprisingly not.

The useful and interesting part of this exercise was to picture them in different techniques and styles. I found myself drawing apples for weeks.. but I learned so much from it.

*At the end of the post you could perhaps find an embarrassing-quality picture of this exercise dated 2016.. Mom’s picture so, keep your expectations low, please.

How To Practice by Drawing the Same Thing Everyday in Different Techniques and Styles

All you need to do is:

  • Choose a subject/object around you. Pick the first/second one you see, don’t spend much time in selecting it! It is way easier to select a random thing around us instead of choosing a topic or subject to draw from scratch. Like this, you can avoid to lose the majority of the effort and time to decide what to draw. 
  • Pick all the references you need. They can be images of your object, photos from Pinterest or pictures from your imagination doesn’t matter. Notwithstanding, I recommend giving a try to live drawing; it’s a bit more challenging but I learned sooo much from it!
  • Decide which techniques and styles you want to use. Setting a duration beforehand for this challenge can really help: I decided to go for 4 days this time, so I had to pick 4 styles! You can also avoid premeditating this step and decide on the day which technique you’d like to use.
  • Create your illustrations: This step might obviously take a while, depending on the final result you’re aiming for. The only object here is to remember to not limit yourself: you have the power to decide to create a total illustration, a detail only, a fast sketch and so on.
  • Bonus: Add your own rules or limitations to the game! Also, each time the game can be different! For example, involve your friends and set an amount of time in which you have to follow this challenge. Share your results, draw together, organise portray sessions together and drink tea in the evenings, whatever you want!

These are the steps I followed to complete this exercise:

  • First, I took a look around to decide which object I wanted to draw and for how long. I took inspiration from my drawing teacher’s idea and decided to go with a simple red apple!
  • After that, I looked for some pictures on Pinterest and took the simplest one. (Pinterest is life-saving!)
  • Then, I took my iPad around with me and drew my red apple in 4 different styles (for practical reasons I decided to use my iPad but please, feel free to experiment with different traditional mediums – sometimes it’s funnier!)
  • Well.. I started drawing at this point. And these are my apples!

Last Result!!

Nothing fancy, just an exercise to practice, as you can see. These apples are respectively:

  1. Painted sketch
  2. Tratteggio
  3. Digital semirealistic
  4. Minimal/essential

Easy as it looks! Also, really not time consuming at all: you can literally do this exercise on the bus, in your lunch break, before bed or in the evenings.

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Aaand this is what you were all waiting for.. my first apple exercise!

I’ve just challenged myself for four days before this post (after well 6 years!), but will definitely take back this exercise in my sketching routine to always keep my hands moving!


And that’s it! Nothing else to add 😀

I really hope you liked this exercise and that it was helpful for you! I really recommend to include this exercise in your daily/weekly routine to improve your creative and drawing skills!

I’d love to see your results, and the ones of your friends too! So, whether you have joined the game as well, it would be amazing if you shared your drawings with us.


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