How the Challenge Works

Here's everything you need to know about how the Sketchbook challenge works. 

In January of 2011 a group of artists came together and started The Sketchbook Challenge as a way to encourage others to open up their sketchbooks and discover what they knew: that the sketchbook can be one of the most value tools in your artistic tool box.

We've also created a blog badge for you to put on your own blog to show your participation in the project.  You can download the badge here.  

Wherever you are on your artistic journey, whatever medium or style you work in The Sketchbook Challenge is for you!

You can hear Sue talk about the challenge with Ricë Freeman-Zachery in this podcast:


When do the themes post
Themes will always be announced on the first day of each month.  You can find a list of previous months themes here.

What if I just don't want to draw in my sketchbook?
You can work in any medium that you like - paint, watercolor, pen & ink, charcoal, collage, marker, crayon or something else.  You might even want to use this as an opportunity to explore a medium that you've never tried.  This is a great time to break into those supplies that you bought but never got around to taking out of the package and using.  Your sketchbook should be a reflection of you and you should feel free to explore and work in any mediums that you want.

How many pages should I create?
There's no minimum or maximum.  You should work in your sketchbook as often as you like and create as many pages as you are inspired to.  Of course the more you work in it, the more you'll want to so you might just find yourself opening it up every single day to add a little something to the pages here and there.  There's no rule that says you have to work in just one book at a time so you might want to mix it up a bit and have several different ones going at once.  Maybe one for wet media such as acrylic and watercolors, one for pen and ink and one for collage.  Or you might want to have a few different sizes to work in.  One large one for working in while you're in the studio and a smaller one to carry around with you when you leave the house.   Sketchbook Challenge artist Jane LaFazio will be working in single sheets for this challenge and that might be something you might like to try too.

How should I share photos of my pages?
You can post photos of your pages to your own blog if you have one and if you do then leave a link to the posts in the comments section of the theme post so others can find it.  You can also post photos to the special flickr group that we've set up.  You'll find that here .

How do I use flickr?

If you are new to flickr and are not sure how to upload photos then this might help:

The first thing you will need to do is sign up for a free flickr account.
After you have created a flickr account, then upload your photos to it. 
Once you upload photos to your own account then you have to add them to the sketchbook challenge group.  First you'll  need to join the sketchbook challenge flickr group here. look for the little "join this group" link to the right under the group name.

Once you join go back to the group home page at you'll see a link that says "add photos", click that and on the next screen you should see all your photos on the left side and a box that says "your selections" on the right.  You can only add 3 photos to the group a day.  Click on the photos that you want to add and they'll pop into the box on the right.  When you're done, click the "Add to group" button at the bottom.  That's it!

Adding a tag to a photo:
To tag a photo, upload it to flickr and then once it finishes uploading click the "add a description" link and you'll see a box to add a description and a box where you can add tags.

More help with Flickr can be found on the flickr website here.

What happens if I skip a month, am I out of the challenge?
Absolutely not!  This is an open challenge so you can participate as much or as little as you want and as your schedule and situation allows.  Of course we encourage you to take part in each months challenge even if that means just creating one page a week or even every two weeks but we know that each persons situation is unique to them so play along as much as you can with us and don't worry if you get sidetracked by obligations and have to skip a month. 

How do I sign up for the challenge?

You don't have to do anything special to sign up for the challenge and there is no deadline or sign up by date.  It's an open challenge so you can join in anytime you like.  If you want to add a badge to your blog to show that you're participating in the project you can find more information on how to do that here.

Who can I email for help or other questions that I have?
If you have any questions about the Sketchbook Challenge email  You'll also find more information about the Sketchbook Challenge here.