EDinMay 01: Favourite Food - plus some thoughts about daily challenges

May 1, 2015 | 12 Comments

Well first day in May, and my first EDiM sketch. Draw a favourite food. 

As I am at the end of my first week of no wheat, no added sugar and limited black tea/coffee, I had to think of my favourite within my current options. So some steamed veggies (broccoli and zucchini) it was! The chilli sauce is a no-no in terms of the sugar but it is there for artistic reasons!

A little crazy way to start the challenge – splashing painting and using 4 different ink pens. I have no expectations or specific plans for how I will do the challenge this year. No special sketchbook, no specific technique in mind (I have done this in the past and it is a good thing to do). I am just going to incorporate the EDiM sketches into my daily sketchbook. So there is no additional goal that I am setting myself … but then again it might evolve into something different – who knows…so stay tuned!

Of course this is what I would have drawn if this challenge started a week ago – sketch from a visit a few weeks ago to my favourite tearoom in Sydney: The Tea Cosy.

I found it very interesting, that when I was doing my sketch of my steamed veg today, I had a number of thoughts about the ups and downs of doing EDiM. Some of the things that have worried me in past years came back, and despite my normal daily sketching habit these days, there is something special about a daily challenge that is indeed a challenge!

Anyway here are a few thoughts….

– it is good to have something that you ‘have’ to sketch each day. It makes you make the time and it makes you think about doing it during the day so that you know exactly what you will be sketching when you sit down. I believe that half the battle with sketching is making time!
– Having something that is specified for you to draw that day gives you direction. The other half of the battle with regular sketching is knowing what to draw.. finding something that will interest you! So for the month of May you have a list – the decision is made!
– I love having the full list for the month in advance so I can start planning ahead. Sometimes with online challenges and classes it is hard to fit the specific task within you duties that week, so planning ahead can really help make it easier.
– There is such incredible motivation and inspiration to be drawing the same thing on the same day as hundreds of other people around the world. So EDiM is a great way to get you pumped to sketch.
– You learn a lot from seeing other peoples approach to the same subject matter.
– You get to engage with a lot of other people… our personality comes out, not only in our lines and strokes but the objects/scenes we decide to  draw for the challenge.

And now for some more serious thoughts – the battles you might have inside your head…
– A daily challenge puts the pressure on! Not only to sit down and actually do it, but for it to be ‘good enough’ to post. The fact that you have to draw something different tomorrow means that you can’t really afford the time to re-do it (either day or tomorrow). So there is a little more pressure than if you were just sketching for yourself – normally if a sketch doesn’t work you don’t have to post it. But on a daily challenge you WANT to post each day. So you have to get over this pressure and just do the best you can!
– It is harder at the beginning of the challenge – you have high expectations of what you want to do but maybe after the first few days you feel disappointed… DON’T BE… just keep sketching!
Don’t try to achieve too much each day – if the way you want to sketch will take 2 hours a day, make sure that you can give it that amount of time or simplify what you try to achieve. It is fine to have an incomplete sketch if you run out of time. So just do what you can in the time you have!
 – Don’t be afraid to post your sketch … remember we are all going through this together. We will all have good and bad days. Just post it!
– Don’t take the daily challenge to sketch too seriously!! Everyone has busy days and misses a day or two. Even if you miss a whole week, either continue at your own pace, look at combining a few of them together, or just pick up the theme for the day and go back when you have a chance. (I think the last option is the best as you will have the fun of doing it the same time as everyone else) Don’t let it become a burden! Just do it when you can!
– And… although I often think I am a cracked record… remember that we share but we don’t compare and the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!

The whole idea of Every Day In May is to get you sketching, to have lots of fun sketching together with other people!!

Okay, is that enough of a lecture for the day!?!

Those of you that have done daily challenges, what were your ups and downs? Would love to hear from you!

Final Note: This challenge has nothing to do with Urban Sketchers. It is completely independent and many of the subjects to draw are isolated objects found around the home. Theefore these sketches do not fit within the focus of USK which is all about sketching out on location, and telling a story about where we are. Some of the challenges could be ‘urban sketches’ but please don’t start posting your EDiM sketches into a USK group without checking that it fits the USK manifesto first.
Final Note 2: Also in every instance, draw from a real object or scene and not from a photo.

Subscribe to my mailing list for my monthly newsletters including first notification of my new SketchingNow Online Sketching Courses and face-to-face workshops.


  • Sue Pownall says:

    Lovely food sketches and great thoughts Liz, especially the serious ones. It's early here so I am not sure what I'll sketch today, but I may draw a (&eat) scone on your behalf.

  • Liz Steel says:

    Please do Sue! makes me feel better to know someone can enjoy one!!!

  • Ros Jenke says:

    Great food sketch and good sounding diet. I just read yesterday's post and you have inspired me to join in with EDM. I've been wanting to get back into regular sketching since SKN. Thanks for the motivation. May 1 is almost over so I'll have to do a quickie today : )

  • I am planning on doing this challenge too, thanks to you, Liz. Your thoughts on why it is a good thing echo my own. I still have all day, yes? But steamed veggies are your favorite??? I'm thinking burger…turkey? Pizza? Big Mac? Goodness, when the world is your oyster…too bad I don't like oysters!

  • SusanA says:

    I look forward to seeing your challenge sketches, especially given your "no expectations" take on it. Should be interesting to see the progression. And I wish you well going wheat-free and no-added-sugar-free!

  • Hi Liz, All the way from Edmonton, Canada. I receive your newsletter and have for quite some time and I'll admit, that after coming to your site and seeing your work, I was extremely intimidated about sketching and then posting it. But then I got the newsletter yesterday that lead me to the EDiM challenge and thought what the heck, I'll just go for it.
    I've always wanted to get back into drawing and sketching but didn't kjow how or where to start. So with this challenge as well as the EDM challenge, I have already completed 4 sketch/ drawings. And yes Ive posted them and even started my own blog on Blogger.

    If it wasn't for you and your timely blog feed, my sketchbook would still be stuck in a box at the bottom of my closet. I have no expectations other than commiting to doing both challenges to the best of my ability. The one thing that helped me so far, was doing the drawing/sketch a day in advance that way I could sort of plan it without trying to get something perfect on my first attempt.

    Thanks Liz.
    P.s: here's a link to my blog to see my humble beginnings if you'd like.


  • Liz Steel says:

    yay! gla you are going Ros!

  • Liz Steel says:

    ha ha! So glad you are joining in the fun Sherry!

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanks Susan!

  • Liz Steel says:

    Hi Michael, great to hear from a 'some time' follower and so glad that you have taken the plunge and am starting to draw and post. Will pop over to your blog shortly to say hi there too!

    Very interesting to hear of your thoughts about intimidated… you know I am often tempted to be 'intimidated' by the work of others which is so good…but I try to convert this feel into inspiration to keep doing myself …and also not to compare. I had to do the best I can now – with my 'skills' and with my time and always rejoice in who I am. Never compare with others (oh! I said that before) I have a plan to write a blog post about this soon so it was good to hear your thoughts.

    All the best with your sketches!

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanks Patricia – glad you are joining in on the fun!

  • Great comments above, Liz. I enjoy your blog so much and this is my 1st experience with EDiM and Flicker in general. I can see I am in very good company. This IS fun!

Leave a Reply