Week Forty-Five

I just want to say thank you to those of you who wrote me sweet messages of encouragement last week. The things you say really do give me the motivation to keep going with all of this. You help me not to give up!

This past week my husband and I made a family of electric jellyfish costumes for us and our kids for Halloween. I usually start making costumes in September as it’s one of the highlights of my year, but as you might know from my last email, the past several+ weeks have been really hard and overwhelming.

A couple of days before Halloween, we finally got started. The task seemed overwhelming. We tried to engineer back harnesses to hold the costumes up and make them hands-free but failed, hours of time lost. October 30th at 10:00 pm, exhausted in a sea of fabric scraps, zip ties, and tangled fairy lights, I was ready to call it quits, scrounge up something from our dress-up box for the kids to trick-or-treat in and call it a day.

But our costume-making tradition is about more than just “making awesome costumes.” It’s a time when our kids come up with an idea, and we show them that anything is possible. Whatever crazy idea they can come up with can be made a reality if they just work hard to make it come true. That creativity has no limits.

What to Do

  • DON’T GIVE UP! Whatever your dream or goal is, whether it’s becoming a better artist, changing your career, or taking better care of yourself, don’t call it quits when things get hard. That difficult phase is a reliable part of the process, and something you HAVE to do to reap the rewards on the other side. YOU CAN DO IT!

November Prompts


Environments in illustration are the backgrounds of the scene you are creating. For a developing artist, they can be intimidating! Even I usually stick to drawing a “thing” on an empty field because the thought of drawing the background seems even harder than drawing the “thing!” But being able to draw backgrounds and environments will really take your illustration work to the next level. And don’t worry: time is what it takes to draw a background, and time is what I’m going to give you.

Making Art Everyday is going to be a little different for the month of November. Rather than drawing something new everyday, we’re going to focus on a single piece for two days, with a free day on Sunday to refine your favorite piece from the week and add additional details if you wish. Here’s how it’s going to work:

Day 1: Sketch & Color Planning
Research your environment and make a rough initial sketch, focusing on background, middle ground, and foreground. Here is a helpful resource. Make a very rough initial sketch laying out your horizon, placement of land, plants, etc. Refine the sketch and add more details. Then, very loosely block in and plan the colors of your scene.

Day 2: Color & Final Art
Using the plan you made the previous day, color in your scene in your preferred way. Add shading, texture, and details. Don’t worry about making everything perfect. If this is all new to you, a rough idea of an environment illustration is better that giving up or avoiding them altogether.

Another thing: don’t worry about drawing a subject/people/characters/animals in your illustration. These drawings are all about the ground, the sky, the trees, the plants, etc. But if you have time on Sunday, feel free to add a subject if you wish!

Week 45 | Nov 4-10

Green PLaces

Mon: garden – sketch
Tue: garden – final art
Wed: forest – sketch
Thu: forest – final art
Fri: swamp – sketch
Sat: swamp – final art
Sun: further develop your favorite piece from the week.

This is my initial sketch and color planning for “swamp”. I’ll be creating a blog tutorial later this week about this full environment-drawing process!

You can access each week’s prompts at makingarteveryday.com

Week 45 progress Tracker

Track your Making Art Everyday progress! See at-a-glance all you’ve accomplished, and reflect on the work you’ve done at the end of the week. Visit bardotbrush.com/progress to download the monthly tracker and weekly reflection sheet. There are also instructions about how to use them.

Procreate Community: Learn // Draw // Share

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