You can do SO much better than this!! 

You can do SO much better than this!! 

I've got a confession to make: I'm terrified of - and terrible at - typography!! 

I spend a lot of time saying things like "everyone can draw - it's just fear that holds us back!" at my workshops, but am clearly a hypocrit when it comes to my own work! 

I'm in total awe of my friend Judy, who bangs out amazing new typography every single day!  Her work is all hand-drawn and so packed with colour and positive vibes - you can't help but smile every time! 

I've also seen some superb typography skills on show at my events, including these gorgeous pieces from Sketchy Bitches regulars Mickey and Anne! 

So this month, inspired by these aforementioned awesome artists, I'm planning to face my fears and practise my typography - and I thought I'd invite you to join me! 

The challenge  

Create a tropical typographic promo image for The Social Sketchup Summer Special on 24th  July! We'll be drawing everything from pineapples and plants, to flamingos and FABS - so grab yourself a 'sketch on the beach' and get channelling those colours! 

Share your work with my on Instagram to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the aforementioned Sketchup and one of my screenprinted t-shirts! 

NB: The competition closes on 30th June and I'll announce the winner on 1st July. YAY! 

Sketch your BFF

Sad news - this week's challenge is going to be the last!  

From June onwards, I'll be setting one challenge every month, to make time for a very exciting project that I'm working on... details of which will be revealed very soon! 

This week's challenge

Your challenge this week is to draw one of your best friends and then surprise/scare/offend/delight them with the result! 

I did this for my best mate Emily this morning, who's celebrating her 37th birthday today (Happy Birthday Em!)  She lives in Seville and I rarely get to see her these days, so spending time looking at and drawing her beautiful face felt so special - kind of like hanging out with her, but a bit quieter!!  

Drawing from photos of loved ones is such an uplifting experience - and so easy too!  Observing their features, expression and the emotion in their eyes...remembering that moment when the photo was taken.  It's such a gorgeous way of connecting with them even when they're not in the room - and so much better than Skype! 

It makes sense if you think about it: by drawing someone you are conjuring their spirit into the room with you.  And if that spirit, that person, is one of your best mates whose company makes you feelgood - you're gonna have a pretty good time as you draw! 

So go pick your photo and get sketching! 

And if you're on Instagram and want to share your work I always love seeing it! 

nd remember - it doesn't need to look like them!!! Mine never do... 

Me & EM

Me & my BFF Emily - somewhere in Seville back in 2014! (Hence the orange background!)

Me & Em photo

A LOL speed sketch!

This week's challenge is inspired by my gorgeous friend Judy Andrews, founder of A Spoonful of Sugar & Co, among other glorious things! That girl has so many projects on the go (not to mention a young son!) - she definitely lives up to her Mary Poppins namesake!! Spoonful of sugar? More like a bucket load of SUPERPOWER!!

Anyway, enough gushing - back to this week's challenge!  I've wanted to draw one of her fab tees for a while, and this seemed the like the perfect time to do it.  

The challenge

  1. Select an image to draw from
  2. Draw it in 15 minutes
  3. Draw it in 1 minute
  4. Draw it in 10 seconds

This 15 minute/1 minute/10 second challenge is doing the rounds on YouTube and it's SO much fun!  Select whatever image you fancy to draw from, something complex or simple, like a single flower.   In fact it could be fun to focus in on key details AND more complex compositions for an extra challenge! I'm definitely going to give this a few more goes over the weekend... 

Here's one I made earlier,  featuring Judy's fab Laugh Out Loud tees!  Of the 3 images, I actually prefer the last! 

LOL speed sketch

LOL tee.jpg

The fab t-shirt that inspired my speed sketch, available from A Spoonful Of Sugar & Co for only £18.50! YASSSS!

And below - the fabulous woman who designed it!  She's not for sale though :) 

 Judy rules! 

Judy rules! 




Supermarket Sketch!

I've been having so much fun seeing your 'sketchbombs' on Instagram that I've decided to rollover last week's challenge - and added a supermarket twist!

Your challenge this week is to hit the sketchpad, draw your 'sketchbomb' and then hit the shops! So many of us will be making a trip to the supermarket over the weekend, so it's the perfect opportunity to brighten up the aisles and raise some smiles with a bit of art! Trust me - a trip to Tesco has never been so much fun!!!

You can draw whatever you like - whatever you think will make someone smile: and bonus points if you draw something linked to the products - e.g draw something fruity and leave it amid the fruit! :) 

I just dropped this bright pink one among the Rose in Tesco:  

Sketchbombing in Tesco

And a few more I did over the sunny bank holiday weekend... also in Tesco - though not the same one!! (I need to get out more!!) 




Hometown Hats!

I had a fab time up in York last week, running The Fashion Sketchup with my gal Kayti! It was so fab to be back on home Yorkshire turf, and to get creative with lots of lovely 'lercal lasses'!

 Our Kayti - rightfully chuffed with her awesome illustration!  See more pics from the night here

Our Kayti - rightfully chuffed with her awesome illustration! See more pics from the night here

I love London, but nothing beats a trip to York and a wander around its beautiful streets and 'quirky' shops!  The Minster looked so incredible in the sunshine that I felt inspired to stop and do a bit of power sketching on the pavement outside. I usually get quite anxious about drawing in public (the fear of expectation and judgement I guess)  but something about that moment stopped me from caring and instead, I felt happy to share the creative moment and my crappy little sketch with the world!

I digress - back to this week's challenge! 

Your challenge this week is to design a piece of headgear that pays tribute in some way to the place you live, or a place you love.   

It could feature local landmarks, landscapes, street signs, shop names, regional food, traditions, phrases, famous faces...  basically anything that captures the spirit of the place in a fun and stylish way! 

If you've got some local leaflets or regional papers/mags lying around, why not do a bit of collage: a bit like I did in Pret using leaflets collected at the Tourist Info office!  

Here's some pics from York to get you thinking... 

 My 5 minute power sketch outside York Minster

My 5 minute power sketch outside York Minster

 A little collage I made in Pret, using leaflets collected at Tourist Info

A little collage I made in Pret, using leaflets collected at Tourist Info

Sketching in the sun

Summer is ON!! 

What better time to grab your sketchbook, head outdoors and get creative in the sun!  

Your challenge this week is really simple: just go outside and draw something that captures the summer vibes!  

It could be a whole scene or a single flower:  an ice cream van or a group of friends hanging out in the sun - anything that grabs you and screams summer!   Or just pick a summer colour palette and go abstract! 

If you're stuck for ideas, or stuck indoors, why not re-design the rainbow! We'll be doing this doing at my Spring It On workshop this Sunday, using recycled cardboard and paint to make our rainbows: but you can have just as much fun drawing your rad new rainbows! You could: 

  • Do some power drawing and see how many rainbows you can draw in 10 minutes
  • Stick with the rainbow shape but the contents radically different to reality (e.g. draw one full of fruit, flamingos or faces, like mine below!)
  • Keep the stripes but play around with different colour combinations, 
  • Play around with different materials or try a collage

I'd love to see your rad rainbows and summery sketches over on Instagram, so if you get around to it please show, tag and tell the world all about your amazing artwork! 

Rad Rainbows


I'm celebrating the arrival of summer with a half-price deal on my Coneheads!  They're A3 screenprints, available in 2 'flavours' and you can whip one up for just £15! 

Or if you're feeling greedy why not grab yourself a pair: just like my gorgeous customer Jenny did at my stall last summer (one for her, one for her twin!) 


Dream Home

Time for some Spring DREAMING!

Where would you live if money and practicality were no object?  A swish city apartment? A rolling rainbow-coloured mansion? A cute country cottage? Inside a giant shoe, a la Mother Hubbard?!

Whatever and wherever your dream home may be: your challenge this week is to draw it!  

I set this challenge at my workshops at The Ideal Home Show and it generated some pretty grand designs!  There were giant slides, rooftop rollercoasters, multicoloured mansions....

This is the perfect opportunity grab yourself a massive piece of paper, get your paints out and dream BIG!

If you're anything like me, this challenge will take you straight back to your childhood: back when the impossible seemed possible and it was entirely feasible that one day you might live inside a spaceship and be a superhero!

I grew up in a beautiful (if damp and cold) old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire: yet I spent my childhood dreaming of living in a cool city apartment with a walk-in wardrobe and an acid green kitchen: full of funky retro furniture, loads of stainless steel and ALL the lava lamps!  (For some reason I also wanted a giant walk-in Baked Bean tin where I could snuggle up to read!!) 

I then moved on to want to live inside the Casa Batlo in Barcelona, but when it came to living there and teaching English during my degree, the flat I ended up in looked rather different...!

Nowadays I dream of a converted windmill in Cornwall and/or in a colourful villa in the Alpujarra - close to a big creative community of course! And then I'd quite like a city crash pad in a converted factory in London, equipped with its own art studio, cinema and resident masseuse!  Can anyone lend me a few quid?! 


I'd love to see and hear all about your dream homes over on Instagram or the Dulcimer Draws Facebook page! 


Let's have it oeuf!! 


Ever since winning a school competition for my hard-boiled 'Egg The Duck', I've always been partial to egg-based arts and crafts! But I'm a bit too busy and lazy to bother with the hard boiling this year, so I've created an alternative egghead activity for you to have a crack at this weekend.  

Your challenge this week is to whip up 4 eggs-treme Easter bonnets for this elegant egghead, Camilla Chameleon! Download the template and get cracking!    


Spring Sketch Appeal

We'll be making Spring-themed Sketch Appeal zines at The Social Sketchup this month - replete with flower power collage, extreme Easter bonnets and an ad for a rad new easter egg! 

So for those of you who can't make it, this week's challenge is to have a crack at designing the cover of the aforementioned Spring-themed zine!  

Here's one I made earlier... and some more fab designs from the competition I ran at Great Art last week! 


Face Time! 50 in 15

Time for another speed challenge! 

To mark International Women's Day on March 8th, I'm going to be attempting to draw 500 female faces in 5 hours:: live at Great Art In Shoreditch tomorrow!  

At the same time, I'll also be running a FREE DROP-IN Sketchup and be challenging the attendees to take on the slightly less daunting task of drawing 50 faces in 15 minutes.  Of course I'd love to see anyone/everyone reading this there, but for those who can't make it I thought I'd set it as this week's challenge! 

I've set my clubbers this challenge before, but it's a such a fab creative workout that it's worth returning to time and again!  I like to compare it to powering on the treadmill for 15 minutes: really good for your health and mood - but far less knackering! There isn't time to worry about how things look: it's all about blasting off your creative cobwebs and letting your imagination run wild... 

Ready to take on the challenge? 

Grab yourself a large sheet of paper, your favourite pens, pencils and/or inks, set the timer and DRAW DRAW DRAW! 

Remember: This is an exercise in creativity - not in drawing the 'perfect' portrait! Case in point... 


Sometimes though,  this '50 in 15' exercise can produce results some surprising results! 

This was my first attempt at it last year - and it's turned out to be one of my best-selling prints! 

The Small Faces
from 20.00



World Book Day Challenge

To mark World Book Day on 1st March, I decided to draw a little fashion-fiction mashup: inspired by one of my favourite children's books and some hot-off-the-catwalk looks from Paris Fashion Week! 

The looks are from the AW18 collection at Saint Laurent: I'll leave you to guess what the book is :) 


Your turn! 

This week's challenge is to design a sketchy new cover for one of your favourite books - with or without a little twist!

You could either: 


"Copying" isn't a bad thing - it's a real challenge and a great way of playing around with different styles.  Even if you copy an existing book cover artwork directly, you'll be developing your skills and your interpretation will always be unique. 


There's nothing like putting your own spin on a classic! I love re-inventing things and combining contrasting influences and subjects - e.g. fashion and children's books! There are so many ways you could go with this one.. 

  • One of the Mr Men drawn by Matisse? 
  • Harry Potter draw by David Shrigley
  • The Gruffalo by Salvador Dali? 
  • Bridget Jones's Diary illustrated by Quentin Blake? 
  • Alice in Wonderland by Picasso? 

You could create something minimalist and focus on a key feature or symbol, like Harry Potter's hat or Alice's curious eyes.   Or you could choose a quote and create a beautiful text-only cover. OR you change everything and invent a pun-tastic new book like I did instead! 

The world is your book cover!  

And if you're feeling a bit Lit...  pink yourself up with a Ms Shakespeare! :) 



Sweeties darling!

Hello sweeties! 

It's (nearly) the end of Feb, which means it's time for the last of our love-themed weekly challenges! 

This week's challenge very close to my heart - or should I say my sweet-art! 

As befits my name (Dulcie = sweet one) I'm a real sweet tooth and have been a little bit obsessed with sweets all my life.  I love nothing more than discovering obscure confectionery whilst on holiday, or going into a big imported sweet shop and gawping at all the absurd names and colourful packaging.  I mean who doesn't love a packet of WILLY GUM, a bar of PLOPP or a box of WHOPPERS?! 

Having worked in brand marketing for 14 years, I also putting my own twist on existing brands and products - and inventing completely absurd new ones!  So much so that I always include a little re-branding activity at my Social Sketchups - e.g. last month's re-brand Rainbow Drops challenge! 


But enough of the back story! 

Your challenge this week is to invent and design the packaging for an art-inspired box of sweets, ready to launch in time for Valentine's Day 2019.  

I've designed mine on pizza boxes, but you could just draw in your sketchbook - or even better: buy a box of chocolates and turn it inside out, decorate the outside and then fill it back up and give it to your sweet-art! 

Before you do anything though, watch this Ab Fab clip to get you in the mood :) 

Happy sketching sweeties!! 




Continuing on the theme of L O V E, this week's challenge is to channel your inner Cilla and use your creativity to conjure up a dream couple!  

All you need is an A4 sheet of paper, some colourful drawing and / or collage tools and an imagination!  SImply draw one 'lonely art' and then fashion up a dream date beside them!  

Try to make your 'sweet-arts' as arty as possible: think Dali moustaches, artists smocks, paint-splashed dungarees.... all the stereotypes! ;)  Here's some I made earlier... 



This activity is even better if you do it with a friend or relative and swap papers after drawing your first character.  We'll be doing it this way at my sketchmating workshop at Dulwich Picture Gallery tonight (Friday 16th Feb)... watch this space for the results! 

Love your selfie!

All you need is love (and a few pencils!)

YAY - February has arrived and I’ve got four sweet new art challenges in store for you!

What with Valentines, Galentines and my sketchmating workshop at Dulwich Picture Gallery on the horizon, it seems only right that our theme this month is L O V E!

This week’s challenge

Valentines is all about sending love tokens to others, but I thought we should start the month by loving and drawing our selfies! 

Drawing a self-portrait might seem like a bit of a vanity exercise, but for me it’s a really valuable way to reflect on life and re-connect with positive feelings and experiences.  I spend so much time moving from project to project, stress to stress, sketch to sketch that I sometimes lose sight of the good stuff that happens along the way. 

So, every now and again I like to look back over photos and find one where I recall feeling awesome - and then draw it! It really helps to conjure the feeling up and gets you thinking about what prompted it, and what you could to do recapture it again in future experiences.

So, your challenge this week is this:

  1. Find a photo of yourself at a moment when you felt positive and happy
  2. Reflect on it a while, channelling the mood you felt back then
  3. Draw it and bring the positive vibes to life with colour and creativity!

I chose to draw this photo, taken at an in-store colouring event I ran at 3INA’s flagship Covent Garden store back in 2016.  I’d only just launched Dulcimer Draws, which feels like a lifetime ago, and I was really proud to have instigated and made the whole thing happen in the first place! I also met hundreds of fab people on the day, who all got stuck into the colouring activities with gusto!   

Scroll down to see my illustration (and the poetic licence I took on my hair colour and flamingo legs!)


Pimp my sketch!

I can't believe it's time for the final weekly challenge of January 2018! 

In the name of de-cluttering my life a bit this year, I had a bit of a clear out last weekend and unearthed a few (hundred!) half-finished sketches and illustrations.  

Quite frankly, I've no idea what to do with them all and it's highly unlikely that I'll ever get around to finishing them: so I thought I'd invite you to pimp and complete one of them for me!  

Upcycle this!

You can do whatever you like to transform and complete it.  Where could you transpose her? Onto a runway surrounded by models?  Striking a pose on a busy New York street? Or poised in front of a sunny field of flowers?  Or maybe she's just standing against an amazing patterned wall paper! Whatever you do, just go for it and let your pencils run wild! 

I can't wait to see how you shape it from here....

Colour-in Gym

Colour-in Gym.jpg

Ditch the dumbbells and give your creativity a workout! 

Continuing on the 'new year new you' theme, this week we're off to the gym! 

But don't worry, this week's challenge doesn't involve sweating, or even sketching.  

Simply download the template, hit the sofa and colour the shit out of it!