Portfolio Challenge!


Lately, a lot of art bloggers are creating lists with suggestions for drawings, mostly of the one-a-day, post-a-day variety. These are great, and I’m doing the “One Drawing a Day” program myself.

It occurred to me, however, that when I was starting out, a portfolio and what it should contain was a bit of a mystery to me. So in the interest of helping aspiring illustrators, I came up with this challenge, specifically geared toward the goal of filling a portfolio with presentation-ready work.

Horror, because it’s my bag, is the genre we’ll be creating. Here are the rules…

Kathy Ferrell’s Portfolio Builder Challenge

Set a deadline for yourself of 7 days max for each piece. If you create all 30 pieces, you’ll have a very impressive body of work in less than 8 months, from which you can choose your best and impress the heck out of potential clients. On some you’ll work faster, for others, you’ll be glad of the week allowed.

Use whatever media you choose…traditional, digital, color, b&w, manipulated photography, your choice.

Post what you’re up to at least weekly. Hopefully, you’ll let me know about it. If you’d like a critique, just ask, and unless I’m swamped, I’ll publicly remark on your strengths and dance delicately round your weak points.

To get your creative juices flowing, you might enjoy looking up the work of such masters as Harry Clarke, Virgil Finlay, Bernie Wrightson, Basil Gogos and others. All are incredible.

You don’t have to do the list in order, or every one, but try to do at least twenty.

The List

1. Scene from a nightmare you’ve had

2. Creepy child

3. Human skull

4. Scary tree

5. Illustration for a horror story of your choice

6. Man-made monster (think Shelley’s Frankenstein monster, Gollum, etc.)

7. Dark, spooky house seen from the road

8. Beautiful but ominous woman

9. Zombie

10. Evil fairy

11. Frightened child

12. Animal you find terrifying

13. Ghost

14. Space creature/Scary robot

15. Angry mob

16. Open casket with body

17. Werewolf

18. Frightening creature from mythology (Norse, Greek, Native American, etc.)

19. Scary clown

20. Demon/devil

21. Bigfoot

22. Rat

23. Boogieman in child’s closet or under bed

24. Tombstone

25. Vampire (male or female)

26. Dragon

27. Crow or raven

28. Snake

29. Handsome but threatening man

30. Sea monster

Well, artists, there it is. I look forward to seeing what you create! Until next time, bonne nuit, mes innocents!

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19 comments on “Portfolio Challenge!

  1. rebecca2000 says:

    Great job on the drawing!

  2. Sophy says:

    This is a fun idea! I might do this challenge, as I rarely draw this kind of things. 🙂

  3. […] came across the amazing Kathy Farrel’s blog challenge a couple of days ago. She’s one truly talented lady, and she proposed a portfolio challenge […]

  4. I will definitely do his challenge its a great idea!

  5. Just posted my first illustration if you would like to have a look ^^ http://justdroptheball.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/portfolio-challenge/

  6. Marie Marfia says:

    I accept your challenge and have blogged about it today, so hope you get some more takers. Loving your energy and your art. Thanks for this.

  7. […] a week of absence, I’m finally done with my first piece from Katy Ferrel’s Portfolio Challenge. This is the first one on the list; a scene from a nightmare I had. I had so much fun doing this, […]

  8. […] is a picture of that memory and also another (Ghost) in the portfolio challenge issued by Kathy Ferrell at Big Cup o’ […]

  9. […] challenge she came across (you can find her post here).  The Portfolio Challenge is issued by Kathy Farrell, it’s a challenge that, frankly, challenges artists to make a quite large portfolio. Making […]

  10. […] do for a while now. I finally took the time to finish off the next piece for Katy Farrell’s Portfolio challenge. I know it’s waaay too late, since I intend to post one every two weeks, but I’m to […]

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