Enter the Art Prof September Art Dare!



Draw a self-portrait from life using charcoal.

Get major brownie points by using the techniques shown in Prof Clara Lieu’s charcoal drawing tutorial on the Art Prof Youtube. In your text caption, mention what you learned from the tutorial that was helpful.

Subscribe to the Art Dares email list and be notified on the first day of each month!


To Submit
Post your artwork on Instagram, tag us @art.prof  w/ #artprofdare.
Or, post your artwork on our Facebook page.

Use #artprofwip, and Prof Clara Lieu might drop by and give feedback on your in progress artwork. We feature submissions on our Instagram and Facebook page during the month!

Submissions close Sept. 30 @ 11:59pm EST
Questions?  Comment below or Email us.

Artist Prizes
We award prizes in categories based on the submissions we receive. In the past, prizes we’ve given have included “Tremendous Improvement,” “Innovative Brainstorming,” and Honorable Mentions. The prize winners receive: Prof Lieu’s book Learn, Create and Teach and a 10 min. video critique on 3-5 artworks from Prof Lieu. Honorable mentions will win an Art Prof T-shirt.

  cover   ART PROF official T-shirt, designed by Art Prof intern Janice Chun  Dessery Dai, Art School Admissions Art Portfolio

Art Teacher’s Prize

Art Teachers: assign this Art Dare to one of your classes! One class will win a large Art Prof sticker for each student, and a class video critique from Prof Lieu. (watch below) In the class video critique, each student will receive a 1 minute critique on an artwork of their choice. Limit of 25 students. Grades 8 and up are eligible to enter.

Submission Guidelines for Art Teachers
If you have an Instagram for your classroom, you can post your students’ artwork there. Encourage your students to post their submissions on their own accounts as well! For each submission, tag us @art.prof w/ #artprofdare. Use #artprofwip, and Prof Lieu might drop by and give feedback to your students!

Your official class submission must be done via DropBox or Google Drive.  Place your students’ artworks in a folder, and then share the folder to Prof Lieu‘s email.

To be eligible for a prize, your artwork must be created specifically for this Art Dare, and must follow all guidelines.

See drawing examples and get tips below! 

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Read this article which contains a materials list for charcoal drawing, and watch Prof Clara Lieu’s charcoal drawing tutorial on the Art Prof Youtube, which is packed with smart strategies for drawing with charcoal.

Don’t cheat and draw from a photo.  (Prof Lieu can tell in a heartbeat) Take the time to draw yourself from a mirror, the results will be worth it. We are not looking for drawings that look like xeroxes of photographs. We want to see how you can create a unique idea through drawing, whether it’s through a narrative, the mood, atmosphere, emotion, etc. through drawing. Consider what kind of visual effects you can create with charcoal that are not possible in a photograph.

Keep in mind that drawing yourself from a mirror is a starting point. Your drawing does not need to be perfectly realistic or have accurate proportions.  Get creative and play around with distorting your portrait, try out unusual compositions, experiment with a dramatic drawing style.  You could even add surrealistic elements to the portrait to create a dream like atmosphere.  Anything is possible!

Related Videos & Articles
Charcoal Materials List & Supply Tips
Video:  How to Draw a Portrait with Charcoal
Video: Drawing a Portrait in Pencil
Why Drawing from Life is Important
How do You Draw the Human Face?
How Do You Draw Noses?
How Do You Draw Hair?
What Mindset Do You Need to Draw Successfully?
How Do Artists Get Their Soul Into Their Images?

Artists to look at for inspiration
Frank Auerbach, Kathe Kollwitz, Edgar Degas, John Singer Sargent, William Kentridge

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ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts which provides equal access to high quality art education for people of all ages and means. Imagine all of the resources here on our blog, except exponentially bigger, in greater quantity, and in more detail. Our Kickstarter hit its $30k goal on July 19, 2016.  Get info on our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

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Portfolio Video Critiques for Art Students & Artists
Prof Clara Lieu offers 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for students working on a portfolio for art school admission, and for artists of any age working on their artwork. Watch a sample below, and get more info here.

Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories, and post select submissions on our Instagram  and other sites throughout the month. Use #artprofwip and Prof Clara Lieu might just stop by and give you some feedback! We have a special prize for art teachers who assign the Art Dare to one of their classes. More info is here.

Ask the Art Prof Live was a weekly live video broadcast on our Facebook page where Prof Clara Lieu provided professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Prof Lieu discussed being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more.


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