I painted this small original painting over a decade ago as a source of strength. To me, this happy tulip is the truest form of unwavering happiness and confidence. I hope this subject inspires you to commit to your challenge and the days ahead.

Your goal with this challenge is to playfully paint, to find meditative joy, to slow down and find moments of meaning. You’re leaving self-judgment and expectations of creating anything perfect behind.

Let’s see how we can playfully recreate with 20 minutes.

Me, Myself and I - original front

The Painting Practice

Remember to turn off your phone notifications before you start.

  1. Draw a rectangular box sized 8×10 inches on your paper.
  2. While looking at your reference photo as your inspiration, do a simple outline of the flower on your paper. Just a rough sketch will do and it can be whatever shape or size you want.
    • Start with the stem.
    • Now move on to the petals. Starting at the top left, draw the left petal. Starting at the top right, draw the right petal. Then draw the front and back petal at the top.
    • Now draw the leaves.
  3. Choose your colors, they can be whatever colors you’d like. While I love this simply color combination (so much so this became a study for a larger statement piece that hung in a favorite gallery and toured with me on the East Coast) I want you to make this your own.
  4. Grab some water and your brushes, and don’t forget a towel to clean off your wet brush and protect your clothes.
  5. Now, set a gentle timer and paint for 20 minutes for some meditative joy and playful painting. We’re going for fun and not perfection.


I’d love to see your finished free challenge! Send me a photo to erica@studioeriksdotter.com or tag @studioeriksdotter on social media. Tell me how did this challenge make you feel? What colors did you choose and why?

If you feel called to continue painting past 20 minutes, please do so!