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Draw dragons to improve your composition skills. #Smaugust composition challenge. August 1 - 31

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It's good to see you too!

I can transfer the art but it is harder to transfer the comments and other stuff. i need to first do some verification. i'll send you a DM.

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That's a great question! I don't have a way to grant xp for comics yet. And it will be a ways off before it will be available Sad I wish i could have that for you but i can't at the moment.

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Hello ScaredyGhost/CokeKitty, WELCOME BACK!

People disappear and reappear all the time. We're happy to have you. Our forums aren't super active these days. You might want to jump into our discord server which is where all the happinen community stuff is at. We're so excited to have you here and see how you've improved!

Let me know if you'd like to use your old account again. I'm happy to recover it for you!


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Here there be dragons.

This art challenge runs from August 1 - 31, 2019.

This month we have an excuse to draw our favorite mythical creature, dragons. For the month of August post as many Dragon drawings as you can create and tag them with smaugust. You'll gain 50 XP for every drawing up to a maximum of 31 drawings.

To add an extra layer of challenge to help you improve your art, let's focus on improving our composition. Dragons are interesting and compelling creatures that make for great subject matter here.

Getting started

There are many different sheets of prompts that have been created by others to help spark ideas. Feel free to pick whichever prompt list you like or mix-and-match. Or ditch the prompts entirely and come up with your own concepts.

ChipperChartreuse has put together a Smaugust Pinterest board with prompts, tutorials, and inspiration to help you get started.

Learning Composition

Composition is an important art fundamental that helps artists make their art more compelling and tell a story. Do you find yourself struggling with the positioning of elements in your art? Does something about the placement feel off? These lessons can help give you guidance on where to place all the things.

This month I'll be doing free live art lessons demonstrating some composition fundamentals you can use to improve your art with dragons as the subject matter. This should be fun! Are you ready? Here's the schedule for the month...

Livestream schedule

  • Composition Lesson #1: Telling a story through composition
    Wednesday August 7th, 2019 10AM PST

  • Composition Lesson #2: How to use depth to tell your story
    Wednesday August 14th, 2019 10AM PST

  • Composition Lesson #3: Sizing and silhouettes
    Wednesday August 21st, 2019 10AM PST

  • Composition Lesson #4: Easy peasy composition tricks
    Wednesday August 28th, 2019 10AM PST

Watch the lessons live on my Twitch channel.

Create a Twitch account if you want to be able to ask questions or chat with others during the lesson.

Do you have composition tips? Post them in the forums as a reply to this post so others can benefit, too.

I look forward to seeing all of your great dragon drawings this month!

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Our last challenge was H-A-R-D and much more academic in nature so give yourself a pat on the back if you participated in that one.

This week's challenge is different and better for the soul. It's designed to help you get a much needed confidence booster!

I've spoken before about how many of us compare ourselves to other artists and how unhealthy it is. But for this week's challenge I'd like you to compare yourself to, well... yourself! We're going to do this by redoing an old work of art.

How to participate

This challenge runs from Jul 22 - Aug 4, 2019

  1. Look through the old creative works (art/writing/etc) that you've created. Try to find something that whenever you look at it you cringe at how bad it is. The older the better!

  2. Over the next two weeks work on redrawing/repainting/rewriting it to make it better reflect your current abilities.

  3. Post your old work and new work side by side with the years below like this example. If you're posting art, add the tag NoobMeVsNowMe to your submission tags. You'll gain 50XP for each art submission.

Get inspired

#NoobMeVsNowMe is trending these days on Twitter and Instagram so take a gander over there to be inspired at how much other artists have improved, too. I don't know about you but it inspires me to see that other artists have started from humble beginings.

Livestream schedule

I'm participating in this challenge too! And trust me I've got some really old art that needs some redrawing (see the title image).

I'll be critiqueing some of my old work and then redrawing it. Please note the new time.

  • Tuesday, July 23th, 10am PST

  • Wednesday, July 24th, 10am PST

  • Tuesday, July 30rd, 10am PST

Watch me live during these times on Twitch.

No time to participate?

If you don't have time to participate, at the very least, post some of your old art next to one of your recent pieces so we can all celebrate how far you've come!


Huge congratulations to Miriam-chan and DragonLadyBarbour for participating in last week's challenge! You can see all the travel challenge entries here.

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This challenge is for artists and writers.

Challenge runs from July 8 – 21, 2019.

You've been commissioned by Mr. Joergen Haybale, owner of the well known travel magazine*, Traveling Adventurer, to do an editorial illustration or write an article on [insert some awesome place you'd like to travel to here] to help inspire adventurers.

*a magazine is like a web page printed out.

For artists

Our growth as artists depends not just on our ability to draw and paint but also on our ability to see. The wonderful characters we love to draw and paint don't just exist in a white void. They go places. So being able to draw and paint landscapes is important for our development as well rounded artists.

In this challenge we'll be working on developing our observation skills. There are lots of things to observe in the world around us, but we're going to focus specifically on observing shapes and values of landscapes.

Due to a horrific accident at Mr. Joergen's printing factory (a Pillager raid at his village), colored ink is not currently available so the illustration must be created in grayscale.

Challenge instructions

  1. Decide on a location that fascinates you or you'd like to adventure to.

  2. Take your own photograph or find a color photograph of that place. Try to find something that has a wide range of lights and darks.

  3. Copy the photograph in a medium of your choosing using black, white, and grays. Focus on observing the values and shapes.

  4. Post your artwork by July 21st for 100 XP with the tag travelchallenge. Max 10 entries.

Livestream Schedule

To help you learn the concepts of observing value and shapes, I'll be doing a series of instructional livestreams. I'll update this page with links to the recordings as they become available.

  • Wednesday, Jul 10, 4pm PST – Understanding and observing values – Watch the replay

  • Thursday, Jul 11, 4pm PST – Understanding and observing shapes – Watch the replay

  • Tuesday, Jul 16, 4pm PST – Live demo of completing illustration start to finish part 1

  • Wednesday, Jul 17, 4pm PST – Live demo of completing illustration start to finish part 2

Watch the art livestreams here

For writers

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, incorporating the five senses into your writing is important to help the reader be emmersed in the experience. Here we'll be focusing on research and describing the five senses.

Challenge instructions

  1. Decide on a location that fascinates you or you'd like to adventure to.

  2. Spend the time to research that location. Watch videos, read articles, search for pictures. Try to understand what that place might look, sound, smell, feel, and taste like.

  3. Write an article or story that describes what it's like to be there. Consider the audience which is middle-aged, middle class people who love to travel. You can write it from the perspective of one of your original characters.

  4. Post your work by July 21st Note: I can't give XP for writing submissions yet but if you reply to this news post with a link to your writing entry, I can add XP as soon as the feature is released.


Some optional ideas and thought starters

Do you have questions about this challenge? Just reply or ask in the discord server and I'll help you out. This one is more academic and unlike other challenges we've done in the past so I'd love to hear from you what you think of it!

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Topic: Not loading?

Hi Ethan. Welcome to the community!

I thought I had fixed the issue. But I guess not.

I had determined it was because of some funny business caused by ad blockers. Ethan, can you clarify what browser you're using, and on what operating system and any extensions you might be using that block ads or anything similar?

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Some updates to have gone live today! Here's a look at some of the changes.

Change summary

Mainly this includes some content changes as we moved pages to our new wiki. We've been hit hard with spam lately and it is super time consuming to deal with removing it so I've implemented some additional anti-spam measures.


More complete list of changes

  • ⭐ feat | Edit profile page has been migrated to our new backend/frontend.

  • ⭐ feat | In order to add links to your profile you must be at least Level 2. (anti-spam measure)

  • 🐛 fix | art was previously missing from a users gallery that users had previously marked to be displayed in the gallery and not to be displayed in public galleries. Bug has been fixed. Thanks Tanilai for reporting!

  • 🍱 content | link to patreon on homepage, footer and email footer

  • 🍱 content | remove newest members from homepage (anti-spam measure)

  • 🐛 fix | caching bug which may have caused slow page loads on homepage

  • 👗 UI | add link to the new portal (challenges) page in user drop down menus

  • 👗 UI | add link to RC profile in drop down menus. Thanks Nyatara/The_Maya for reporting.

  • 🍱 content | replace legacy content pages with wiki links

  • 🍱 content | remove user subdomain profile link on signup page since we'll be removing subdomain profile links

  • 🔨 refactor | other misc internal refactorings/edits


What's coming next?

More anti-spam measures. Bug fixes to challenges. Internal refactorings.

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Greetings PaperDemons!

I hope you've enjoyed the sketching challenge from last week. Don't forget to collect your XP.

Recurring challenge schedule

Going forward we'll be hosting a new challenge every week that runs from Monday through Sunday. So watch your email inbox for new challenge announcements.

Pride Challenge

I was originally planning to run a color challenge for us this week at the suggestion of ChipperChartreuse. Our good friend Maya came up with the brilliant idea to make it pride themed and use a different color from the rainbow flag for each day. This is perfect for pride month!


The original 1978 LGBT flag had 8 colors, each with their own meaning.

Artists will create illustrations using a different color from the flag each day.

Writers will use a different color meaning as drabble prompts each day.

  1. Hot Pink / Sex
  2. Red / Life
  3. Orange / Healing
  4. Yellow / Sunlight
  5. Green / Nature
  6. Turquoise / Magic/Art
  7. Indigo / Serenity
  8. Violet / Spirit

Since there's only 7 days in the challenge, we'll leave it up to you which colors/prompts to use on which days.

Tag your art submissions on PaperDemon with pridechallenge to get 60 XP per entry. We're granting more XP since coloring is generally more time consuming than sketching.

Free lessons on color

Do you struggle to find good colors for your artwork? This week I'm teaching a few color theory lessons you can use to level up your art.

Livestream lesson schedule

Each livestream lesson begins promptly at the time listed and will last about 10-15 minutes, with another additional 50 minutes of lesson demonstration, chatting, and answering questions.

  • Tuesday 4pm PST, monochrome color palette
  • Wednesday 4pm PST, analogous color palette
  • Thursday 4pm PST, complementary color palette

Watch the livestream

Looking forward to seeing the PaperDemon site filled with your beautiful colors this week!

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I trust you have fully recovered from our marathon challenge, Create Your Own Adventure. Now it's time to kick things off again. Wait, what's that? Hey, no groaning allowed! I promise this challenge is easy and straightforward so you don't have to think too hard.

Complete one sketch or drabble per day from June 17th to June 23rd to (queue dramatic voice over) unlock the greatness within you. Prompts have been provided below but feel free to diverge if inspired to do something else. If you can't participate all 7 days, that's ok! Do what feels realistic for you.


  1. A memory 
  2. Gratitude
  3. Unconditional love
  4. Annoying
  5. "I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel"
  6. A Dream or nightmare
  7. "O, woe is me"

What is a drabble?

A drabble is a short form of fiction roughly 100 words in length. You don't have to be precise with the word count but getting as close to 100 as you can is part of the challenge. Here's more info on how to write a drabble.

Sketching tips

To help you get them pencil moving, I'll be livestreaming my sketching on Twitch, Monday June 17th through Friday June 21st from 4pm – 5pm PST. Watch the stream and hang out while you draw your way to leveling up. I'll be sharing various tips and techniques on sketching and answering any questions. If you're a beginner, this can be a chance to get questions answered in real time.

Here's my livestream schedule

  • •Monday 4pm – 5pm PST → Capturing people quickly with gesture drawing 

  • •Tuesday 4pm – 5pm PST → Using basic shapes when sketching 

  • •Wednesday 4pm – 5pm PST → Using reference to be able to draw anything 

  • •Thursday 4pm – 5pm PST → Thumbnailing, concepting, and layered sketching 

  • •Friday 4pm – 5pm PST → Drawing your requests! 

Draw with Jazza has a great set of sketching tips for you as well on sketching.

Tag all the things to earn your points!

Artists, please submit your sketches as art submissions on with the tag pdsketches2019. You'll earn 30XP for each submission. At the end of the challenge, collect your points in the dashboard.

We don't have tags for writing submissions at the moment, so just reply to this blog post with a link to your submission so we can see! Sadly I can't offer XP for writing submissions (yet anyway).

See you there! Reply here or in discord with questions.