Ode to Women Theme 1: Women Nurses

Dear artists, welcome to “An Ode to Women”! Thank you for joining us for this fun challenge! I’m very excited to see you here!


Big thanks to our inspirational guest artists for volunteering for this project, providing photo references and sharing inspirational slide shows and videos! This project wouldn’t be possible without them!

The goal of this journey is not to create masterpieces, but rather to practice, and to complete 30 portraits by March 8th.

You will enjoy this challenge the most if you have some basic understanding on the face structure. You can find great affordable instructional classes HERE.

I would suggest you spend 30 minutes per portrait using provided photo references, but it’s really up to you.

For those with very little time on your hands, I would suggest to aim for specific goals. For example: you can concentrate on a specific part of the face (like eyes, nose, or lips), you can leave the rest of the face unfinished. Persistency is the key to success.

You can use any medium you are comfortable with. If you are using an iPad – please start from scratch.

Go ahead and show your efforts in our FB group album, we are excited to see what you have created!

If you have friends who might like to practice with us – feel free to invite them to our FB group, the more – the merrier.

Please follow Art Challenges on Instagram, tag and hashtag #AnOdeTo WomenChallenge to see what others are creating. Time permitting I will share a few works from this hashtag on our profile.

Most importantly – have fun and be kind to yourself and others<3

Theme 1: Women Nurses

For this theme we have prepared 7 references for you: most of them (not all) include inspirational slideshows or videos by our guest artists. Enjoy!


The fast-paced and unpredictable nature of health care places nurses at risk for injuries and illnesses. Nurses suffer very high levels of occupational stress when compared to other professionals. Despite equal opportunity legislation, nursing has continued to be a female-dominated profession, the male-to-female ratio of nurses is approximately 1:19.

Reference: 1/30

This challenge was prepared for you by our guest artist Pamela Vosseller (pamelascolors.com)

Reference: 2/30

This challenge was prepared for you by our guest artist Jeanne Elliott (https://www.facebook)

“This is my mother when she graduated from Harrisburg School of Nursing in about 1944. She just passed away in September at age 94, having left her mark with the wonderful care she gave so many patients.”

Reference: 3/30

This challenge was prepared for you by our guest artist Melinda Lincoln-Napoletano (https://www.pinterest.com/racham1/melinda-napoletanos-artwork/)

Mary Eliza Mahoney was one of only four students to complete the rigorous graduate nursing program at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, making her the first Black licensed nurse. She graduated from nursing school in 1879.

Supplies list: White printer paper; A good eraser; Blending/smudge sticks in 2 sizes at least, one for large areas and 1 for smaller, tighter areas like around the eyes, nose, and mouth; ProArt or any brand 6B graphite pencil; Hard and soft Charcoal pencils; Charcoal stick for large area like hair.

PROCESS: #1 – sketch with some shading – a little more detail than quick sketch; #2 – adding more shading in dark areas and detail; #3 darkening things up further – not really blending out too much yet; #4 adding more charcoal to dark areas and noticing my face is a bit off now; #5 correcting face and adding more charcoal and graphite reading to blend; #6 removing unnecessary lines and blending everything out smooth;

Reference: 4/30

This challenge was prepared for you by our guest artist Katrina Koltes (https://katrinakoltes.com/)

Ida Fieldman, was 2nd Lt. Army Nurse stationed in the US during WWII and took care of the men from overseas.She was also a long-time member of the Association of Jewish Registered Nurses, serving twice as President, and  provided scholarships to student nurses.

Art supplies used: Hot press watercolor paper; graphite pencil and eraser; Daniel smith watercolor tube (Blue payne’s gray); watercolor paint brushes, napkins: black watercolor pencil 

Reference: 5/30

This challenge was prepared for you by our guest artist Lauren Rudolph (www.Laurenrudolph.com)

This is Laura Flanders-Roush, she is ICU, ER and now Recovery Room nurse x 34yrs. She is an artist and a member of our creative community on FB. Thank you dear Laura, for being our muse and inspiration!

Reference: 6/30

This challenge was prepared for you by our guest artist Deborah Thoden ( https://www.facebook.com/DeborahThoden )

Japanese nurse 1905

Supplies: Dylusions art journal; Colored pencil; Watercolor pencil.

Reference: 7/30

Florence Nightingale (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organized care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople. She gave nursing a favorable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night. (wiki)

Happy creating!

Big hugs and much love




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