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Photography of Alvaro Montoro being a doofus
Alvaro Montoro

Tech Writer

8x4 Grid with cartoons

One HTML Tag. Thirty+ CSS Drawings -My Divtober 2023 Collection.

The month of October hosts Divtober. Acoding challenge in which developers create CSS Art based on a daily word. The catch: you can only use a single div tag.

css html webdev showdev divtober

You can find all these drawings (and many more) on To check the source code easily, I'll add a CodePen link under each image description.

Some of the drawings are inspired/based on other drawings I found online. When that's the case, I added a link to the original work in the description on CodePen. Also, if I recorded the coding process, I'd share a video on YouTube.

1 - Fall

Cartoon of a carved pumpkin

This was not my original idea (see alternatives below), but I like how it looked in the end. This jack-o-lantern is playful and fun.


2 - Impossible

Cartoon of an impossible optical illusion

Not a really original work (many of the Divtober participants went for a similar optical illusion), and found some issues with positioning elements (I had to add an extra box in one of the dimensions for it to work).


3 - Artist

Caricature of Picasso done in cubist style

How about drawing Picasso in Picassian/cubist style? PiCSSo! This was a fun one to code, although I struggled a little to find an idea for it (found it on a stock cartoon.)


4 - Crawl

Cartoon of an earthworm

This cartoon is animated: the earthworm moves and crawls. It is one of the two cartoons where I used the blur/contrast trick to make the curves look smooth (I abused that trick last time.)


5 - Lost

Cartoon of a lost-and-found box

Inspired by Pixar's short film "Lou", this lost-and-found box may have a life of its own (although it's not animated).


6 - Bounce

Cartoon of a bouncer guarding a door

Does a bouncer bounce? This may be a stretch (and not only because the drawing is responsive and "infinite"). Initially, I thought about drawing a bouncing ball, but then I thought it was too obvious. The demo is slightly animated, with the bouncer saying "no" with his head.


7 - Treat

Cartoon of a two-scoop ice cream

This is one of my favorite drawings from divtober. Simple, sweet, and fun to code... a real treat. I recorded the coding process and shared it on my YouTube channel.



8 - Mix

Cartoon of a mixing bowl and a whisk

This results from running out of time and not having many ideas on what to do. To be fair, it could have been a lot worse.



9 - Space

Cartoon of an astronaut floating in space

Last year, I did a single-element CSS drawing that would have been a perfect fit for this word... This year, not so much... but I really like it (although it may not be the best or most popular).



10 - Sparkle

Cartoon of a sparkle firework

The other illustration using the blur/contrast trick (for the sparkles, combined with other filters). I like the result although it's not as "realistic" as I would have wanted.


11 - Bones

Cartoon of a cutesy skeleton

The initial version of this cartoon was not cute at all. It was rough and ugly. So I can't complain about how this one resulted.



12 - Glass

Cartoon of a spider seen through a magnifying glass

This one is animated. The spider goes up and down and looks smaller or larger depending if it's behind the magnifying glass or not (this effect is brought up to you by using the same spider drawing on two pseudo-elements :P)


13 - Collect

Cartoon of a baseball collectible card

Another animated drawing (and in 3D!) A collectible card for a fake baseball player (me!) of the Boston SoCSS —yes, I tend to add unfunny CSS puns in my drawings, sorry.


14 - Small

Cartoon of a chick coming out of an egg

This drawing may be cute, and it was ok to draw but the result is... I don't know. It doesn't "bring me joy."


15 - Remember

Cartoon of a hand with a thread knotted

"Remember, remember, the 5th of November..." I thought about doing a Guy Fawkes/V for Vendetta type of thing... instead I went with this drawing, which is ironic because I hate to draw hands (on paper or digitally).


16 - Tangled

Cartoon of a tower with a person with long hair looking from a window

This idea looked better in my head than when I implemented it in code. And it took longer than usual, so I didn't want to spend more time cleaning it up.



17 - Brave

Cartoon of a mouse saying 'fuck you' to a lion

Initially, I planned a person holding a chair and taming the lion. But I wasn't fond of that idea (it felt like animal cruelty), and instead went with a version of an old picture I once saw (but with two dogs instead of a mouse and a lion.)


18 - Component

Diagram of the caffeine formula

There are drawings in CSS that I can approve of and drawings that I'd seriously say "use SVG instead". This is one of the latter. For the curious: it's caffeine.


19 - Sticky

Cartoon of a shoe with a chewing gum stuck in the sole

This cartoon is interactive! Move the foot up and down to stretch the chewing gum stuck on the foot. The effect is achieved by using a range input instead of a div.



20 - Seeing

Cartoon of the all-seeing eye of providence

This all-seeing Eye of the Providence is one of my favorite drawings from divtober 2023. And it was surprisingly easy to code.


21 - Faraway

Cartoon of a sextant

Definitely not my favorite drawing. Another one of those ideas that sound better in my mind, but then don't translate that great into drawing.



22 - Alive

Cartoon of a reward poster

This wanted sign was easier to code than expected (in part because I went with a silly face instead of trying to do something more elaborate). I like the folding lines on the poster.



23 - Fake

Cartoon of a turtle wearing a fake shark fin

There's an alternative for this word (see below), but it was "politically incorrect". Instead, I went with this turtle wearing a shark fin... which is kind of weird.


24 - Feast

Cartoon of a cornucopia

A Thanksgiving message in October? Why not? After all, the stores are already selling Christmas decorations (and it's not even Halloween yet!) This cornucopia was fun to draw.


25 - Cheesy

Cartoon of a cute piece of cheese

This piece of cheese looks more like SpongeBob TriangularPants than a piece of cheese, but I like it. It's cute.


26 - Cold

Cartoon of the cold emoji

Trying to mimick and emoji with a single element is a challenging experience. The icicles look fake with no shadows, but it could be worse.


27 - Rules

Cartoon of traffic signs

This drawing took longer than I wanted, and then it felt clogged, with too many things going on (plus it is an infinite pattern). Even the browser may have some issues loading it :(


28 - Handmade

Logo with a ball of yarn and two stitches

This logo was inspired by another logo I saw online (and can't find anymore). It may be one of my favorite divtober drawings of this year.


29 - Pin

Cartoon of two safety pins

I made the pin upside down by mistake... lucky me, fixing it with CSS was as simple as doing a scaleY(-1). This is another drawing (along with the logo before too), that may be better in SVG.


30 - Discontinued

Cartoon of a closed stored

This one was fun to make, especially the awning. I like the end result, but I don't find much special to it. It feels like any of the hundreds of drawings of storefronts you can find online... which may be its strength.


31 - Witchy

Cartoon of a witch

I initially did a flat version of this drawing but later added the lines. It is inspired in part by a different single-element illustration I did of a chibi.



There were some other single-element drawings during this time.


Cartoon of a landscape in the fall

Maybe it was too ambitious. Maybe I just didn't like it... in the end, I never completed this one, and instead, I drew a jack-o-lantern.



Cartoon of a man hanging from the ceiling in front of a computer

It was October 3, and I had to do something for "Artist"... but my brain kept coming to the previous day's word: "Impossible", so I drew this animated parody of Mission:Impossible (and then did the Picasso cartoon).



Caricature of Donald Trump saying 'fake news'

I did two versions of this cartoon. The initial one was more of a bobblehead, and I didn't like it because the head looked too round and big. This one may be less of a caricature, but I prefer it. Maybe something in between would be better?



Cartoon of a hand making hand shadows

What is more handmade than a hand shadow? As mentioned above, I hate drawing hands... so why not practice drawing some more? I like it in general, but that thumb is... oof!



At the beginning of October, I had decided not to participate in this year's Divtober. I had done it a couple of years in a row, and it was fun, but it requires too much "commitment." In the end, I must admit it was fun participating, but don't know if I'll do it next year. There are so many October challenges: divtober, inktober, clocktober... It's time to pick a different one and enjoy it, too.

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