You’re looking at a blank sketchbook page and you’re at a loss for your next drawing idea…again. Whether you need a creative break in the day, a weekend project, or more drawing prompts to fill the pages, it can be challenging to keep generating cool drawing ideas.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas, tips, and resources to jumpstart your creative juices no matter your drawing expertise – now grab your tools and get going.
Drawing Ideas: People
- Draw a caricature of yourself.
- Depict yourself as a superhero.
- Draw self-portraits from different perspectives. Try positioning a mirror from different angles.
- Sketch your hands in different positions. Draw your feet.
- Draw a close up of the eye. Try your teeth. Do a study of different people’s ears.
- Draw a self-portrait from your reflection in a spoon.
- Draw yourself double your age.
- Study and sketch people in cafes, parks, and on public transportation.
CreativeLive has tons of classes on Art & Design, Photography, and more. Learn more.
Drawing Ideas: Landscape/Perspective
- Draw the view out of a window.
- Draw the clouds.
- Capture the view from your car’s rearview mirror.
- Play with perspective: look up under a bridge, between high rises, or at the ceiling of an elaborate building. Look down over an overpass, a cliff, or from a balcony.
Drawing Ideas: Imagination
- Draw an object and give it a face.
- Create an alternate cover to your favorite book or album.
- Illustrate a scene from your favorite song.
- Draw a scene or character from your favorite book.
- Illustrate your favorite fairy-tale.
- Invent your own insects.
- Draw an intricate made up flower. Make it a bouquet.
- Design your own typeface.
- Draw something truthful.
- Draw something false.
- Create your own game board.
- Combine animals to make your own mythical creature.
- Draw a scene from a dream you’ve had.
- Draw a home in outer space.
- Play the exquisite corpse drawing game.
- Fill the page with things with wheels.
- Fill the page with things that float.
- Fill the page with robots.
- Combine two subjects that don’t belong together in the same scene.
- Design your personal logo.
- Divide a paper into 6 sections and create a different pattern in each one.
Drawing Ideas: Still life
- Draw a towel in different positions: crumpled, hanging, strewn on the ground.
- Get a handful of utensils and toss them on the table. Draw them as they land.
- Draw a still life of items from your fridge or pantry.
- Draw the ingredients of your next meal before your prepare it.
- Draw an old pair of shoes.
- Draw a pile of unfolded laundry.
- Draw a fruit or vegetable sliced open.
- Draw the inside of your closet.
- Draw your room before it’s cleaned.
- Draw the same still life 3 times, zooming farther in each time.
Drawing Ideas: Weeklong
- In your sketchbook, make 7 random scribbles or shapes. Over the course of a week, complete each drawing.
- Illustrate your to-do list for the week
- Draw every meal you eat for a week
- Pick a subject and illustrate it a different way for 7 days.
- Document your week as it progresses as a comic strip.
Drawing Ideas: Build a Daily Habit
It takes 28 days to make or break a habit. Join the thousands of creators that have been inspired by the free daily ideas in our 28 to Make series:
- Blind contour drawing: Without looking at your paper, draw any object, such as your own hand, in one continuous line without lifting your hand from the page. Grab a partner and do simultaneous blind contour portraits of each other.
- Subtractive drawing: Try this one with charcoal. Using it horizontally, shade your paper an even value of grey. Now “draw” with your eraser – erase the highlights of your subject.
- Left & right: Draw something with your dominant hand, then your non-dominant hand.
- Everything else: Draw the negative space around an object.
- Topsy turvy: Draw a portrait from an upside down photo.
- Scenes from memory: Sketch 3 scenes from your day from memory. Play with perspective and try this daily.
- Copy the masters: Draw a painting by your favorite painter. Or go to a museum and draw works you enjoy.
- 360 degrees: Choose an object and draw its outline. Turn the object slightly and draw the outline again. Repeat.
- Minimalist: Draw something with the fewest lines possible.
- Get the gist: A great way to approach drawing the human body, gesture drawing captures the basic form of your subject in a loose manner that often expresses emotion. Try limiting your time to gesture drawings of 10-30 seconds.
- Different techniques: Try shading different ways: hatching, cross hatching, stippling, and more.
- Light it up: Play with lighting. Draw outside at different types of the day and inside using multiple or single light sources from different angles.
Consider the following tips to help improve your drawing skills:
- Try different media
Pencil drawings are just the tip of the iceberg. Try charcoal, pastels, pens, markers, crayons, and conte crayons. Experiment and mix media to discover what produces your best drawings.
- Draw daily and at the right time
Don’t just wait until Inktober to get on the grind. Find the time of day in which you have the most creative energy and don’t waver from it. After the first week it will settle in as routine.
- Commit to a drawing series online
Tumblr and Instagram among other platforms offer daily drawing challenges (think Inktober, but yearlong). Joining one of these and posting your drawings will increase your accountability and motivation. Not only will set themes give you direction and just the right amount of constraints to work within, you’ll also be joining a creative community that shares feedback.
Happens to us all. It’s part of the messy middle of any challenging project.
- James Victore advises that you “Feck Perfuction“, but if you’re at all like us, you might also need some of Gary John Bishop’s advice on how to “Unfu*k Yourself“.
- Creatives are hard on themselves. Mel Robbins can help you break the habit of self-doubt and build real confidence.
- And most of all, listen to Ze Frank: your pencils are sharp enough. Just get started!
How Can You Learn and Improve Your Drawing Skills?
Check out the following resources for more drawing ideas:
Drawing Classes & Tutorials:
- How to Make Money Drawing For Fun
- Drawing for Graphic Design: 6 Exercises to Sharpen Your Skills,
- Drawing the Everyday Every Day
- Drawing Basics
- Drawing Ideas E-book By Mark Baskinger and William Bardel, Watson-Guptill Publications. Buy here.
- Drawing: A Complete Guide (Paperback – Illustrated) by Giovanni Civardi. Buy on Amazon.
- The Master Guide to Drawing Anime by Chris Hart. Buy on Amazon.
- 365 Days of Drawing by Lorna Scobie, Chronicle Books. Buy Here.
CreativeLive has thousands of free high quality lessons, and also streams classes for free 24/7. Subscribe for access to the full CreativeLive library on your own schedule, and learn a variety of different drawing and illustration techniques to express your creativity! Learn more: