In this quick guide I'm going to share with you the same drawing prompts I use when I feel stuck with my drawings.
Specifically, for during those moments when you open your sketchbook, but just don't know where to begin. This sort of creative block can be overcome by giving yourself a creative limitation.
Drawing prompts are effective because they are creative limitations
When you open your sketchbook to look at a blank page, the possibilities are limitless. You can literally draw anything. But is this a good thing?
Not if it prevents you from drawing. Unless you have drawing themes you're exploring in your work, I suggest using simple drawing prompts to help you draw more.
Does this ever happen to you?
You feel inspired to sit down and sketch, but when you actually sit down to sketch, nothing is happening.
Maybe you start putting marks down on the paper, but your mind feels blank.
- Why does this happen?
- Why do you have nothing to draw the moment you sit down to sketch?
- How is it you can feel inspired and still be unable to sketch?
It’s so frustrating.
Which is why drawing prompts can be such a big help. Essentially, drawing prompts are easy drawing ideas to help you overcome creative block.
Drawing prompts are better than waiting for inspiration
So instead of waiting for inspiration to hit you, you can give yourself a creative limitation to help you push through creative block and draw. There is no question that drawing every day will help you get better. But what if you don't feel inspired every day.
The hard truth is that you can't wait to become inspired. You have to just start drawing – ANYTHING – and it will help you spark inspiration.
This is why drawing prompts can be so valuable.
When you force yourself to tackle a creative challenge, you don't need any inspiration. Sketching becomes a game.
Then a few minutes into the drawing prompts something magical happens, inspiration kicks in. You find yourself drawing more and more. Maybe you even ditch using these drawing prompts because inspiration hit you to explore more of a specific concept. If this is the case, then you have yourself a drawing theme.
1. Draw every detail of your environment without lifting your pencil
Perhaps the easiest of these drawing prompts is to just sit down and start drawing every detail of the environment you're in. The challenge to give yourself is to not lift your pen or pencil. This prompt helps you overcome the challenge of knowing what to draw. While also giving you a creative challenge so you don't over think your drawing before you get started.
2. Blind contour drawing
If you enjoy the contour line exercise, then you should certainly try this one. In this exercise, look only at the subject that you are drawing and not at the paper. Yes, you read that correctly. Use a pen in this exercise and try to coordinate your hand and eyes to work together, recording the outer border of what you're looking at. The idea here is to train your hand and eyes to work in unison. As you do more blind contour line drawings you will get better and begin seeing some wonderful, fluid lines in the world around you.
3. Draw studies of your opposite hand
Hands have always been challenging to draw. But if you make them something you draw a first thing, they'll be forever easy for you. Keep these simple by drawing only drawing lines and not worry about light and shadow. Give yourself 30-60 seconds to draw your opposite hand. then change the shape of your hand and draw it again in the same time frame – on the same page. Fill up the page with a dozen drawing of your hand. In fact, you could do a few drawings of hand on the same page every day as a warm-up to spark inspiration.
4. Revisit old drawings
Sometimes the biggest inspiration blocker is a blank page. Instead of starting on a fresh sketchbook page, instead, flip to a page with drawing already on them. Then finesse and rework some of your older sketches. Add color, add more details, let your imagination go wild on an old observational drawing, add a pattern. This will help you take action and get your drawing energy up so you can eventually turn to a fresh page and start a new drawing.
5. Morph two objects together
This is my favorite drawing prompt because the results are always unpredictable.
Merge any two objects together. They can be anything! Reference a photo of an animal and morph it with a plant you're looking at on your table. All the other drawing prompts before this was mostly about challenging your observation and coordination skills. This drawing prompt is about challenging your imagination and creativity. Use this drawing prompt to spark your drawing creativity.
Final thoughts on using these drawing prompts
Notice something in these drawing prompts?
They all require minimal drawing supplies and resources. You can pick up any pencil or pen and a few pieces of paper and start drawing.
It doesn't matter if you have some elaborate art studio, the best drawing supplies, expensive paper. Having these things aren't as important as the time you spend actually drawing.
I have one more tip for you to make these drawing prompt more effective. This is to practice these drawing prompts in different environments. Meaning, change up where you normally draw. Go outside and draw. Spend a few minutes challenging yourself with these drawing prompts, but don't stop there. Start drawing everything you see around you.
So there you have it, use these drawing prompts to help you generate more drawings when you feel like you're being blocked creatively. Really, your only goal with these drawing prompts isn't to make your best work ever, it's to get your creative juices flowing.
To get some momentum with your drawing so you can draw more and more.
I hope you enjoy these drawing prompts and they get you to draw more!