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Whether you’ve been an artist all your life or you’re only just dipping your toes in the waters of drawing and sketching, sometimes we all need a little bit of inspiration when the creative well is running dry. You never know when your next idea will strike, so we’re here to give you a few drawing prompts that might light that spark. All you have to do is dig out your pencils and get sketching!
1. Draw a Cartoon Based on People You Know
There’s something special about watching a character come to life on paper. We’re not asking you to create something that would fit perfectly in the next Disney or Pixar movie (although you can definitely try to replicate their work). But when it comes to creative drawing prompts, there’s nothing more fun than working on your own cartoon. If you’re wondering where to start, base your characters on your friends, family, or even yourself.
2. Draw a Monster From an Ink Blob
Like cartoons, monsters are easy to draw, and you can really let your imagination run wild with them. One fun idea is to splatter ink blots across a page to create random shapes and draw your monster around them. It’ll help you to be extra creative as the ink will look different every time you try using this kind of sketch prompt.
3. Draw a Caricature of a Famous Person You Love (or Hate)
Caricatures are usually focused on people but distort their features in comical ways. Popular in the 1700s (and beyond) to mock the political elite, this is a good starting point if you’re learning how to draw the human form. Gave your figure a frightfully large nose? Make it bigger! Is the head way out of proportion to the rest of the body? Perfect! You can really do anything with caricatures.
4. Draw an Outfit You Love
You don’t have to be a designer to sketch fashion-focused drawings. The basic look of this type of work makes them an ideal place to start if you’re looking for beginner sketchbook prompts. There are far fewer details to worry about when it comes to drawing the body, as the idea is to keep the figure simple so that the attention is on the clothes they’re wearing. You can then add as much or as little detail as you want to their outfit, depending on your skill level.
5. Draw a Friend as an Anime Character
Anime characters are incredibly popular among artists of all ages and interests. Their distinctive features like big, expressive eyes make them one of the most fun sketch prompts to work on when you’re lacking inspiration. It’s best to start with mapping out the facial features and building the accessories and hairstyle around those so that you can be sure to keep everything in proportion as you draw.
6. Draw a Self Portrait Avatar
Sketching yourself is one of the first projects that many artists work on. In fact, most of the world’s most famous painters have at least one self portrait in their collection. If you’re a little nervous about trying drawing prompts like this, start small and make a fun avatar of yourself instead. Since this will be a more cartoon-like format, you don’t need to be as accurate with all of the features—a great way to ease into drawing pictures of yourself.
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7. Draw Your Name in Hand Lettering
When it comes to beginner sketch prompts, there are few easier places to begin than with hand lettering, a style of drawing that’s become incredibly popular in recent years. Try adapting your own handwriting first by writing out your own name or a word or quote that’s meaningful to you. Sketch it out several times but change how the letters look on each attempt until you find a lettering style that you love.
8. Draw a Flower From Your Garden
Flowers are usually straightforward to draw, particularly if you think about breaking them down into different shapes and patterns rather than trying to draw everything at once. They’re the ideal choice for beginners looking for creative drawing prompts that can be adapted and added to as you start to feel more confident in your sketching abilities. Choose a single flower to begin with so that you learn to understand how it’s constructed and how to translate this onto the page.
9. Draw the Next Animal You See
Just like with flowers, animals are the easiest to draw when you break them down into various shapes and components. Don’t worry about the details or keeping your sketch neat around the edges—you can always tidy it up with an eraser later. The idea here is to help you feel inspired by what you’re seeing, whether you’re using a model or drawing from a photo.
10. Draw Something Upside Down
Who ever said you can’t turn your sketches upside down? Especially when you’re a new artist, working with upside-down objects or guide pictures can be helpful for working with lines and shapes rather than trying to recreate what you’re seeing exactly as it is.
11. Draw in a Continuous Line
Line art is a simple way to sketch beautiful, simple drawings when you’re looking for sketchbook prompts. Learning how to draw in one continuous line, especially if you’re focused on the object rather than the paper, is an excellent way to build your hand-to-eye coordination. Choose something simple like fruit or a flower in a vase to get the hang of this style before moving onto more complex pieces.
12. Draw a Cartoon of Your Breakfast
If you’re truly stuck for ideas of what to draw next, go back to the most important meal of the day: breakfast! You don’t have to make your food look realistic, and working on cartoon food sketches means that you can even turn them into illustrations later on. Bacon, eggs, and toast are all fun and easy to draw in a cartoon style, making them great for new artists and experienced sketchers.
13. Draw a Friendly (or Scary) Dragon
When you’re looking for the ultimate fantasy drawing prompt, dragons really are the icing on the cake. They’re not as difficult to draw as you might think, especially if you’re working on different parts of the body at a time. When you’re drawing the dragon’s head and neck, beginners may find the details tricky at first, but take your time and make sure you have an eraser on hand. Don’t forget to add shading at the end to give your dragon a more realistic look.
14. Draw a Mermaid
Just like with fashion sketches and cartoons, mermaids can be made as straightforward or complicated as you’d like them to be. When you’re first starting your sketch, outline the body and tail first to keep everything in proportion, and then go back to add extra finishing touches to your drawing. Even the most simple line art sketches can look great!
15. Draw a Fairy
Finally, drawing fairies is very similar to sketching mermaids or other cartoon-like characters. They don’t need to be as detailed and complex as portraits of humans, but you have the option to go in either direction—more realistic or more imaginative. Being able to make that decision is the best part of fantasy drawing!
Now that you’ve seen some of the best drawing prompts out there for both experienced and beginner artists, there’s nothing stopping you from having a go yourself. Happy sketching!
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