9 Depression Drawing Ideas to Help You Get Through It

depression drawing ideas

What do you draw when you are sad? Most people don’t realize that artists who produce art while they are depressed can make some of the best works of their life. But it’s hard to create something good on purpose when your mind is focused on negativity, sadness or depression. I will share my story with producing art when not only sad and depressed but also very happy.

I know that drawing is a great way to escape from depression and sadness. However, sometimes it can be hard to find inspiration for new drawings when you are sad or depressed. 

Drawing helps me get through my dark days but the ideas just aren’t coming. The only thing worse than not drawing when you’re sad is having nothing to draw when you’re happy! 

My personal battle with sadness and creativity

I have documented my own personal story dealing with depression and sadness plenty of times but the day that I realized I had a problem was on the night of my 30th birthday.

I was alone at home, a planned party had failed to eventuate. I had just broken up with a girl, I lost my job and was working in a restaurant that I had invested in and I hated every single moment. I was also suffering from a chronic condition called Meniere’s Disease where I was slowly losing my hearing in my left ear and suffering bouts of rotational vertigo 3 to 5 times a day.

depression drawing ideas

I have to say I drew inspiration from Francis Bacon’s Pope paintings and I think by going through the process I really learned to understand what it meant to be a suffering artist.

Depression Drawing Ideas

What if you are too depressed to make art.

This is where art therapy can be really useful. There are many projects out there that are designed to help with depression and they are perfect for when you don’t feel like making your own art . One example is the 30 day happiness project which has a whole range of activities for different moods (including depression).

There is no right or wrong way to do this. If all you want to do is sit and stare at a blank piece of paper then that’s okay. Or if you want to try something new and creative, go for it! The most important thing is that you are doing something that makes you happy (or at least helps you cope).

Is drawing good for depression?

– It helps to focus the mind on something positive and productive

– It can be used as a tool for problem solving or brainstorming

Can drawing help with anxiety?

What do depression drawings look like.

Depression drawings can be anything that makes sense to the depression sufferer. Some common themes are feelings of isolation, emptiness, darkness, futility or self-hatred. Drawings can include but are not limited to:

Express your feelings through drawing

Use depression drawings as a tool for problem solving and not adding to it.

Keep an art journal or sketchbook

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Why are Artists sad?

I was what we would now call manic depressive and my manic stage lasted about 15 years and then it slammed into a wall at age 30, on my birthday.

Depression made me creative and an artist, being happy made me stop. How ironic for me.

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I hated every moment even though many people looked at my artwork and loved them.

Is Creativity linked to mental illness?

For me, it was a way to survive my depression from suffering from Meniere’s Disease .

You do not have to suffer alone.

Help Resources for Depression

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15 Art Therapy Activities & Ideas for Kids (Incl. PDF)

art therapy

Maybe it’s been a while, but what about the last time you doodled on your notebook during a meeting?

For many of us, when we think of art, we tend to think it’s not for us. Perhaps you think you aren’t very creative, but there’s more to it than merely being ‘good at drawing.’

Allowing our brains the freedom for free expression, even by doodling, can have a wonderful impact on how we process, retain, and share information.

It’s no surprise that the therapy community has taken note of this, and in more recent years, there’s been a rise in the number of practitioners offering a very distinct form of therapy: art therapy.

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free . These science-based exercises explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

This Article Contains:

What is art therapy, what art therapy is not, a brief history of art therapy, 5 fun art therapy ideas and activities for children and teens (+pdfs), 5 art therapy exercises and techniques for adults, 5 helpful art therapy activities for anxiety, 5 art therapy books to read, how to become an art therapist, how to find an art therapist near you, a take-home message.

Art therapy is a blended field of therapeutic practice that combines art and psychology, utilizing the creative process, artistic techniques, and external artwork to support individuals to develop self-awareness, explore emotions, and address unresolved conflict or trauma.

Art therapy has also been used to help individuals, particularly young children, develop social skills and raise self-confidence. It’s a fantastic addition to positive psychology, as at its core, it seeks to help individuals overcome emotional or psychological challenges to achieve a greater sense of personal wellbeing.

A broader definition of art therapy has been established by the American Art Therapy Association (2013):

Art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.

Applications of Art Therapy

Most recently, there has been a rise in what is often referred to as mindfulness coloring . Some people see this as a part of art therapy, but it is very distinct from accredited art therapy practice.

There are many do-it-yourself coloring apps and coloring books for adults and children that promote coloring as a form of self-care or mindfulness. While these activities can certainly be helpful for many, unless a licensed art therapist has designed them, they cannot be considered art therapy.

Definition of Art Therapy

As far back as there have been humans, there has been art. Just think of the original cave drawings.

Art as a therapy practice was only accepted more recently. The term ‘Art Therapy’ was coined in 1942 by Adrian Hill, a British artist, who attributed painting and drawing to his recovery from tuberculosis. However, the benefits of the practice of art for emotional health go back further than this.

In 1915, Margaret Naumburg, often referred to as the Mother of Art Therapy, established the Walden School in New York. Naumburg believed that children should be allowed creative freedom and that allowing them to pursue subjects that interested them would enable healthy development.

Naumburg wrote several influential books on the topic of art therapy, believing that when creative pursuits are seen as another form of expression, they can be used in conjunction with traditional communication to unearth repressed and unconscious memories and emotions.

Her work led others to begin exploring the field, building its reputation within the psychological community, including:

art therapy benefits

Young children often rely on their limited language skills to express complex thoughts and emotions. That barrier can be breached with methods of expression they understand a little better, like drawing and coloring.

Teens can also benefit from a pressure-free, consequence-free medium for their thoughts and feelings.

Below are five possible art therapy activities and exercises for children of all ages.

1. Art therapy postcard activity

Most people would probably agree that it’s easier to express or recognize hurts and regrets when there’s the distance between yourself and the problem. This is why the postcard activity can be a good self-discovery exercise that helps answer the question, “ What would I say to someone if I didn’t have to do it face-to-face? ”

This activity can be used in one-to-one or group therapy sessions. Here’s how to conduct the activity:

2. Words to live by collage

art therapy ideas for teens

They may suppress their real character to avoid censure from their peers; this is why it’s essential for teens to identify their core values and identify who they think they are.

It’s crucial when working with teens to create coping strategies that they can come back over to time and let them know that their ideas, feelings, and values will change with experience.

The Words to Live By activity helps teens to visualize their core values through creative collage. Here’s how to teach this activity:

You will need:

3. Softness project

Humans are all tactile creatures, but children especially are touchers, explorers, and curious feelers. Utilizing touch is a way for them to learn about the world and to find comfort.

The activity below is a form of art therapy that focuses on using comforting textures and allowing for a manageable exploration of uncomfortable emotions. It is a particularly useful activity with younger children.

This activity can be carried out with a group or one-to-one.

Here’s how to conduct the activity:

With this project, participants are softened by the act of collage, rendering painful things into pleasant things.

In a group with young children, we recommend using materials like glue sticks and having pre-cut pieces of material ready.

4. Build a safe place

This is an activity that’s adaptable for all age groups, but may be a sensitive project for kids and young adults who often have little control of their environments and struggle to ever feel safe.

This project may help a child or teen reflect on ways to find a safe space or may simply help them feel like they have some control over their environment. It can be conducted one-to-one or in small groups.

Here’s how to carry out the activity.

You can tailor the materials you use depending on the age group you are working with. The idea is to provide them with as much as possible so they can get creative.

5. Color your feelings

This set of three worksheets includes exercises for children to express their emotions or define the things they care about. It’s a very quick and easy exercise that can help participants create helpful visual representations of the things they value.

The worksheets include an empty outline of a heart.

Here’s how to use it.

art therapy for adults

Often, in dealing with adult problems, it’s even harder to articulate what hurts and why.

Distress from pent-up emotions and complex experiences that need articulation is an especially common experience for people in caring professions.

Art therapy is a promising therapy for end-of-life caretakers, helping them feel competent, develop emotionally focused coping skills, and increase emotional awareness – an essential skill to prevent burnout (Potash, Chan, Ho, Wang, & Cheng, 2015).

Caring professionals especially need the defense against burnout that art therapy can provide, but any adult is susceptible to burnout and could use the coping skills taught through art therapy.

Below are five activities for adults that can provide an opportunity to help them better understand themselves. Some of them are for use with clients addressing a specific area, and others are more generally therapeutic.

While these exercises might not be facilitated by a professional art therapist, many of them were developed and used by art therapists and can still make a difference for the individual seeking release.

1. Unmasked – Expressive Art Therapy Directive

This activity was created for people who struggle with eating disorders or have body image problems. People with these conditions often create masks to hide behind that can operate as distractions from other issues, keep others from seeing their suffering, or keep them from seeing their own dysfunction.

This expressive arts therapy activity involves creating masks that help explore the participants’ symbolic masks. Creating masks can be done individually or in a group setting.

The activity can help participants discover suppressed parts of themselves, uncover new coping strategies that aren’t food or body related, and confront a fear of what would happen if the body- and food-focused mask was removed (Schwartz, 2017).

Depending on your resources, you could help participants to make plaster masks from scratch or purchase some pre-made blank masks.

If making plaster masks from scratch, keep in mind that there is a drying time between layers of plaster, so this activity would need to be carried out throughout several sessions. If you are seeking to deliver a one-off workshop activity, the pre-made masks might work best. Other materials to use could include:

2. The lighthouse

For those who feel lost, overwhelmed, or isolated, expressing those feelings and visualizing hope can be a therapeutic and beautiful way to identify needs, feel hope for the future, and realize where they are on a specific journey.

The activity involves imagining being lost at sea and visualizing the ideal lighthouse that would provide the right kind of guidance. This is a great activity for both children and adults, but an older group or individual might better appreciate the depth and symbolism of the project.

Here are the instructions.

3. The self-care box

Affirmation and inspiration are the keys to the self-care box . It can be comforting to have something small, tangible, and beautiful in times of trouble. This is a simple activity that can have impactful results in times of need.

The box can be used as a resource, and its ongoing creation can be therapeutic for the participant.

Here’s how to make a self-care box.

You can ask participants to make their own box out of cardboard, or you can find small, plain, and inexpensive wooden boxes from many arts and crafts stores. Whichever you choose, you will also need:

You can share these quotes with them for inspiration:

4. The poem collage

Self-criticism can make the act of creation challenging, and finding the words to express your feelings can often be difficult because you’re self-conscious of how inadequate the expressions can feel.

By creating a poem from a pool of words collected from sources like magazines, newspapers, and old books, you can create an un-self-conscious poem that molds pre-existing words to your feelings.

Here’s how to make a poem collage . This activity can be carried out with a group or one-to-one

5. The family sculpture

The family sculpture exercise is a popular art therapy activity that exists in many other therapy types, such as family therapy , though in a modified form. It is enlightening for clients to mold their family in a way that represents the members and the dynamics, and it helps them identify problems in relationships that otherwise might be ignored.

It is a great activity to use with adults, where family dynamics and relationships are more ingrained, to bring awareness to how these things impact our thought processes.

mindfulness beads

Anxiety is experienced differently by different people and can range from low to severe. The range of symptoms experienced is also extensive, which means for many people, it often goes undiagnosed. Developing positive coping strategies and understanding how anxiety shows up in your life and what triggers an anxious response are crucial for managing anxiety.

One of the most enlightening parts of art therapy is the process of creation, which can be just as revealing as the final product. However, for people with anxiety, there may be an intense need to finish the creative process and create a universally appealing final product.

For people with anxiety, self-discovery and healthy coping mechanisms are essential, and art therapy techniques are among the healthiest ways to deal with some of the symptoms and experiences of living with anxiety.

Below are five art therapy activities, specifically designed to support individuals with anxiety .

1. The panic book

People with an anxious panic disorder can spiral into a panic just thinking about the possibility of having a panic attack. Panic attacks can have many triggers, sometimes known, but often not.

The panic book activity encourages participants to create a book full of images that help them keep calm during stressful situations and help refocus their mind onto something more positive.

2. What anxiety looks like

Understanding and visualizing anxiety can be a pivotal first step in controlling and treating it.

Representing anxiety as an abstract concept, person, or even a monster can help participants develop strategies to recognize it when they feel it coming on and deal with it appropriately. This activity allows participants to do just that.

Here’s how to do the activity.

3. Visual starter

Art therapy for anxiety can be counterproductive in clients who are anxious about creating art.

The visual starter exercise is a way around this, helping individuals to get started without being self-conscious. The starters can be adapted to specific prompts or used solely for healthy stress-relieving creation.

Here’s how to use visual starters for art therapy.

4. Creating mindfulness beads

Similar to a worry stone or fidget cube, mindfulness beads can be a simple, cheap coping mechanism that are fun to create and easy to carry around.

Here’s how to make and use mindfulness beads . There are a few ways to create mindfulness beads, depending on who you complete the workshop with and your skill level.

You will also need:

5. Zentangle drawing

Zentangle art therapy

Zentangle was created with the promise that anyone can do it, even if they don’t think they can draw well enough to create something beautiful. Drawing Zentangles creates a feeling of accomplishment and helps to pass the time in a thoughtful, healing way.

Here’s how to draw Zentangles.

Whether you’re looking for additional education on art therapy or exercises and activities for yourself or clients, there are plenty of resources out there.

Below I’ve picked five of my favorite books that are well worth looking into if you’re interested in art therapy.

1. Art Therapy Sourcebook – Cathy Malchiodi

Art Therapy Sourcebook

She defines ways to perform art therapy yourself and how to interpret the results.

Malchiodi also has a growing legacy of art therapy publications that would benefit the casual learner and professional alike.

Available on Amazon .

2. Art as Therapy: Collected Papers – Edith Kramer

Art as Therapy

This collection of papers touches on many topics relating to therapy, art, society, and clinical practice.

As it is slightly more academic focused, with an overview of previous and current research, it is an excellent resource for those considering entering the field of art therapy as a profession.

3. Art Therapy Techniques and Applications – Susan Buchalter

Art Therapy Techniques and Applications

The book contains exercises that combine many different art mediums with mindfulness exercises and counseling applications.

4. The Book of Zentangle – Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas

The Book of Zentangle

It’s a foundational educational source on the development of the Zentangle and includes completed Zentangles for inspiration.

The authors describe it as a left brain/right brain resource for conjoining pictures and words.

5. 100 Magnificent Mandalas: Adult Coloring Book Vol. 1 – Jade Summer

100 Magnificent Mandalas

Although not considered an authentic art therapy resource in research terms, a coloring book full of meditative mandala patterns could be a worthy investment for reducing anxiety and practicing art therapy as part of a self-care regime.

You can also find a list of the 16 best therapy books here.

art therapy art therapist

It is still gaining traction, but positive psychology research has shown that when combined with other therapies, art therapy has great success in treating disorders, garnering it a great deal of respect and making it an ever-growing field.

If you’re interested in becoming a licensed art therapist, do some research about what regions would recognize your license once it’s obtained.

Most importantly, research art therapy thoroughly and find out what art therapists from around the world love about the job as well as the challenges that come with it.

Art therapists tend to focus their work with either adults or children and can work in a range of settings, including hospitals, care facilities, and schools.

If you think art therapy is the right career choice for you, then here are some steps you can take toward becoming an art therapist:

The internet has opened up many useful avenues for finding professionals that specialize in specific therapy or counseling needs. Thankfully, there are many directories of art therapists that can be searched by postal code.

Some directories that can be searched by location and that include art therapists are:

If your region currently recognizes art therapy as a viable counseling option, then it likely has a local art therapy association with a directory of licensed professionals local to you.

Finally, it’s common to wonder whether your insurance will even cover treatment by an art therapist. Generally, the best way to find out is to call your insurance provider. It might be able to refer you to an art therapist in your area who’s covered by your insurance.

I hope after reading this article, you’ve found a deeper appreciation for art therapy as a practice and the range of resources available to you as an individual or practitioner that can be easily implemented with a variety of clients.

Working with young people, I know how important it is to encourage their creativity at any possible moment, and I regularly utilize collage as an expressive form to help my students tap into their ideas. These visual representations always instigate some fantastic group discussions and one-to-one dialogues that the students and I find valuable.

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article, it’s that art therapy can be used by absolutely anyone. There is no prerequisite of artistic skill. The more you tap into your creative process, the more comfortable you’ll feel with how you choose to express yourself through artistic methods.

Have you used any art therapy activities in your practice, either personally or with clients? Which ones did you use and how did it go? I’d love to hear all about your experiences in the comments below.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free .

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What our readers think.

Goodwin, Ryan J.

I didn’t care for medicine but I love Art still need irradiation of medicine and a much better support structure for Art practice. Been 37 years now 38 later on this year. Happy New Year everybody!!! -S.O.S.

Shivam Kumar

The art therapy you mentioned is great. I have a blog where I upload mental health-related topics. Your readers can benefit from that blog. Here is the blog: yourmentalhealthpal.com

Theresa Thomas

I am so happy that i came across this article. i am currently working on art therapy project, though i am not an art therapist by profession. but this is my area of interest and i enjoy it.

This article has provided answers to many questions, i had in my mind.


I am handling a research about an art therapy, and this is exactly I was trying to find

Thankyou so much :))

Wendy McDonald

So happy to have found this. I referenced and cited this article in my college research paper on Art Therapy. I especially liked the history given here. Thanks for sharing!

Tiffany A Brown

Hello when was this article written

Nicole Celestine

Hi Tiffany,

This article was first published Mar 25, 2020. 🙂

– Nicole | Community Manager

Denise D. Hall

This article was amazing! I found the information to be very useful, the activities extremely easy to create, and I think I have found a new career! Thank you so much!

Zora Picher

This is the suitable blog for anybody who desires to find out about this topic. You realize so much its virtually laborious to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, simply great!

Hi Zora, Thank you for the lovely feedback and for being a reader. We’re very glad you enjoyed the post. – Nicole | Community Manager

Beatrice Benbow

Long time ago, My mom kept beating me up for doing expressive activities. She wanted me to go to my room and start hurting myself, because I was expressing myself. My mom is a child Abuser. but, thank goodness she passed away in 2016. so, I could do one of your expressive activities to help cope my pain between mom abusing me, and me not being able to do anything because of the Corona-virus, which started 3 months ago in China and which started to spread around The United Kingdom, AND the United States of America. also, you got to keep ur head up when it is a struggle.

Hi Beatrice, I’m so sorry to read about your experience with your mother. It’s terrible that you experienced punishment for what is supposed to be an expressive, healthy activity. I hope you succeed in rekindling your enjoyment of art — I’d hope that that joy is something no one can take away from you. – Nicole | Community Manager

daniel shepherd

Nice overview of the field. You provided everything I was wondering about as an initial re-entry into the practice of Art Therapy. It was introduced to me a few times during my training for a Master of Arts in Counseling, and now someone in my case load needs this type of therapy.

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The Benefits of Art Therapy for Mental Health

Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

sketchbook ideas depression

Jovo Jovanovic / Getty Images

While art therapy is its own field, you can also use self-directed art to express your creative side, reduce stress, and get in touch with your feelings. Most of us understood the power of art instinctively as kids: Virtually all children know the joys of sculpting something with play-dough, painting something with fingers, or drawing with crayons and other materials.

Other than making random doodles in the margins of a page, if you’re like most adults, you probably don’t express yourself with art as you did when you were a kid. You may not think you're any "good" at creating art, or you may not think it's worth your time, but art is actually a valuable pastime.

There are many reasons that art is a great stress relief tool , even for those who don't consider themselves artistically inclined.

Benefits of Art Therapy

Whether you could give Vincent van Gough a run for his money or can barely draw a stick figure, art is a fantastic way to reduce stress. Results of a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association found that just 45 minutes of creative activity can reduce your stress, regardless of artistic experience or talent.  

Here are some ways that creating art can help alleviate stress:

Sketchbooks for Stress Relief

Keeping a sketchbook is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress. It can be a form of journaling , and like journaling, it can be cathartic, creative, and stress relieving. You can use a journal for personal art therapy and stress management in the following ways:

A Word From Verywell

If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress and it starts to interfere with your daily life, talk to your doctor. They might recommend a therapist who can offer support and techniques for managing your stress .

Kaimal G, Ray K, Muniz J. Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants' Responses Following Art Making . Art Ther (Alex). 2016;33(2):74-80. doi:10.1080/07421656.2016.1166832

Cheron G. How to Measure the Psychological “Flow”? A Neuroscience Perspective . Front Psychol . 2016;7:1823. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01823

Bell CE, Robbins SJ. Effect of art production on negative mood: A randomized, controlled trial . Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association . 2007;24(2):71-75. doi:10.1080/07421656.2007.10129589

van der Vennet R, Serice S. Can coloring mandalas reduce anxiety? A replication study . Art Therapy . 2012;29(2):87-92. doi:10.1080/07421656.2012.680047

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

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sketchbook ideas depression

Drawing Ideas When Sad

Drawing depression when you’re sad.

When you ask artists or art enthusiasts this question, they will tell you they use whatever pops into their minds for their subject. It is easy for them to express their sadness in their drawing because they use symbols and colors to emphasize the subject they opt to work with.

Below are some drawing ideas when sad. Also, each is often used as a subject by a sad person when they draw.

* It can be their loved one.

* Their favorite place

* The person they most admire

* A person who is alone

* An individual weeping and seemingly asking for help.

* A crowded place with a person alone in a corner

* An individual who appears injured

* A headless person, not seeing where they are heading

* An individual crying blood

* Somebody alone, in a dark room with a look of hopelessness.

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How to Draw Depression

Sad doodles can help people process emotions and make sense of their feelings. You can express your sadness by using doodle art.

Doodle art has no rules, and you can use abstract or any pattern you prefer. You can choose any color, size, and shape.

People use it when they want to put their feelings into paper as it lessens their unease. When they are sad, they also have the paper ready to doodle whatever comes to mind. A pen is used in making doodles and often uses colors to ease someone’s sadness once they see various colors. It calms them and provides peace to their sad thoughts.

Sad doodle is also one way for someone to relieve distressing thoughts, grant a distraction from troubling ideas, and provide mental tranquility after.

There are no rules in doodle art and sad doodle, and anyone who can draw , even with just lines and circles, can do this art. Sad doodle is a well-known distraction from stress, anxiety, and melancholic thoughts. Take a look at this post which will provide you with an extensive list of Easy Drawing Ideas for Beginners

Drawing Ideas When Sad

Keep an Art Journal or Sketchbook

An art journal contains drawings and words of the artists’ feelings while doing the artwork. It can contain distinct art styles and is often a tool when experimenting with showing creativity. There is no need to be perfect, and it is alright to make mistakes cause this is how you will learn and be better with the help of your art journal.

An art journal can also help you see your improvement as you continuously make an art piece, or you can also have a copy of the artwork with the various moods you are in while doing your art. It can serve as a witness to how your art develops through the years as well.

A sketchbook is also a tool to practice sketching or drafting your artwork. It can contain various collections of sketches and quick drawings with a few corrections to be made. A sketchbook can help an artist draw their ideas when it pops into their head and when they want to capture it for the time being.

When you are sad, a sketchbook can be an ally. As an artist, you can use it anytime you need it, and anywhere you may be.

Nowadays, some artists use a digital sketchbook, while others still use the traditional paper version. Both are valuable because of how it helps hold your feelings and inspiration daily through the drawings and sketches you make.

It is not just something that holds how you feel in one moment but also helps hone your craft. Sketchbooks may be used daily, weekly, or with every inspiration strike. There is no rule, no boundaries with every page, and no judgment.

Express Your Feeling Through Your Drawings

Express Your Feeling Through Your Drawings

It is believed that a person with so much going on in their life is more inspired when they draw .

Because it is in drawing where one is free to express how one feel, one can also experiment or create stories using different subjects and characters in their drawing.

You can use drawing to let out that negativity when you feel counteractive. You don’t have to keep the trouble, anxiety, agony, or stress inside because drawing can divert that feeling and make it into something wonderful.

You also have so much inspiration because of overflowing emotions when happy or ecstatic. You have a clear head; you see the beauty around you, and everything is colorful. Positive emotion can be your way to create an exceptional drawing.

A drawing can be an outlet when you want to communicate something you cannot say aloud. Drawing is the best form of self-expression, specifically for people who have issues voicing out their feelings and when all they know is suppressing them.

Please look at this drawing and sketching video course I have created .  Use this link.

Draw Subjects That Will Lift Your Mood

Drawing can express negative or positive emotions and can be an antidote to a foul mood. When you draw something you feel happy about, it can change your outlook or distract your current feelings. It can improve your mood and soothe emotions.

It can be your favorite item, an animal, food, a place, or a drawing of a person you love.

There are endless subjects that a person may find so much meaning in. What could be meaningful to someone may be nonsense to others.

Drawing can be a distraction as it redirects your feelings of frustration, sadness, or even anger and helps you create something astonishing and beautiful.

How to Create a Sad Drawing of Someone

How Do You Draw Someone Sad

If you need to make someone look sad in a drawing, you must emphasize the following details.

* By using a frown and pout lips

* Use crinkled-up eyebrows

* Draw droopy shoulders

* Furrowed brows show frustration and displeasure.

* A person in anguish and pain can also cry heavily.

* Head hanging low with lip pouting,

Why Do I Draw Better When I’m Sad?

Drawing is like an outlet to most people, and when you are sad, you also feel the urge to draw, especially if you are good at it or have vast knowledge.

When you draw, you are helping yourself forget what you are feeling and focus on your work. You are also channeling the negativity instead of oppressing your sad thoughts.

And this helps make you draw better every time you feel sad cause drawing is like a meditative practice. As your creation slowly develops into something impressive and outstanding, this calms you.

The sad feeling you have also lessened, and even the negative emotions slowly decline.

Is Drawing Good For Depression?

Creative activities can lessen someone’s depression. Drawing is one creative activity that helps someone cope with depression. As your mind is focused on your drawing, your mind releases creative energy instead, which helps you to recover from depression.

Conflicting emotions can cause depression, and some people, don’t know how to handle such feelings, which can lead to self-destruction.

Others will have an outlet for such and use their drawing skills instead to combat such feelings. It can be a feeling of hopelessness, loss, or extreme despair. It is difficult to avoid such emotions for people since they also cannot understand why they have such negative and conflicting emotions.

Drawing can help the mind relax, get busy and not think negative thoughts but focus on the artwork.

Ideas You Can Express Through Your Drawing:

You can express several ideas through drawing; it is a healthy outlet for anyone to show what they feel. Some who are angry may display their anger differently and even hurt themselves or others. For further inspiration, read Graphite Drawing Ideas Inspiration and Sketches .

Then some anxious individuals don’t know how to handle their anxiety, which makes them seem half-alive. People who feel fear in their life may not live fully, always thinking about things that may not have a chance of happening, but they are thinking about it, and it is not making them live as they should.

Drawing is a different way of facing your emotions cause you can convey them without harming yourself. There is a higher satisfaction when you reveal your feelings through art as you see the result of your artwork.

Sad Drawing Ideas: Ideas You Can Express Through Drawing:


Drawing or art therapy can help individuals slow down and manage their depression. Drawing engages the mind and challenges it instead of letting it wallow in anxiety, stress, and depressing thoughts.

When you are depressed, hundreds of things worry you, and you can’t find the strength to resist its clout on you that it is already affecting your daily activity and how you face other people.

If you use drawing, your mind will focus on being creative because it helps the body release dopamine, a natural anti-depressant. When you draw, your body meditates, and the calming effect will help promote psychological health.

Drawing ideas for depression includes a person without a face looking in front of the mirror. The color is dark, and the mirror appears rusty and old.

A woman entering her bedroom removes a mask with every step, and the room gets darker and appears ominous.

When you feel like all hope is lost, you can also use drawing as an outlet.

There are symbols of hopelessness, a deserted road, dark and dismal backgrounds, and gloomy shadows.

Depressing things to draw can be a desolate and abandoned road that a person is about to pass through, and no light is in sight. The removal of light indicates that the person has no one to help him with his journey and is feeling hopeless.

There are so many ideas when you want to draw about friendship. It is something that evokes such a heartwarming feeling in any artist.

Friendship ideas can be intertwined, symbolizing that two people agree, have the same outlook, and support each other, which is what friendship offers.

Another idea of friendship is having someone with you while waiting for the sunset or people laughing together heartily.

Sad Things to Draw When You’re Lost

When you are lost, you don’t know how to make the right decision.

When feeling lost, the most symbolic drawing to use is a crossroads. When one is at a crossroads, one does not know the right way.

Some symbol of feeling lost is being in the middle of a tornado and not knowing how to get out or escape. You are lost, and there seems to be no way out.

Misunderstood Ideas

When you are misjudged, there is also a feeling of hopelessness and being alone or depressed. You want people to be there to support and listen to you, but you feel misunderstood.

Drawing ideas when you are misunderstood can be a person with a shadow bigger than himself as if it will consume him.

Another is a drawing of someone staying in one corner with a hovering dark cloud above him. Other people around him are all conversing and having the best time. The person may feel as if nobody understands him, and the feeling is slowly eating him up.

Drawing About Love

When the subject is love, ideas may be endless. The most common drawing idea for love is two people getting married. They can be in their wedding ensemble looking at the sunrise, which symbolizes a new beginning.

It can be as simple as two people in love holding each other’s soft and smooth hands when they are still young and when their hands are all wrinkly, filled with lines and spots.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is the application of visual and creative arts to help heal and provide health benefits. It is believed that art therapy assists in treating anxiety, depression, as well as, a post-traumatic stress disorder.

Art Therapy may or may not include a therapist to assist you in healing, and you can do the activity at home.

When art therapy is mentioned, it includes sketching, collage making, sculpting, drawing, painting, art journaling, and sketching.

Art therapy allows people to hone their creativity and helps improve their mental health with anxiety, depression, trauma, attention disorders, and more.

Some Known Benefits of Art Therapy Are:

Stress alleviation.

Art therapy helps eliminate the stress you feel and will relax and calm your mind. It will help you focus on the art instead of concentrating on making you anxious, depressed, and stressed.

Art therapy is a great way to relieve stress and other mental strain.

Emotional Expression

When you are doing art, it helps you divert your emotions to it. Art therapy will let you release the fear and help you express anger or sadness in your drawing, which can benefit your emotional health.

Some people cannot express what they are feeling in words cause they are used to keeping their feelings inside, and with the help of Art Therapy, they now have an outlet.

Mood Improvement

When people are creative, they don’t have time to feel the negativity within themselves. They are focused on the artwork instead of certain emotions that do not motivate them or help them achieve the life they deserve.

When they are not focusing on doubt, their mood improves.

Increase Self-Esteem

Instead of wallowing in the negativity one feels, one can help increase self-esteem by accomplishing an artwork. It will then improve confidence, lessen self-criticism, and inspire self-love.

Learning About Oneself

When you have pent-up feelings and don’t understand your emotions, you have difficulty expressing them. With art therapy, you can discover your true self. With the help of art, you can recognize emotions and acknowledge them simultaneously.

A Cure For Stress

Art therapy will slowly ease such stress when a person is stressed, anxious, or has emotional trauma. It will instead repose the mind and the body, leading to decompressing the mind. It will also help the person leave the stress and depression behind.

Heighten Happiness

With the help of art therapy, anyone who lacks the brain chemical dopamine can feel motivated, which leads to finishing artwork and elevating happiness.

The lack of dopamine causes some people to feel depressed and hopeless as if they have nothing to look forward to and find no reason to be happy. Art therapy can help these people to feel alive and find a purpose in life.

Who Is The Best Candidate For Art Therapy?

All groups, individuals, couples, or even those without issues with their emotions or self-expression can benefit. Nearly everyone can gain from this therapy, and even if you have no talent for the art, you can still attain something as the value is in the result and what difference or change it will bring to your life.

Create Art With My Favourite Drawing Resources

General Drawing Courses.  I like Udemy if you want to develop your knowledge of drawing techniques. Udemy is an excellent choice due to its wide range of creative courses and excellent refund policy. They often have monthly discounts for new customers, which you can check here.  Use my link .

Sketching and Collage.  Take a look at this sketching resource I have created.  Use this link.

Proko.  Is one of my favorite teachers who surpasses in the teaching of  Anatomy  and Figure drawing. Prokos course breaks down the drawing of the human body into easy-to-follow components aiding the beginner to make rapid progress. For this,  I really like Proko.

Art Easels . One of my favorite ways to draw is by using a drawing easel, which develops the skill of drawing on a vertical surface. The  H frame easel  is an excellent vertical way to add variety to the style and type of marks you create when using a drawing board.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations,  check out this resource  I made for you.

Ian Walsh is the creator and author of improvedrawing.com and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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100 Sketchbook Prompts Your Students Will Love

Home / 100 Sketchbook Prompts Your Students Will Love

If you’re anything like me, you can never get enough good sketchbook ideas. I’m always looking for ways to engage students so that they truly  want  to work in their sketchbooks. Whether you use sketchbooks for project planning, skill development, brainstorming, or something else, you’ll find ideas here that will work for you. My sketchbook assignments and prompts take an “all of the above” approach, making the following list well-rounded.

Want an eBook with all these prompts? Click 100 Sketchbook Prompts eBook to find it!  

The list covers many bases and is organized by category. There are prompts about animals, food, people, and other things that will spark interest among students. This list is geared toward secondary students, but you’ll find a lot here that will work for younger students as well. Take a look and see what will work best for you and your students. Add your own favorite sketchbook assignment in the comments below!

Click here  to download the list!

downloadable resource

These prompts are an amazing place to start. However, knowing how to implement the prompts and manage students with sketchbooks is important, too! If you’d like ideas to help your students develop their creativity, drawings skills, and information retention, be sure to check out the following 2 Art Ed PRO Learning Packs.

100 Sketchbook Prompts Your Students Will Love

Technical Skill/Skill Development


Open-Ended Themes

Does this list inspire you to take some sketchbook assignments head on in your art room? Or maybe the opposite is true and you are finding that you feel underprepared to teach drawing skills. Maybe you fall somewhere in between and you just need a little more inspiration to tweak your drawing curriculum. These are all great reasons to take a peek at AOE’s  Studio: Drawing Course . The class is jam-packed with hands-on learning experiences, advanced technique tutorials, and opportunities to share and learn with art teachers just like you.

What are your favorite sketchbook prompts to use? How do you use sketchbooks in your classroom?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.

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Timothy Bogatz

Learning team.

Tim Bogatz is AOEU’s Content & PD Event Manager and a former AOEU Writer and high school art educator. He focuses on creativity development, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking skills in the art room.

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365 Drawing Ideas for Your Sketchbook

Need some ideas for what to draw in your sketchbook? This list of 365 drawing ideas is sure to inspire you to doodle, draw, or sketch something every single day of the year!

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Need some ideas for what to draw in your sketchbook? This list of 365 drawing ideas is sure to inspire you to doodle, draw, or sketch something every single day of the year whether you use ink, pen, pencil or charcoal to create.

You can choose whether to draw one drawing a day, go in the list in order, or simply skip around and choose the ones you like best!

Here are 365 Drawing Ideas to Inspire:

1. view from the park.

Parks are great sources of inspiration for drawing. Snap a few of your own reference photos of monuments, benches, and scenes that capture your eye or spend some time in the park with your sketchbook drawing the different scenes you notice.

2. Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloons are mesmerizing to watch in the sky and can be a beautiful and whimsical thing to learn how to draw. While it’s not too common anymore to see one floating past you in real-life, there are MANY photos out there that you can use as a reference.

Snap a photo of yourself or try drawing yourself while you look in a mirror.

You might see leaves on the ground during autumn or notice them on trees in the spring and summer. Choose a few different leaf shapes to draw.

They say once you learn how to ride a bike you never forget – so why not try the same thing with learning to draw a bicycle? You can make it realistic or simply create a fun doodle.

6. Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are adorable spiny creatures most commonly found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand. Draw one today!

7. Baseball and/or Baseball Glove

This was actually an assignment we had in high school to practice realistic sketching and shading using nothing more than a #2 pencil!

8. Fruit Bowl

The classic fruit bowl still life might not sound like the most creative idea for drawing, but have you tried it? You might just be surprised. You could also draw a still life of bananas, oranges, apples, or grapes.

9. Tropical Fish

There are so many types of tropical fish to consider as an idea for things that are easy to draw – choose from an angel fish, a clown fish or even maybe a butterflyfish!

10. Skyscrapers

We see so many great examples of skyscraper architecture in our cities that there are endless sources of inspiration for types of skyscrapers you could draw. Take your sketchbook out locally to a city near you, or spend some time drawing iconic skyscrapers such as the Bank of China Tower, the Taipei 101, or the Chrysler Building.

Dragons are mythical creatures that have been a drawing subject since ancient times. Draw a dragon with a knight in shining armor, a Chinese dragon, or maybe even a friendly dragon that helps you roast marshmallows.

Unlock the power of your creativity by drawing some keys! You can choose to draw old fashioned skeleton keys or draw a sketch of the keys out of your purse or your house key.

13. Volcano

Have you ever seen a volcano in real life? Even if you’ve only seen one in movies or in photographs they can be fascinating subjects for art and sketching.

14. Sail Boat

Sailboats are often see on lakes and at marinas and can have all sorts of beautiful designs on the sails.

Draw a teddy bear, a brown bear or a grizzly bear – your choice!

Lay down on a blanket in your yard or at a park and spend some time cloud-gazing for inspiration on what to draw.

17. Family Member

You can have a family member pose while you create a portrait sketch of them, or draw a portrait based on a photo of someone you know.

What can I say about sharks? They have big teeth, they live in the ocean, and they can be very fun and popular to draw.

19. Feather

Birds of a feather…are a great thing to draw! You can make them icon style, or try to recreate a realistic feather on paper.

20. T-Shirt

Surely you have a t-shirt in your closet that would make for a great subject for drawing.

21. The Kitchen

Kitchens are where food is made and are often overlooked as the perfect place to sketch to get a glimpse into your everyday life.

22. Satellite:

Satellites are constantly in orbit around our earth, and they are very interesting looking items with many different geometric lines to use to build your drawing skills.

23. Penguin

Penguins are seabirds that live in mostly cold climates. They don’t fly but they sure do love to swim!

24. Fashion Sketch

What’s trending in the fashion world? Come up with your own fashion designs or take inspiration from some of the leading fashion designers to create your own fashion sketches.

The best part about aliens as a drawing idea? You can make them look like almost anything your imagination can think of, since it is very rare to actually see them in real-life.

26. Pirate Ship

Ahoy Matey! Pirate ships are a great thing to draw in your sketchbook and can be realistic or make your own cartoon.

27. Skateboard

The nice thing about drawing a skateboard is its not nearly as intimidating as trying to actually ride a skateboard.

Celebrate today by drawing a beautiful cake! You can choose how many layers, what kind of icing, and what type of topper fits the occasion. There are so many ideas to draw for what kind of cake you make!

29. Butterfly

There are so many different kinds of beautiful butterflies you could draw, such as monarchs or swallowtail butterflies.

30. Race Car

Vroom vroom, race cars are designed for speed. Draw your favorite kind of race car, whether it’s an old fashioned derby style car or a racecar fit for Nascar tournament.

If you have a cat you can draw a portrait of your own pet or of course you could make a cartoon cat – we all know and love Garfield the Cat and his affinity for lasagna.

With over 190 registered dog breeds by the American Kennel Club you could almost make it a daily challenge just to draw a different type of dog.

33. Super Hero

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s super man! Draw one of your favorite super heroes or create your own!

34. Cup of Coffee or Tea

If you’re going to drink coffee or tea every day, you might as well sketch it, right? Not a coffee or tea drinker? You can always sketch a glass of water.

35. Dinosaur

Dinosaur…roar! Draw a T-rex, a brontosaurus, a triceratops, pterodactyl or a velociraptor if you wish – there are so many great dinosaurs to choose from as sketchbook inspiration!

36. Web Icons

Web icons have become so common place we see them everywhere online. Sketch some icons for your favorite social media channels or visit a site like flaticon.com  for inspiration!

Pizza can be a lot of fun to draw, especially because you get to choose the toppings! Will you make it a veggie pizza, pepperoni pizza or maybe a Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham?

38. Dandelions

Every kid knows if you blow on a dandelion and make a wish your wish will come true, much to the dismay of gardeners everywhere who view them as weeds. These edible flowers make for a great easy drawing idea.

39. Hair Styles

Draw a braid, an up-do, or even crazy Medusa inspired snake hair if you wish.

40. Necklace, Bracelet or Rings

Jewelry can be a very interesting thing to sketch or draw, especially if the jewelry has special meaning to you, such as a necklace or ring passed on through your family or given to you by someone special.

41. Ice Cream Cone

Ice cream comes in all sorts of different flavors, and of course there are many different shapes and sizes of cones to choose from, whether its a cake cone, a sugar cone or a waffle cone!

42. Aquarium

Aquariums are beautiful habitats for all sorts of fish and can include plants or even decorative items.

43. Haunted House

It doesn’t have to be Halloween to enjoy drawing a spooky and haunted house. Don’t forget details like cracked windows and bent railings – and maybe even a few spirits peeking through.

Whether you draw a beautiful covered bridge scene or a bridge that goes over a river or harbor through the city, bridges give you plenty of architectural inspiration to use as drawing ideas!

45. Crazy Hats

Go ahead, give yourself permission to be a mad hatter and design as many crazy hats as you can think of!

46. Chevron Patterns

Chevrons are fun to draw and there are so many different pattern variations you can try!

You could draw a chandelier, a bedside table lamp, or maybe even a lava lamp!

48. Cruise Ship

Cruise ships are designed to take tourists to view the sights and scenes along the ocean coast. Draw the view from the deck or draw the view from one you can see passing by on the coast.

49. Planets in Outer Space

Draw a single planet like Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Neptune or Jupiter – or draw the whole solar system!

They say eyes are the window of the soul, and it’s true you can learn a lot about a person’s feelings and thoughts based on how their eyes look. Draw your own eyes or draw the mesmerizing eyes of different animals.

51. Caricature

A caricature is a type of cartoon drawing where something about the subject is exaggerated to be funny. For example, if your friend loves to knit or crochet, you might exaggerate the ball of yarn in their hand. Use this drawing idea to make a funny sketch of your friends, family members or even a pet or celebrity.

Everybody needs shoes to walk around, so go ahead and grab the pair of shoes you wear everyday and sketch them!

53. Dream Catcher

Dream catchers are designed to catch bad dreams and keep nightmares away. They are a lot of fun to draw!

54. Rocket Ship

Fly to the moon or a distant galaxy far, far away in your very own rocket ship you can design with this simple idea for drawing.

55. House Plants

Whether it’s a succulent, an aloe vera plant, or a terrarium, if you have anything green growing in your house it can be an excellent source of inspiration for drawing ideas.

56. Inspiring Quote

Practice your hand-lettering by illustrating one of your favorite quotes, sayings, or verse from a poem.

Guitars are stringed instruments that can instantly make us tap our feet and sing along. You can choose to sketch an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar.

58. Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees are the type of trees that lose their leaves in the winter. Examples include oak trees, maple trees, cherry trees, and ash trees. You can choose what season to show the tree – is it spring, winter, summer or autumn?

59. Circus Clown

Clowns can be funny, happy, sad…or even scary! You get to decide which you wish to draw with this drawing prompt.

60. Fairy Tale

Illustrate a scene from your favorite fairy tale. Some examples include Snow White and the 7 Dwarves, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, or Hansel and Gretel.

Bottles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You could draw a message in a bottle, soda bottles, apothecary bottles and more.

62. What You Last Ate:

What you last ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner is a simple and obvious drawing idea, but so few people think to actually do it and is a great idea for something to include in a sketchbook.

63. Parrot:

Parrots are colorful and tropical birds, so pull out the colored pencils or some inks to make this come alive in your journal.

What is your favorite book? You could choose to draw a stack of books or draw the cover of a recent book you’ve read and enjoyed. 

65. Elephants

They say an elephant never forgets, and if you draw one you will have a picture to remember an elephant by forever!

66. Camping Scene

Whether you want to draw a travel trailer or a tent, sketch a camping scene. Don’t forget the campfire and marshmallows!

Tigers are big cats with interesting black and orange striped patterns, making them the perfect subject for a page in your sketchbook.

Cartoon-like roses can be easy to draw – they are just a spiral and a circle. Or, challenge your skills to draw a life-like rose complete with petals and stem – just watch out for those thorns!

Zebras are native to Africa and are another interesting animal to draw that are best well known for their black and white stripes.

70. Monster

Could there be a monster hiding under your bed, or in your closet? Probably not, but you never know – which is why you should draw a bigger, more friendlier monster to protect you and scare away all other monsters.

You might remember globes from school and they make for fantastic drawing objects, especially if you are a travel or geography buff.

72. Staircase

We see steps everywhere in regular life, whether it’s in your house, in a park, or maybe even a spiraling staircase along a water tower like in the photo above I took at a nearby park by my house.

73. Peacock

My grandparents used to have peacocks when I was a kid, and they are absolutely beautiful and incredible birds with detailed feathers that are perfect for drawing!

74. The Ocean

You could create an under water scene complete with coral and sea creatures like whales, an octopus and more.

75. Crocodile or Alligator

Crocodiles have a longer, V-shaped snout, while alligators have broad U shaped snouts. Either way, you could draw a snapping good crocodile or alligator in your journal – maybe even both!

76. A Clock

What’s the time? There’s always time to draw something daily! Draw a clock tower, a grandfather’s clock, or an alarm clock.

77. Gumball Machine

A gumball machine can be a lot of fun to draw, and of course there is no rule you have to fill it with gumballs – you can always choose to fill it with a different type of candy, it is your drawing afterall!

78. Giraffes

Known for their long necks, make sure you don’t forget their third horn at the top of their heads. We love visiting the giraffes named Louis and Socks at the local zoo where we live.

79. Bubbles

Bubbles make for a great ideas for what to draw, especially because they are relatively easy for beginners and you could fill a whole page with bubbles in no time!

80. Sports Player

Do you have a favorite sport? Sketch a player in action whether its soccer, baseball, football, hockey or badminton.

81. Airplane

There are so many options for what you could draw with an airplane, whether its the plane’s exterior, the interior, the view from the window, or even possibly the pilot’s cockpit.

82. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are bright, cheerful, and one of my favorite flowers to see standing tall in the summer sun.

83. Mountains

Try your hand at this idea for drawing mountains by sketching a Rocky Mountain or Appalachian mountain landscape.

84. Bath Tub

Rub-a-dub Dub, draw a bathtub! Don’t forget your rubber duckie!

There are so many great herbs that you can use for drawing. If you grow your own fresh herbs, set them up in a way you can sketch them as a real subject or use reference photos for herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme.

86. Family heirlooms

Family heirlooms are always special, and what better way to preserve them than to sketch them in your art journal?

If you’re a lucky duck, you might even be able to see these water birds at a nearby park or lake by you, but plenty of reference photos abound – you can even use the photo I took of a duck here if you’d like as inspiration!

88. Wildflowers

Draw a beautiful landscape meadow of wildflowers, or take inspiration from botanists through history who meticulously sketched and documented wildflowers in the field.

Someone once told me I didn’t draw a very serious spider, so I gave this spider a briefcase, neck tie and his own private office with a certificate just to prove how serious he was.

90. Drawing Supplies

You already have the perfect subject for drawing in your hand – a pen, pencil, bottle of ink or charcoal set all make for great things to draw.

Fairies are enchanting, tiny human-like creatures that have wings and can fly.

92. Woodland Animals

Draw a deer, a raccoon, a fox, a squirrel, or other woodland animals with this drawing idea.

93. Hippie Van

While you may not be able to actually own and live in a hippie van, you can draw one and that’s the next best thing.

94. Ostrich

Ostriches are fun to draw – and you can decide whether or not it sticks its head in the sand! {Of course, they don’t *actually do this* but that’s the nice thing about drawing, you can use your imagination!}

Whether it is just a slice of your favorite kind of pie or the whole thing, your mouth will be watering by the time you are done drawing this one!

Eggs are a great way to practice your shadowing and depth in drawing. And don’t think you’re limited to just plain white eggs like you get at the grocery store – you can always make them different hues and sizes or decorate with patterns and shapes!

Grab a dollar bill or some loose change and try drawing it. This is a great way to practice shading, depth and more if you want to create realistic drawings.

98. Cooking Utensils & Kitchen Gadgets

Don’t use your blender that often? It’s the perfect opportunity to finally put it to use as a drawing subject! You could also sketch your pots and pans, eating utensils, or other kitchen gadgets you have around the house.

99. Your House

Where we live makes for an excellent idea of what to draw, and you can choose whether to draw the interior or the exterior.

Old fashioned radios are fascinating objects, and many times they still work even in today’s world of digital media. Go for a classic vintage radio, or maybe even draw a 90’s style boombox.

101. Fast Food

You know the drill: soda, burger and fries.

We have smart phones with us almost every day – why not draw it in your sketchbook and document that? Or, draw an old rotary phone for a throwback to the days before cell phones existed.

You could draw a hammer, screw driver, drill, saw, wrench or draw the whole toolbox.

104. Arrows

There are so many different styles of arrows you could try drawing, whether you make arrow doodles or draw a realistic bow and arrow set.

105. Jelly Beans

Known for their unique shape, multiple colors and best found in Easter baskets, jelly beans are a great idea for something to draw!

106. Game Controller

Are you a gamer? Whether it’s Play Station, X-Box, a Gaming Keyboard, or an old school Atari controller, draw a game controller that reminds you of your favorite video games.

107. Soup Can

Take inspiration from Andy Warhol and try your hand at drawing a soup can.

108. Fireworks

Let your paper be the sky for a colorful display of patterns of light.

109. Forest Scene

Think trees, moss covered rocks and maybe even a stream winding through a forest scene perfect for a landscape sketch.

110. Astrological Signs & Symbols

What’s your sign? You could draw a Pisces fish, the Scales of Libra, the Scorpion of Scorpio or the Archer of Sagittarius for example.

111. Banners

Banners are a lot of fun to draw and you can make them as whimsical as you wish. I love drawing banners in my art journals!

112. Wristwatch

Do you wear a watch? Whether its a smartwatch or a classic watch you wind up, draw a wristwatch in your sketchbook.

113. Nuts, Bolts & Other Hardware

Take a walk down a hardware aisle or go through your garage to find nuts, bolts, and other miscellaneous hardware to sketch and draw.

114. Typewriter

There is something cool about a typewriter, even if they don’t make much sense in today’s digital age…they are definitely fun to draw!

115. Bunnies or Rabbits

Bunnies and rabbits are cute, soft and fluffy. I used to have one as a kid!

Ivy is a plant that spreads, often times along a wall, window or trellis and is best known for beautiful leaf shapes – perfect for drawing in your sketchbook!

117. Machines

We see all kinds of machines in our daily lives – from the washing machine, to the dishwasher to the furnace that keeps our homes warm. You could also invent your own machine!

118. Garden Tools

A garden shovel, gloves, trowel etc are all examples of common garden tools that make the perfect subject for still life drawing ideas.

119. City Skylines

Draw a silhouette of a city skyline, whether it is a local city where you live or one you want to visit someday.

120. What’s on your desk?

Take a look at what is on your desk today and sketch it – no matter how messy your desk may be!

121. Pineapple

Pineapples were named pine apples because of their exterior resembles a pine cone. Often viewed as a symbol of friendship, these tropical fruits are the perfect thing to try drawing!

122. Hearts

You can choose to draw doodle hearts, or draw an anatomically correct depiction of a human heart.

The first steam train was invented in 1804 and many people were afraid to ride them. Today, trains are still used for transportation and shipping. You can make a passenger train or a cargo train. Draw a single box car, the engine, or the caboose!

124. Lawnmower

My husband is always talking about fixing his broken lawnmower, so I had to include it on this list. You can draw a riding mower or a push mower or even a commercial lawnmower.

125. Hourglass

An hourglass is a type of sand filled timer which you’ve probably seen more often in board games.

126. Scissors

A basic and important office supply, drawing realistic scissors can be more challenging than you might think!

127. Mailbox

Everybody gets mail, so why not sketch your mailbox?

128. Ticket

Have you recently gone to an event where you needed a ticket? Draw or sketch that ticket in your sketchbook.

129. Circles

Circles might seem like a mundane drawing idea, but there are so many great ideas for drawing circular patterns and different circle sizes!

If you are lucky enough to have a grape vineyard nearby, you can find a LOT of inspiration to sketch and draw vines! Many different types of vines also grow on trees.

X-rays allow us to see inside someone or something. You can draw an X-ray view of a person or an object.

132. Tunnels

Tunnels are a great way to practice drawing perspective, especially if you are drawing the view from the beginning to the end of a tunnel.

133. People at Work

Millions of people go t work every single day. This could be construction workers, people in your office, or even the cashiers at the store.

134. Ladders

Ladders are another great exercise for drawing perspective. There are also many different kinds of ladders – from step ladders to paint ladders to imaginary ladders that climb all the way to the clouds.

135. Playground

Draw a swingset, sliding board, the view in the sandbox at a nearby park or playground where you live.

136. Swirls

Swirls are fun to draw and can be highly meditative and addictive! Fill a page with swirls or practice drawing some swirly flourishes.

137. Dancing

Draw people who are dancing, and be sure their clothes and dance moves reflect the type of music they are dancing to!

138. Sunglasses or Eyeglasses

Set up a pair of your sunglasses or eyeglasses on a table and start sketching them.

139. Hills & Valleys

Rolling hills and valleys can give a typical landscape sketch a lot of visual interest.

140. Rocks & Stones

Are you a rock collector? Have you ever been to a rocky beach or noticed rocks along the shore of a river? Take some time to draw the details of rocks or stones.

Good fences make good neighbors, according to poet Robert Frost. They also make for great drawing subjects, whether it’s a white picket fence, a split rail fence or a wrought-iron fence.

142. Triangles

There are so many different kinds of patterns you can create just with a simple triangle!

Moo! Cows can be found on farms around the world and are a great animal to try drawing – this sketch of a baby calf is so cute!

There are over 6,300 known species of frogs in the world, which means you have a lot of choices on what kind of frog to draw! Draw a tree frog, a bullfrog, an African claw frog, or other frog of your choosing.

145. Spool of Thread & Other Sewing Notions

Do you have a sewing box? A simple spool of thread and other sewing notions can make for a great still life.

146. Tomato

Some people love tomatoes, others could leave them. Either way, they make for a n excellent drawing subject.

147. Squares and Rectangles

Drawing squares and rectangles gives you plenty of opportunities to discover new patterns in your doodles. Tip: For straight lines, use a ruler!

148. Tea kettle

How about a nice relaxing cup of tea? Sketch a tea kettle in your journal.

149. Lightbulb

The symbol for creativity and ideas, light bulbs are an invention we still rely on heavily today. Try drawing something inside of a lightbulb for an illuminating challenge.

150. Party Supplies

What do you need to throw a party? You could draw party hats, noise makers, or keep it simple with just party foods.

151. Railroad tracks

Railroad tracks are very dangerous to be around, so I do not suggest trying to go near them for sketching, but there are many pictures you can use as reference and they are great practice for perspective.

Porches are welcoming gathering places for company and the perfect scene to sketch.

153. Rainbow

Rainbows are easy to draw and a great excuse to pull out the colored pencils. An easy way to remember the order of the colors is the acronym Roy G. Biv: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.

154. Lemonade Stand

Every kid dreams of having a lemonade stand someday, and now is your chance to finally design the lemonade stand of your dreams.

Do you play piano? You can choose to draw a close-up of the keys, someone playing the piano, an upright piano, or a baby grand piano.

156. Hallways

Interior hallways can be a great way to practice drawing perspective, especially if the hallway has a lot of doors or wall decor.

157. Watch Gears

What’s inside a watch? Lots of little gear parts that make for fun and easy drawing ideas.

It doesn’t have to be taco tuesday to draw a taco. Fill up that shell with all your favorite ingredients and toppings!

159. Paint & Paint Brush

Pull out your paints and paint brushes to set up a still life scene of an artist at work.

160. Faces With Different Emotions

So often in portraits we see people happy – try drawing faces with different emotions such as angry, sad, frustrated, or calm.

161. Dishes

Dishes can have all sorts of different patterns and styles that can make for fantastic creative inspiration.

162. Fountain

Whether its an outdoor or indoor fountain, there are all sorts of interesting details to capture when drawing a fountain.

163. Puzzle Pieces

Puzzles are always entertaining. Grab a puzzle off your game shelf and scatter a few pieces around to sketch and draw.

164. Monkey

You probably can’t have a pet monkey like Curious George in real life, but you can always draw a character of your own.

165. Angels

Angels are majestic divine beings of light, and a fantastic source of inspiration for sketching and drawing.

One of the nice things about drawing hands is you always have a realistic model attached to you! Try different poses or holding different objects.

167. Pair of Socks

Do you have a pair of crazy socks? You can sketch a pair of socks you already own, or make your own crazy sock designs.

168. Bag or Purse

We use bags all the time in our everyday life, whether it’s a shopping bag or a purse where you keep your keys, wallet and more. Draw the bag itself or draw a fashion sketch of a person wearing a bag.

169. Umbrella

Rainy days are a lot more bearable when you have a good umbrella to keep you dry!

170. Beach Scene

The beach is a relaxing and serene place to sit with a sketchbook and sketch the sights.

171. Bowling Ball and Pins

Bowling can be a lot of fun, and drawing a bowling ball and pins makes for a good drawing exercise.

172. Roller Coaster

Do you have a favorite rollercoaster ride? You can draw a lifelike imitation of a rollercoaster you love, or design your own with plenty of ups, downs, twists and turns.

We often associate witches with mean and scary looking old ladies, but Glenda the Good witch from the Wizard of Oz reminds us that not all witches are bad.

174. Headphones

Love listening to music? Don’t forget to sketch your headphones.

Are ghosts real? What do they look like? Now is your chance to draw one!

176. Paper Clips

Pull out a handful of paper clips from your office desk and sketch them.

177. King or Queen

You can draw a king or queen from history, or even imagine yourself as king or queen for the day.

178. Graffiti

Graffiti is a unique form of art and perfectly legal when done on paper.

179. Ladybugs

Ladybugs are cute beneficial insects in any garden.

180. Abstract Line Art

Use this as a chance to draw stripes or have fun with experimenting with different line angles on paper.

181. Mermaid

Fictional characters that live under the sea, mermaids have captivated the imagination of sailors and storytellers for ages.

Do you have any toys from your childhood? Pull them out and sketch them.

183. Junk Drawer

Everybody has a junk drawer – that place where stuff just ends up somehow. Go through your junk drawer and pick a couple of random objects to draw.

184. Highway road

Have you been on a any recent road trips lately? Highway roads are always an interesting thing to draw.

185. Backpack

What’s in your backpack? Whether you’re a hiker or a student or carry your laptop in a backpack, there’s plenty of different styles and shapes to choose from to draw!

186. Mushrooms

Did you know there are over 10,000 different types of mushrooms? That gives you a LOT of options for what to draw, whether you draw realistic mushrooms or fantasy style mushrooms in an enchanted forest.

187. Cactus

Whether you have a cactus growing at home or want to take inspiration from a desert landscape, cacti make for excellent drawing subjects.

188. Turtle

Don’t be shy – draw a turtle! You can make it realistic, cartoonish, or somewhere in between.

189. Seashells

Seashells are abundant in the world and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, giving you plenty of creative options to explore when it comes to drawing them.

190. Photo Frames

Every piece of art needs a good frame, and this is a great prompt to make doodle frames or draw ornate frames inspired from vintage and antique photograph displays.

Where does the gate lead? You can draw a garden gate, a gateway to a new portal or maybe a gate to a haunted and spooky hollow.

192. Vegetables

Don’t want to eat your vegetables? Draw them instead!

I am always fascinated by the details in patchwork quilts. You can try drawing different quilt block designs, or even take inspiration from a crazy quilt with elaborate stitching and embroidery embellishing each patch!

194. Sunrise/sunset

The sun rises and sets every single day and that itself is pretty amazing! What’s a drawing prompt list without a sunset or sunrise?

You can draw your state or country’s flag, or choose to draw different flags from around the world.

There are many different types of bells, from bell towers to school bells to jingle bells.

197. Potato Chips

Are you in need of a snack? Next time you reach for that bag of potato chips, sketch it!

198. Your Closet

Open up your closet doors and sketch a scene of your current wardrobe. Hopefully you won’t find too many skeletons in there!

199. Vintage Photographs

Old vintage photos make for great drawing reference photo idea, especially when they feature historical lifestyles.

Heat things up by drawing flames or fire. You can draw a campfire, a fire in a fireplace, or flames surrounding another object.

201. Raindrops

Raindrops are their very own shape, and there are so many different ways you could interpret this! You could make raindrop patterns, or try to realistically capture what raindrops may look like on a pane of glass or when they fall and hit the ground.

Your choice – make a map of where you live, somewhere you’ve visited, or maybe even a map of a completely fictional and imaginary fantasy world.

203. Optical illusions

Optical illusions play with lines, shadows, and depth to create images that aren’t always what they appear to be. Play around with different ideas until you get a drawing that makes you look twice.

204. Snowman

Do you want to draw a snowman? You can make your snowman as elaborate or as simple as you’d like!

205. Steampunk

Steampunk is a type of science fiction where everything is steam powered. Think gears, flying contraptions, and all sorts of odd inventions. Prefer figure drawing? You could also draw people in steampunk attire!

206. Seagulls

These birds may be noisy, squacky, and annoying to deal with at the beach, but they are still beautiful to look at and the perfect subject for drawing.

207. Computer

We spend enough time at the computer, so take a break from the digital world and get out that sketchpad!

208. Chickens

Chickens come in all sorts of varieties – the American Poultry Association recognizes over 50 different breeds of chickens. You can choose to make this as simple or as complex as you wish!

209. Historic Scene

Scenes from history are always fun to illustrate, especially if you choose to depict a time before cameras were invented, which was in 1816.

210. The library

Go visit your local library and bring your sketchbook! You can choose to sketch the outside of the building or sit at a table where you can get a good view of the rows and rows of books.

211. Your grocery store

Shopping for food is an everyday necessity, and chances are you’ve been to the grocery store at least once in the past year. Draw some of the aisles, a grocery display case, or draw the exterior of the building.

212. Jar of Something

Everything in mason jars is all the rage in decor, or maybe you’re like me and love a jar of bread and butter pickles or homemade jam.

213. Numbers

You don’t have to be a mathematician to appreciate there are so many different ways to draw numbers! Practice hand-lettering in different styles or use basic numbers as a base for more elaborate doodles.

214. Your Bed

Researchers estimate the average person spends about 26 years of our lives in bed…which is a LOT of time sleeping! Give your bed its proper tribute by illustrating it in your sketchbook.

215. Impossible World

Maybe there’s an imaginary world where fish fly in the sky, or the moon is underwater…invent an imaginary fantasy world and draw it!

216. Speech Bubbles

How do you convey spoken words in your drawings? With speech bubbles of course! You can draw them comic book style or practice creating new patterns using a basic speech bubble shape.

217. Farm or Barn Scene

The Barn is an iconic image of the countryside, and no wonder – these giant buildings serve as a place to store farm equipment and provide shelter to animals. Draw a barn!

218. Labyrinth

A labyrinth is a meandering path that leads to the center of a shape. Traditionally circular in nature, they are often used in common times for reflection and meditation.

Go fly a kite! And if there’s no wind or you don’t have a kite, you can always draw one! Again, there are so many different shapes and types here to choose from!

220. Astronaut

Remember that rocket ship you drew in prompt number 54? What about the person flying that thing? Draw a picture of the astronaut brave enough to travel in your spacecraft.

Balls of yarn can be a fun challenge to draw, especially when you get into different types of hand spun yarns or art yarn!

Go ahead, take a chance…and draw some dice! Did you know there are more dice than just the average 6-sided dice? They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, as I learned from playing Dungeons & Dragons.

223. Pumpkins

You can draw a pumpkin patch, a fall themed still life display, or maybe even carve out a face on your pumpkin and create a jack-o-lantern!

224. Flooring

Have you ever spent time staring at the floor? I know that sounds sarcastic, but you might just be surprised how many different textures and patterns exist on what we walk all over every single day.

225. Scene from a Dream

Have any crazy dreams lately? Illustrate a scene from a dream in your sketchbook. Bonus? You can interpret what that dream means based on the image you drew!

Imagine a bench. Who is sitting on it? Draw it!

227. Garden

There are so many different things you can draw for a garden, whether its a vegetable garden or a flower garden or maybe just a peaceful place outside surrounded by plants.

228. Blue Jeans

Get a pair of blue jeans out from your closet and try putting them in different poses on a table or the floor and draw what you see.

229. Wild West Scene

Cowboys, outlaws, and a good saloon make for the perfect backdrop for a wild west scene you could draw.

230. Children playing

Kids are always a source of inspiration to draw, especially when they are playing.

231. Silhouette

Silhouettes are outlines of an object, person or place. Try drawing silhouettes of people in different poses, or draw silhouettes of everyday objects around the house.

Hopefully there are no mice in your house – but they are cute, when they don’t sneak up on you! You could draw a realistic mouse, or draw personified mice characters who live in their own burrow in a meadow.

233. Baby/Infant

Like kids, babies are another great source for portrait photos. You can use a baby you know as inspiration, or dig out those old photos of you as a baby when you were new to this world.

I’d never want to see a hippo close in real life {I hear they can be very aggressive and dangerous!} but I’m definitely okay with drawing them!

When the cold wind blows you get ice! You can draw icicles hanging from the eaves of a roof, or maybe even ice cubes that are guaranteed not to melt.

236. Favorite Animated/Cartoon Character

When I was in the second grade I was so lucky to take a cartooning class where I learned to draw Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, and more. Do you have a favorite cartoon character or anime character? Try to draw them as close as the original as you can.

237. Camera

So often as artists we use reference photos to inspire our work, but we forget the camera itself can be a great drawing idea!

238. Mad Scientist’s Lab

Think bubbling potions, beakers, and oh my, what’s that monster doing under the sheet over there in the corner?

239. Wood Texture

Wood grain can be a beautiful texture to draw, especially in pencil, ink, or charcoal. There are so many options for patterns and shading!

240. Gnomes

Who doesn’t love garden gnomes? Maybe they’re tacky, but I think they’re the perfect thing to draw – especially if you draw them in different clothes and styles.

241. Life Underground

Most of the time we think about life on the surface of earth, but there’s all sorts of things that happen underground, from coal mines to subway train stations to fault lines and magma…what world do you imagine? Draw it!

Ever hear the phrase, I’m all ears? Now’s your chance to illustrate it!

We drive in cars every day and there are so many different types we see on the road. You can choose to draw your first car, your current car, or the cars you see passing by on the street near where you live.

244. Holiday scenes

There’s so many holidays we celebrate around the world – you can choose from Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Fourth of July or maybe even St. Patrick’s Day.

245. Song Lyrics

Do you have a favorite song? Illustrate a scene from the song, or practice your hand-lettering by drawing a quote of the lyrics.

246. Parking Lot

Parking lots might not sound like that exciting of an idea for drawing, but you can be surprised what happens in them! They are great places for people watching, or you could sketch the scene of one to continue a series of drawings of places around where you live.

247. Movie Scene

What’s your favorite movie? Draw a scene from a movie you love or have watched recently.

248. Xylophone

Xylophone is pretty much the only word we could think of that begins with the letter X, so it made our list. 🙂

249. City Street Scene

Walk around the city and sketch the sights on the street.

250. Award or Trophy

Have you ever been given a trophy or award for an achievement? You could also draw trophies or awards for your pets or friends, like “Best Listener” or “Most Furry”.

Look up to the night sky and draw the stars. You could also research and draw different constellations.

From dump trucks to tractor trailer trucks to pick-up trucks, there are all kinds of trucks you can draw. Above is a picture of a pick-up my brother drew.

253. Skeleton or Skull

Skeletons and skulls might be creepy to some, but they can be a lot less scary if you opt to draw a sugar skull from the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

Bird watchers know there are thousands of different species of birds, which means you have a lot of options here! To keep things simple, try drawing birds that are native to where you live and can be found regularly in your backyard and parks.

255. Friend

Ask a friend for a photo or see if they would be willing to pose while you draw a portrait of them.

256. Cleaning Supplies

Fact: It’s more fun to draw cleaning supplies than it is to actually do the laundry, dishes, and other household chores.

257. Wheels

From wagon wheels to car rims, there are all sorts of different types of wheels you could draw. You could also use wheels as a base for making repetitive patterns.

258. Sled Ride

Have you ever been on a sled in the winter? You can draw kids sledding or draw an old fashioned Christmas sleigh!

What’s behind that door? You can draw the door of your house, or draw a door that captures your eye and makes you want to open it…or avoid it.

260. Diamonds

Diamonds are easy things to draw and you can play with all sorts of different patterns and repetitions with them.

261. Favorite Things

What are your favorite things in the whole wide world? Draw them!

Waves are a very cool thing you can draw, whether its realistic waves in the ocean, or simply waves of lines that create a pattern.

263. School

Draw a picture of what you remember school looked like when you were a kid, or draw all the school supplies you remember needing.

264. Abandoned Warehouse

Abandoned warehouses are cool architecture places to draw, just remember that you shouldn’t actually go into an abandoned warehouse without proper permission and safety clearances – it can be VERY dangerous!

265. Cooking Spices

What’s on your spice rack? Draw it!

266. Favorite Place From Your Childhood

What is a place you remember from your childhood? It can be any place you visited that brings back happy memories.

267. Vase of Flowers

The classic still life is the perfect opportunity to practice drawing!

268. Vacation Spot

Think back on all of the places you’ve visited and vacationed at over the years. Draw a scene of one of your favorite spots!

269. News Headline

Look to the news today and draw a headline from the current events.

270. Village

Draw a whimsical village of cute little houses.

Artists like Van Gogh are famous for painting a chair, so get your start by drawing one!

Horses are incredible creatures admired for the beauty and strength. Draw wild horses or someone riding a horse.

273. Drum Set

Not everybody has room for a drum set in their house or the talent to play one, but you can always draw one!

274. Exercise Poses

Draw a figure in different exercise poses, such as yoga or aerobics.

275. Something That Smells Nice

What’s your favorite smell? Draw something that you think smells nice.

276. Illustrate Onomatopoeia Words

Onomatopoeia words are words that are spelled exactly like they sound – and they can be fun to illustrate. Some example words are splash, buzz, pop, fizz, and swish.

277. Detective

Take inspiration from Sherlock Holmes and draw a detective on the case to solve the next mystery.

278. Mythological Creatures

Centaur, griffins, and manticores are all examples of different types of mythological creatures you could draw in your journal.

Draw a game board, game pieces or make up a design that could be used on your very own deck of illustrated cards.

280. Picnic

Set the scene for the perfect picnic lunch – hopefully there won’t be any ants to ruin the fun!

With over 200 owl species to choose from, you could draw a barn owl, a snowy owl, or great horned owl. The above picture my daughter drew when she was six.

282. Your Favorite Decade

Draw a scene from your favorite decade, whether it’s the roaring 1920’s or the fun and colorful 1980’s.

283. Flash Light

No need to stay in the dark – you can draw your own light with a flash light!

284. Bathroom Cabinet

Draw your toothbrush, a bar of soap, or anything else you may regularly keep in your bathroom cabinets.

Idioms are expressions and phrases that generally don’t make any literal sense in the real world…one example being it’s raining cats and dogs. Illustrate a silly idiom or other expression that we don’t take literally. You can find more idioms at the Free Dictionary Idiom Search .

286. Rock Star

Everybody thinks about becoming a rock star at some point, take inspiration from one of your favorite artists or bands or draw yourself rocking out to your favorite kind of music.

287. Party Animals

Draw animals going to a party. Don’t forget their party hats!

What’s hiding up in the attic of that old house? Draw it!

289. Happy Couple

Draw a couple that is happy and in love together.

290. Neighborhood

Sketch a street scene from your local neighborhood.

291. Bar or Restaurant

Where’s the last place you’ve eaten or gone out to? Draw a picture of the exterior or interior of the building.

292. Time Machine

Time machines don’t exist yet, but here’s your chance to design one that will help you travel back and forth in time.

293. Runner

They say life is a marathon and not a sprint…unless a lion is chasing you. Draw someone who is running from something, or maybe they are competing in a 5k or marathon.

294. Treehouse

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a treehouse for a day? Design and draw a Pete Nelson worthy treehouse for you to escape to.

295. Museum

Museums are full of interesting artifacts from history. Visit a museum near you or do a virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History online here .

Boxes can be empty or they can be full of surprises. You can draw just one box or a whole stack of them!

Draw a humanoid-like robot, or draw a robot straight out of a science fiction movie. Cartoon robots are also always fun!

Drawing glass can be a fun way to explore drawing reflections and shadows.

299. Mechanic’s Garage

Draw a mechanic’s garage with cars needing repaired.

300. Helicopter

Did you know the fastest speed of a helicopter ever recorded is 248 mph? That’s crazy!

301. Brick Wall

Brick patterns are a great idea for something to draw.

302. Lighthouse

Lighthouses help keep sailors and ships safe while out at sea. They are also beautiful tourist attractions all around the world.

303. Gifts and Presents

Did you receive any gifts or presents recently? Draw them! You could also draw wrapped presents.

304. Christmas Tree

Deck the halls and put up a Christmas tree, in your art journal or sketchbook at least! Not Christmas time or don’t celebrate Christmas? You could always decorate your tree to be more to your liking.

Towers have been used historically for many different reasons, and they stand tall along the skyline. Draw one!

There are so many famous hotels you could choose to draw, or draw the outside of the last hotel you stayed at.

307. Ant Farm

Ants build the most fascinating tunnels in ant farms. Illustrate an ant farm to show their secret lives in their homes.

308. Battle

You could draw a historic battle or you could draw a fantasy battle between an ogre and a dragon.

309. Waterfall

There are so many waterfalls in the world, experts can’t even agree how many there are! They are beautiful cascading natural elements perfect for sketching.

310. Remote Control

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a remote control that does everything? Take inspiration from the remote control you have for your TV or design your own with custom buttons you could use in your life.

311. Bakery

Cakes, cookies, bread…mmmm…all of my favorite foods can be found at a bakery, so draw one!

312. Suitcase

Packing to go somewhere? You could draw a suitcase ready to travel the world, or draw yours.

We live on this great big earth, so draw it.

314. Mandala

A mandala is a geometric figure that represents the universe. They are often used for meditative purposes and can be so relaxing to draw.

315. Cassette Tape

Am I showing my age here? Even if everything is digital today, cassette tapes are still cool to draw in my book.

316. Antique Car

Cars from the 1900’s look a lot different than the ones we drive today! Draw an antique or classic car that was manufactured before 1970.

317. Castle

You drew the queen and king in prompt number 177, now where are they going to live? Draw a castle fit for royalty, or take inspiration from one of the famous 500+ castles that already exist in the world.

318. Lightning

Lightning can be mesmerizing and the earth is struck by lightning an estimated 1,400,000,000 times a year – now that’s electrifying!

319. Snakes

Some people are scared of snakes, but the best way to overcome that fear is to draw one on paper. Besides, it’s your imagination – you can make the snake a friendly, non-biting one!

I heard you can really draw a crowd…haha…I know, that’s a terribly punny joke but I couldn’t resist.

Swords are often seen in coats of armor and in historical fiction stories like the sword in the stone…try drawing one!

322. Compass

Which way north? Draw a compass rose.

Pigs are very intelligent creatures…and they are cute!

Be careful if you drew three pigs in the last prompt, this could get hairy and become the story of three little pigs quick, which doesn’t end too well for the wolf.

325. Anchor

Anchors are symbols of strength and safety and often used in logos and tattoo designs.

Who doesn’t love a good donut? Draw your favorite flavor donut.

327. Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are very fast to see in real life, but they are beautiful birds to draw.

328. Statues and Sculptures

Draw your own life-like statue or sculpture, or try to draw a realistic rendition of a famous statue such as The Statue of Liberty or the sculpture of Discobolus .

329. Zipper

Zippers are something we use all the time, and they are fun to draw! You can also use the basic shape of a zipper for all sorts of pattern drawing ideas!

330. Television Set

You can draw a retro TV set or draw a more modern day version of a smart TV.

That alien that you drew in prompt #25…what kind of spacecraft were they flying? Draw an unidentified flying object.

332. Scarecrow

Scarecrows are not really all that useful for scaring away crows, but they have become an iconic decoration around the fall and autumn season.

One of the popular games for kids to play in the woods is to go snipe hunting…of course you never find one because snipes don’t exist. No one knows what a snipe really is, but this is your chance to imagine what one would look like if it were real.

334. Chameleon

Chameleons are best known for being able to change their colors to blend into their environment. This is a great opportunity to practice shading or draw with multiple colors.

335. Jellyfish

The nice thing about drawing a jellyfish on paper is they can’t sting you! While you’d never want to get too close to one in real life, they are beautifully amazing creatures of the sea.

336. Unicorn

A unicorn is a mythical creature that looks much like a horse with a single horn on its forehead. They are often depicted in art and folklore, making it the perfect drawing prompt.

Tulips mean spring is coming, and they are fun beautiful flowers to draw in any weather or season. Because they are bulbs, you can even force them to grow in the winter like I did with my flowers. See my post on the seasons of being an artist .

338. Pinwheel

Pinwheels are toys that twirl around when someone blows on them. They are symbolically seen as a way of “turing one’s luck around” and often signify playfulness and happiness.

339. Palm Tree

Did you know palm trees are actually evergreen trees? They are characterized by broad fan-like leaves and usually found in tropical regions around the world.

340. Rainforests

Rainforests are home to thousands of exotic plant species and animals and are typically found around the earth’s equator.

341. Deserted Island

What would you do if you were stuck on a deserted island? What would it look like? I hope you brought a notebook and pencil!

342. Snowflakes

No two snowflakes are alike, and you can have so much fun drawing different patterns and designs of snowflakes.

343. Ball or Sphere

Balls and spheres are a great opportunity to play around with drawing different shadow angles and light sources.

344. Goldfish

Goldfish are easy to draw and are a favorite pet for many people.

345. DNA Helix

It’s crazy to think we have DNA and I even recently just did a DNA test on Ancestry.com – it’s so fascinating to me to trace back all of my ancestors. Drawing the helix is a great way to practice different shading techniques as well.

One of my favorite songs is You Are the Moon by the Hush Sound , and I can’t think but illustrating a beautiful moonlit landscape everytime I hear it.

347. Trapeze Artist

Trapeze artists are highly skilled entertainers who perform all sorts of aerial tricks on ropes. Often seen at circuses, many modern artists can be seen in cities and other places.

348. Atoms and Molecules

You don’t have to be a chemistry major to recognize that atoms and molecule diagrams can be fascinating subjects for drawing ideas!

349. Carousel

I’ve always loved merry go round carousel rides and still ride them even now whenever I get a chance. You can choose to draw the whole carousel or just draw a carousel horse.

350. Cabin or Cottage in the Woods

Draw your own artists retreat place in the form of a cabin or cottage in the woods.

351. Buttons

Buttons make for great doodles, or you can always draw a magic button that you can push for when things go awry.

352. Pot of Gold

What’s at the end of your rainbow from prompt #153? Shamrock optional.

353. Doctor’s Office

Have you ever noticed all the different things they have at the doctor’s office when you go in for a check-up?

354. Panda Bear

Panda bears are just cute and that is why you should draw one.

355. Building Blocks

Building blocks are a great way to play with different angles, lines, and shadows.

356. Ferris Wheel

Ferris wheels are popular carnival rides and a great thing to draw.

357. Turkey

You can draw a turkey – it’s as simple as tracing your hand. Of course, you could always opt to draw a turkey that’s a bit more realistic.

358. Lollipops and Candy

Craving something sweet? Draw a lollipop or another favorite type of Candy.

You could draw a city bus, a school bus, or even a double-decker bus.

360. Flamingo

Flamingos are graceful birds most well known for their ability to balance on just one leg.

361. Ukulele

Ukulele’s only have 4 strings and are smaller and higher pitched than a guitar. Both of my daughters play the Ukulele!

362. Strawberry

Strawberries are amazingly detailed when you look at one up close, making them a great option for a close-up sketch.

363. Sandcastle

Did you know people build sandcastles at a competitive level? It’s amazing what architects, engineers, and creative designers and make out of sand at sand castle competitions!

364. Record Player

We may not play records that often anymore, but they are still a totally fun vintage thing to draw.

365. Magic Wand

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a magic wand? Well, you can always draw one!

I hope you enjoyed this list of 365 Drawing Ideas and of course if you create any of these things to draw I would love to see it in our Artjournalist Facebook community group !

Do you have any ideas for things to draw that I might have missed? I’d love to hear your ideas and how you will use these drawing prompts – tell me in the comments below!

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How about flowers

she said sunflowers which are technically flowers

great list of inspiration

This was a wonderful list

i like these thanks for curing my dreadful boredom 😃😄😊

I’ve read a lot of lists for drawing prompts, this one is by far the best! Thank you so much! I’m sure it took some time to come up with all of these!!

I’m glad you’re enjoying them!

Can you please share some painting ideas?

Sounds like a great idea Amy, I will get on it 🙂

great list i cant wait to fill lots of sketchbooks up with ideas oh also how about fidget toys they are great to draw

Hmm cant think of any! It sure helped me. I run art contests every week and like gettin opinions from people on themes, seeing this I may never have trouble picking a theme again! lol😂

I was stuck trying to think of ideas of what to draw during a pandemic. Thanks for all the great ideas. I better get started, I have hundreds of drawings to do. Joyce

Glad it inspired you Joyce!

I actually had a drawing competition in my school and the topic was “dreaming with eyes open” and this really helped thanks!

thanks for this great list of inspiration. defiantly cured my boredom. I really liked the coffee idea. i made a really good painting for my kitchen with it. it says: “Key To My Morning. it is is painting of a blue coffee cup, with i red back round. my parents drink coffe every morning so i made it for them.

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Jae Johns

101 Sketchbook Ideas to Make Your Drawings Interesting

By: Author Jae Johns

Posted on Last updated: February 6, 2023

Categories Drawing

101 Sketchbook Ideas to Make Your Drawings Interesting

So, you love drawing but run out of the sketchbook ideas that you can use in your drawings and finished works to make them even more interesting?

You’ll discover some great ideas for beginners or if you’re an artist that just needs some extra inspiration. 

You have a habit of keeping a sketchbook, but it has become a challenge for you to know what to draw in your sketchbook.

Do not get worried guys, we have got you covered with these amazing sketchbook practice ideas. 

Just read till the end and explore over 80 ideas for those days when you are looking around like what should I draw in my sketchbook?

At times, it is difficult to think about ideas for our sketchbooks.

We look at our blank sketchbook pages but we fail to get some ideas to jumpstart our creative juices.

The only solution to this is to draw more because the more we draw, the better we will get ideas.

A sketchbook is not just a piece of paper and a place to practice, it is one of the best places to plan, draw, and find some drawing inspiration.

Drawing in a sketchbook is not only relaxing but fun as well.

But studying the fundamentals of drawing and practicing your drawing skills is very important.

To perfect your drawing skills, you need to learn the basics of drawing including value, perspective, composition, and proportion, and repeat them over and over again.

Get ready to try these amazing sketchbook ideas and say NO to blank pages!

So, you want to expand your sketching capabilities and get drawing ideas for your sketchbook that’ll help you create an amazing sketchbook!

You want to try out some new ideas.

Have no fear because, in today’s blog, we have created a list of 80 drawing ideas that can get you sketching right now and can surely make your drawings beautiful and attractive, no matter what your drawing expertise is.

Why Sketching These Ideas are Important

These ideas may range from everyday objects of your home to architectural drawings and life drawing.

We recommend you to try out all the ideas so that you can get to know sketching from every perspective, whether it’s observing how to draw a one-point perspective or a two-point perspective.

Plus, it is equally important to invest in good drawing supplies to get the best results.

You need to get the best drawing pencils and colored pencils along with a good sheet of paper.

drawing ideas for your sketchbook

What to Draw in your Sketchbook

I have divided the sketchbook ideas into three main categories – simple drawing ideas, challenging drawing ideas, and drawing from imagination. 

Challenging drawing ideas will give you a bit challenging of course but they will be completed in just no time, resulting in beautiful artworks.

Even though they might be a challenge, these are all things to draw in your sketchbook that shouldn’t be too difficult and will make an interesting drawing.

So, let’s learn these drawing ideas with step-by-step tutorials that will show you exactly how to implement those ideas.

Simple and Easy Drawing Ideas

Let’s begin with simple drawing ideas.

We are calling them ‘easy’ because the shapes or lines used in such drawings are simple and do not need many techniques.

You might even be surprised that these are simple drawing ideas but will still give you such creative sketchbook ideas.

I highly recommend the following sketchbook prompts for beginners. 

01. Draw a Stack of Books

One of the simplest yet interesting sketchbook ideas is to draw a stack of books.

Find some old books from a book corner in your room and stack them up.

Draw it from different angles.

If you want to draw books with a pencil sketch, all you need for this is a sharpened pencil, an eraser, and a nice sheet of paper.

You can also fill the books with your favorite colors.

02. A Houseplant

A houseplant always makes a good subject for drawing.

It’s an easy sketchbook idea that you draw while your mind is thinking about other things.

By drawing a houseplant, you can combine natural features with some solid elements such as you can draw a potted plant having some light effects on it.

Before starting to draw, get your art supplies so that you can concentrate on drawing instead of collecting supplies.

03. A Pair of Shoes

Open your closet and find an ordinary item in it.

That’s a pair of shoes, go and draw it.

You can go for a pair of shoes that fit a businessman or you can draw your favorite sneakers.

For this piece of drawing, try to start with rough but light pencil strokes.

04. Sketch the Shape of Clouds and Sky

One of the simplest sketchbook ideas is to sketch the shape of the cloud and sky.

You can draw a sunny sky, a starry sky, or clouds.

You can draw clouds and the sun in your other paintings to make a scene look more beautiful and attractive.

With a pencil, eraser, and paper, you will need cotton or a blending stump to blend the shading area.

Drawing clouds and skies are some of the easiest sketchbook practice ideas that are relaxing and anyone can do. 

05. Kitchen Utensils

Want to get some drawing inspiration?

Go to your kitchen, get some utensils, toss them on a table, and draw them as they land.

As you cook with adventures, similarly add some fun in your drawings by sketching kitchen utensils.

You can put some fruits and vegetables on a table and draw them from various angles.

06. A City Skyline

If you are a country lover, drawing a city skyline is a great idea for you.

Most people think that a city skyline is a bit complex to draw but the fact is it is quite simple and easy to draw a skyline.

With some lines and connected rectangles, you can add layering to draw more rows of buildings.

It will be a great sketchbook idea if you want to practice your drawing skills or you are just looking to fill an empty space.

how to draw a dog

07. Cats and Dogs

If you have a cat or a dog in your house, draw them.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to draw a dog .

In case you do not have a fuzzy animal with you, do a quick search on Google, and make a drawing.

Drawing a cat or a dog is a good drawing idea because it’s a way to instantly attract people’s attention to your illustration when you have pets in your scene.

08. An Open Book

If you are not interested in drawing a stack of books, take one book, open it, and make a drawing on it from different angles.

09. A Piece of Jewelry

Another sketching idea that you can try is to draw a piece of jewelry.

Open your jewelry box, take out a ring, a necklace, or a bracelet, and draw it.

You can also do a pencil sketch on it on you can fill it with colors if you want.

10. Draw a Towel in Different Positions

One of the simplest sketchbook ideas is to draw a towel in different positions.

You can draw a hanging towel or a crumpled towel as you want.

This drawing idea will definitely assist you in bringing some creativity as well as positivity to your days!

11. Draw Items from Your Fridge

While you are making drawings of kitchen utensils, why not open your fridge and draw whatever inside it?

You can draw a bottle of jam, a pouch of sauce, or a pot of fruits and vegetables.

By opening up your fridge, you’ll have many drawing ideas for your sketchbook.

how to draw a rose

12. Draw Roses

Drawing roses is not only easy but have fun and adventure in it as well.

As the rose is said to be a symbol of love, so you can draw it and present it to your loved one.

For a beautiful sketch of roses, you need to take a bit of practice but if you try it over and over again, you will have a lot more beautiful sketches of roses all over your house.

Drawing a rose is an easy sketchbook idea that you can do in 7 easy steps.

Here’s a step-by-step to show you how to draw a rose.

13. Your Smartphone

We always have our smartphone with us so it will not be a bad idea to pull it out from your pocket, lay it down, and start drawing.

Beginning with the general outlines of the smartphone, draw its buttons.

You can give them color as well.

14. An Unfolded Laundry

Another great idea is to draw a pile of folded or unfolded laundry.

Drawing folds of laundry is a bit challenging.

To show cloth folds, you can implement line drawing as well as shading to show compression and tension applied to the fabric.

Believe me, your portraits will look realistic due to these techniques.

15. A Globe

If you are fond of studying the planet Earth, why not learn how to draw a globe.

It is a great activity if you want to practice symmetry and proportions at the same time.

Get a nice sheet of paper with sharpened pencils.

First, draw a big circle and then go for drawing curved, horizontal, and vertical lines to add a final detail to your globe.

16. A Fresh Bouquet of Flowers

You can create a stunning drawing of a fresh-cut bouquet of flowers.

For drawing flowers, try colored pencils, hone your drawing skills, and masterfully create lifelike drawings.

17. The Inside of Your Closet

Drawing the inside of your closet with clothes is another sketchbook idea you can try.

18. Pencils

Sitting idle?

Take out your colored pencils and paints and draw them.

It is very easy to draw a pencil as you need to draw only three parts – point, cap, or barrel.

19. Trees Outside the Window of Your Room

It would not be a bad idea if you try to draw trees outside the window of your room.

All you need to do is draw the branches and the crown and then find a balance that you are happy with.

Take a regular sketching pencil and start drawing.

If you know nothing about drawing, you may go for drawing a simple tree.

sketchbook ideas depression

20. Draw Smokey Eyes

If you love doing makeup especially eye makeup, then the best thing you can draw is smokey eyes.

Yes, it is right.

Take a sheet of paper with some good drawing pencils .

With the help of this drawing, you can try different eye shapes as well.

Drawing eyes is another good drawing idea that you can do in less than 10 minutes.

Here’s a step by step to draw an eye .

21. A Robot

Why not draw a robot today?

Drawing a robot is one of the simplest sketchbook ideas that you must try if you are sitting alone and want to draw something to get some inspiration.

22. Your Headphones

So, you love listening to music on your headphones?

Why not try drawing your headphones?

Believe me, it will be a great idea that will not only give you inspiration but will make your drawing fun as well.

Arrange them neatly or put them on the table as they are, I mean in a tangled mess and then draw.

If you want to enhance your drawing skills and are exhausted with every drawing option you have, it is the best time to draw a car.

It is not only simple and easy but can increase your drawing skills as well.

24. A Fruit Cut in Half | a Unique Sketchbook Idea

A unique sketchbook idea is to draw a fruit cut in half.

Take your favorite food, put it on a plate, and cut it in half. Now take a paper and draw this fruit.

You can also add colors to enhance your drawing.

25. Draw a Dragon

To draw a dragon, the first step is to draw two circles that may serve as the guide to the dragon’s body.

Try to maintain the proper size and spacing of the circles as it may determine the dragon’s size.

Besides pencil sketch, try to give a color to your dragon. Use dark colors on the top of the head and neck.

26. Pillows

So, you want to draw something without having to leave your comforter’s warmth.

Making a sketch of your pillows is not a bad idea at all.

You can show folds of cloth with the help of a pencil sketch.

27. House Keys | an Easy Sketchbook Idea

Another easy sketchbook idea inspired by real-life is to draw house keys attached to a key chain.

If you want to acquaint your children with domestic animals especially cows, it is not a bad idea to make a drawing of a cow. It is very easy guys.

You just need to learn some simple shapes and it will not only become a doable task for you but a lot of fun as well.

You can add colors also.

29. A Cup of Coffee

Do you love coffee?

While drinking coffee in the evening, it would not be a bad idea to draw a cup of coffee.

Put it on the table and start drawing it from different angles.

You can also go to a coffee shop and try drawing there.

30. Draw a Penguin

To add creativity to your drawings, start making a drawing on a cartoon penguin wearing a scarf.

By drawing some simple shapes, you will get a drawing of a penguin.

All you need is a drawing paper, a black marker, and some crayons.

31. Butterflies

For making your drawings fun, try making a sketch of butterflies.

Add colors to enhance your artwork.

32.A Spider

Get outside of your comfort zone and draw a spider with its web.

34. A School Desk

So, you are waiting for a class to begin.

Pass your time by drawing a school desk.

35. A Cup of Pencils

Take a cup of pencils, put it on a table, and start sketching.

36. Draw an Octopus

Choose your favorite creature who lives in the water.

If you like an octopus, start making a sketch on it.

37. Draw Leaves of a Flower

Go outside and start drawing the leaves of a flower.

38. Draw a Smile

For drawing a lifelike portrait, know how to draw a smile. You can draw other facial features as well such as eyes, nose or ears, etc.

39. Balloons

Take a picture of balloons from the Internet or buy a few.

Take a paper and draw them. Use good-quality colors as well.

If you want to draw something unique and different, try making a sketch of fish.

Challenging Drawing Ideas That Will Give You an Interesting Drawing

Every artist wants to discover things and implement them in his/her drawings.

If you are an artist, whether a beginner or an expert, you should try something unique and challenging.

Although trying simple ideas save you a lot of time, if you spend all your time in sketching simple and easy things, you will fail to get improvement.

So, for you, we have compiled a list of some challenging drawing ideas so you can master in your field.

41. Drawing a Mandala

An abstract design that is circular in form is known as a mandala.

It may also carry some images in it that has a special meaning for the one who draws it.

It seems really complicated to draw a mandala but once you know the steps, it becomes very easy to draw.

Adding a variety of colors in a mandala may show your connection with your inner world and reality.

42. A Glass of Water

Creating a realistic drawing of a glass of water is another sketchbook idea that will make your drawings interesting.

With the help of this type of drawing, you can show reflection and transparency at the same time.

You can also show light passing through a glass of water to add to its uniqueness.

Plus, add light and dark tones as well to give a finishing touch to your drawings.

43. A Family Photograph

A family photograph is the next challenging yet stunning artwork you can draw in your sketchbook.

Take out an old photo with all of your family members and begin to draw a stunning family photograph that you will treasure forever.

You can also get inspiration from the separate photos and draw them as everyone is together!

44. Draw a Dandelion

By practicing to draw a dandelion flower, we are sure you will draw it in no time. It will be fun to draw.

You will need to have a watercolor paper, a good set of markers and paintbrushes, and a bleeding tissue paper.

45. Draw with Your Non-Dominant Hand or Use Your Both Hands

Using your non-dominant hand or both hands for drawing is a challenging task.

Using a non-dominant hand means that if you are right-handed, try to draw with your left hand.

Learning this type of drawing will definitely increase your creativity.

46. Your Hands or Feet

One of the most challenging sketchbook ideas is to draw your hands or feet.

Most people believe that it is quite difficult to draw a hand but once you know how to look for specific shapes, the task will become easier.

47. A Person You Admire

Drawing a photo of a person you admire is a good drawing idea.

So, take out his/her photograph and start drawing.

It may be a challenging task even for the expert artists so it is better to know the simple tricks by which you can sketch the basic outline of the person and then make minor adjustments.

48. Do a Blind Contour Challenge

Another great sketchbook idea is to do a blind contour challenge.

Take a paper and a pencil and draw anything without looking at the paper.

You can go for a simple drawing or you can draw anything that comes to your mind.

Another challenge that you can take is to draw with a pencil without lifting your hand from the paper.

49. A Scene in a Restaurant

Having dinner in your favorite restaurant?

Make some memories by sketching a scene in a restaurant.

Sit in the corner and start sketching!

50. A Pair of Glasses

Besides drawing a glass of water, if you want to learn more about reflection and transparency more, draw a pair of glasses.

You can also color this drawing and can decorate your room with your lovely coloring drawing pages.

51. Draw a Person Sitting in a Chair

Another challenging drawing idea is to draw a person sitting in a chair at different angles.

52. Shrubs and Bushes

Take your sketchbook out, find a shady spot, and practice drawing shrubs and bushes.

53. Play with Lighting

The next big and challenging sketchbook idea is to play with lighting.

Go outside of your house, choose your favorite spot, and start drawing different scenes of the day in the morning, evening, and at night.

54. A Spaceship

If you like to explore space and different planets, it is the best idea to draw a spaceship that is capable of returning from space to Earth.

This type of drawing will look very impressive.

You can also draw a cartoon spaceship if you want!

55. Draw an Image of an Old Person

It would be a challenge for you to draw an image of an older person.

Show the wrinkles on the face with drawing pencils.

You can also show an old man sitting in a chair or walking with a stick.

56. The Back of Someone’s Head

Waiting for your order in a restaurant? Want to do something to pass some time?

Take a paper and a drawing pencil and draw the back of someone’s head.

Or you may sketch someone on public transit as well.

It will be a little difficult but with practice, you will learn to draw.

57. Your Favorite Landscape

So, you wanted to go on a vacation but your plan canceled due to some reasons.

Do not be sad!

To feel like you are on your favorite spot, it is a good idea to draw your favorite landscape.

58. Draw a Statue from a Museum

If you want to learn more about art, try sketching a sculpture from the past.

Go to a museum, work on your ideas, and draw a statue.

With good-quality drawing pencils, make a sketch and keep it in your art gallery.

59. Make a Sketch of an Old Camera

So, we are talking about taking photos and drawing something for example a family photograph.

Now it is time to take an old camera and make a sketch of it.

The shape of the camera, its buttons, and the text on them will definitely give you a nice challenge.

60. Give an Object a Face

Create stunning artwork by giving an object a face.

61. Metal Objects

Metal objects do not only have a unique texture in them but reflect light as well.

It is also fun to draw metallic objects.

It would be a challenge for you to draw metal effects effectively.

The materials you will need for this will be a sharpened pencil, a ruler, an eraser and some good sketching pencils.

62. A 3D Sphere

One of the most challenging sketchbook ideas is to draw a 3D sphere.

63. Draw Ocean Waves

It would be a real challenge for you to draw ocean waves as it is always challenging to make sketches of the things that are in constant motion.

64. Make a Sketch of an Old Factory

If you live in the city, go out with your sketchbook, find an old factory, and make a sketch.

It will be a great experience to draw the years of aging of an old factory.

65. Draw People Standing in a Line

Another amazing drawing activity is to draw people who are standing in a line.

It is always challenging to draw people.

So, if you want to improve your drawing skills, it is the quickest way.

Draw from Imagination

At times, you want to practice but there is not a suitable object to work on.

At this time, it is better to draw from imagination.

66. Create a Fun Pattern

Another amazing drawing idea is to create a fun pattern using dots, lines, swirls, curves, zigzags, and stripes.

67. Draw a Scene from History

Another drawing idea when working from imagination is to draw a scene from history.

Look back at the events of history and draw them on paper as if you were there.

68. Draw a Room You Want to Have in Your New House

If you are planning to move to a new house, it is a great idea to draw a room you want to have in your new house.

Sketch out the basic things like a bed, sofa, or dressing table.

Go for a pencil sketch or if you want, add colors to enhance your artwork.

This is also a great drawing idea if you are sitting idle and have nothing to do!

69. A Person Hitting the Ball

Another drawing from imagination practice is to draw a person hitting a ball.

Take a paper, draw a grid layout, and mark off the width and height of the picture.

Outline the shape of his body and draw his facial features.

You can make it simple or funny.

Let your imagination go!

70. A Moving Object

Get an observation from a photo and draw a moving object.

It could be anything like a car, a motorcycle, or an airplane.

71. Draw Your Meal

Another thing that you can draw is to imagine the meal you will eat for a week.

You can draw every portion of your meal with a pencil sketch.

72. A Couch

So, you have a couch in your living room on which you sit and enjoy watching TV.

Look at it deeply and get some practice of drawing a couch and show its soft material through the sketch.

You can also draw your favorite piece of furniture from your room.

73. A Tea Party

Planning for a tea party with your friends?

Let’s try out making a sketch of a tea party.

74. Draw a New Font

Take a paper and draw a few letters on it.

Also, try to draw a new font.

This will definitely boost your drawing skills.

75. The Items on your Coffee Table

If you want to draw something unique and creative, reproduce the items on your coffee table.

Plus, think about what more items you can add to your coffee table and start making a drawing on them.

76. Scenes from Everyday Memory

Think of two favorite scenes from your everyday memory.

Dedicate your time in drawing those scenes.

77. Superheroes

Pen a comic book and make a drawing of your favorite superheroes.

Not only this, but you can also create your own superhero in your own style.

You may go for drawing Superman, Hulk, Spiderman, Aquaman, and much more.

78. Draw Your Favorite Things

Get an idea of your favorite things in mind. Start drawing them.

As there will be a variety of things, so you will also get to learn drawing things from various aspects.

Try to add color in a few things while keeping a few items without color.

79. Draw Your Dream House

It will be a lot of fun to draw your dream house.

80. A Sailboat

Another classic subject for practice is to draw a sailboat.

81. Make a Sketch of Your Home in Space

To enhance your creative thought, make a sketch of your home in space.

More Sketchbook Prompts

Get ready to bring your A-game to art class. These sketchbook prompts are gonna take your creativity and imagination to the next level. These ideas are gonna inspire you to flex those illustration skills and make the most of every art session. 

82. Draw Your Favorite Animal

You can draw your favorite animal. It could be anything from a pet to a dangerous predator. Give yourself some freedom and get creative with the pose, surroundings, and overall look of the animal. 

83. Draw a Scenic View

Bring a landscape to life. It could be a cityscape, seascape, or a mountainous view. Add some details, like trees, buildings, and clouds, to make it more interesting. 

84. Design a Fantasy Word

For artists, who love using their imagination, a fantasy scene prompt is a no-brainer. You can create a world filled with mythical creatures, enchanted forests, and otherworldly landscapes. How cool is that?

85. Sketch Your Dream Vacation

Turn your dream vacation into a reality with a sketch in your sketchbook. From the tropical beaches of the Caribbean to the bustling streets of Tokyo, capture the essence of your dream destination and exercise your artistic skills. So go ahead, grab your sketchbook and start planning your next adventure today!

86. Draw Your Fam Portrait

A family portrait is a great way to create something and focus on the people you love. Try to include all members of their family, including pets, in the portrait.

87. Draw a City Skyline at Night

City skylines are incredible. (They look even cooler at night). Artists can draw their favorite city skyline lit up with the bright lights of the city. Focus on the architecture and details of the buildings and make it look as realistic as possible. 

88. Sketch a Park Scene

Parks are great places for artists to unwind, relax, and draw some inspiration. Draw a park scene with people, trees, and anything else you find interesting. You can add some color to the picture to make it pop. 

89. Design a Comic Strip

For artists who love to tell a story, a comic strip prompt is a must. Use your imagination and create a series of drawings to tell a story. Whether it’s a funny joke, an action-packed adventure, or a heartwarming tale, you can get creative and have some fun with this one. 

90. Sketch Your Favorite Food

Who doesn’t love food, my friend? Draw your favorite dish or cuisine. Whether it’s a delicious pizza, a mouth-watering burger, or a fancy steak, you can draw your favorite food and make it look as tasty as possible. 

91. Draw a Self-Portrait

Self-portraits are a great way for artists to reflect on themselves and their unique style. Draw a self-portrait—one that captures your essence and personality. You can add some color, background, and props to make it more interesting.

92. Create a Still Life Drawing

Still life drawings are fantastic! They’re a classic way to hone in on those observation skills and show off your attention to detail. Grab a vase of flowers or some other object from around the house and get to sketching! Make it as detailed as possible, let’s see those skills shine! Here are some still life drawing tips .

93. Sketch a Sweet Ride

For all the gearheads out there, this one’s for you! Draw your favorite ride in all its glory! Make it look as sweet as possible with all the details, whether it’s a fantastic car, truck, or motorcycle. Let’s see those flashy and impressive drawings!

94. Draw a Beach Scene

Time to hit the beach and bring out your drawing skills. Draw the sand, water, and all the cool stuff you see around you.

Add some people chillin’, boats, and palm trees to make it look like a tropical paradise. 

95. Design a Character

For all the storytellers out there, it’s time to let your imaginations run wild.

Design a fantastic character—whether it’s a superhero, a monster, or anything in between. Show off your creativity and have fun with it!

96. Sketch a Tree and its Surroundings

Nature lovers, this one’s for you. Draw a tree in all its glory, with its branches, leaves, and everything else that makes it special.

Add some birds, animals, and flowers to make it look like a real-life forest. Get ready to bring the outdoors inside with this sketch!

97. Create a Space Scene with Planet and Stars

Discover the wonder of space and bring it to life with a mesmerizing space scene in your sketchbook. Use color, light, and shadow to capture the vastness and diversity of the universe, highlighting the planets and stars that make it so special. 

98. Draw a Water Scene

Take advantage of the peaceful and calming effects of water by sketching a beautiful water scene.

Whether it’s a river surrounded by trees and rocks or a lake surrounded by mountains, you’ll learn about the value of nature and have the chance to experiment with different techniques for creating serene landscapes.

99. Create a Jungle or Forest Scene

Explore the beauty and intricacy of nature by creating a scene inspired by it. From jungles filled with animals and plants to forests with hidden creatures and foliage, you’ll have the chance to learn about ecology and biology while honing your skills!

100. Sketch a Historical Monument or Building

Discover the rich history and cultural heritage of humanity by sketching a historical monument or building in your sketchbook. From the Colosseum in Rome to the Great Wall of China, you’ll learn about history and architecture while improving your artistic skills. 

101. Draw a Favorite Mythical Creature in a Whimsical Setting

Bring your favorite mythical creatures to life with a whimsical scene in your sketchbook. Whether it’s a unicorn in a magical forest or a dragon in a magical castle, you’ll hone your skills in creating a fantastical landscape.

Other topics to help you draw:

It is easy to get into a sketchbook but what if your mind is out of ideas?

It’s the worst.

The above-mentioned top 80 ideas, tips, and resources will surely help you to get to drawing for your sketchbook.  

As a result, this list will help you know what to draw in your sketchbook to create an amazing sketchbook. 

Not only will you have an amazing sketchbook, but by drawing these ideas it will be like sketchbook exercises to help you get better.

If you want to get perfection in your drawing skills, practice is very important.

You need to dedicate some time to this pursuit and by practice, you will be able to draw simple sketches to figure drawing to fully-rendered portraits in just a short span of time.

You can dedicate a specific time for this activity or you may even try out these ideas when you are bored or you want a break from your daily chores or you do not want your mobile!

So, what are you waiting for now?

Try out these amazing sketchbook ideas, practice your drawing skills, and add more to your creativity!

Question of the Day:  What are your favorite sketchbook ideas on this list?

Free Drawing Course – Draw Better In 9 Days

In this course, I show you how to draw female heads, male and female torso, hands , and more.

sketchbook ideas depression

Art Sketchbook Ideas: creative examples to inspire students

Last Updated on February 2, 2022

This article contains a collection of sketchbook pages from art students around the world, including those who study IGCSE / GCSE Art, A Level Art, VCE Studio Arts, NCEA Level 3 Scholarship, and IB Visual Art. Many of the sketchbook pages shown below are from projects that achieved full marks. These examples illustrate the wide range of possible approaches to sketchbook content, annotation, and page layout.

You may be interested in our new book: Outstanding High School Sketchbooks . This book has high-resolution images so that fine details and annotation are clear, making it an excellent resource for students and schools. Learn more !

Examples of great art sketchbooks

This sketchbook page collection features work from students who specialize predominantly in drawing, painting, mixed media, and Fine Art. The examples cover a wide range of presentation techniques and layout styles. It is worth remembering that these represent only a fraction of what is possible.

Still life - GCSE sketchbook pages

Need more art sketchbook ideas?

This article is part of a series showcasing and celebrating outstanding sketchbooks by students, artists and designers. You may also be interested in viewing our other sketchbook resources:

This sketchbook collection is continually updated. Please bookmark this page so that you can return to it when needed! If you would like to submit your own sketchbook page for inclusion, please contact us . 🙂

Amiria Gale

Amiria has been an Art & Design teacher and a Curriculum Co-ordinator for seven years, responsible for the course design and assessment of student work in two high-achieving Auckland schools. She has a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Bachelor of Architecture (First Class Honours) and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching. Amiria is a CIE Accredited Art & Design Coursework Assessor.

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Home » Drawings » 38 Cool Drawing Ideas for Your Sketchbook

38 Cool Drawing Ideas for Your Sketchbook

If you’re looking for cool and easy drawing ideas, I’ve got some inspirational drawings to get your creative juices flowing.

Now that I’ve been spending so much time at home, I decided to get back into drawing. I’ve been loving browsing Pinterest for drawing ideas for my sketchbook.

It’s been both fun and challenging learning new drawing techniques. With every piece of art that I create, I see my work getting better and better. So this is a challenge that’s been well worth it.

Recently, I’ve been on the search for cool drawing references, and I found some pretty good drawings and sketches. I thought it would be cool if I shared some of the art I discovered on my search.

If you too are looking for drawing ideas, sketches, and references, I’m sure you’ll find some inspiration for your sketchbook in this post.

Choosing Your Pencils

Before you begin drawing, it’s important that you choose the right pencil. If you’re new to sketching and aren’t sure what pencil grade to start with, I recommend starting your sketch with a pencil on the H scale.

You can finish off your drawing with a darker pencil grade, such as a pencil on the B scale.

1. Wilderness in a Bottle


If you like watercolor, I think you’ll enjoy recreating this art piece that features the outdoors within a bottle. The colors chosen for this are beautiful.

2. Crying Eyes


These eyes hold so much emotion and tell a story. I really love the art style used here. Use colored pencils to color in your artwork. They help your work stand out so well.

3. The Planets


I actually recreated this drawing and can tell you that it was so fun to draw. Use colored pencils to color in your finished drawing to give it even more detail.

4. Watercolor Hygge Doodles


Here are a few small doodles that were created with watercolor. I love the simplicity of these doodles. Hygge doodles are always so nice to look at.

Use a Blending Stump

It can be difficult to get a good blend with pencils. However, you can create a smooth bleeding effect by using a blending stump.

Blending stumps are great for smudging graphite and charcoal.

5. Globe and Flowers


This drawing of a globe with flowers is actually really easy to draw and perfect for beginners.

6. Cat and Cactus


Here’s a cute little drawing of a cat getting attacked by a cactus. I was thinking that this drawing would make a great greeting card for a friend.

7. Whale with Bubbles Easy Drawing Idea


This drawing of a whale is so cute and very beginner-friendly. I love the color choice used here as well. This drawing would make a great handmade greeting card.

Try Not to Smudge

If you can, avoid smudging your drawing. You can place a piece of paper underneath your hand to minimize how much your hand smudges your drawing.

This will help ensure you have a clean-looking drawing once it’s complete. Remember, you can use smudging to your advantage to smooth out your shading.

8. Koi Fish


This koi fish reference is perfect for the advanced beginner. I really enjoy the addition of the flowers and the water waves.

9. Tinkerbell


I really enjoy drawing Disney characters, so I thought it would be fun to include a reference of Tinker Bell. You can color your drawing in if you’d like.

10. Emotional Eyes


Here’s another drawing that shows emotional eyes. Again, I really love the art style used here. I also love how these drawings are black and white.

Don’t Blend with Your Fingers

Once it’s time to blend, try not to blend with your fingers. When you blend with your fingers, the oils from your skin will transfer to the paper and may affect the look of your drawing. Again, I recommend blending stumps for blending your work.

11. Camping Doodles


I love the aesthetic of these camping doodles. Included are a tint, s’mores, a mug, a campfire, and more.

12. Hedgehog with Pies


Isn’t this the cutest drawing of a hedgehog carrying warm pies? I think that this would be so fun to draw and color in.

13. Girl with Red Boots


I love the simplicity of this drawing of a girl with red boots. And while it’s simple, it’s still a great drawing with a cool art style.

Practice Sketching Daily

If you want to get better at sketching, the best thing you can do is practice daily. I recommend setting aside an hour every day to sketch.

Don’t worry about your work being perfect. It will get better naturally the more you practice.

14. State Sunglasses


This creative drawing features five pairs of sunglasses, each representing a different state. What a creative idea.

15. Giant Octopus


If you’ve got some time on your hands, I think you’ll enjoy recreating this reference of a giant octopus. I love the detail involved with this drawing.

16. Modern Witch


This piece of art features a trendy witch with birds on her shoulder. I love the colors that are used here.

Practice Blind Contour Drawing

Blind contour drawing is the practice of drawing the contour of a subject without looking down at the paper.

Blind contour drawing is helpful because it trains the eyes and hands to work as a team. It always helps the artist see all the details of the subject.

17. Girl with Tears


I love the uniqueness of this drawing of a girl crying. It’s always fun using creative art styles for your reference.

18. Cloud Eyes


This drawing is so creative, and would probably be really fun to draw. You can add color to the clouds and stars to give your drawing a unique look.

19. Eyes and Lips


Here are some great references for drawing eyes and mouths. I love the different expressions being made here.

Adding color to your drawing can be a great way to make your drawing stand out. You can use colored pencils, pastels, or even watercolor paint to add some color to your drawing.

20. Three Sets of Eyes


I love the look of these eyes. There’s even a great reference for drawing eyes that are closed. For anyone who’s interested, I’m currently using the  Castle Art Supplies 26 Piece Drawing and Sketching Pencils  for my sketches.

21. Black White and Blue Whale


This drawing of a whale is a beautiful piece of art. I would love to frame my finished project. I use a Sharpie fine point pen for drawings like this. I first draw lightly in pencil, then I trace over it with the Sharpie.

22. Costumes for Cats


This costumes for cats art is so cute and creative. I love the mummy cat and the candy corn cat.

Use the Grid Method

The grid method involves drawing a grid over your reference photo and then lightly drawing the grid on your drawing paper to scale.

The grid method will help with the placement of your drawing. It will give you a reference point between the photo and your canvas.

23. Swan in Lake


If you want to draw a creative swan picture, this is an awesome reference. As I mentioned earlier, I use a Sharpie fine point pen for drawings like this.

24. Bear Holding a Balloon


I really love this painting and would love to recreate this. If you’re new to watercolor paint, this would be a perfect beginner’s painting to try.

25. Black Raven


I love the crow and the raven. We have a lot of crows in the area I live in, so a drawing like this is right up my alley.

26. Creative Deer


If you know someone who loves deer, this would be a great handmade gift for them. I love the incorporation of the woods with the deer. What a creative idea.

27. Woman with Dress


This definitely isn’t a drawing for beginners, but if you’re into fashion design, this makes a great reference for drawing a model.

28. Ostrich


This drawing of an ostrich definitely looks like it’ll take some time to complete, but the finished product will be so worth it.

29. Girl Holding Planet Balloons


I love this drawing of a girl holding planet balloons. The colors do a great job of making this drawing stand out in a great way.

30. Converse Sneaker


This drawing is so realistic and amazing. You could consider doing something like this using color to make it look even more real.

31. Woman’s Body


These references are great for learning how to draw a woman’s body. As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently using the  Castle Art Supplies 26 Piece Drawing and Sketching Pencils  for my sketches.

32. Simple Leaf


I love the simplicity of this leaf. Simply pick up a leaf from the ground and use it as a reference for your drawing. Of course, you can also use this picture for reference.

33. Woman Looking Out Window


Here’s a sketch of a woman looking out the window. If you’re looking for a side profile sketch of a woman, use this for reference.

34. Girl in a Bottle


This is one of my favorite drawings because of how creative it is. This picture would look great hanging on your wall or pinned to a corkboard.

35. Rabbits


Aren’t these rabbits so cute and perfectly drawn? If you want to practice drawing rabbits, I think you’ll find this picture helpful.

36. Eyes and Mathematics


While I love the eyes drawn here, I think it’s so cool how there are math equations behind the eyes. This really does look so cool and creative.

37. Simple Hand with Heart


If you’re looking for a simple and quick drawing reference, try recreating this hand with a floating heart.

38. Woman and Fish


Here’s a pretty cool drawing of a woman underwater with fish appearing to jump from her head. I would definitely use the Precision Micro-Line pens for this type of drawing.

39. Bambi and Rabbit


I think that Disney characters are so fun to draw. Practice drawing cartoon characters with this drawing of Bambi and the rabbit.

40. Elephant Painting


I love the creativity of this drawing. I think it would be fun to use a different color palette for the paint portion.

41. Girl with Sad Expression


The girl in this drawing has a sad expression that has been drawn so well. If you would like to draw a character with emotion, this reference is a great choice.

I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out these cool drawing ideas for your sketchbook. Remember, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. Happy sketching.


Study your favorite artists with this free Artist Study printable. Click the image to download.


Artist Study Free Printable .

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50+ Sketchbook Inspiration Examples That Will Change The Way You Use Your Sketchbooks

In order to become a better artist, it’s recommended that you keep an art journal or sketchbook. It’s hard to come up with new ideas every day, so I thought that you might like some sketchbook art inspiration. The following inspirational sketchbooks will open your mind to new possibilities in daily art journaling and sketchbook-ing. Here are more than 50 inspirational sketchbook art and illustration ideas. I hope you enjoy! Happy Drawing!

art journal inspiration Kerby Rosanes

Kerby Rosanes

Beautiful inspirational illustrations sketchbooks

Grzesiek Wróblewski

Tifenn Python sketchbook inspiration

Tiffen Python

Ingrid Dijkers paper cute journal

Ingrid Dijkers

GIOVANNI MAISTO beautiful cool sketchbooks

Giovanni Maisto

inspirational art sketchbooks Duncan Cameron

Duncan Cameron

Gabriel Picolo

Gabriel Picolo

Unknown Artist - Needed Inspiration for Drawing

Unknown Artist

Jim Woodring Pop Up 3D Sketchbook Art

Jim Woodring

Kelly Richman-Abdou inspirational sketchbook drawings

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Joseph Tomlinson creative inspirations

Joseph Tomlinson

Kerby Rosanes Colorful sketchbook inspiration

Dominic Damien

sketchbook ideas depression

Nina Johansson

Sketchbook Inspiration

Chris Riddell

super cool art sketchbook journal inspiration

Jared Muralt

greatest inspirational moleskin sketchbooks Kiro Zeng

David Troquier

beautiful inspirational art journal Anna Aniskina

Anna Aniskina

Paul Hoi Sketchbook Art Inspiration

Eat Sleep Draw Studio

creative illustration sketchbooks inspiration Coretan

Lei Melendres

sketchbook ideas depression

Lizya Hmet @lizyahmet

sketchbook ideas depression

Jackie DieDam

how to draw faces step by step - learn how to draw faces and heads

Daniele Turturici

inspiration for sketchbook arts Illustrator Daniele Turturici

Katie Hosmer

kerby rosanes talented sketchbook artist

Visoth Kakvei

sketchbook drawing ideas

White Stone Turtle

sketchbook ideas depression

Francesco Chiacchio

gorgeous moleskin sketchbook art

Marco Mazzoni

cool sketchbook art

Mama O’Pearl

inspirational artwork sketchbook by rob luff

Paul Heaston

Marco Mazzoni

The Skinny Artist


The Northern Boy

sketchbook ideas depression

Lauren Salgado

sketchbook ideas depression

Andrea Joseph


50+ Sketchbook and Art Journal Drawing Ideas and Inspirational Art

Here’s a great video on how an artist took inspiration from an old 3-dimensional sketchbook to make some new beautiful art…

Technorati Tags: inspiration , inspirational , ideas , creative , sketchbooks , sketchbook ideas , inspirational art

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February 16, 2022 at 9:57 am

This is a good ideas for me to draW

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October 11, 2021 at 5:24 pm

Hey! Really cool compilation. If I’m not wrong, the first two unknown artist are the same awesome Peter Deligdisch aka Peter draws 😉

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March 16, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Does anyone know the best way to draw a cat because I have like a whole sketchbook filled with bad drawings of cats.

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101 Drawing Ideas for Your Sketchbook

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I decided to do some of the brainstorming for you and create a list of 101 drawing ideas that you can include in your sketchbook or turn in to finished works. The items on this list are meant to challenge you a bit, but can still be completed in a short amount of time – making them perfect subjects.

Easy Drawing Ideas

Remember, we can always use the ideas that we conceive in our sketchbooks and turn them into finished works of art. A sketchbook is great place to practice, but it’s also a great place to plan and find some inspiration.

Easy drawing ideas for your sketchbook

We’ll begin with the easy subjects. Defining what’s considered easy will be different for everyone. It all depends on how much time and effort you want to put into your work. These items are considered “easy” simply because the shapes used to sketch them are rather simple.

Here’s a list of easy drawing ideas…

Drawing idea #1 - An old pair of shoes

Sketching idea - wine bottles

drawing ideas - draw a game piece

Draw fruit sliced open

Drawing ideas - draw a vegetable

Draw an old chair - Easy drawing idea

Drawing From Your Imagination

Working from imagination

I should point out that the best way to get better at drawing from your imagination is to spend a good amount of time working from observation. When you practice working from observation, you learn how to translate what you see into a work of art.

When you’re working from imagination, you have to rely on what you’ve learned from your observational practice.

Here’s a list of drawing ideas when working from imagination…

drawing ideas - draw basic forms

Up for a Challenge?

Challenging drawing ideas for your sketchbook

Here’s a list of ideas designed to challenge…

Drawing trees in the woods

Drawing idea - old car

Reflective metal - drawing idea

Draw your favorite sea creature

Drawing idea - draw flowers in a vase

Drawing idea - sailboats

Drawing ideas - draw a flower up close

Draw a fish

A skull - Drawing idea #65

Sketching idea - Draw your feet

Drawing eyes

Sketching idea - fool the eyes

Drawing idea #100

Deciding What to Draw

Hopefully you’re now filled with inspiration and you’re ready to get started. Each of these subjects have been carefully thought out and were chosen for specific ways that they’ll help improve your skills. So you may be wondering, which of these should you tackle first. This will depend on where you are currently in your artistic journey. We’re all at different skill levels.

I may suggest making a game out of your sketching practice. Why not think of these suggestions in terms of a scavenger hunt? Instead of just picking a few, why not tackle them all. Grab a sketchbook with at least 100 pages and draw each idea one by one until you’ve filled it up completely. Then compare your first sketch to your last. You’ll notice a huge difference. You will be get better over time.

More Places to Find Ideas for Drawing

So maybe you’ve scanned the list here and you don’t see anything that appeals to you. Maybe some of the subjects sound too difficult or perhaps you’ve already drawn them before and you don’t want to revisit them. (Revisiting subjects is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, when you revisit a subject for the second time, you find that you’re more successful.)

Fortunately, there are other places to look for drawing inspiration other than this list you may have just stumbled upon. Here are a few more places to look for inspiration and activities that may spark your creativity…

Go For A Walk and Get Ideas

Go for a walk for drawing inspiration and to get more ideas

It also helps to change our environment. It’s great to get outside and take a look around. This also helps to get our creative juices flowing. I often get my best ideas when I’m out on a jog or just walking around the neighborhood.

Going for walk does two things for us. It changes our environment and also gets us moving.

sketchbook ideas depression

Look At Other Drawings – Get Inspired By Other Artists

Get inspiration by looking at other drawings

The internet is a wonderful resource, but looking at art in a physical book or better yet – a gallery or museum is the best option.

Listen to Music Without Lyrics to Get More Ideas

Some people are inspired by other forms of art outside the realm of visual art. Music can be a great source of inspiration and may give you some ideas for your drawings. I’ve found that music that has lyrics is often too literal and is less inspirational. But music without lyrics allows you to paint a scene in your mind and may lead to more than just a quick sketch. You may find that the right music gives you an idea that you can build on and you end up creating a work that is well beyond a simple sketch.

Drawing Basics - Construction

Lesson Discussion

Dear Matt, Thank you for the suggestions. I’m sure they will be of use.

I was just looking for some ideas for sketchbook assignments for my students. It was like you read my mind…and this popped up. Awesome!! I wanted my students to write about their drawings as well…do you have any suggestions? I have all levels from beginners to advanced. I also wanted to know how you would divide your list of assignments according to experience levels.

Thanks so much for this! I’m gonna make sure i do everything on this list !

Thank you Matt, you blessed my day!

Matt, this was especially good for me. I used to draw and love it but that was 4 decades ago. Now as a retired 62-year-old, I’m looking at doing some of things I used to love but I live in a place (south central KY) where local art stores are about an hour away (oh voila, internet!) and drawing lessons are non-existent, except for yours online. I plan to use many of these to practice blind contour drawing (very good for an older mind)and then translate them into more. Thanks!

Thanks Matt for the sketching ideas. I find that when I sketch I tend to put too much detail in to try to make the drawing perfect. I am going to limit myself to 5 min a sketch to try to improve this habit.

Hey..don’t reduce the time…instead after doing a sketch,find a distraction and afterwards look at your sketch..even then,if you feel any detail is missing,then you can add them..by this, we also understand what needs to be changed..

there are several things that i have wanted to get into. photography is one of them and art is another. i have absolutely no talent. i knew someone who was very talented and she said it was just a matter of drawing all the time and getting better as she went along. it seems that you are offering exactly what i need and was looking for. i used to live in new york city where there were plenty of art schools but was not interested at the time. was working and had 2 small children. no time and no money. i still do not have money and i no longer live in new york and do not know of any art schools in my area. i think if i manage my time a little bit better with your teaching i should be able to achieve my goals. life without the internet is no life at all. you came into my life at just the right time. thank you in advance. i hope to learn and have fun.

This list didn’t help me at all, its dump and not useful in anyway. Thxs for notin.

Wow-what a jerk you are. Your just jealous of this awesome dude who made this website. I’d like to see you try to do the same-and fail.

gave me tons of ideas! THANKS A BILLION!

My life has been art! But things changed a few years ago. I’ve been away from drawing and art in general for 10 years because of having several little strokes. My doctor assured me that my art would come back, he said, “Don’t worry, your art will be back in 5 years or so. The brain will re-route around the strokes, it will be back!” I know he was trying to help, but when you spend a lifetime doing something creative everyday and then they tell you it will be back in 5 years, I was devastated! Well, 5 years came and went. This is year 10, I did my first drawing in July! A fawn in grass in the woods surrounded by trees. I had a blast doing the face of that fawn, and the bark of the trees! I’ve been following you for at least a year. You have been a source of inspiration! THANK YOU MARK!

I have this very same problem Fiona !!

Well this didn’t help because I tried for 1 to draw a soul and I ended up crying my eyes out and I’m only 15

Thank you, Thank you!! This really did get me drawing! Thanks a ton.

Thanks for the ideas, if was such a help to me instead thinking of the ideas myself

WoW! this helped so much. Thanks Matt

Comments are closed.

What to Draw

Sketchbook Drawing Ideas and Inspiration

sketchbook ideas depression

Everyday Objects

People / animals, get creative.

When you're struggling with artist's block, there are never too many drawing ideas. One of these easy drawings might joggle your creativity and help you put the pencil to the page. If you're unsure of what to sketch, let this article serve as the starting point of your brainstorming session. Hopefully, you'll land on some sketchbook inspiration that will launch you back into regular drawing sessions.

For best results, quickly read through this list of sketchbook drawing ideas and mark off any ideas that strike you. Next, build off of those ideas with others that come to mind. Finally, pick your favorite and just get started. Try not to overthink this process. Make your selection based on impulse instead. Don't worry if the drawing turns out poorly; that's the beauty of a sketchbook. Nothing is meant to be perfect — progress over perfection.

Figure Drawing

Breeds and Species

When You're Stuck

If none of these drawing ideas got you out of your rut, then perhaps it's time to try something different. Considering the following drawing tips if you're in need of a fresh start.

We hope these sketching ideas gave you hope that blank pages aren't all that awaits you. If all else fails, go back to the basics and start with some simple drawing exercises. You could also find and follow along with an online drawing tutorial. Good luck!

Watch Now: 6 Great Gesture-Drawing Tips

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How to Use Drawing as a Coping Tool for Anxiety

sketchbook ideas depression

Ever catch yourself doodling during a tense moment, perhaps while on a frustrating phone call or waiting for an appointment you weren’t looking forward to? You may not have realized it, but you were using a simple form of art therapy.

Art therapy refers to any use of art for a therapeutic purpose, including relief from anxiety and stress . The theory behind art therapy suggests drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpting can help you tune into and express painful or difficult feelings you have trouble putting into words.

Drawing and coloring can be a helpful tool for anyone seeking new ways to manage anxiety symptoms. Not an artist? That’s OK — you don’t need any special skills to give art therapy a try.

Does it really help that much?

Since its introduction in the mid-1900s, art therapy has helped people address a range of mental health symptoms.

Kelly Lynch , a licensed mental health counselor and registered art therapist in Seattle, WA, explains that art therapy can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself — both through the creative process and the resulting artwork.

“The creative process promotes new perspectives that lie beyond the structure of language,” Lynch says. “Art uses metaphor, symbolism, and dynamic thoughts to represent the human experience in a way language cannot. This is particularly important for people who feel out of touch with their emotions or sense of self .”

Here’s how art can help:

It can help reduce stress

A constant undercurrent of anxiety threading through your day-to-day activities can leave you in a regular state of unease. This can start to affect everything from your sleep schedule to your appetite.

Putting pencil to paper allows you to give yourself some space from unwanted, often uncontrollable, thoughts and engage in an activity you can control. You decide what to draw and what colors to add to your design. While focused on the creative process, you aren’t giving energy to your anxiety.

There’s also some research to back up the stress-relieving effects of art:

Drawing can boost mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to your ability to stay present, engaged, and in tune with your thoughts, emotions, and sensations in your body.

If you live with anxiety, this might sound like a horrible idea. You want to get rid of anxious thoughts — not spend time sitting with them and fully experiencing them.

Yet as counterproductive as it may seem, spending some time with anxious thoughts can make it easier to release them. Learning to identify and recognize difficult emotions is an important part of improved emotional regulation . Mindfulness can help you learn to accept painful feelings and let them go.

Getting in touch with the here and now through creativity can help you clear your head and better accept yourself in the moment, Lynch adds.

As you draw or color, distracting and unhelpful thoughts might pop up in your consciousness. Your attention, however, remains on your artwork. You focus on the movement of your hand across the page, the texture of the paper, and the brightness of any colors you add. You don’t engage with the feelings, and so they drift away.

The creative process also offers a chance for self-reflection that can yield some insight into the source of your anxious thoughts, an essential step in resolving those triggers.

Art can interrupt rumination

Drawing and coloring can distract you from the unwanted thoughts associated with anxiety.

Anxiety often involves rumination , otherwise known as repetitive looping thoughts. It sometimes seems as if fixating on the same worries can help you find a solution for them. But circling through the same thoughts often only increases distress .

When you want to find a way to take a break from distressing thoughts, drawing offers a way to focus your attention on something calming. Sketching, doodling , or coloring provides a way to ground yourself and get some peace from racing thoughts.

Art helps you find your flow

Flow describes an optimal state of mental engagement and focus. In a flow state, you might feel completely immersed in what you’re doing, to the point where you no longer notice outside distractions or troubling thoughts.

Some experts suggest this state may promote creativity and emotional wellness by helping relieve stress.

There are plenty of ways to enter a state of flow, but art activities like drawing or coloring are great ways to get started.

The trick to achieving flow lies in finding an activity that challenges you just the right amount. A flow state requires some mental involvement, but you still don’t need specific artistic abilities to benefit.

Try creating and coloring your own mandala, sketching a simple design, or carefully outlining and coloring something more detailed.

Techniques to try

If you haven’t thought much about art since your middle school days, you might feel a little intimidated by the lack of guidelines or structure. After all, the last experience you had with art may have been a project with clear expectations: drawing a house, your family, or a basket of fruit, for example.

With art therapy, though, it’s the process itself that benefits you, so you really can’t go wrong. Anything you draw can help you express your feelings and attune you to the present moment.

You don’t need fancy pencils or an artist’s sketchpad to draw. Just keep a small notepad and a pencil or pen close to hand. When anxiety starts to creep up (or when you suspect you’re about to face some stress), break out your notepad and let your fingers guide you toward a more relaxed state of mind.

The act of doodling itself may help calm you, but you could notice some added benefit if you end up expressing your thoughts as you scribble.

Maybe you end up carving strong lines into the paper to relieve tension, or maybe you draw dark storm clouds to express a gloomy mood. Either way, doodling can act as an outlet for emotional overwhelm.

Doodling 101

Not sure where to start? Try:

Drawing or sketching

If you have more time and space for drawing, and you plan to use art as a regular coping method, you might find larger sketches or designs appealing. A sketchbook, recycled printer paper, or a roll of butcher paper can provide plenty of creative space for anxiety relief.

Simply putting pen to paper and starting with some simple lines or doodles can help you jump into drawing without spending too much time thinking about what to draw.

As your hand moves across the paper, you may notice your work taking on a shape that reflects your anxious thoughts. Someone who feels trapped in a job or relationship and worried about potential outcomes, for example, might find themselves drawing boxes, cages, or locked doors.

If you have a hard time creating simple sketches or doodles, don’t worry. Coloring a pre-printed design can offer some of the same benefits as drawing.

You can find adult coloring books at many bookstores or department stores. You can also find designs online for free. No printer? Check your local library — many offer free or low-cost printing services.

Some research suggests coloring a mandala might be more beneficial for anxiety relief than free drawing or coloring other designs. The mandala, a Buddhist symbol representing the universe , is a circular geometric design widely used in meditation.

Mandala coloring books and online printouts can get you started, but you can also try your hand at creating your own design.

Tips and tricks

You don’t need experience or artistic abilities to benefit from anxiety drawing. Art therapy does, however, call for an open mind and authentic experimentation, Lynch says.

Keeping the following tips in mind can help you make the most out of drawing or coloring for anxiety.

Stay in the moment

Find a quiet place that’s free of distractions where you can spend 20–30 minutes drawing or coloring. Relaxing music can help enhance a calmer mindset, but it might also help to turn off the TV and mute your phone.

To enhance mindful awareness as you draw, Lynch recommends paying attention to how your pencil, crayon, or pastel feels in your hands. How does it sound and feel as it moves across the paper? Does the paper feel rough, smooth, or cool?

Remember, there are no mistakes

As you draw, try to avoid:

Try to let your drawing take you along as it develops instead of setting expectations for yourself. The process is what matters, not the technical skill behind your drawing.

Instead of doubting your skills, focus on the creative process. If your art helps you manage anxious thoughts, it’s accomplishing its purpose.

Use what you know

You might want to try a coloring book to gauge the relaxation benefits for yourself. But, if you’re already in the habit of doodling, there’s no need to invest in any new materials (unless you want to, of course).

Your favorite pen and some scratch paper will do just fine. Remember, your art is for you alone, so it doesn’t have to look pretty or perfect.

The bottom line

“Therapy using the creative process can offer an important key to understanding emotional expression and experiences,” Lynch concludes.

Drawing, coloring, and other art therapy approaches can serve as helpful tools to cope with anxiety symptoms on your own.

That said, many therapists offer art therapy as part of a combined approach instead of a standalone treatment. Art therapy alone may not relieve serious or persistent anxiety. A trained therapist can help you explore other treatment options .

Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

Last medically reviewed on January 28, 2021

How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Jan 29, 2021

Kelly Morrell

Medically Reviewed By

Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD

Copy Edited By

Jen Anderson

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sketchbook ideas depression

Art Sketchbook Ideas: Your Guide to an Artist’s Best Tool

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We’ve rounded up the best tips, ideas, and techniques from artists for keeping an art sketchbook and using it often.

sketchbook ideas depression

Keep a sketchbook . You probably heard this advice in your first art class. Years later, maybe you think you’re past the need for an art sketchbook. Or you think it’s only for people who primarily draw and not for painters like you. Maybe the habit has just gotten away from you, and you have a stack of beautiful unused sketchbooks. Or (and this might be all of us) you now surrender potential sketchbook moments to your phone.

The truth is, an art sketchbook is your secret weapon — as long as you use it. “It’s my place to find out if an idea might work; to see if a design is sound; to explore variations; and to make a connection. My sketchbook keeps me on track and organized. And, I always know where I put it down,” says artist Mark Mehaffey . This most analog of tools will improve your skills, record your visual experiences and ideas, capture preliminary work for paintings, and never go offline or waste your time.

How to Reboot Your Art Sketchbook Practice

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Make using your art sketchbook a habit, and as with any habit, set achievable goals, start small, and build. And it’s okay to start with a new book; invest in one with paper that feels good, in a portable size. Set yourself up for success!

Put Your Sketchbook to Work

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The idea, of course, is that you can sketch anywhere, and you need only a pencil and paper (though you can expand your toolkit with markers, pens, watercolors and much more). And you can sketch anything, from your morning coffee cup to a busy street scene to a landscape. But if all that choice is overwhelming, let these expert ideas help you navigate the possibilities.

Watercolor Sketching Tips

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Just add water? Fortunately, you can find all kinds of small portable watercolor sets designed for sketching anywhere — city, country, or journey. Brushes with reservoirs make it easy, and our experts have ideas to help.

Art Sketchbook Ideas for Urban and Travel Sketching

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These two away-from-home sketching categories have devoted fans and practitioners for good reason! But the practice itself overlaps with just regular sketching — have your art sketchbook with you at all times, and the tools and supplies you need, and go for it. Remember the old adage that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And always be courteous to friendly spectators. You might meet wonderful people.

Happy sketching!

The   Artists Network shop   also offers an extensive selection of instructional videos for purchase on drawing and sketching, watercolor sketching, urban sketching, and more. Access to videos is also included in   membership .

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Lady and the Blog

Sketchbook Ideas – How Do I Make My Sketchbook Interesting?

Art and freeform expression is really important in my house to help clear our minds on particularly stressful days. When we are working on our sketchbook ideas , we usually draw whatever comes to thought. But sometimes, a little inspiration goes a long way.

Sketchbook Ideas

If you are looking for ways to make your sketchbook a bit more interesting and exciting, this post will give you a few ideas to consider. Every artist needs inspiration and motivation. Take this post as a means to get those creative juices flowing.

How Do I Make My Sketchbook Interesting

Sketchbook Ideas – How Do I Make My Sketchbook Interesting?

Before you get to my sketchbook ideas tips, I want you to think about how you approach sketching. How much time do you spend on each page? Do you set a time limit to each creation? Is it 5 minutes or is it one day.

View this post on Instagram #art #artist #artwork #sketchbookart #sketching #sketchbookdrawing #dailysketches #sketchdaily #pendrawing #quicksketch #justdraw #sketchpad #sketchoftheday #pencildrawing #figuredrawing #drawsomething #draweveryday #artofdrawing #drawdaily #inkdrawing #mysketchbook #animaldrawing #fundrawing #practicedrawing #peoplesketching #realistart A post shared by ऋद्धि गिरि (@riddhi__giri) on May 6, 2020 at 3:43am PDT

Can you keep going back to that drawing over and over again to fine tune it? Are you a perfectionist? Or do you view your art book as something you can pick up, sketch in, and release?

Do you need to have color on every page? Are you choosing to only pencil or marker or chalk? Do you mind having different elements on every page? Do you have… sketchbook rules?

There are no right or wrong answers of course. This is because there are no right or wrong answers in art. As long as you feel that release while you are expressing yourself, you are successful.

Related: 30 Inspirational Art Journal Prompts To Boost Creativity

View this post on Instagram Amazing sketch works😍 Favourite? 1-6? Follow us @artzflow for more! . . Created by @sergeyzinovkin A post shared by Art & Craft Featuring Page 🎨 (@artzflow) on May 6, 2020 at 3:39am PDT

What can I draw in my sketchbook?

What can I draw in my sketchbook?

I wanted to give you a list of ideas to consider the next time you sit down to sketch. Here are 31 different designs to incorporate – one for every day of the longest month.

How do you start a sketchbook?

This section contains affiliate links

View this post on Instagram Notes. . . . . #sketchbook #moleskine #moleskinesketchbook #moleskinejournal #artistsketchbook #illustrationprocess #illustratorsketchbook #contemporaryillustration #ecolinebrushpen #ecolineink #royaltalens #illustrationart #ink #collage #inkdrawing #contemporarydrawing #notebook #pensieve A post shared by Al Rodin (@alrodin) on Sep 25, 2019 at 3:32am PDT

Is starting a sketchbook something you are considering? Perhaps you haven’t even purchased one yet! Well, I am so glad that you found this post because I am here to tell you that you should absolutely take up this passion project. It is something you will do for the rest of your life.

It doesn’t matter if you are an accountant or a doctor or a secretary. You don’t need to have an art degree. You just need to love to draw and the people who are born with this magic inside of them just can’t STOP creating. Am I right?

sketchbook drawings

So, grab a sketchbook of your choice and let it all go!

How can I sketch better?

How can I sketch better?

How can I sketch better? The question that everyone asks, right? Practice and less judgement. I think we should start there.

But also consider using different mediums on one page. Making a hard fast rule to not erase anything. Forgiving yourself and realizing that this book will represent a journey. If you don’t like something today, you might look back on it in 6 months and realize how much you’ve grown. Progress is a beautiful thing.

View this post on Instagram Zanim w pełni zabiorę się do pracy, musi być pyszna kawa i kończenie szkico-rysunków. Jeden przed pracą, drugi po. Powoli zapełniam kolejny szkicownik, może nie w takim tempie jak inktober 😅 ale satysfakcja jest! Działa mega odstresowująco i w przyjemny sposób można testować nowe techniki, co pokażę Wam przy okazji nowego szkico-rysunku. A jakie Wy macie rytuały poranne? —— Pięknego dnia dla Was! —— Ps. Powoli myślę o jakimś szkicunkowym wyzwaniu dla Was jako stały punkt programu, co Wy na to? —— #illustration #sketchbook #inkdrawing #inkwork #inkart #drawing #draw #sketch #ilustracja #drawingchallenge #sketcheveryday #draweveryday #illustrationart #inkonpaper #handdrawing #mysketchbook #rysunek #dailysketch #stationery #stationeryaddict #picturebook #ilustracja #szkice #szkicownik #szkic #rysowanie #picturebooks #kidsbook #blackworknow #womenwhodraw A post shared by Renata Krawczyk (@rena.illustration) on May 5, 2020 at 11:12pm PDT

And PS, if you happen to draw a view of a cafe while out with friends and it turns out OK… in 6 months when you look back at that sketch, you will remember that day fondly. So, stop being so hard on yourself. It’s all good.

Drawing Ideas For Your Sketchbook – Will You Begin Today?

Now that you have lots of drawing ideas for your sketchbook, will you pick up a pencil and start making magic today? I can’t wait to see what you create.

As you can see, I’ve included several accounts I found online via Instagram. Consider opening up an IG account dedicated to sketching and sketch drawings! There are so many hashtags to consider

View this post on Instagram Long time no post ~ I’ve been reading and getting inspiration from all the sources I have gathered because of my hoarding nature. I don’t need to go out and get books, I have enough for 2 years of lockdown 👍👌 . . . . . . #drawing #archisketch #architecture #archisign #archi #architecturelovers #sketch #handmade #architectural #archi_students #architecture_hunter #draw #drawingsketch #freelance #nice #beautiful #archdaily #archilover #pencil #building #archdesign #beauty #art #design #archidesign #instagood #arquitectura #architecturephotography #landscape #interior A post shared by Vlad Protz (@beetzov) on May 6, 2020 at 3:58am PDT

Hashtags For Sketch Drawing

Hashtags For Sketch Drawing

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Mindful Art Studio

Art Journaling When You Feel Sad

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling for grief, art journaling ideas, art journaling prompts sadness, art journaling for depression

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

One of the questions I get asked most is how to art journal when you feel sad. My art journal has been a great source of comfort and self-understanding for years. I’m blessed to be able to share my techniques here. I’m hoping this post will help get you started when you want to art it out in your journal, but you’re not sure how. Even if you’ve never made art, or never thought about making expressive art, I want to assure you h umans are uniquely creative beings. We have been using the arts to process our feelings, and mark important moments in our lives since the beginning of time. Art as a coping tool belongs to me, to you, and to us all.

As an art therapist, I’m lucky to have a lot of training in how to use art for self-expression and healing. While I no longer practice art therapy, I still use art to help myself feel better, and I love teaching these age-old techniques to others as well.

Art Journal Your Feelings TIP #1: PROCESS OVER PRODUCT

art journaling when you feel sad, ideas for art journal pages, art journaling for beginners

One of the blessings of my art therapy training was learning to focus on art process over product. Of course I know you are art journaling because you’d like to make art, but getting overly focused on it can tighten you up and ensure that you won’t express your feelings or make anything you like. That’s a lose-lose.

As many artists know, the more you create, the more you open up space for exploration through your art materials, the more the process of art making becomes a balm to your soul. Funny enough, the more you do this the more your product improves too. It’s weird the way that works, isn’t it? That’s a win-win.

Take my Art Journaling & Creativity Class FREE: 

free art journaling class, art journaling class, creative self-care ideas, art journaling ideas

Art Journal Your Feelings TIP #2: WORK IN LAYERS

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling ideas, how to art journal, art journal page starters, expressive art journaling, art journaling about your feelings

The other thing I’ve found that really helps me to loosen up, create, and express myself is working in layers.  I find layers give me lots of permission to make mistakes, try out new things, and not have to know what the finished product will be. This helps me express myself. When I art journal because I’m feeling down, I don’t want to have to think too much, so I’d like to share a sort of art making formula that has helped me. You can use some of it or all of it, depending on what feels good to you.

Art Journal LAYER 1: Write About Why You Feel Sad

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling ideas, art journal page starters

You can approach this in many different ways. Art journaling when you feel sad is a super flexible activity. Here’s some ideas for writing when you feel sad:

Art Journal LAYER 2: Paint Your Feelings

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling ideas, art journaling prompts

With this next layer, we move form words and texture on the page to flowing paint . Art journaling when you feel sad gives you opportunities in paint to use the colors to express how you currently feel, or how you want to feel.

For me personally, I find I often need to shift to expressing what I want to feel, or I end up wallowing in negativity. You will need to be your own best judge of what helps you. There’s no right or wrong in self-expression. There are no rules, just do what feels right to you. Here are some options for the painting your feelings layer:

Art Journal LAYER 3: Transform Your Feelings

art journaling when you feel sad, art journal ideas, art journaling for beginners, art journal starter


surface pattern design, pattern play

I also like the invitation to slow down and observe something closely enough to draw it. Even when my drawing is kind of wonky, I try to embrace the practice in the moment.

I also REALLY find the repetition of drawing patterns soothing. This frequently helps me feel better. Here are some ideas for your drawing layer:

Remember, I’m sharing ways I use my art journal in my own life to feel better. This isn’t art therapy, and in no way should be seen as mental health treatment or advice. If you are facing overwhelming feelings or mental health struggles, I hope you honor your pain by getting the support you deserve. If art therapy feels like the right option for you, you can find a local art therapist  here .

Creatively Yours,

The links shared in this post are affiliate links. That means if you choose to purchase something after clicking the link, at no extra cost to you, you will support the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in everyone. Thank you!


Karen Hunt

Thank you for these tips. I lost my sister this past summer, and then my mom last month. I have been searching for a way to process the sadness while being overwhelmed with the business side of death. This gives me a way to acknowledge my feelings. Great ideas.

Amy Johnson Maricle

Oh gosh, Karen. it’s a lot to process. What a weight on your heart. My mom died in 2011 and then my brother a few years later. I can only imagine what it’s like for you. I am so heartened to know that you see some ways to use these ideas and I sincerely hope your own art wisdom mixes up with these ideas and that you find your own special path through grief. Everyone is different. For me, I can tell you that I’ve found a lot of comfort in talking to my mom and brother through my journals, both in words and pictures. Big hugs, Amy

Christina Cloud

I love these ideas Amy! I’ve never used writing in my art or art journaling, but I tried just a little bit of writing within a drawing. I expected to throw it away afterwards, but instead I loved the effect it had in my drawing and also it gave me a great feeling! Now I know I can use writing in my art to Express fear, anger, depression and sadness without anyone being able to read it clearly, and the end result can look awesome too! Thank you so much for posting this! 💖 Christina Cloud

Christina that’s so exciting! I’m thrilled to hear you’ve already given it a try and that these ideas spark your interest. Happy journaling.

Kim Faucher

I love these ideas. Sometimes I feel blocked and don’t feel like doing ‘good’ art. I love having one journal that has a bunch of unfinished layers that I can use for experiments and processing.

Oh I’m so glad that this speaks to you! I feel the same way, and it’s funny how often those experiments are junk and often they lead to something great on another piece, and sometimes they turn to gold!

Barbara Moeller

Dear Amy, this summer, I have discovered your website. I‘m so grateful for the inspiration and permission you have given me to start with my first art journal. I‘m chronically ill, and art journaling allows me to express my feelings in a very honest and intuitive way. By adding layers of color and text, I can transform them. The effect is so fabulous. Feelings of sadness or anger which I would normally hide allow me to create beautiful pages. Thank you again! Barbara

Hi Barbara: Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to inspire us with your story. I know that your words will help others to get started in their own journals. I’m thrilled that I can be a small part of your comfort and creative discovery.

Creatively Yours, Amy


Hi i’m Leilanie and I think I will like this website I don’t know why but i’m just feeling depressed so I hope this website will help😀

Amy Maricle

Hey Leilanie – First I just LOVE your name – it’s so pretty. Secondly, it’s hard when we feel like that. I hope you find some inspiration and enjoyable art here. XO – Amy

Dana M Green

Thank you for invoteing me


thank you so much for helping me during covid one of my closest friends got covid and a kid in my class too thank you so much for helping.

I’m so happy I could help!


I don’t know what it’s just that Im always sad around the holiday season, my bestfriend died when we were six then the summer before third grade my bestfriend moved away I’ve been feeling very sad and angry and others because it’s very hard to loose someone and for a bestfriend to move away I’m excited to try these ideas because i love doing art to express myself I’m really hoping this helps and in this process I’m hoping to improve my art at the same time these ideas are great thank you -Luna

Losing someone is hard. I”m so happy this process speaks to you! xo


I lost my husband 11/10/21…the day my life imploded…the image of finding him that morning is in front of all my thoughts…and there’s our 2 small kids, who were right behind me. So this page is a God sent, or maybe he brought me here…I thank you for sharing your gift with us….I truly do!

I’m so sorry for your loss, and so happy that the art calls to you. xo

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    The Digital Library is the virtual extension of the Brooklyn Art Library and contains 25,019 complete scanned contributions to The Sketchbook Project and counting. Sketchbook Collections. Our users curate collections of their favorite sketchbooks. You can search and share them with your friends! View Collections Want to add your Sketchbook?

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  18. Art Sketchbook Ideas: Your Guide to an Artist's Best Tool

    Watercolor guru Iain Stewart has great advice for watercolor sketching with emotional power in Memories Etched in Simple Sketches. Art Sketchbook Ideas for Urban and Travel Sketching Lisbon, Jeronimos Interior (pen, ink and watercolor on 140-lb. Canson Montval block, 15×20) by Marc Taro Holmes

  19. Sketchbook Ideas

    I wanted to give you a list of ideas to consider the next time you sit down to sketch. Here are 31 different designs to incorporate - one for every day of the longest month. Personal portrait. View of the park. Favorite celebrity. Your mother. Childhood memory. Hands and feet. Flower garden.

  20. Free printable sketchbook templates you can customize

    Experiment with background colors and textures and explore all the design possibilities that Canva can help you achieve. Once you're happy with the design, download your custom sketchbook template in high-resolution and printable formats. You can even send a direct order to Canva Print for full-color and affordable publishing.

  21. More Sketchbook Ideas for when you feel uninspired

    Get The Sketchbook Idea Generator (2:59) here xxhttps://amzn.to/3oudDJN-----Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial: https://amzn.to/3I77JF...

  22. Art Journaling When You Feel Sad

    Here's some ideas for writing when you feel sad: Write a letter you'll never send. This helps me clarify my feelings and get them out. Describe how feeling sad makes you feel in your body. Create a poem about feeling sad. Honor your sadness: "Talk" to sadness as though it were a person. Honor it.