Drawing Ideas - an Inspiring List of Things to Draw

Drawing Ideas - an Inspiring List of Things to Draw

by K. Vanessa

Drawing is much more than marking lines on your paper. It’s a process which requires planning, idea generation, composition making and the sketching itself. And you might feel sometimes, that a little help on how to get started and what to draw would be great. In this article, we’ve rounded up more than 70 drawing ideas for you to get inspired. From people to landscapes and geometric shapes. Our epic list will help you to pick a theme you feel motivated about. By browsing through this article, you’ll get sketching ideas for a deep creative session but also some options if you want to do it in a small break. Let’s get started!

Draw people

A person drawing a portrait

Making sketches of people is a fun activity. It can be super challenging, as you’ll need to copy precise proportions and give life to your drawings. Look at the gestures, the mimics and the body language of your model. Those highly determine the drawing process and the final look of your work. These projects require a lot of practice, especially if you would like to make realistic drawings. So keep your creations and trek your improvement.

Drawing ideas:

  • Make a self-portrait
  • Sit in front of the mirror and draw yourself
  • Make a sketch of someone who is sleeping
  • Draw a kid
  • Make caricatures
  • Draw a close up of your eyes, lips or nose
  • Sketch your hands or feet
  • Analyse muscles and make anatomy drawings
  • Practice how to draw a hair
  • Focus on one body detail and develop several artworks on that
  • Imagine how you’ll look in 30 years and make a drawing of that

Draw something outside

Being in nature has different vibes so it might inspire you with some sketching ideas. Explore your surroundings with a sketchpad and a few pencils and let the work begin. Practice perspectives by visiting bridges and other massive buildings. Or mark soft lines on your paper when following the outline of the clouds. Note that the light changes rapidly outside and it highly affects how you see the location around you. So plan shorter sections when drawing something outside. Be creative and complete the composition with additional elements if needed.

What to draw outdoors?

  • Draw the clouds
  • Make a technical sketch of the most beautiful house
  • Animals
  • Draw a tree in details
  • Make a study on nature and sketch details
  • Draw different textured stones
  • Think back to your favourite place and make a drawing of that
  • Find a bridge and sketch its components
  • Draw mountains and hills
  • Make a sketch of a sunset
  • Look for the shades and draw those
  • Draw the waves of the sea
  • Draw a road or serpentines

Make still life drawings

Still, life drawings represent items and objects that are still. Most often they’re fruit, flowers, or other household objects. The drawn objects don't move, they stay in the same position during the whole process. Practising still life drawing improves your skills, as you have to follow the shapes very specifically and mirror them on your paper. Here you have to use many techniques to develop a realistic study. From hatching to blending, you’ll be mastering the mix of art techniques. Before starting on making complex still life drawings, practice the basic techniques to be confident.

Compositions and sketching ideas:

  • Make a composition of different shapes and textures
  • Pick 3 items and place them next to each other
  • Draw flowers in a vase
  • Practice draping: draw a fabric in different positions
  • Draw a fruit
  • Draw a pile of books
  • Make a detailed illustration of your drawing equipment
  • Pick your favourite clothes and draw them hanging
  • Sketch plates, mugs and cutleries
  • Make tall paper box towers and sketch them
  • Draw your phone
  • Draw the item you love the most
  • Toss a handful of pencils on the table and draw them

Geometric drawing ideas

Turning basic shapes into 3-dimensional figures is an advanced task. But if you practice enough and analyse orderly designed items, you’ll be able to create outstanding, lifelike artworks. When drawing something geometric, you’ll need to work with different pencils. We listed all the pencil types and their characteristics before, so make sure to visit that before moving on. You’ll have to make shading precisely and control the lines you mark on your paper. Make several studies on one shape: try to pick one and develop your skills to sketch that. Always start geometric sketching with enough light in the room and feel free to get lost in details in this activity.

Shapes and bodies to draw:

  • Draw a ball
  • If you have some experiences, make a composition of different sized balls and draw them
  • Draw a box
  • Look for a pyramid shape and make sketches of it
  • Draw regular shapes vase
  • Draw a mug
  • Search online and copy illustrated geometric shapes

Make a mandala

Mandalas are circular designs with details repeated. Making and colouring a mandala is an art therapy. It’s a very inspirational process, as you’ll be spending time with tiny details and mastering the drawing of the same shape several times. Feel free to use a drawing compass and a ruler to make a precise job. Play with geometric and organic forms to develop an aesthetic design. Once you’re done with the outline, colour your mandala in the style you like.

Abstract sketching

An abstract pattern

Abstract drawings are composed of creative shapes, forms, lines, dots and often colours. They’re not real objects, so the imagination plays a determinative role when designing abstract artworks. Some people draw and paint abstract pieces when they’re inspired, or when they’re using art as a healing technique. It’s very creative, where intuition and style determine the final works. If you’re in the mood for a playful exercise, check these abstract sketching ideas and use your imagination to make lines on your paper.

Imaginative drawing ideas:

  • Create abstract shapes
  • Design an abstract universe
  • Make a creative pattern
  • Draw figures with unusual body parts
  • Distort details of a car
  • Develop tattoo illustrations
  • Make contrast by sketching tiny details along with enormous objects
  • Create asymmetrical objects
  • Rethink the outline and the look of general objects and draw something in a new version
  • Draw how a crazy board game would look (You can also make it later.)
  • Invent your own, abstract shaped animals
  • Design robots

Draw something from a picture

Pictures bring back memories and take you to any place you’re dreaming about. They give brilliant drawing ideas, whatever mood you’re looking for. From places to unique shaped designer items. Take photography as your foundation to develop unique drawings. Make sure to print out the photo you want to use, as the screens change the lights and proportions on pictures. Stick the photo next to your drawing board to have a good view on it, and try to bring it back on your paper.

Picture themes you can work with

  • Find a photo of a place you desire to visit and draw that
  • Make portraits by taking a professional photography as your foundation
  • Copy furniture
  • Redesign outfits
  • Use famous artists’ work and make drawings of them
  • Draw an old picture of yourself
  • Find a photo of your favourite memory of the past and illustrate that
  • Draw old cars

Design a character

Use your imagination and design a character. Define its personal characteristics, age and background. Draw it from different perspectives and focus on the details. It’s a very creative process, giving you the possibility to ignore the normal and make something unique. Draw something fun and attractive and enjoy the idea generation.

If you enjoy this activity, you can even create more characters and tell their story in a mini, hand-drawn book.

Tips for character drawing

  • Try to redraw characters from your beloved cartoons
  • Design a character of a cartoon
  • Illustrate your favourite book
  • Draw the items in the wardrobe of your favourite character
  • Bring very abstract shapes into life
  • Draw one character in different postures
  • Design a family
  • Draw how animals would look if they would be people
  • Draw yourself in the image of an animal

Visit a museum for unique drawing ideas

If you’re looking for inspiration and want to improve your drawing skills, grab your sketchbook and a pencil and visit a museum near you. Look for designer furniture, sculptures, or paintings. You can make studies there and understand proportions on a deeper level. The area is calm and inspiring, so the time you spend there will give you an exceptional experience. You can also practice how to make a fast drawing by standing in front of a piece of art for only 5 minutes and trying to sketch it quickly.

What to draw in a museum:

  • Sculptures
  • Furniture
  • Interiors, especially if the building itself is impressive
  • Ornaments
  • Make detail drawings of decorated painting frames
  • People walking by

Our list is designed to inspire you and provide you with some amazing sketching ideas for the days you don't know what to put on your blank paper. Experiment with these tips and let your surroundings inspire you to create outstanding artworks.

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