★ How to Make Drawing a Part Of Your Life | Daily Creativity by Keeping a Sketchbook ★
Why Anyone Can (and Should) Draw Regularly
Drawing is a brilliant creative outlet, a fun hobby and a useful skill to have, and the more you do it, the better you get.
I've put together this page because although I'm creative, I've never given drawing a go as I've always thought 'I can't draw' and that's that. But recently, I've decided to try to draw at least 10 minutes on most days, and it turns out I can draw....because anyone can!
Drawing can consist of doodles, cartoons, sketches and any other drawing style you like. You can draw from life or create your own subject, you can create patterns or design products. Whatever you feel like drawing, draw it! Don't compare your drawing to anyone elses or worry about making a mess or ruining a piece of paper. Just go for it! The worst that can happen is you 'waste' a piece of paper.
You can draw in pen, pencil, ink or charcoal and you can add all kinds of things to the drawing (if you want); like pictures from magazines, watercolour paints, newspaper cuttings, acrylic paint splatters etc. - it's up to you, because it's all about being creative - any way you can.
I hope this page inspires you to regularly take time out to be creative, whether it's drawing or something else - like baking, art journaling, poetry, knitting or writing. Enjoy :-)
Beginner's Drawing Skills
Best Drawing & Creativity Books
There are a variety of excellent books available on the subject of drawing, with some being more about encouraging creativity and inspiring ideas and others being more about technical drawing advice, and here are my top 5 picks:
This book is definitely in the theme of this page, with great encouragement to draw everyday, and excellent methods to break through any creative block. There are 42 exercises to work through - one each day for 6 weeks - which include the use of a variety of media to stretch you artistically.
I own this fabulous book myself so I can definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys Danny Gregory's ink and watercolor illustrations, because this book has 200 pages full of them! The book is hand-written the entire way through and I pretty much read it all in one go and it certainly inspired me to live a creative life and not stress that my drawing isn't good enough.
This book I bought due to being a fan of the illustrations of Quentin Blake in the Roald Dahl books of my childhood. And I wasn't disappointed; charmingly childish, the book is full of drawing prompts and silly ideas for things to draw to make sure that you aren't intimidated by the blank white space.
What Are You Wearing?
Tips For Overcoming the Barriers
Personally, the most difficult things about drawing are a) taking the time out to draw when I've got other things to do b) getting started and c) thinking what to draw.
- Taking time out: Anyone has 10 minutes somewhere in their day to draw, whether it's when you wake up or just before you go to sleep (keep your sketchbook next to your bed), when you're half-watching TV, when you're on the train or bus, in a cafe, waiting for a cake to finish baking, when you're sunbathing, when you're on holiday etc. Have a kitchen timer set to 10 minutes if you like.
- What to draw? I've written some drawing prompts on this page, but there is never a lack of things to draw, whether it's household objects, yourself or other people, animals, flowers in your garden or scenes on your travels. Or you can make up characters and monsters or fairytale castles, or doodle random objects or patterns.
- Getting started: getting rid of the blank page is the hardest thing, so just do it without thinking (what is the worst that can happen after all?) - you could splatter some paint on the page and draw over it, draw a scribble and make that into a drawing, draw a border around the page (simple or ornate), split the page into smaller, more bite-size portions, or shade the whole page with watercolour crayons or coloured pencils first :-)
- Keep your sketchbook at hand with the next blank page ready to be drawn on, and your pen/pencil alongside. If you spend a lot of time at the computer for instance, keep it within reach.
- Have relaxing music playing in the background. Anything visual will only distract you, so turn the TV off.
- Look out for things around the house that you would like to draw, whether it's a jar of Marmite, a candlestick or a pile of books. Put these things next to where you keep you sketchbook so there is always something to draw. I like to keep a couple of photo-filled magazines next to my sketchbook so that I can either draw from the photos, or cut them up to use in collages.
- Go through the alphabet and draw something for every letter until you get bored.
- Have someone scribble on a piece of paper, and then you must try and create a picture from it.
- Think of 2 different animals. If they had a baby, what would it look like? What would you call it?
- Draw a monster which you would imagine living in a deep, dark cave, or another spooky setting. Then draw this animals predator - or what it eats to survive.
- If you were asked to design a castle for the middle of urban London, what would it look like?
- Re-design the Daleks (from Doctor Who) to make them more dangerous.
- Draw a giant, human-eating plant.
- Draw 5 completely different pairs of shoes.
- What do you think the Loch Ness monster would look like?
- Design a hat worthy of Lady Gaga.
- If you owned a country, what would your flag look like?
- Draw a household object using the hand you don't normally draw with. Then draw it again with your writing hand, but without taking the pen off the paper.
- Draw someone's face whilst only looking at the person's face, not at the page AT ALL!
- Pick a random word from the dictionary and write it out in either 'Las Vegas' style lettering, a spooky font, a chunky font with a spiky metal texture, a cute and fluffy style or as if the word were made of ice.
- Draw an ornate frame around your page. Draw or paint some 'modern art', or cut out a magazine photo to go inside.
- Draw a washing line with clothes and underwear hanging from it.
- Draw a stick man holding a pile of random objects, so that they go up to the top of the page. You can draw a mix of things from books and wellington boots, to anvils and suitcases.
- You could go to the Illustration Friday website and create a drawing based on the 'word of the week'.
- Type a color like 'pink' into Google images and use the results to either copy or give you ideas about what to draw.
- Draw a city skyline at night with skyscraper silhouettes and lit-up windows.
- Get the board game 'Pictionary' and use the cards included to tell you what to draw. Limit yourself to 10 minutes or similar for each drawing.
- Illustrate the letters of the alphabet.
- Draw the back of a spoon to give you practice with reflections.
- Draw your non-drawing hand or your feet.
- Trace lines from photographs; a nice idea to get you drawing without fear of mistakes. Go here for a tutorial.
- Draw a selection of your own, or someone else's, favourite books - like the drawings shown on this blog.
- Draw a bird every day for a month. They can take 5 minutes or an hour, be a doodle or a painting, a cartoon, a fantastical creature or a realistic drawing - it's up to you!
You could do the same for all kind of things such as fish, musical instruments, bugs, monsters, trees, flowers, hats, eye glasses, vehicles/modes of transport, favourite foods etc.
Do each drawing on a separate piece of paper and at the end of the month, bind them all together in a booklet, or display them on your wall as a montage.
- 2 children are trying to sneak into a building without being recognised as children. What disguise are they wearing....fake beards, trench coats, giant platform shoes?!
- Illustrate a cover for your favourite book, or illustrate certain events, scenes or people within a book you are currently reading.
- Draw your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend, with a list of the top 10 things you like about them. If you are single, draw your ideal husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend with the top 10 attributes you would like them to have. It can be as funny or as serious as you like!
- Draw a cityscape around a polystyrene cup - taking inspiration from Cheeming Boey.
- Try the website recommended here to get you started on your drawing - failing that, use paint to make your own random blob and let your imagination fly!
What Have You Eaten Today?
A fun drawing project is to sketch out an alphabet and make your own font. Or you could choose one letter and decorate it, draw the same letter as many different ways as possible, or draw as many objects you can think of that start with that letter (e.g. 'C' - cat, coat, candle, crayon, clock etc)
Photo by Karen Horton.
Simple Still Life
You will never run out of things to draw with still-life studies - there are subjects all around you whether it's the classic fruit bowl, headphones, sunglasses, shoes or anything at all - you could also focus on just a small part of a larger object such as one corner of an ornate mirror or the reflection on the back of a spoon.
Photo and charcoal drawing by RC Designer.
What You Can Draw Today - Examples of Drawing Subjects, Plus Helpful Drawing Methods
- Artistic Magazine Cover Revamps
A cool way to recycle your magazines into art.
- Sketching with Found Leaves
Use natural materials as your inspiration.
- How to Draw Perspective
Excellent tutorial covering basic linear perspective.
- Personalized Pet Art
If you don't have pets you can doodle any other animal or object you like instead.
- Draw Your House
Clever idea for making your own free lightbox too.
Drawing With A Ball-Point Pen
Highly Rated Drawing Equipment
You can start drawing with as little as a pencil and a piece of paper, but once you get started you might want to increase the quality of the pencils, pens and paper you use, or even try out different mediums such as ink or pastels?
Drawing Inspiration & Tutorials - Techniques & Ideas to Inspire
- What I Wore Today
Drawings of people and their clothes.
- Extended Landscape Method
Good idea to kick start drawing.
- Using Coloured Pencils
For colouring in your drawings.
- Using Pastels
Drawing with pastels is fun because they produce intense colour.
- Pencil Technique Lesson
How to do graduating shading.
- Cartoon Drawing Tutorials
Lessons on drawing animals and faces.
- Drawing Lessons & Exercises
Learn technique including perspective.
- Sketching 101
A walkthrough for creating a sketchbook.
- Using a Grid
This is a good way of making something seem a lot easier to draw.
- Drawing In Action
Watch inspiring wall and chalkboard drawing.
- NY Times Lessons
Technique information and a series of lessons.
- Drawing on Driftwood
Easy houses and boat drawings on wood - ideal art project for beginners.
Why not draw varieties of the same thing, such as gloves, beards, eyes, hairstyles, leaves, drinks glasses, vases, hats, planets, planes, bicycles, underwear, spectacles/sunglasses, shoes, skirts, dresses, keys etc.
Make a Post-It Flip Book
Crazy Drawing With Pen Dots
Drawing Prompts, Ideas & More Awesome Blogs
- Sketching Prompts
To give you a starting point.
- Warm-Up Exercise
Using ink, teabag or paint splatters.
- Ideas List
With example illustrations.
- Start To Draw Your Life
Free inspiring booklet to download.
- 75 Ways to Draw More
Another inspirational guide.
- The Annotated Weekender
Fun doodles on photos, magazines and adverts.
- Marc Johns
My favorite illustrator who makes unique and simple statements.
- Kate Bingaman Burt
Drawing things you've bought is a fab idea.
- Tommy Kane
- Tools Artists Use
Read artist interviews, and see what materials they use.
- 10 Great Drawing Tips
Simple but very helpful tips for getting started and for improving your skills.
- Song Lyric Art
Using your favourite quotes as a basis for art.
Not Just Paper
There are so many things to draw and doodle on, including fruit! How about drawing on the sidewalk with chalk? Doodling on a garage door, painting on rocks and pebbles? Drawing with a permanent pen on a plain t-shirt? Painting on branches? Using a porcelain pen to decorate mugs and plates? Loads of possibilities!
Sketchbook Blogs & Galleries - Great Sources of Inspiration
- Moleskine Art
Examples of different styles of drawing.
- Flickr Images
Browse through thousands of drawn images.
- Urban Sketchers
A selection of sketches from different artists.
- Mattias Ink
Drawings with a fountain pen.
- Doodlers Anonymous
Fun and interesting doodles.
Simple illustrations using different techniques.
- Nataliya Platonova - The Last Supper
A fun idea for how to fill a sketchbook!
- Book By Its Cover
A showcase of sketchbooks.
- An Open Sketchbook
Ink and watercolour line drawings.
- Liz & Borromini
Colourful ink sketches.
12 Drawings a Day
12 drawings a day = 1 second of animation a day.
This amazing video was created over 3 years by sketching on hundreds of used bits of paper.