10 Ideas For When You Don’t Know What to Draw

Brush pen

Earlier in the year I set myself drawing challenges that involved choosing a theme and drawing something on that theme every day for a month (or longer). So far I’ve drawn flowers, faces and people.

For Inktober though, I decided to not set a theme, and that sometimes makes getting down to drawing a bit more difficult because each day I have to choose something to draw, which is not always as easy as it might sound.

I know there are lists all over the internet of prompts and ideas to help with daily drawing but I thought I’d add some of my own here in the hope that they might be helpful to you if you’re struggling to come up with things to draw (or maybe photograph).

These are just some of the things I do when deciding what to draw.

1. What’s in front of you?

Paper cup of tea

Look up from where you’re sitting and draw something or someone that’s right in front of you.

2. Draw from a photo

Man with bag

Look through your photographs or Instagram stream and draw someone or something from one of those. Or go out and take a photo with the intention of drawing something from that picture when you get home.

3. Draw Yourself or Your Indecision

Hands holding sketchbook in lap

Draw yourself and the blank page. Or look in a mirror and draw your face.

4. Go Outside


Go outside, sit down draw what you see.

5. What’s In Your Bag?

Illustrated packing list

If you’re going out or on holiday, draw the things you’ll take with you. If you go shopping, draw the things you buy. Or empty your bag, purse or wallet and draw the contents.

6. What’s In Your Drawers?

Marmite jar


Open a cupboard, drawer or wardrobe, pick something up and draw that.

7. Look Out!

Sketch of window box and beyond

Draw the view from your window.

8. Draw It then Eat It.


Draw your meal before you eat it – alternative for when you’re hungry/impatient: draw the empty plate if after you’ve eaten.

9. Where Are You?

Watercolour sketch of a living room and window

Draw the room you’re sitting in.

10. Doodle!

Pastel coloured pattern

Using paints or pens, draw doodles, patterns or lettering to fill a page.

How do you decide what to draw, paint or photograph when you feel a bit stuck?

(P.S. This is my last blog post for a couple of weeks while I take a bit of a break. My next post will be on 30 October and then I’ll be back to my usual schedule from 2 November).

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