Artist’s block is one of the most common issues with artists, both experienced and beginners. The white emptiness of that brand new sketchbook looking at you, daring you to paint. The fear of not knowing what to paint, where to start or what to do. The calling of other things to do that keep you away from your art supplies and stops you from practicing and improving your artistic skills. But we have found the perfect cure for artist’s block, and it’s within reach of absolutely anybody.
What are sketchbook prompts, often known as daily drawing prompts? To put it simply, they are just lists of prompts or brief ideas that help you put brush (or pen, or marker) to paper. They are also really popular for journaling and reflection, and in written form they are a tool to get out of writer’s block as well. But why do sketchbook prompts work?
The main reason why something as silly as spending 10 minutes sketching over a daily drawing prompt works so well against artist’s block is mindset. Once your brain ‘artistic side’ is turned on, artist’s block disappears and it becomes much easier to create. They just put you in the zone, and since they are not important or critical you won’t feel pressure to create a particular thing. The same sketchbook prompt can be a hundred different things to a hundred different people, and that’s perfect. There is no right or wrong daily drawing prompt, there is just an excuse to get your mind into artist mode. Think of them as warm up for your artistic soul!
How To Use Sketchbook Prompts
Some people like keeping a beginners’ sketchbook exclusively for this purpose, while others prefer to use their daily drawing prompt as part of their regular sketchbooks. The most important thing is to use it regularly, making it part of your routine. If you know that you are prone to artist’s block, write down your sketchbook prompts or daily drawing prompts ahead of time. You can write one prompt on each page of your daily sketch sketchbook, use a bullet journal, or just write down a list. The most important thing is removing the need to choose. You just use whatever is the drawing prompt of the day to get inspired. Think of it as your sketchbook asking you a question!
Most people choose sketchbook prompts they are actually interested in, but it is also good to choose something that is challenging. For example, if you really like painting landscapes you could choose a sketchbook prompt about wildlife to challenge you. Or one about “the most beautiful tower church you can remember” that is familiar and in you comfort area to warm you up. There is no right or wrong, and you could even choose totally random daily sketching prompts that have no theme but inspire you.
Do whatever feels comfortable, as you are just trying to get out of artist’s block and the sketchbook prompts are just a tool to practice your skill.
30 Sketchbook Prompts To Get You Started
To get your artist mojo back and cure artist’s block, the following daily drawing prompts may be useful. Remember, it is not about making the perfect artwork, is about getting started and getting inspired!
- Creatures: Cave Dweller
- Creatures: A lost love bug
- Creatures: A friendly dragon
- Creatures: A racing griffin
- Creatures: A fantastical bird
- Character: A fairy godmother’s boss
- Character: A 6 inches tall person goes shopping
- Character: A crazy neighbour
- What is the first thing you saw this morning?
- What food would you like to learn to cook?
- If you were a song, how would it look like?
- What’s your favourite piece of art?
- What if your art supplies became alive?
- Draw somebody who inspires you
- Your favourite musical instrument
- Draw a building or architectonic landmark
- The most useful tool in your house
- Something you want in your life
- The last TV show you watched (or if you don’t watch TV, the last book or magazine you read)
- Your favourite videogame/comic character
- Draw your pet (or somebody’s else)
- A bouquet of flowers
- Your favourite holiday or celebration
- Somewhere you’d like to visit
- Life under the sea! (or a lake if you prefer)
- What are you having for lunch?
- If your home had a fence, what would you like to see behind it?
- A guilty pleasure
- A hairstyle
Remember, there is no right or wrong and none of those prompts need to become finished artwork. It is just about drawing or painting for a few minutes whatever they inspire you. You can keep it, trash it or make it into your next masterpiece.
Sketchbook prompts are the perfect cure for artist’s block and a way to get art practice into your schedule. No longer will you spend time looking at the empty sketchbook, wondering what to paint or draw, because you have a daily drawing prompt giving you ideas. Try drawing every day, for a month, as a personal challenge.