Often times it can be difficult brainstorming ideas for our sketchbooks. We can all agree that the more we draw, the better we’ll get. This is just one of the many reasons that keeping a sketchbook is important. But deciding what to draw in those sketchbooks can sometimes be a challenge.
I decided to do some of the brainstorming for you and create a list of 101 sketchbook ideas. 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 for any sketchbook.
101 Sketchbook Ideas
1. draw old shoes
2. draw a glass of water
3. draw a pile of unfolded laundry
4. draw your non-dominant hand
5. draw a scene in a restaurant
6. draw a stack of books
7. draw a view out of a window
8. draw your art supplies
9. draw wine bottles
10. draw children’s toys
11. draw a person laying down
12. draw a person sitting in a chair
13. design a typeface
14. draw different types of trees
15. draw objects in your pocket
16. draw game pieces
17. draw a caricature of yourself
18. draw the same object drawn with different techniques (hatching, cross hatching, stippling, etc.)
19. draw your favorite pet
20. draw a copy of your favorite Master’s painting
21. draw a crumpled piece of paper
22. draw a brown paper bag
23. draw an old chair
24. draw a person from history in which there is no photo reference
25. draw an old person’s face
26. draw a stapler
27. draw an old radio
28. draw an old car
29. draw an old camera
30. draw a pair of glasses
31. draw an open book
32. draw a bicycle
33. draw anything made out of metal
34. draw a hammer
35. draw tree bark up close
36. draw ocean waves
37. draw a pile of rocks
38. draw a cup of pencils
39. draw hard candy
40. draw any fruit (sliced open)
41. draw any vegetable (sliced open)
42. draw a reel mower (tough one)
43. draw a pine cone
44. draw a seashell
45. draw a banana peel
46. draw an old cabin
47. draw an old factory
48. draw flowers in a vase
49. draw simple forms (cube, sphere, cylinder, etc.)
50. draw old farm equipment
51. draw a sailboat
52. draw people standing in a line
53. draw a bowl of peanuts
54. draw a bowl of nails
55. draw bushes or shrubbery
56. draw several eggs on a surface
57. draw your favorite insect
58. draw a flower up close
59. draw a thumb drive
60. draw an exotic fish
61. draw a scene from history
62. draw a feather
63. draw any detailed machine
64. draw the insides of a watch or clock
65. draw a skull
66. draw an apple
67. draw a portrait of someone that is a different race from you
68. draw water coming from the faucet
69. draw a creek in the woods
70. draw a pair of socks
71. draw an object that is moving
72. draw a Cubist portrait
73. draw a view from a window
74. draw a candle in the dark
75. draw three random objects from your refrigerator
76. draw a bowl of popcorn
77. draw a set of keys
78. draw someone peeling off their skin
79. draw your hand holding an apple (or other object)
80. draw your feet
81. draw yourself as a cartoon character
82. draw a patterned cloth on a table
83. draw a wine cork
84. draw a face in profile
85. draw a candlestick
86. draw a fictional woodland creature
87. draw a close up of grass
88. draw an object three times in different lighting
89. draw a pile of jewelry
90. draw a close up of someone’s hair
91. draw a doorknob
92. draw a bird in flight
93. draw a video game controller
94. draw a pile of yarn
95. draw a stack of dinner plates
96. draw a trompe l’oeil image
97. draw hung drapery
98. draw a water sprinkler
99. draw calm water that is reflective
100. draw a person falling
101. just draw something!
This course is for beginner and intermediate artists and features over 300 minutes of HD video instruction and 178 pages of eBooks covering the true essence of drawing including the elements and principles of art, and a variety of drawing media and techniques. (28 Modules)
Last updated by Matt Fussell at .
Posted inDrawing, Educationpermalink
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.
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!
100 Sketchbook Prompts Your Students Will Love
- Draw someone you sit by in an odd pose.
- Draw family members with things that are important to them.
- Draw yourself (or someone else) painting toenails.
- Find a quiet place in a crowd. Draw the crowd.
- Draw a relative by the light cast from a TV/Phone/Computer or other screen.
- Make a portrait of yourself in twenty years. Or in fifty years. Or both.
- Draw a masked man (or woman) that is not a superhero.
- Draw the ugliest baby you can imagine.
- Draw two sports figures–one in a dynamic pose, one in a static pose.
- Draw two self-portraits with odd expressions.
- Draw something or someone you love.
- Draw hair. A lot of it.
- Take a picture of someone near you on a bus or in a car. Draw them.
- Draw an animal eating another animal.
- Draw your art teacher in a fight with an animal.
- Draw an animal playing a musical instrument.
- There is an animal living in one of your appliances. Draw it.
- Draw a dead bird in a beautiful landscape.
- Draw something from a pet’s point of view.
- Draw an animal taking a bath.
- Draw an animal taking a human for a walk.
- Combine 3 existing animals to create a completely new creature.
- Draw a family portrait. Plot twist: It is a family of insects or animals.
- Draw an animal playing a musical instrument.
- Draw the most terrifying animal you can imagine. Or the most adorable.
- Draw a pile of dishes before they get washed.
- Tighten a C-Clamp on a banana. Draw it.
- Draw a slice of the best pizza you have ever seen.
- Draw junk food and the wrapper.
- Draw your favorite food.
- Create your own restaurant. Draw the restaurant, your executive chef, and a 12-item menu.
- Draw the ingredients or process of your favorite recipe.
- Draw salt and pepper shakers.
- Draw fresh fruit or vegetables, or something fresh from the oven.
- Draw a salad.
- Draw the oldest thing in your refrigerator.
- Draw a piece of fruit every day until it becomes rotten.
- Draw everything on a restaurant table.
- Draw what is in the rearview mirror of the car.
- Draw moving water. Draw still water.
- Draw an object floating.
- Make a drawing of all of your drawing materials.
- Find a trash can. Draw its contents.
- Draw tools that belong to a certain profession.
- Draw three objects and their environments. One of the three should be in motion.
- Draw the interior of a mechanical object. Zoom in, focus on details and shading.
- Create three drawings of messes you have made.
- Draw five objects with interesting textures: wood grain, floors, tiles, walls, fabric, etc.
- Draw a collection of purses, wallets, or bags.
- Draw your favorite well-loved object or childhood toy.
- Draw a watch or another piece of jewelry.
- Draw something hideous that you keep for sentimental reasons.
- Draw something with a mirror image.
Technical Skill/Skill Development
- Draw all the contents of your junk drawer with one continuous line.
- Make a detailed drawing of a rock.
- Draw a dark object in a light environment.
- Draw a light object in a dark environment.
- Make a detailed drawing of five square inches of grass.
- Draw a transparent object.
- Draw a translucent object.
- Do several studies of eyes, noses, and mouths in a variety of poses.
- Draw an interesting object from three different angles.
- Value Studies–Draw three eggs and part of the carton with a strong light source.
- Draw three metallic objects that reflect light. Focus on highlights and reflections.
- Refraction–Create two drawings of separate objects partially submerged in water.
- Make three drawings (your choice of subject) using materials with which you are not familiar.
- Draw a piece of patterned fabric with folds.
- Draw a bridge and all of its details.
- Draw yourself as an original superhero.
- Make a drawing that looks sticky.
- Draw a mysterious doorway or staircase.
- Draw an empty room. Make it interesting.
- Draw a flower. Make it dangerous.
- Draw an object melting.
- Draw an imaginary place, adding all kinds of details.
- Draw a gumball machine that dispenses anything but gumballs.
- Danger! Draw yourself in a dangerous situation.
- You are on the back of the bus. Figure out who is with you, where you are going, and why. Illustrate and explain.
- Draw what’s under your bed (real or imagined).
- Draw the most incredible game of hide-and-seek you can imagine.
- Create a new sport. You can improve an existing sport, combine two existing sports, or come up with something completely new.
- Make a drawing that is totally truthful.
- Make a drawing that lies all over the place.
- Make a drawing that is completely and utterly impossible.
- Story Illustration: Fix a story that you don’t like, or reflect/improve upon one you do.
- Let someone else choose your subject and tell you what to draw.
- Draw your greatest fear.
- Use song lyrics, quotes, or poetry to inspire a drawing.
- Find the three most useless objects you can and draw them.
- Draw an interesting form of transportation.
- Draw something for which you are thankful.
- Go somewhere new and draw what you see.
- Draw something that can’t be turned off.
- Draw something soothing.
- Draw something you think sounds or smells incredible.
- Draw something that needs fixing.
- Draw something you’ve always wanted.
- Draw something out of place.
- Draw something that should have been invented by now.
- Draw something you keep putting off, or something that causes you to procrastinate.
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?