• The Adventuring Artist

5 things to draw when you have no idea what to draw

Have you ever sat down in front of a piece of paper and just stared at it blankly, unsure about what to put down, no idea where to start. Or maybe you want to get into some sort of art, drawing, writing, painting, sculpting or animating and you just don't know how to get started in this field.

This moment of artist block, frozen creativity or fear of the unknown is not uncommon, lots of people experience it, even the greats ;P

Well, here's a secret.

Just put something down. It doesn't matter what it is. It could be a quick sketch of your stapler, or your thoughts on your coffee, a few brush strokes of random color without true meaning, an abstract sculpture or a simple animation of a ball rolling. Just put something down and you have started. It does not have be good, or amazing, you don't have to be proud of it or show it to someone, it is simply the act of starting.

This moment of putting something down on paper (or whatever your medium is) does something to your brain. It wakes it up, makes it start working and looking at things in a creative way. And guess what. Everyone began at the beginning, people don't just wake up one day and can draw a person in perfect detail (I don't think they do at least), they start small and practice and practice and practice and...you guessed it, practice.

This may seem annoying, exhausting and stupid, and I am sure you have heard it a million times. Practice makes perfect, right?

Well, its not just the practice that matters. What matters is that you want something, you have this drive, this desire to do something so much that you are willing to put in the time and effort required to get there. But to do so, to get that ball moving, those creative juices flowing, and those desires burning, you have to start.

So yeah, getting start, sounds good right? But this is a concept, an idea, something abstract and emotional. So I am going to list a few concrete ideas for you to use in case you still are uncertain about where to start.

Also, if the motivational bit was not what you came here for...Congrats, your at the educational part!...


So this first idea is not super exciting but it is a good way to get something down on paper and get your hand loosened up.

Draw you name, and I don't me just write it out, I mean make it fancy, or spooky, or dramatic. Whatever your feeling. Give it loops and spikes, make it curved or funky.


Idea number two involves blobs. yes you read that right, blobs.

Draw some weird random blobby shapes on a piece of paper, as many as you want, whatever size you want. Make this as random and different as possible.

Then turn them into something. Give them faces or turn them into plants, make them into monsters or animals. Look at that blob (be willing to rotate the page around and see it at different angles) and draw whatever comes to mind.

This is another great way to loosen up your hand and make you mind start looking at things differently.

Maybe one of the blobs will give you an idea for something more complete and maybe they wont. All that matters is that you have put something down on paper and are starting to make.


Idea 3 is very similar to idea 2. Instead of a blob, draw a scribble. the lines don't have to connect, they can intersect, whatever. It even helps to have your eyes closed when you draw your scribble (just be careful not to draw off the page ;P or do, whatever floats your boat.)

Then, once again, turn it into something, a scene, a character, and animal. whatever. and again, don't be afraid to rotate the paper, seeing it from different angles can help you get some more ideas.


so if you have read any of my other post then you know that I love quickposes.com. With this site you just fill in a few parameters such as people, animals, hands, feet, faces, landscapes or urban along with gender (if relative), clothing (if relative) and a number of images. Then it brings up random images based on your parameters that you can then draw and sketch to your hearts content. I absolutely love this website and I use it all the time when I am struggling with ideas or if I want to practice anatomy (it is great for gesture drawing).

There is also a times practice section where you can have the picture change after a set amount of time.


Idea number five is all about ART PROMPTS! art prompts are a fun and creative way for you to make new art and work through new ideas. There are tons of different ways to get prompts. You can search online for art prompts, get the 500 drawing prompts book and Pintrest.com is also a great place. There are also a lot of monthly prompts where you get a new prompt for each day of the month like inktober.

There are a lot of YouTube artist who makes videos based on the 500 drawing prompts book such as

Kasey Golden, Holly Hearts Art and Joyce-Anne Anthony

I also really like using artprompts.org. Similar to Quickposes.com you choose a general category (creature, landscape ext.) and then it spits our a prompt for you, only with words instead of pictures.


idea number six is a piece of advice which my used to give me. Go outside and take a walk. I hated this piece of advice because it was used when I was angry, upset, tired, feeling ill or bored. But despite the number of "grumpy faces" I gave her this does work. The fresh air and the ever changing wilderness can kick start your mind.

Rebecca Adams

The Adventuring Artist

Do you have any tips or tricks for when you are at an art block or blank? Please share and let us

know in the comments!

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