50 Drawing Prompts for Illustrators
Most lists of daily drawing prompts out in the world seem to be fairly simple and straightforward – people looking for an idea – really any idea – to get them drawing something. The blank-brain-syndrome can be a real hassle when it comes to finding something to draw, leaving your poor sketchbook neglected and weeping on a dusty shelf.
But what about professional illustrators? Where do they find ideas to hone their craft or create an amazing portfolio to woo clients? Well, right here! Luckily I am obsessed with illustrators and feel a need to tell them what to draw. I think I could have an excellent career in barking out ideas for people to draw, and then sitting back, rubbing my big tummy and enjoying the show.
Related: How to get better at drawing
Drawing Prompts for Illustrators
1 Draw a scene that combines eggs, monkeys, and cars
2 Create an illustration for a magazine article on weird wedding dresses
3 Draw a small boy in a sea of oversized ocean creatures
4 Design a box for the most lemony-smelling hand soap in the world
5 A land of blob-monsters living their best lives
6 Design a retro scene with toothbrushes and toothpaste
7 Explore where boredom and inspiration meet in someone’s head
8 A massive cat and dog street fight
9 Draw the underground world that powers a magical forest
10 Illustrate this passage from the Grimm’s Tale, The Wishing-Table, the Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack:
There was once upon a time a tailor who had three sons, and only one goat. But as the goat supported the whole of them with her milk, she was obliged to have good food, and to be taken every day to pasture. The sons, therefore, did this, in turn. Once the eldest took her to the churchyard, where the finest herbs were to be found, and let her eat and run about there. At night when it was time to go home he asked, “Goat, hast thou had enough?” The goat answered,
“I have eaten so much,
Not a leaf more I’ll touch, meh! meh!”
11 And now illustrate this passage from the same tale:
They bade him welcome, and invited him to sit and eat with them, for otherwise he would have difficulty in getting anything. “No,” answered the joiner, “I will not take the few bites out of your mouths; rather than that, you shall be my guests.” They laughed, and thought he was jesting with them; he, however, placed his wooden table in the middle of the room, and said, “Little table, cover thyself.” Instantly it was covered with food, so good that the host could never have procured it, and the smell of it ascended pleasantly to the nostrils of the guests. “Fall to, dear friends,” said the joiner; and the guests when they saw that he meant it, did not need to be asked twice, but drew near, pulled out their knives and attacked it valiantly.
12 A little girl hugging the wind
13 Redesign an album cover for your favorite childhood band or singer
14 A Romance novel cover parody
15 Create a mock-up of a children’s book you loved as a child
16 Combine everything you eat and drink in a day in one illustration
17 Make a map to a real or imagined place
18 Illustrate an article on “16 Icebreakers”
19 Draw a restaurant menu with no words
20 A potato funeral
21 Look around your room and randomly pick 4 items to combine into a scene. Don’t overthink; just pick quickly!
22 Reimagine mermaids
23 Make a character from your favorite fruit
24 Illustrate this quote, including the words in the illustration:
My cow is not pretty, but it is pretty to me. – David Lynch
25 Now illustrate this quote, without the words:
Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life. – David Lynch
26 Design a beer label for the brand new beer, Hoppy Tasty
27 Characters in a dark, evil underworld
28 Now the same characters in a bright and cheery birthday party
29 Everything you are wearing today, or wish you were wearing
30 Reimagine the characters in The Simpsons as mushrooms
31 Draw a candle-lit ceremony
32 Who is frolicking in a million Autumn leaves?
33 Illustrate a futuristic urban environment
34 The absolute cutest, fluffiest stuffed animal version of Game of Thrones
35 An alien discovering a carnival
36 Candy patterns
37 An icy iceberg freezing cold ice scene with lots of ice
38 Incorporate a rainbow into a robot character
39 Illustrate a mini bio of an ancestor you’ve never met
40 The world inside a tree
41 The view looking up at the tallest trees ever imagined
42 A haunted house
43 The unmistakable, passionately true love as they stare into each other’s eyes
44 A beat up old wrecked car
45 Toys on fire
46 The moment right before drifting off to sleep
47 Draw a portrait of a famous person from history that inspires you
48 A reimagined submarine
49 Illustrate a particularly memorable moment from grade school
50 A fantastic Groundhog’s Day
So if you draw any of these, please either tag me on Instagram or email me or something. I so absolutely want to see your illustrations. Also, would you like a printable version of these? I have one right here that you can print out.
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