If you’re a professional artist, developing ideas can sometimes be hard, especially if you’ve been practicing for years. As a visual artist, I know that you need more of a challenge to get your creative juices flowing again.
I’ve put together this list of 50 drawing prompts to keep you engaged and inspired.
50 Challenging Drawing Prompts for Professional Artists
There are many arts prompts on the internet, but if you’re a professional artist who needs to overcome your creative block, cool drawing ideas for kids or beginners won’t help you. You need to look at things from different angles and perspectives.
You can choose any drawing prompt from the list below.
10 Drawing Prompts for Portraits and People
Portraits are my favorite art prompts to work on because they are always a great way to improve our artistic skills, especially if you’re trying to learn how to draw emotions. Every time I work on portraits, I always come up with new drawing prompts, and it’s a fun way to understand people better.
Some of these drawing ideas should help you draw people in different ways you haven’t thought of before:
- Draw a picture of yourself as a child wearing your favorite outfit and bouncing on a trampoline while the sun shines behind you.
- Draw yourself as an old person.
- Draw a young woman with tattoos all over her body.
- Draw what you think people see when they first meet you (before they meet you).
- Draw the face of someone whose life has been turned upside down by something tragic – like a natural disaster or war – and show that their spirit and character are still intact, despite everything that’s happened to them physically or emotionally since then.
- Draw someone hardworking
- Draw someone who inspires others to be better people when they see him!
- Draw two people who’re arguing.
- Draw someone who hurt you in the past and still haunts your thoughts today.
- Draw a portrait of yourself with all the qualities you wish you’d but don’t.
10 Drawing Ideas for Scenes
We’ve many drawing suggestions in mind, but if we use our imagination, we can develop a new perspective on how to create new scenes as we work on our authenticity. These drawing prompts are for you to get a variety of drawing ideas.
- Draw a scene from your childhood.
- Draw a scene from a movie that influenced you in some way or inspired you creatively (watch it again if necessary).
- Draw an apocalyptic scene.
- Draw an airport terminal at night, full of travelers waiting for their flights and talking on their cell phones.
- Draw a city at night, lit only by the lights of cars and street lamps.
- Draw a fairground at night that’s lit up and busy.
- Draw a woman walking through a field of flowers, hands clasped behind her back, looking down at the ground.
- Draw a protest for diversity with people holding signs.
- Draw a child asleep in a car.
- Draw a school with kids playing in the courtyard while their teacher watches them from the entrance of the building.
10 Drawing Suggestions for Landscapes
Many professional artists don’t run out of drawing ideas when it comes to landscapes, but if you don’t travel much, it can sometimes feel like something is missing. With these drawing ideas, you can travel without traveling, giving you new inspiration for your drawing inspiration. You may have already tried some of these drawing suggestions, so try a different shading technique.
Sketch an underwater scene from memory or imagination
- In your sketchbook, draw how you imagine the surface of Mars – or any other planet or moon in our solar system! You can color it with a colored pencil if you want to make it more realistic, but keep it simple. Your goal is to have the coloring sheet help you develop a new idea for your craft, not to make your drawing pad look stunning.
- Draw a place you’ve been to in your dreams
- Try a painting of an aerial view of your house as if you were looking at it from above – the roof will be flat!
- Draw a desert on a hot summer day with cacti growing everywhere.
- Draw a deep sea landscape with a sunken ship.
- Draw a sunset in the desert full of cacti, snakes, and scorpions.
- Draw an abandoned lake house filled with water lilies and algae.
- Draw a three-dimensional drawing of a beach: make the sand look like the wind is kicking it up, or draw waves crashing on the shore.
- Draw a landscape that shows how climate change has affected the world around you. The environment can be real or imaginary. Use your skills and imagination to represent what happens when humans change nature – and then take it further! How would this landscape change if humanity disappeared? What would happen if aliens took over the Earth?
- Draw 5 simple shapes (at random) on a blank sheet, and then try to draw a landscape (at random) from the same page on your drawing pad.
10 Art Prompts From Animals
If you’re a professional artist, drawing animals can be difficult. After all, there are so many things to consider: their proportions, how to make them look believable and natural, and how to capture the essence and character of each animal. Choose a drawing prompt for an animal you never tried to paint or draw before.
- Draw a picture of an animal that has fur but doesn’t look like an animal you’ve seen.
- Draw a picture of an animal half human and half animal (or the other way around).
- Draw a picture of an animal with many eyes – more than four- and try to make them so that they’re all different sizes and shapes, so they belong together and aren’t just a random collection of eyes on the face/body/limb/etc. etc. etc.
- Draw the rarest animal in the world
- Draw two animals that are fused
- Draw an alligator snapping at its prey with its mouth wide open
- Draw a deer running away from hunters whose antlers are caught in its trap
- Draw a polar bear running across the snowy tundra in search of food
- Draw a peacock showing off its tail feathers just before mating season
- Draw a hippo taking a nap on the shore while the waves crash against its belly.
10 Drawing Prompts for Objects
Humans have been creating objects since the beginning of time, and the number of objects to explore is endless. However, we tend to think of what’s right in front of us. Below you’ll find a list of drawing prompts that can spark your curiosity and imagination. Each drawing prompt should boost your creativity when finding a new drawing idea.
- Draw something that’s made you angry lately, but try to make it look beautiful.
- Draw objects in action – Draw the object in motion. The more action, the better!
- Draw objects that look futuristic
- Draw a fashion dress from the next century
- Draw an imaginary spaceship
- Draw a chair from the 13th century.
- Draw a hat from the 1930s
- Draw a work of art carved out of wood from the Pacific Islands
- Draw an imaginary dish in a strange shape
- Draw an imaginary giant status in an imaginary landscape
It’s Normal for Professional Artists to Run Out of Ideas
Being a successful professional artist doesn’t mean you’re always the most inspired.
It’s quite the opposite. The more you get used to doing something, the less inspiration you need to do it well. That’s why many artists who’ve been working in their field for decades sometimes have trouble starting something new – because they’ve so many habits and skills they’ve developed over time that they’ve to try harder than they’re used to to create something new and exciting.
The best way to overcome a creative block is to try different drawing prompts on your sketchbook: Make sure you take time off from art-making work every day, so your brain has time to recharge; take breaks during the day and give yourself time to unwind; start working on something completely different from what you’ve been doing lately (this will help you come up with new ideas); go outside; or even try writing down some thoughts about what inspires you right now.
Try Different Mediums or Colors
If you’re frustrated with your current work, try something new – try a different medium or color! Try acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, colored pencil, blue, red, purple, different shading, a new drawing tool or type of paper, or art class with a professional art teacher to gain new drawing skills and boost your creativity – anything that’s different from what you’ve been doing lately. It may feel silly at first (and it can be hard to get back into a rut), but it’s worth it if the change inspires you.
Also, try taking a break from art and returning to it when ready. Go for a walk outside or spend time with friends – anything that makes you feel like yourself again!