I recently came up with a set of 10 drawing prompts and invited my newsletter subscribers and blog readers to join in a 10-day sketchalong that I called Sketchwhack.
I’m sharing here the 10 drawing prompts I chose, and some of the results from the people who participated. Mostly because some people who are not on social media (impressive!) were asking to see all of them, but also because I love these prompts, and I doubly love seeing how they were interpreted.
If you do any or all of them, please feel free to share on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #Sketchwhack.
Here are the drawing prompts:
(Click the prompts to download a pdf.)
Here are the “loose rules” I included for people who were participating with the drawings, and it cracks me up to use the word ‘rules’, because the whole purpose of these prompts is to interpret them the way you see fit. Throw out your need for instructions, poodles.
- Draw as simply or as detailed as you wish.
- All art materials are fair game.
- Share your sketch on Twitter or Instagram using the #Sketchwhack, or share it on my Facebook page.
- Force your friends to join along! Try bribery or whining.
- Join in at any time- you don’t have to have started with the first day, but you can certainly go back and do all the sketch prompts if you so desire.
- Share any of the prompts on any day.
I’ve participated in some of these types of things where I’m excited at first to join in, then I whip through the assignment just to check it off my list for the day. What makes them more fun and much more worth it and potentially habit-forming is to sit and draw mindfully. Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes alone, sit down, take a deep breath, look at your page, focus on the prompt.
My sketches will mostly be fairly small and simple, because that is how I like to draw. Draw in whatever way you want. Try a new style if you want- copy someone else’s if you want! (Just to get a feel for how they draw.) This is all about experimenting, joining other people in a creative endeavor, holding yourself accountable (in a fun way), and giving yourself a few moments every day to make something with your hands.
Materials to use with Drawing Prompts
As far as what to use, if you are at a loss or overwhelmed with how to even start a sketchbook or set of drawing prompts, I would make it easy for yourself. Grab a small blank sketchbook, or even a stack of white paper on a clipboard or a box of index cards. Use Sharpies or Microns or regular old pencils. Keep your materials in the same spot so you know where they are and you can grab them each day.
You’re more likely to stick with this if you have your materials easily accessible, and you look forward to this, so make it as simple as you can to stick with drawing each day.
You really don’t need to turn this into a big deal. One person drew her daily prompts on a small chalkboard while her kids were playing. Other people had their kids join in the fun. Think up fun and silly ideas to make this work for you.
Drawing Prompt Masterpieces
Want to see what other people came up with? Yes! Hopefully these will inspire you to take these ideas off into crazy, fun new directions.
1. Blind Contour Drawing- if you’ve never done one of these before, you’re in for a treat! What you need to do is gaze at yourself in the mirror, lovingly. Feel free to whisper some affirmations at your reflection, but then draw your face without looking down at the paper, and without lifting your pen from the paper. Your following the contours and shapes of your face with your eyes and letting your hand follow along on the paper. It’s total giggle time.
2. No lines – This is always a fun way to mess around with a material in a new way, or try a new material. I think we’re so used to approaching drawing immediately in a linear way, so this prompt shakes things up a bit.
3. Banner with 1 word- Why? Because banners are fun to draw, and I like words. That’s why. Can you tell what was going on weather-wise in various areas for this day?
4. Lips- smoochy, juicy, fabulous lips. Lips are so weird and surreal when out of context, but they have a fun shape, and I wanted to see what everyone would do with this.
5. Slow, lazy scribble- these are the sorts of things that crack me up: picturing someone sitting at a table, their head lolling to one side, maybe a little drool spilling forth from the corner of their mouth, just sort of catatonically passing a pen over some paper and humming to themselves. Why does this crack me up? Not sure; let’s not probe this too deeply.
6. Made up Animal – just because animals are so wonderful as it is, I thought people could put together their favorite animals, or animal parts to create some fascinating new hybrids. By the way, if I could have a pet that was half-giraffe, half-goat I would in an instant.
7. Dot-to-dot- I’ve always been a fan of dot-to-dots for the false mystery they provide. I mean, they’re pretty great when you’re 5, and I think they actually challenge your visual skills. At some point, you can look at a dot-to-dot, roll your eyes, and scream out what it is, but don’t they remain compelling? At least for nostalgic reasons?
8. Meandering tree- sometimes you have to throw a drawing prompt in that you just want to draw. Trees are lovely, are they not? With all those lines and shapes and lightness and darkness, smoothness, texture, oh my. I just added the word meandering because it’s always helpful to have an adjective.
9. Triangles- arguably the most hip and popular shape of the 21st century, I was eager to see what the what people would do with such a broad prompt.
10. Microscopic creatures – I was so excited about this prompt, because anything microscopic defies easy visualization. What do you do with this? Interpret it literally? Make up your own creatures? Something else? I think I need to buy a microscope.
Artists: Liane Longfellow, Georgina Bomer, pets-a-porter, Lisa Montibello, Mrs. Fish, Linda Ursin, Michelle Edwards, Laura Delso Marschel, Johnetta Boone, Jenna Freck, Clare Davis Etheredge, Meggin Schiffner, Annette Hill, Judy G. Curry, Christian Nyberg, John Gregg, Jennifer Book Haselswerdt, Anna Grodan Mattsson, Mary E, Tippin-Moody, Charlotte Nash, Sam Louras, Stephanie Mount, Marie-Therese, Kay Burns, Susan Watson
Cool stuff, huh? Are you inspired? You might also like these drawing games for kids, or better yet, check out my book that is packed full of drawing games AND tangle art prompts.