What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Draw

Myra Naito
4 min readMay 5, 2022

As an artist how many times have you thought, “I don’t know what to draw” and then just not drawn anything? I think we all have.

It’s a wasted opportunity.

Many of the folks who claim to not know what to draw are the same people who complain that they aren’t getting any better at drawing. If you ever want to grow out of amateur status you have to put the time in practicing and that means a LOT of drawing.

All of the interesting subject matters are not going to conveniently show up at your door or in your inbox.

Running out of ideas is no excuse for not drawing. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Image ID: 42219223 Copyright: ra2studio)

Not knowing what to draw is a lame excuse. Why?

That’s a pretty bold statement. But it’s the truth.

We live in a day and age where information and images surround us all day, every day. Sources of inspiration are literally right at our fingertips. Technology certainly isn’t the only answer but it is a huge one. Let’s take a look at what’s available.

5 Sources for what to draw when you don’t know what to draw.

  1. Household items. Take a look around your house. Pick a room. Any room. Even the bathroom. Pick an item and draw it. Your gym shoes in the corner, a table lamp, or your nightstand. Refrigerator, toaster, salt and pepper shakers, your coffee mug. Toothbrush and tube of toothpaste, razor, the toilet. Pick something. Anything! Just draw it. A simple 5–10 minute sketch is all it takes.
  2. People. If you’re the sketch on the go type, draw quick sketches of people on the bus or in a coffee shop. If you want more of a life drawing vibe, there are websites like croquis.cafe where you can select models in a variety of poses for the small membership fee of $36/year. There’s even a timed feature (30 seconds — 10 minutes) to simulate what you’d experience in a live art class.
  3. Urban sketching. Go outside or look out your window. Sketch what you see. Flowers, trees, other buildings, cars, bicycles, mopeds, etc. If you’re stuck at home or short on time, you can always go to window-swap which is a site where people from all around the world point their cameras out of their windows for you. (You can also contribute by doing the same!)
Myra Naito

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at mnatiodesigns.com/blog/ or follow me @mnaito_fineart .