Hey, fellow art enthusiasts! While I utterly love drawing people, I’ve had my share of moments when I find myself feeling uninspired by what the Pinterest algorithm suggests, and I crave to draw something that makes me feel more creatively energized.
If you can relate to this feeling, I am sharing 7 of my favorite drawing ideas in this post, particularly when I don’t know what to draw or when I’m feeling bored drawing the same stuff over and over. I know everyone has their preferences and tastes when it comes to what they want to draw, but I hope reading my list will ignite some interesting ideas of your own.
7. Draw your favorite characters from a movie or TV series that you’ve watched (or a book you’ve recently read).
Although I’m usually not too inclined to do fan art in general, occasionally indulging in drawing an interesting character from a movie or TV show you’re watching can be a very satisfying way to spend an evening. If you also muster some courage to post your drawing online, it can also lead to interesting conversations with other fans of the character.
If simply copying stills from a movie is not your thing, you can always try to be creative when drawing fan art by coming up with an interesting angle. You can for example draw a character inspired by a movie or a show but also refer to the original novel on which it is based so you can interpret it in your own unique way.
One fan art project on my bucket list is to illustrate a deck of cards based on the different characters from Game of Thrones inspired by the artwork by Wylie Beckert (her art is so gorgeous!) but I just don’t have the skills and knowledge to pull it off now. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years. 😊
6. Draw yourself in the art style of a famous painter.
Although nature hasn’t been particularly kind to me in rewarding good looks, I still manage to enjoy drawing self-portraits. The key to making the idea of drawing self-portraits appealing to me, despite not looking Pinterest-worthy, has been using it as an exercise to draw in the style of another artist that I admire.
Two of my favorite artists that I look to for inspiration for doing self-portraits include Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent. It’s always interesting to see yourself in the art style of such masters, and it makes the process of drawing yourself slightly more bearable.
5. Recreate a drawing or a painting that you really like.
Artworks by other artists can be an endless source of inspiration for your drawing, especially when you discover new artists all the time on different social media platforms. What’s fun about drawing paintings and drawings by other artists is that much of the interpretation of the shapes, colors, and values has already been done by the artists, and you can just follow their process to appreciate their artistic choices and explore different drawing techniques.
These days when I’m out of ideas for drawing, I make it a point to copy one of the 197 drawings by Charles Bargue, which I find are great for getting good practice in anatomy, values, and shading. You should check out this Introduction to Bargue Drawing if you want to learn these skills but don’t want to spend too much time finding the right references.
4. Pretend you’re hired for a day to do a fashion illustration for Channel (or Gucci).
If you’re inspired by the world of fashion and style, you’ll have a blast doing fashion illustrations. Just grab a magazine of a collection by one of your favorite brands (especially ones you can’t afford right now 😎) and study their design, color combinations, patterns, textures, models, and anything that you find interesting.
Fashion illustrations are great for exploring mixed-media drawing techniques. I love the illustrations by the French artist Marina Sidneva and it’s amazing to see her fuse the dry and wet mediums to create texture, contrast, and style in her beautiful drawings.
I think as someone who generally likes to approach drawing in a “fine-artsy” kind of way (for lack of a better word) doing fashion drawings forces you to not take your art too seriously and can be the perfect way to relax and have fun.
3. Draw a Renaissance Sculpture
If you are bored with drawing people, I find that drawing Renaissance sculptures can be a great source of joy. Not only are their idealized forms simply gorgeous to look at, but they are also easier to interpret in drawings compared to actual people because of the absence of color and texture.
Here are some of my favorite sculpture references on Pinterest that might just inspire your next batch of drawings.
2. Draw your OC (Original Character)
Most of you probably already know what drawing an OC is about, but if, like me, you’ve been living under a rock and have no clue about it, let me try and explain.
So from what I understand the basic idea is that you write up a concept for a character, including its backstory, name, where it exists, its attributes, and traits. And then you draw that character by finding any references that you need to translate your vision onto the paper. Once you like your character, you can redraw it in different poses and settings (which is deceptively hard by the way), and even make them do things in a role-playing kind of way in their universe.
It took me embarrassingly long to discover that drawing an OC is a thing that exists 🙈, and thousands of people around the world are obsessed with creating and sharing their original characters. It’s incredibly fun and highly recommended for anyone guilty of taking their art too seriously. ✋
If you’re new to character design, you might check out the character design challenge for some interesting prompts, tips, and inspiration.
1. Practice gesture drawing of bodies in motion
Okay, I know gesture drawing can sound a bit boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of drawing people in random poses, try finding references of people actually doing something that you find interesting, like playing volleyball or doing ballet.
If you’re comfortable with the idea, you might want to try drawing people from life in a cafe. Lots of artists do that, and that’s something I want to try as soon as I overcome my anxiety about dealing with normal social situations.
I hope these ideas inspire you to draw something fun and unique. If you have any interesting drawing ideas of your own that you would like to share, please do let us know in the comments below. Happy drawing! ✏️