As a copywriter who originally went to art school – drawing is something I’ve always loved. It’s also how humans are wired. Over 90%. of the information we process is visual, so drawing can help you sell your ideas, and inspire others. From simple sketches, and political cartoons, to wireframes and artworks – learning to draw can bring you plenty of opportunities.
If you really can’t draw – don’t worry. You can still use drawing software or visualisation tools to get your ideas across. Here are my three favourites:
- Adobe Photoshop – Used by every designer on the planet, Photoshop is brilliant for retouching images, adding filters – and, of course, digital drawing. It’s available as part of the Adobe suite, but I recommend going for the free trial first.
- Balsamiq – This clever visual tool, which allows you to present illustrations in a sketchbook style. There are tonnes of pre-drawn icons and templates. It’s ideal for showing ideas, and drawing digital experiences.
- Krita – is a free open-source tool created by artists to help create digital artworks, illustrations and animations. It’s easy to use, whatever level you’re at.
If you fancy doing the real thing – here are 100+ easy drawing ideas to get you started.
Table of contents
What are easy drawing ideas?
Let’s start simple with ideas you can draw right now.
These ideas will help you build your technical skills and learn the basics.
1. Draw a self portrait
This is a great way to practice different skills, like still life, facial features and emotions.
You can get inspired by the National Portrait Gallery in the UK.
Here are three ideas to practice different types of portrait drawing:
- Draw your hand from new angles, study the way your joints move and try and get the different perspectives right.
- Draw yourself from memory, and try to focus on your emotions. Are you happy, or sad? Excited or annoyed? Can you depict a sense of emotion in the picture, like anger or calm?
- Try drawing yourself as a caricature, this will force you to exaggerate different features.
2. Draw a cartoon or metaphor
Cartoons, comics and metaphors don’t tend to rely on so much technical skill – they’re really more about your ideas and creativity.
Right now is a great time to draw political cartoons because there is so much scope for smart, hard-hitting ideas, and the means to distribute them across social media is so much greater than it used to be.
What are the benefits of drawing cartoons or comics?
Visual platforms like Instagram give you plenty of opportunity to grow a fanbase, which used to be reserved for those who could get their drawings published in newspapers and print media.
From a technical perspective, drawing cartoons also helps you practice key skills like exaggerating features, and pulling out personality traits. Drawing and sketching cartoons and comics can also encourage you to use metaphors, while expanding your imagination and visual storytelling.
Ideas for drawing cartoons:
- Pick a real-life character and imagine what they might look like in cartoon format. You could draw a sportsman like LeBron James, or a political figure like Angela Merkel.
- Draw a metaphor in a cartoon format that sums up a political movement – for example, the Brexit vote in the UK, or the US Election.
- Choose a cartoon format like The Simpsons or South Park and draw real characters in this style.
- Write and draw your own short comic and practice visual storytelling.
3. Draw a still life object
Drawing still life ideas can help you to focus on your technical skills.
It’s one of the first things you do as a young artist at school.
Best ideas for still life drawing:
- Combine still life with a bit of movement, such as a kettle with steam coming out of it.
- Draw a fruit bowl because it has so many different shapes.
- Try drawing objects from different angles, or ones that have a reflection – like a mirror or window.
- Draw different shapes and perspectives, like houses on a street, or a 3D drawing of a room.
- Draw the human body at a still life drawing class.
4. Draw in a technical style
Technical drawing is a great skill to learn because it’s so useful in business – from illustrating scientific textbooks, to drawing real estate floor plans.
The best technical drawers have a brilliant command of perspective and are extremely accurate.
Best technical drawing ideas:
- A floor plan of a house
- A 3D object such as a cube or a sphere.
- A piece of furniture, for example in the IKEA instructions.
5. Draw landscapes or nature
One of the best ways to hone your drawing skills is to find ideas from around you. This might be things from nature, like mountains, trees and waterfalls.
Best nature drawing ideas:
- Draw a tree in different seasons – for example one with no leaves, and one that’s covered.
- Sketch out a piece of movement, such as a waterfall or a fast-flowing river
- Draw mountains in the distance to get a greater sense of perspective.
- Try drawing a lake with a reflective surface, or the sea with choppy waves.
What are the best drawing ideas for beginners?
The best drawing ideas for beginners are simple shapes that don’t require too much depth or shading. The best ideas for beginners are to look around the house and practice drawing simple household objects from different angles.
These objects will likely be ones you’re most familiar with.
6. Draw household objects
There is a long list of household objects right in front of your eyes that you can sketch out.
Best household objects to draw
- Fruit – try drawing your fruit bowl
- Shoes – including different types of shoes
- Books from different angles
- Bedsheets – for artists who want to be challenged
- Crumpled clothing – and clothing that’s on hangers
- Retro objects like old TVs – try different shading to bring it to life
- Your phone, including its apps – use coloured pencils
- A light or lampshade
- Wires from different angles
- Windows – with a view outside
- Keys – shading can bring metallic objects to life
- Cushions – try drawing their patterns too
- Curtains – to practice drawing folds
- Water coming from a tap
- Shiny tiles in the bathroom
- Draw your rubbish bin!
- Outside garden furniture
- Draw household plants
- Flower pots
- Toys on the carpet
- Sketch a rug with texture
- Rain falling down the window
- Draw your food or empty packaging
- A glass of water
- Cutlery and household items
- A brush
- Your view from an upstairs window
- Your stairs to practice drawing perspective
- Picture frames of different shapes and sizes
- Your television remote
- A lit candle
- The inside of a cupboard
- Your garden fence or balcony
These drawing ideas for beginners will help you practice different techniques and shading. Try focusing on items that give you new textures and surfaces that vary.
More challenging drawing ideas include ones like rain falling down a window, or the steam from something cooking.
7. Draw body parts
One of the best drawing exercises you can do is to draw body parts – both from a real life study and from your imagination.
- Facial features like eyes are a great place to start
- Draw hair to practise detail
- Draw joints to master shading and 3D
8. Draw geometric shapes
One of the best ways to practise drawing if you’re a beginner is to draw simple shapes accurately.
This type of drawing can actually be useful in all kinds of job roles later in life.
- Geometric shapes are used in infographics
- Try drawing shapes that might be used in data visualization.
- Draw shapes from a 3D perspective, like furniture.
What are the best drawing ideas for kids?
The best drawing ideas for children tend to be ones that have less texture and can be shown through an outline.
These can be simple, but easily identifiable shapes.
9. Draw symmetrical shapes
- Symmetrical shapes like a butterfly or a Christmas tree
- A stick person
- Symmetrical lettering (like A, W, H)
10. Draw animals or characters
Children learn the names of animals and characters very early, so drawing these can make creativity more fun.
Best drawing ideas for kids:
- Animals with distinct outline shapes like fish, cats and dogs
- Childhood characters they might know from a book, like the Gruffalo
- Cartoon characters from their TV or favourite song, like a snowman
Other great drawing ideas for kids are:
- Shapes like squares, circles or stars
- Icons like music notes
- Hills, mountains or the sea
- Boats, cars and trains
- Trees and flowers
- Clouds in the sky
What are the best drawing ideas for digital jobs?
In the creative and digital media industries, there are a whole range of jobs that you can land through your creativity and drawing skill.
Here are some of the best drawing ideas in digital:
11. Draw UX (user experience) for digital platforms
Almost every app, website or digital experience you see started out with a sketchpad and pen.
Drawing is a form of planning and organising, and website design is one of its primary uses. In any website or app, the aim is to guide the user through a flawless experience, which is why huge sums of money are pumped into the user journey.
In digital design, this starts as wireframes.
It’s a great idea to practice drawing wireframes, which overlaps digital design and front end development. One day, this could lead you to an opening in the digital sector.
12. Sketch creative concepts for brands
Just like wireframes are the start of a website, creative sketches (scamps) are often the start of a creative idea.
In print or a digital ad this might take the form of a one-off sketch with the basic composition. In film this might be through a storyboard that you’ve drawn.
How to practice sketching creative concepts:
- Think of a clever ad that you would run proactively for a brand. This allows you to take any brand you like and imagine a creative idea to draw out.
- Pick a small local business and proactively draw out some advertising concepts that you think they should run. Then contact them through social media and see if you can get a response. Brands LOVE this level of proactivity from people so you could even land a job.
- Sketch out a storyboard for a short story, or a film trailer and see if you can think scene-by-scene what the visuals would look like on screen. This is great practice for the real thing.
13. Draw illustrations & icons
Today, content is king. Every business needs to fill multiple social channels, as well as web pages, presentation decks and lots, lots more.
Illustration is a great way for businesses to present infographics, introduce articles, illustrate opinions, create explainer films.
It’s a job role that’s always in demand.
Try practice drawing lots of mini icons to illustrate different pieces of information (see example below).
14. Draw brand logos
One of the most fun drawing ideas in the digital and creative industry is to reimagine and redraw different brand logos.
Can you think of anything better than the Nike tick? (I doubt it)
How about the famous Fedex logo?
Or Burger King?
Or perhaps you could redesign the badge or logo of your favourite sports team?
There are millions of brands for you to have a go at and it’s an exercise that’s sure to get your creative juices flowing.
Why is having drawing ideas so important?
The best drawing ideas can open different avenues and pathways in your career.
If you’re drawing for fun, or looking for new ways to entertain your children, then drawing different objects, people, animals and shapes is a great way to practice.
If you’re looking to evolve your drawing into a career, you might prefer a more technical style, or you might have enough talent to pursue a creative pathway.
Different types of drawing careers
- Creativity could lead you to being a conceptual artist for brands, including illustrations, political cartoons, metaphors and advertising
- Technical drawing and accuracy might point to a different pathway, such as UX wireframes, house floor plans or illustrating academic texts.
- Still life or portrait drawing might enable you to sell your artworks on an artistic level.
- Digital drawing with proficiency in Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator might me more suited to digital icons or logo design.
What are the best drawing exercises?
The best drawing exercises can help improve both your creative and technical skills.
Here are my three favourite drawing exercises.
1. Draw the same thing in five different ways
It’s easy when we come up with our best drawing ideas to have a preconceived idea about what a certain object looks like. That makes it hard for us to vary our artwork and produce more accurate pieces.
For example, we all have an idea about what a shoe looks like. It would be simple for any of us to draw a generic shoe.
However, there are thousands of different types of shoes – from high heels, to wellies, to sneakers, to slippers. These can be small details that help us create better characters in our drawings.
The simple exercise is to draw five different types of shoe before you start drawing a person. That way, when the time comes to draw their footwear you’ll make much more considered choices that actually fit your charatcer.
Repeat the drawing exercise with hair, eyes, hands, feet. Or even passive objects, like cups, clocks, TVs, phones or plants.
2. Keep your focus on the object
One of my favourite drawing (or painting) exercises is very simple.
I keep my focus purely on the object and don’t look at my canvas even once.
This stops me more fiddling with small, detailed parts, and means I can focus deeper on the emotive side of the image – aiming to capture what makes it special.
It also has the benefit of creating abstract and interesting effects. Look at the example below which I painted last year. I sketched out the body first, using a stencil. But when it came to the head and face, I used a reference image and sketched without looking at the canvas.
It created an interesting ‘double’ effect around the lips and hairline. .
3. Draw without taking your pen off the page
One of my other favourite drawing exercises is designed to improve the fluidity and flow of your artwork.
If you do a one line drawing, it stops you being a perfectionist and makes you move smoothly from one part of a picture to the next.
It produces a creative effect with rounded corners and edges. Look at these pen drawing examples below.
Best drawing ideas: final thoughts
The best drawing ideas for all of us will be different. Whether you’re aiming to make it part of your career, sell genuine artworks, or entertain your children, different levels suit different inspirations.
There are also ideas that bring out a more technical side to your drawing, such as sketching a glass from different angles and using shading for reflections – or coming up with a political cartoon which has a creative idea behind it.
For accuracy, you may want to try doing some 3D renderings of furniture, or a floor plan. Or perhaps you want to combine your digital drawing skill with your creativity to help you reimagine famous logos or icons?
Here’s a quick recap of the best and easy drawing ideas for people of all levels to enjoy.
- 1. Draw a self portrait
- 2. Draw a cartoon or metaphor
- 3. Draw a still life object
- 4. Draw in a technical style
- 5. Draw landscapes or nature
- 6. Draw household objects
- 7. Draw body parts
- 8. Draw geometric shapes
- 9. Draw symmetrical shapes
- 10. Draw animals or characters
- 11. Draw UX (user experience) for digital platforms
- 12. Sketch creative concepts for brands
- 13. Draw illustrations & icons
- 14. Draw brand logos
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