Keeping an Art Journal – Prompts

Sometimes you find that you have the time to draw but are just struggling with ideas.  Thats where using some prompts can help.  Prompts can also help break any comfortable habits you have settled into by challenging you to create something that takes a bit more imagination than simply copying an object or picture.

The list below contains some ideas to get you started.

Art Journal Prompts

  1. Your favourite song
  2. Your favourite book – open at random and create an illustration of that page or design a new book cover
  3. Just doodle
  4. Dreams
  5. Fears and phobias – things that scare you
  6. Your life history or lifeline
  7. Take a walk and capture what you see
  8. Select an object and draw it – perhaps try drawing without lifting your pencil/pen off the page
  9. Your favourite poem
  10. Your favourite colour
  11. Select a picture you like from a magazine and capture your thoughts on why it appeals to you or extend the pictures, drawing what might be out of view
  12. A bucket list
  13. Your family
  14. Draw a simple map to your favourite locations in your town/village.
  15. A major event
  16. A word – stick a pin in a book or open a dictionary at random
  17. Go to museum or gallery and draw your favourite exhibits
  18. Pick a quote and design a page around it
  19. Illustrate your favourite nursery rhyme
  20. Paint an abstract composition of different coloured shapes.
  21. Design a character – whether you like Marvel super heroes or cute cartoons create your own
  22. Capture a journey or holiday
  23. Set out your goals
  24. Capture your guilty secrets
  25. Quickly sketch people queuing at a bus stop or train station
  26. Go outside and find a leaf, feather, twig or other object and sketch it in detail.
  27. Use a window as a frame and draw what you see outside
  28. Think about something or someone in your life that you take for granted and dedicate a page to celebrate this.
  29. Wet a page and drip droplets of watercolour paint onto the page. Let the colours bleed together and when dry, do a line drawing with a pen over the top of it.
  30. Draw or write about your emotions – capturing these can be interesting as anger will generate a very different page from joy or guilt.
  31. Capture your strengths and weaknesses – some people capture things they aren’t good at then draw over the words to erase these
  32. Create an image using only dots
  33. Go outside and draw a building that captures your eye
  34. List your top 10 films/songs/pictures/etc
  35. Seasonal inspiration – create a page to convey the time of year

My youngest nephew likes to draw so I often doodle robots that he’ll find easy to copy to help him practice.

Robot Doodles

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