Drawing Prompts for Everyday Sketching

To encourage a more regular habit, check out this list of prompts to inspire daily sketching.

Looking for a way to make some art everyday for a regular boost of creativity? Check out this post by Liz Steel on her tips and tricks for cultivating a daily sketch habit.

Morning Coffees by Liz Steel

The Art of Ordinary Life

This past spring, I embarked on a personal project designed to get me sketching more in the midst of the grind of everyday life. Yes, I want to keep my creative juices pumping and improve my sketching skills, but my main reason for a regular practice is to keep a visual journal—to sketch things that are descriptive of day-to-day life.

Drawing Prompts

To that end, my idea involves a list of drawing prompts that gets me thinking about the unique aspects or the everyday-ness of each day. The idea is to mix it up— to do some sketches at home and others when I’m out and about. I gave myself very few rules. I can pick and choose from the list as I wish, and there aren’t any requirements for how finished a sketch should be.

What I Wore: This sketch, in which I evaluated the efficacy of my packing choices, actually answers several of my sketching prompts: what I wore; what’s new; what’s old; and what did I throw out.

I needed a way to get myself more committed to sketching ordinary life, and plotting my sketches is a fun way to be more intentional about it.

Liz Steel
Keep Track: I created a schedule at the back of my sketchbook to record the prompts I actually use. It helps me see which prompts I use most and which ones I neglect. Recording what I sketch is keeping me more aware and accountable.

Sketch Your Day

Use one of these drawing prompts to record something from you day.

  • Where did I go?
  • What did I see?
  • What did I wear?
  • What did I eat/drink?
  • Who did I see?
  • What did I do?
  • What did I use/handle/touch?
  • What did I buy?
  • What’s new?
  • What’s old?
  • What did I throw out?
  • What’s the same as usual (a routine or repetitive event)?
  • What’s different than usual (a unique event)?
  • What’s a random thing that happened?
  • What’s a silly thing that happened?
  • On this day, what will be a memory?

My everyday sketching project is not especially unique, but the practice encourages my commitment to regularly recording and finding the joy in ordinary life.

About the Artist

I’m a Sydney, Australia-based artist and architect. Since trying out a watercolor field kit in 2006, I haven’t stopped painting my life in my sketchbook. I love to travel oveseas and enjoy capturing these adventures in my sketchbook. For more information about my on-location sketching workshops, travel-sketching holidays and online classes, visit lizsteel.com.

This article originally appeared in Watercolor Artist. Check it out for more great watercolor inspiration and techniques!

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