Drawing Ideas:
How to Conquer Your Creative Lull

Ever run out of drawing ideas before? We all do. Much like writers with "writers' block", there are times when an artist cannot think of what to draw. Sometimes inspiration hits, and other times it feels as though nothing is ready to manifest itself on paper. As an artist, where can you find drawing ideas during a dry spell?

Many people take inspiration from nature. If all else fails, step outside and find a tree or a flower. Find something in nature from which you can explore the minute details and practice fine lines and shading. Practice basic skills by expressing colors that are found around you. Draw using the bright greens and blues of summer, or start a work in the stark orange and red of autumn. A simple leaf could make a beautiful drawing to be admired that will simply fill your paper during your mental block while perhaps also giving you an idea for something more that will follow afterward, curing your lack of motivation.

Another source of ideas is your immediate environment. For example, if after reading this you sometime find yourself surrounded by people at a park, pick out a face and practice your profiles. You may even wish to try a hand at cartooning, choosing an interesting face from the crowd and building a caricature of the individual.

Young children at play can make for a great subject to draw. Their happy smiles and boundless energy can be captured within your drawing. Other parts of the environment may offer the opportunity to try your hand at a still life. Rather than building a bowl of fruit to draw or paint, choose a subject already in your environment. Maybe you can draw the plant sitting in your kitchen or the playground across the street.

Drawing simple landscapes can provide a creative element that may rekindle your creative spirit. If you are having trouble coming up with a variety of drawing ideas, you could take the same landscape and imagine it in all of the different seasons. Try it in the fall, covered with leaves, then capped with snow. Take the same landscape and build it blooming flowers in early spring. Finally, sketch your landscape on a golden summer day. Moving in a logical direction will keep you moving, while imagining the different aspects of all the seasons will get your creative juices flowing again.

Above all, you should not let the lack of drawing ideas keep you from sketching something out. Don't allow yourself to get out of practice or out of the habit. This can lead to a careless attitude that eventually causes you to stop drawing altogether. If you must, draw shapes and block letters, but keep the pencils and paintbrushes moving to keep from giving in to your mental block. The only way to work through these times is to fight, forcing ideas out of the back of your head and into your hand.

Still feeling stuck? Why not hop over to the Creativity article for more drawing ideas to get you back in the game.

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