Hello, and welcome to a colorful set of drawing prompts for kids, adults — and everyone in between. This big list has ideas for creative drawings that will make you smile, and get your pencil moving!
Whether you’re a beginning artist looking for simple, easy prompts for cute drawings, or a more experienced and advanced sketcher who wants to branch out in style with zany concepts, you’ve come to the right place.
As background, my name is Lillie, and I’m a teacher and artist who specializes in bright, happy colors, cartoon line art, and cute drawing ideas. Ever since I was a child, I was doodling all over every piece of paper and notebook I could find. (My high school Physics notebook is 60% sketches and 40% notes!)
When I started this drawing website, DrawingsOf.com, in 2020, I transitioned from pen and paper to digital art: specifically an iPad with an Apple Pencil. Given that, the drawing prompts in this list are a match for either the good old fashioned kind of art, or the newfangled ones. Ready for the creative ideas? Let’s go!
Get creative ideas for fun, easy drawing prompts for kids, adults, teens, and everyone in between in this big list by an artist!
Do Octopus Art
Learn different methods to sketch an octopus, and ways to shade it to highlight the shadows and tentacles. Oh, and there's a rainbow cephalopod, too!
Draw the Wind
Here are several different ways to draw the wind, including personifying it into a wind princess! There are also cute methods to sketch trees and clouds blowing with the air gusts.
Enjoy Everyday Symbols
Using this treble clef symbol exploration as a model, investigate what other common symbols make for hidden art!
Make a Cute Snail
Snails are so cute! But beware: I made a big mistake in my snail drawings about the accurate placement of the eyes. Click through to decide for yourself whether you want to err on the side of biology or adorable-ness.
Do Rainbow Drawings
Sure, you can do a classic drawing of a rainbow (with the arc and clouds on either side), but what are other ways to play with ROY-G-BIV? See four prompts here.
Sketch a Sea Urchin
So spiky but so sweet: Learn how to create a sea urchin here -- plus shocking facts about where urchin eyes and mouths actually are.
I'm over 40 years old, but I realized with a shock this year that I didn't know the answer to what certain colors (such as orange and green) made when mixed. Check out this color mixing chart for prompts on hues to swirl together.
Use Math or Science Symbols
Pick a math or science symbol and turn it into fun cartoons! In this example, below, I've used Pi (3.14...) to become a queen, snake, apple, and more! Bonus for puns.
Delight in Mermaid Tails
See the many ways to draw and color mermaid scales on tails, and see which ones you can create!
Suspense is when there's an exciting -- and sometimes scary -- wait right before finding out what will happen next. Here's the challenge: Can you illustrate a suspenseful moment, where the viewer of your drawing is intrigued about what will happen next, but forced to wait in anticipation, without learning the answer yet?
Ok, the English teacher in me is clearly coming out here, but it's still a good prompt: Can you illustrate a moment that is ironic? Irony is defined as when something is the opposite of what you'd expect: for example, a fire station burning down. Click through for more ideas of ironic instances.
Go Hair Wild
What's the most over-the-top hairstyle you can draw? Go wild with it!
Sketch a Spelling Trick
Is there a word you know always gets spelled wrong? See if you can create an illustration to help remember the correct word order! Here's my example with the tricky word "separate."
Contrast Figurative vs. Literal
It can be very funny to juxtapose the literal and figurative version of a phrase; for example: "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!" Learn more about how to do this in the link below.
Make Onomatopoeia Cartoons
Onomatopoeia is the term for "sound effect words" like "POW!" For this prompt, see what cartoons you can draw, interspersing the big noise letters around the sketch, as shown in my example below.
Which of these Drawing Prompts Will You Do?
Having read through this big list of drawing prompts, which one most stands out to you? Speaking for myself, my absolute favorite things to sketch are octopuses and rainbows, so the prompt about the rainbow octopus drawing is the winner for me!
Now, which prompt will YOU pick to get your pencil moving like the wind across the page (or across the digital screen, as the case may be)? I’m so curious to hear. Do share in the comments section below.
Want more ideas? Check out “40 Art Prompts from Around the World,” on my other site! Because it’s a travel blog, each prompt is accompanied by photos from a different country.
The author and artist, Lillie Marshall, is a National Board Certified Teacher of English who has been a public school educator since 2003, and an experienced Reiki practitioner since 2018. All art on this site is original and hand-drawn by Lillie. She launched DrawingsOf.com Educational Cartoons in 2020, building upon the success of her other two sites, AroundTheWorldL.com (established 2009) and TeachingTraveling.com (founded 2010). Subscribe to Lillie’s monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media to stay connected!