Developing a Daily Drawing Habit: 3 Books with Drawing Prompts to Help You Get Started


Whether you’re a beginner looking for some drawing inspiration or a seasoned artist trying to get out of a creative rut, here are three books that might help get those creative juices flowing for daily drawing inspiration.

For the person who feels too busy to make art:

Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory

“Creativity can become a habit that fits into your life, like Pilates or flossing, only a lot more fulfilling. You just need to shift your perspective on what it is to be creative. It doesn’t mean you have to be a full-time artist. It doesn’t mean you need lots of training or supplies. Or time. It doesn’t mean you need to be a so-called expert. You just have to be you - and express what that means.”

This is a little excerpt from the beginning of Danny Gregory’s book and I love it so much because it’s such a great reminder that anybody can make art. He provides practical instruction, quick tips, and fun and unique prompts for daily sketches that are meant to take only 15 minutes or less to complete. One of my favorite prompts includes dividing up your page into a dozen squares and taking 2 minutes a day to fill those squares with anything you see. The final result is a beautiful page filled with a mini collection of drawings.

I love these prompts and appreciate Danny’s approach to drawing because it encourages you to let go of perfectionism and approach drawing in a fun and un-intimidating way. All you need is a few minutes a day and the willingness to try.

If you’ve been wondering when and how to fit in some creative time in the midst of all the busy-ness of life, this might be the perfect book for you. It’s light-hearted and full of so much inspiration.

For the person who’s looking to start a daily sketch journal:

Draw Your Day Sketchbook by Samantha Dion Baker

“Keeping a sketchbook or illustrated journal is a creative way to breathe life, joy, calm, and color into all of your days, even the ones that seem to pass by without much excitement…If I put a piece of gum in my mouth, I drew it. If I rode the subway, I drew the symbol of the train line I rode or something I saw on the train. If I did laundry, I drew the piles of folded clothes or the laundry detergent bottle. I realized that if I drew it, it became interesting.”

I love Samantha’s approach to keeping a daily sketch journal because she encourages you to look at ordinary, everyday things in a new and refreshing way. Things that you wouldn’t normally pay attention to during your day - the fire hydrant on the sidewalk, the receipt from the grocery store, the leftover chips on your lunch plate - these are the things that become special memories once you record it in your sketchbook.

This book is great because you can use it like a regular sketchbook and draw directly on the pages. Some of my favorite prompts include lettering an uplifting quote, drawing your favorite storefront sign, and looking for inspiration in your bathroom or kitchen cabinet. The quality of the paper is lovely and can be used with pencil, ink, watercolor, collaging, and more. The cover is also blank for you to customize as well.

If you’re curious about keeping a daily sketch journal and looking for some easy prompts to get you started, this is a great book to guide you along the way.

For the person who wants to start a more structured daily drawing project:

100 Days of Drawing by Jennifer Orkin Lewis

“The hardest thing about sitting down in front of a blank page is deciding what to draw. So, for each day I offer you a different idea and in some cases a foundation drawing to finish. Your interpretation of these ideas will make your sketchbook completely unique.”

Jennifer Orkin Lewis is an artist who has drawn a 30-minute drawing every day for the past 6 years. I am in awe of her commitment to show up every day, and in this book, she gives you 100 days of prompts to get you started on a similar adventure. Why 100 days? She refers to it as the “Goldilocks of goals”. In her words, “it’s not so long that you feel intimidated to get started, but it’s not so short that you don’t have the time to experiment and learn.”

Along with the prompts, Jennifer also shares some of her own insight and process, which provides you with lots of tips and tricks to implement on your own even after the 100 days are over. You’ll also be able to experiment drawing a variety of subjects including wreaths, portraits, and buildings, right inside the pages of the book. No other sketchbook is required.

If you’re looking to explore a variety of drawing subjects and complete a 100-day project from start to finish, this is a great book to dive into. It’s also perfect if you’ve been wanting to join in on #the100dayproject.

Whatever approach you decide to take with starting a daily drawing habit, just remember that we are all artists in our own right and capable of making beautiful art every day.

Hope this post leaves you feeling inspired to pick up that pencil and start filling the pages of your sketchbook!