Get back Into Sketchbooking: 3 Prompts to Revive Your Practice

Get back Into Sketchbooking: 3 Prompts to Revive Your Practice

Spring is here, new beginnings are upon us, and now is the perfect time to re-discover or re-think your sketchbook practice!

As a lifelong sketchbook lover, I know how easy it can be to get stuck in a sketching rut. Drawing the same comfort subjects over and over, not pushing yourself creatively, eventually getting bored and abandoning your sketchbook altogether is a cycle I've often found myself in. My favourite way to break this pattern is to change how I view and use my sketchbook. Here are three prompts to help re-discover a forgotten sketchbook or expand and evolve your current sketching practice.


Benoit Guillaunme


Back to Basics - Explore the Elements of Art

Stripping back to basics is a sure-fire way to revive and re-define your sketching practice. Ignoring, moving past, or forgetting the basics of art can sometimes make our work lack dimension and understanding. Revisiting and practising the basics may be all you need to bring back your creative spark and make your work even more compelling.

The seven elements of art are:

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Texture
  • Form
  • Space
  • Colour
  • Value

Start by choosing one element and explore it through your artwork. Collate a collection of references that portray the element clearly (you could use personal photography, online imagery, or real-life subjects) and re-create them to the best of your ability. Once you feel comfortable, try exploring the other elements and even combine them. Here are some examples that I find particularly inspiring.




Charlotte Ager



Emmanuel Guibert


Tony Allain


Get out of Your Comfort Zone - Draw Something New

Great art is rarely created in the comfort zone! Pushing yourself to make something new, unknown or scary will only expand your expertise as an artist.

For our second prompt, pick a subject you find intimidating and focus on capturing it until it feels less uncomfortable. Our drawing sessions are a fantastic resource for discovering and practising new subjects - also, the references are already prepared, which means less work for you!

Here are some examples of artists capturing different subjects that others may find intimidating.




Zane Prater

Emma Carlisle




Change Your Approach - Document Your Life

Everyone uses their sketchbooks for different purposes: practising, exploring ideas, collecting and documenting imagery, and more. I predominantly use my sketchbook to practice. I set aside time to draw, I sit down, prepare my materials, open my sketchbook, search for references, and draw. It's a great approach to sketchbooking but it has its shortcomings. Many choices and actions need to be made before even starting the work, and when I'm less motivated, these steps often feel like barriers I can't surmount. If this is you, changing or including a new, more effortless approach may be all you need to get back into your sketchbook.

Find a method that is as effortless and uncomplicated as possible - documenting your life is a great option for this. Keep a sketchbook and a simple assortment of materials in your bag at all times, and sketch whenever you're out and have a free moment. I love this approach as you don't have to prepare anything (the materials are already in your bag and your reference is in front of you), and the time constraints prevent perfectionism. Things you can draw when documenting your life are your food and drink, people around you, and your surroundings. Not only is it a great way to practice a range of subjects, but you're also capturing memories you can look back on later.




Charlotte Ager

Lynne Chapman

Joey Yu

Andrea Serio




I hope you're now feeling more motivated to start creating! Please let me know in the comments if you're going to try any of these prompts, or if you have some of your own to share.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day full of joy, inspiration and colour.

- Morgan


Enjoyed this blog post? Make sure to give these a read!

How to Build a Creative Habit in 2024

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5 Ways to Get Inspired for Free

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