artist thinking of what to draw

The Best Drawing Prompt Generators to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Wondering what to draw? These free tools can help

Looking for ideas of what to draw? You’re not alone. A blank canvas can be an intimidating thing for many artists. There are infinite possibilities in front of you, but putting down that first mark can feel impossible.

Sometimes it takes a little guidance to inspire what to draw.

That’s where a prompt comes in handy. A drawing prompt can be as little as a single word, to a combination of nouns, adjectives and verbs, or even a whole paragraph.

Part of the reason monthly art challenges like Inktober or Mermay are so popular is the list of daily prompts that accompany each day. It limits what you can create just enough to reign-in your imagination and start putting ideas to paper.

Prompt generators accomplish the same thing, but give YOU the power over what word(s) or phrase you choose.

Here are the best prompt generators for artists tired of asking themselves “what should I draw?”

Quick reference list:

Prompt generatorBest for
Mega Prompt GeneratorMassive options and customizable prompts
Sketch Idea GeneratorCustomizable multi-word phrases
WannaDrawPop-culture fluent mobile device users
DrawingPrompt.comElaborate and detailed scenes
ArtPrompts.orgCategory-based words & phrases

Mega Art Prompt Generator

Can’t help but picture an annoyed spoon now, can you?

Nobody comes close to the sheer quantity of prompts available in our own Mega Art Prompt Generator. Why is it “mega”? Well, with over 1 million possible prompts, we’d say it’s earned the monicker.

If you have something more specific in mind than a “jealous Tony Stark” or “monstrous goggles” you can also customize the prompt. Just click one of the words and type in your favorite subject, then watch the generator combine it into something new.

Sketch Idea Generator

While a product design firm like ANDesign might not be the first place you’d expect to find drawing prompts, their Sketch Idea Generator is a great resource. Four slot options can be changed individually or all together with the ‘randomize’ button.

Sketch a Pop Art styled umbrella for Dyson with a marker, or Sketch a Victorian styled toothbrush for Nintendo with pen/pencil are examples of the prompts possible.


With over 1 million downloads, WannaDraw is likely the most popular drawing prompt generator ever. The app is pretty simple: “Who are you drawing” displays a random person or character on top and “What are they doing” is on the bottom.

WannaDraw answers these who and what questions with over 15,000 answers. A banshee in a beauty pagent, or Slenderman as a popstar are two examples.

The app also features user submissions in an artist spotlight and video of the week segment.

If you want a more detailed prompt generator, the aptly named is worth a look. Instead of simple word combinations, the website displays entire little stories.

The homepage shows 24 categories to choose from including themes like: animals, vehicles, alien worlds, historical people etc.

Pick a category and you’ll get an instant (and wordy) drawing prompt such as:

Naughty dog stealing a piece of pizza off the table. The humans are too busy watching the game. Except perhaps, for a small child who gives the dog a knowing wink…

While it might not be the only prompt generator made for artists, has certainly combined several cool features. Their category selection covers the foundations like character, creature and environment while their prompts range from short sentences to full paragraphs.

Something simpler like A butterfly princess is just as likely to pop up as a more abstract prompt like: He breathed deeply, letting the familiar power envelop him.

How do you think of what to draw? Are there other methods besides prompt generators that you find helpful? Let us know in the comments!

© Efrain Malo

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