When you don’t know what to draw


Imagine scenario, you wake up in the morning, you sit to draw and absolutely nothing comes to your mind, you just stare on the white page or your monitor and can’t start.

Or you just bought this new shiny sketchbook but can’t seem to start drawing in it because it’s so new and clean and you have no idea what to draw anyway.

Or maybe you haven’t drawn in a while and don’t seem to have any ideas anymore whatsoever.

Well there is a drawing technique that can help you get started in this situations. And most importantly it’s pretty fun, witch helps with creativity as well.

I call it: “Looking at the clouds-method” because it’s actually pretty similar to that.

In the essense of it, you stare at the chaos and start seeing something in it. Your imagination starts to warm up and get going.

You put some random marks on your page and now it’s not white anymore and you got a nice starting point. This perfect randomness makes you start seeing faces, buildings or whatever…

The goal of this exersise is just to get going, get inspired, warm up imagination and just have some fun without a pressure to create a perfect peice of art.

It’s a great method for getting over of un inspired state of mind and also get over the frightening blank page! I recently started my new sketchbook with that method.

Creating Chaos

So first you need to create that chaos. There are several ways to do that. Both digital and traditional.


If you work digital then you can start with a photo of some chaotic shapes (preferably your own). Load it in your drawing program of choice. Tweak it’s levels so you just get black and white random shapes. Bring the opacity down. And start drawing over it.

Here you can download some of my photos to start with.

My photos for you to use

Pro tip: get in a habit of taking photos of some random choatic textures every time you see one.

Digital Brushes

Another approach is to take a brush that have a very complicated shape. In PS you can tweak it’s settings as scatter, randomness or size and shape. Make it pretty big (but not as big so your computer can’t handle it) and just stroke a couple of times over the canvas. Now you probably have pretty random texture that can get you going.

But what if you work traditional? Well, there are a lot of tools at your disposal as well!

Coffee, paint or ink

First most simple is to spill some coffee on your page 😀 and I’m only half joking here.  

Take some newspaper or paper towel, crumple it, dip it in coffee, ink or any paint and just put it on your page several times. Yep, just go ahead and put marks here and there, but avoid putting too much or creting very solid shapes. You need a bit of randomness after all.

Dipping coffee in the sketchbook

Close your eyes

If you have no wish to deal with paint or coffee and have just your pencil or a marker, then just go ahead, close your eyes and put some random lines on your page. You can use your left hand and even attempt to write something loosly (with closed eyes) to create more randomness.

Other people

And the last approach is to give it to a kid (if you have one running around) or another person that happens to walk by. Ask them to just lightly scribble something big on your page.

Remember the goal of this is to create something you can draw over so avoid big solid shapes or too much of it. 

It suppose to just give your imagination a spark.

Most likely after staring at the chaos for a moment you will start seeing something. 

Quick sketch based on coffee splashes

Now go, make a mess and have some fun! 

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