Landscape drawing prompts

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Landscape drawing prompts (or drawing prompts) are simply a list of different subject matter for illustrators to draw, most often in a landscape, but not always. In this post, I’ll cover the concept of what kind of prompts to use for drawing landscapes, some examples, and a brief discussion on what makes a good landscape.

Landscape drawing prompts are not art specific. Just as the word prompt is thrown around in most of the creative writing world, landscape drawing prompts are a way to get artists to draw something. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. They’re used widely, especially by students, who don’t feel their skills are up to what they want to draw, so they need a “push” to draw something more challenging.

Landscape drawing prompts are not the same as calligraphy prompts. An art director wants artists to draw a thing to match the style of a project. Calligraphy prompts, which are sometimes called “lettering” prompts, usually give artists some kind of letter to draw from (like “the letter d” or “a capital F”).

Landscape drawing prompts are often called “subject matter” prompts. They often describe the subject matter itself, like “clouds.”

Many people look to landscape drawing prompts to help them learn about drawing, but in my experience, they can actually be quite detrimental. When I was starting out, I used many of these in place of good practice.

So why do they exist? Well, they give artists a goal to draw. And in this crazy business, without a goal, what are we doing all day? We’re learning. Most people who draw get no formal instruction. And when we’re learning, it’s easy to stray away from the goal without realizing it.

Landscape drawing prompts can be good for helping artists to focus. But in order to learn, artists have to stop thinking about what they are “supposed to draw” and start thinking about the act of drawing itself.

Landscape drawing prompts also help to show artists what to draw. But what if you’ve been taught to draw a portrait from a face in a half-circle? What if it’s really hard for you to “see” a tree in a circle? That’s okay. Just draw. No need to stress.

So where can you find these prompts? The best source I’ve found is in books. You can read an entire chapter on a particular subject or landscape (if you’re interested) or just look in books where you’d expect to find them.

Most of the time, landscape drawing prompts are drawn by artists in a very unique style (or style-like). The book pages that artists have painted on are often beautiful and inspiring to see. If you find that the pages you look at inspire you to do your own work, buy the book. They might even have a special order form so you can have a copy.

The only problem with books is that they’re only good for that landscape. You can’t just pick up any book and say, “Oh, I’m going to draw the sea right now.”

Which prompts do you prefer? Which works the best for you?

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About David M. Wilson

David M. Wilson is the author of a variety of books on art, including Drawing From Life and Drawing From Photographs. He is also the author of three books on portrait drawing and the art of comic book drawing. He teaches a variety of classes in art, from oil painting and portraiture to life drawing and comic art. David is currently the Director of He lives in San Antonio with his wife, daughter and two giant schnauzers. You can find him on his website at or on Facebook at and on Twitter at


  1. Menw

    When I come back here again, why all this shit was not here. Beg. Otherwise I won't talk to you anymore

  2. Ker

    Class =)

  3. Korfa

    In this all the charm!

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