Tiny Things to Draw


The beginning of the year is about exploring for me. Not safaris in distant lands exploring – more the internal kind. So, when I saw this book on Amazon, I was excited . . .

I wanted a daily drawing practice and had tried a 31 Day Drawing Challenge offered by a well known person, who will remain anonymous because I only lasted three days. It wasn’t that the suggested subjects weren’t ok, it was that I cannot tolerate “teachers” who actually encourage drawing badly – as opposed to trying to draw well. I have heard so much of this and it makes me crazy, so I quit listening.

But I still wanted a daily drawing prompt, and this book is PERFECT.

It is chockfull of tiny things you would never think to draw, and I will not be drawing all of them (like a tooth filling – NOT), but there are plenty I find interesting.

I decided that, rather than whip off a pencil sketch in the spaces the book provides, I would use my art journal, and really explore and experience these tiny things.

Sort of like Georgia O’Keeffe, who made very large paintings of very small things, so that people would pay attention and see them in a new way.

The other thing I wanted to do was take my creativity for a ride, so I decided that if interesting contexts presented themselves, I would go ahead and let them happen. This would be fun.

I thought you might enjoy the story.

The first Tiny Thing was Cupcakes Sprinkles. I don’t have those around, so I Googled them to see what their actual shape is and what colors are available.

I sketched a few, and then had the idea that a GIANT cupcake sprinkle could be interesting on top of a cupcake . . .


Unfortunately, I made the giant cupcake sprinkle red, and it ended up looking like a hot dog on top of a cupcake, which has its humor factor, but probably doesn’t taste great.

Also, I have no idea why I wrote 364 in the heading instead of 642. It just must have been a total brain blip.

The next Tiny Thing was a Chewable Vitamin. Luckily, I had just bought some from Trader Joe’s. I drew a couple – and then ate them.


Next was a Button on a TV Remote. I had fun with this. I just wanted to find the button that interested me most, and I did, but I have no idea what it does. I often feel like I am going in two directions at once, so the idea of a button to toggle that on and off appealed to me. I used shiny silver paint in this one but it doesn’t show in a scan.


This was done on the same page as the vitamins, so I noted that I did NOT eat this model.

I love Erasers, so that was my next tiny thing. I combined my favorite soft white eraser with my favorite computer eraser – UnDo. The quote just came out of nowhere.


The next tiny thing in the book was A Gum Wrapper. I had just drawn the eraser and had just listened to an artist talking about kneaded erasers – also sometimes called Gum erasers (although there is another type Gum eraser as well). I wrapped the gum eraser like this . . .


Then came A Coat Button . . .


The funny story here is that this one got stolen on Instagram – reposted by some guy as his own – which REALLY pushed my buttons.

The Eye of a Sewing Needle was next. By itself, I thought it would be very boring, so I started imagining what unlikely thing you  might thread through the eye, and ended up using my needles to support a Clematis vine – in a miniature garden of course . . .


I am still going daily with this, and if you think it is entertaining, I will share more when I finish the next group.

If you would like to try this yourself, here is the book on Amazon (under $10 and Prime Shipping):


I don’t know why this is as much fun as it is, but it is. Try it.



  1. There are so many tiny things on your desk top. Paperclips, the mouse, pencils, post it notes, nail clipper, my camera, stamps…..no need to buy the book, just look at the end of your arms for inspiration….

  2. Fun. It reminded me of what I draw when I travel and am stuck in a hotel room at night. I like picking something small because I can start and finish in a short amount of time. When I look back at some of my hotel pages I can remember the room even though I just drew a tiny thing or two. Thanks for the reminder that I can do this at home, too.

  3. Please continue to post these wonderful drawings. You are so creative and I love seeing your work

  4. I am sooo glad you posted this. My daughter gave me this book for Christmas and so far I haven’t dived in. Partly because I opened it to a page of sprinkles with sprinkles seemingly drawn already! Then there were objects I don’t have or don’t want to draw so it sat and still sits but now you’ve got my brain going! Just have fun with these things rather than draw or have to draw in the book! Love the way you’ve altered the ideas!

  5. Yes, Timaree. I won’t be drawing all of these either – or doing them in order. I either open the book at random or thumb through a couple pages until something strikes my fancy.
    Thank you, Mary D, for the lovely compliment.
    I agree with Alcina and Linda that there are all kinds of tiny things on our desks, and everywhere we look. But I love the surprise element to this book. I have drawn everything on my desk a few times, but never thought of drawing a cupcake sprinkle!

  6. Very clever. I am in Ecuador for six weeks and am enjoying having my sketch journal along. Your postings are always such a great inspiration.

  7. This is one of the most inspiring things you have put before us. You really get us thinking. and thinking creatively.
    You gave us this wonderful idea, and for me it is really timely as I have (for health reasons) had to fall away from the activities I love. I am starting back as of today…with tiny subjects. Thank you, once again.

  8. I, too, have this book …..figuring it would give me that extra push to draw everyday. (Not that there aren’t a million things to pick from all around me!!). And of course, I haven’t started it ….that idea of doing the first drawing in my book…the fear of messing up the first page syndrome …I know, silly. But I love the idea of drawing and then painting in watercolor in a separate book….so thinking out of the box!! Please keep posting your drawings/paintings. You have totally inspired me to get my book out and draw and paint away, and to think outside the box! Thank you!!!

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