Whimsical Art

Whimsical art is a vibrant and playful style of art that is childlike and carefree. Commonly associated with children's book illustrations and fairy tale art, this artwork lifts the spirit and makes you happy. Scroll down to see more whimsical artwork, plus easy drawing and coloring lessons, and artist interviews!

Check out a slideshow below of my whimsical printable coloring pages!

You can see more of my whimsical art on my website!

Definition of Whimsical Art

Whimsical Christmas Sleigh Ride Coloring Page by Thaneeya McArdle

Whimsical art from Thaneeya McArdle’s Holiday Cheer Coloring Book

Whimsical art is characteristically (but not necessarily) bright, colorful, and fun. It is the art of childhood and innocence. But it doesn't always have to be sugary sweet and deliciously darling! Art imbued with whimsicality can also include the cutely creepy, the oddly adorable, and the ugly munchkins. For example, Tim Burton's cast of characters in Nightmare Before Christmas are a bizarre bunch of mostly-loveable whimsical characters that emerge from the darker side of human psychology. Such characters express the shadowy side of whimsicality with an appealing visual style.

Kawaii is a cute aesthetic that originated in Japan and has spread around the world, because the style is so adorably infectious. Much more than just a visual art style, kawaii is often defined as a “culture of cute”. Kawaii art encompasses both sweet and charming imagery, as well as ugly or creepy imagery. In fact, creepy kawaii is extremely popular because it is both “cute” and “edgy” at the same time.

Kawaii Wizard Cat

If you love whimsical art and want to learn how to use alcohol markers, you’re in luck! Check out my Wizard Cat Alcohol Markers Course to learn step-by-step how to color in the kawaii cat below. Printable line art is provided, along with color names and swatches so you can easily follow along with me!

Whimsical Art Characters

In addition to animals, other characters that appear in whimsical art include fairies, elves, gnomes, trolls, aliens, monsters, pixies - basically anything that the imagination can conjure. Whimsical creatures can also include absolutely anything with anthropomorphic (human-like) features... such as a giant tomato with big blue eyes. Or a serpentine sea creature with a penchant for cowboy hats. The common theme is that they are surreal and quirky. Their strangeness is unexpected and often unsettling. They are the stuff of both daydreams and nightmares.

Cute rainbow sloth art from Thaneeya McArdle's Power of Love Coloring Book

Whimsical art from Thaneeya McArdle’s Power of Love Coloring Book

Humans can also find, creep, tumble or crawl their way into whimsical art. When they do, whimsical art will usually depict them as odd humans who have something slightly strange about them. Maybe their eyes are too big, their mouths too small, their ears too close. Maybe their feet are bigger than their heads. Or else they are perfectly "normal" humans (at least on the outside), who find themselves in strange and unsettling scenarios... wandering amidst towering toadstools or swimming in underwater galaxies with mermaids and butterflyfish.    

Whimsical creatures do not exist in "real life", or so they say. In the world of the whimsical, imagination rules supreme. Whimsical worlds envelop the realms of mystery and magic, where the surreal is more real than unreal. Such art has the power to take us to other places and to plumb the depths of our most hidden dreams.

There is an innocent poetry to whimsical art. They can tell tales, or they can leave the story-telling up to the viewer. Either way, whimsical art delights and enchants, weaving a charming and spirited path through our imaginations.

Tutorials and Articles on Whimsical Art

Whimsical Owl Coloring Tutorial

Learn how to color in the whimsical owl above in my Ultimate Guide to Using Alcohol Markers! Printable line art is included, so you can follow along at your own pace as I demonstrate step-by-step how to color in this whimsical night scene!

Whimsical Frogs Colored Pencil Tutorial

Follow along as I color in the whimsical nature scene above in my detailed step-by-step colored pencil tutorial!

Groovy Owl Coloring Tutorial

Follow along as I colored in the psychedelic owl above in my video tutorial, as I demonstrate easy adult coloring techniques using affordable art supplies!

Whimsical Portrait Tutorial

Learn how to color in the whimsical portrait above in my step-by-step alcohol marker tutorial!


Unicorn coloring tutorial

In this Unicorn Coloring Tutorial I’ll show you how I colored this Christmas unicorn, including the specific brands and colors that I used!

Groovy Dog Tutorial

Have fun creating this colorful poodle in my easy alcohol marker lesson!


How to draw a groovy cat

Learn how to draw a cat! This whimsical drawing lesson shows you how to draw cute cosmic cats that are filled with colorful designs.


How to draw a cute owl

Learn how to draw an owl! This easy step-by-step drawing lesson shows you how to draw a cute owl.

How to draw cute snails

Learn how to draw cute snails in this fun easy step-by-step drawing lesson!


Draw your own doodle monsters!

Learn how to draw doodle monsters! Pick up lots of ideas and inspiration, including step-by-step instructions for two whimsical creatures.

Artist Interview: Mariann Johansen-Ellis

Get inspired by the whimsical art for children by Mariann Johansen-Ellis, and learn about how she makes her cute art!


Artist Interview: Karen Hull

Check out the whimsical realist art of Karen Hull, including beautiful lifelike portraits of people and animals, plus learn more about her inspiration and techniques!

Artist Interview: Lindy Gaskill

Check out the colorful, whimsical artwork of Lindy Gaskill, who creates inspiring images that unite nature and spirit.

More Whimsical Art Tips & Lessons

Check out these tips for creating your own whimsical art!

Learn how to draw whimsical faces from photographs! This whimsical drawing lesson shows you how to look at an ordinary photo and find inspiration for creating whimsical portraits.

Printable coloring pages

My printable coloring pages are full of whimsical coloring fun!