Inspiration, Painting

14 Creative Ideas for Creating Art

June 4, 2014

Two Weeks of Painting Exercises 

By Alina Bradford

The best way to hone painting skills is to paint; and to paint the artist needs ideas. These painting prompts give the artist 14 days of creative painting ideas. The list of painting ideas are divided up into three different categories to so that the artist can pick ideas that match their muse. Feel free to print out the list and randomly jump from one idea to another, making sure to mark each used painting idea off the list.  

To use these ideas as painting exercises without creating a complete painting, use scrap paper or canvas pads for your surface. 

Painting Outside the Comfort Zone

Sometimes artistic methods become a crutch and the best way to become more creative is breaking out of the artistic comfort zone.

  • Try painting with a dry medium such as colored pencils or pastels using a subject already done in a wet medium. 
  • Instead of planning your painting, squirt out some paints and start adding it to the canvas. Think of it as doodling with paint instead of a pen. The results may be surprising. 
  • Instead of controlling the paint, let it run. Pour, drip and spray the paint. Either let this become an abstract painting or imagine shapes in the paint dribbles and build on them to make a more refined painting. 

Painting Nature 

Nature can be a fantastic inspiration when stuck for ideas. Here are seven painting ideas to get the creative juices pumping: 

  • Go for a walk and collect some interesting pebbles. Paint them when you get back home. 
  • Paint whatever is outside the window today. 
  • Look in the kitchen and paint whatever fruit or vegetable that is available. 
  • Compose a painting that consists of only blades of grass. Use hue, value and perspective to make it interesting. 
  • Take a natural element and paint it as if it were made from a man-made material. For example, what would a flower look like if it were made from metal? 
  • Paint water in a not so picturesque form such as, a puddle, a glass of water, a spill on the counter or a sink full of soaking dishes. 
  • Take a walk and look for animals of any type. Paint one of the animals. 

Painting Humans 

Eventually, most artists need to paint a human. These ideas will hone those skills. 

  • Paint a human form no bigger than 2” tall. 
  • Paint a human form by painting only negative space. 
  • Paint just half a face, filling the whole canvas with the subject. 
  • Zoom in on one area of the body and paint it. For example, paint a hand laid across a chest, crossed legs or feet and calves. 

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