Painting Prompts


Short on inspiration? Check out these ideas to get your creative juices flowing.


1. Try copying a masterpiece painting that showcases a particular technique or effect that you’d like to practice.

2. Choose a subject, it could be a still life, a photograph, or a famous work of art.  Divide your canvas and your reference image into 4 parts.  Paint each quadrant in a different style.

3.  Paint three self-portraits with three different facial expressions.

4.  Exercise those impressionist muscles! Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour to paint what you see en plein air.

5.  Complete an entire painting using a single palette knife or one brush.

6.  Take all the colors in your paint box and lay them out chromatically according to a color chart. Paint yourself an accurate color chart using all your colors.

7.  Create a painting using a single color, limit yourself to tint and shade your color with white and black.

8.  Get graphic!  Choose a flat, graphic pattern such as a mandala, Native American or Middle Eastern Motifs, or an intricate doodle.  Focus on detail work.

9.  Create your own coat of arms with symbols that represent different sides of yourself.

10. Use recycled materials as a canvas (e.g. cans, bottles, boxes) to create a work of art.