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What to Paint When You Don’t Know What to Paint: 5 Simple Ideas for When You're Feeling Uninspired

As an artist, it's not uncommon to feel stuck in a creative rut and struggle to come up with new painting ideas. If you're feeling uninspired and don't know what to paint, don't worry - we've got you covered. Here are five simple ideas to help you decide exactly what to paint when you don’t know what to paint!

Go back to basics and paint a still life of objects around your home.

Sometimes the best inspiration can come from the things we see every day. Take a look around your home and choose a few objects with different shapes, colors, and opacities. Arrange them in an interesting way and paint an old-school still life. This can be a great way to get back to basics and practice your technique. You might even find a new favorite subject from these studies!

Create an abstract piece using materials that you don’t usually use.

Sometimes, breaking out of your comfort zone can lead to amazing results. Try creating an abstract piece using materials that you don’t typically usually use. Gather random materials from your studio, a neighbor’s studio, your kids or go shopping. Give yourself a mini project to create a few simple pieces only using these materials. This can help you explore new techniques and styles, and may even lead to a new favorite medium. Don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with it!

Get creative. Paint blindfolded, draw with your wrong hand, and more!

When you're feeling uninspired, it can be helpful to shake things up and try something completely different. One way to do this is to paint blindfolded or with your non-dominant hand. This can help you let go of perfectionism and tap into your intuition and creativity. You can also try painting with unusual tools, like a toothbrush or sponge, or experiment with different textures and techniques. The key is to have fun and not worry about the outcome. Who knows, you might discover a new approach to painting that you love!

Get outside of your comfort zone. Try painting a portrait or figure.

If you're feeling stuck in your painting routine, it might be time to challenge yourself and try something new. Painting a portrait or figure can be intimidating, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Start by finding a reference photo or mirror and sketching out the basic shapes and proportions. Then, focus on capturing the details and nuances of the subject's features and expressions. Don't worry about making it perfect – the goal is to learn and grow as an artist and I️ believe if you can draw the figure and capture a human’s essence than you really can draw anything!

Take a class.

If you're feeling uninspired, taking a class can do more than improve your skills, it can also help spark your creativity. Look for local art classes or workshops, or try online tutorials and courses. There are so many amazing free and affordable resources on the internet today so don’t discount a simple art class.

Finally, remember, the process of creating art is just as important as the final product. Enjoy the journey and have fun with it! Explore building in unstructured creative time into your week. Give yourself mini projects or create a project like the 100 day project for yourself. Enjoy the process and get out of the selling headspace and be amazed at what you create!

For more tips on creativity, listen to the podcast where Hayley interviews artists every week.


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