drawing painting inspiration lifeOur lives are filled with inspiration for creating art. All around us there are ideas we can use as subjects for paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, etc. All artists feel uninspired at times. Sometimes life experiences can stand in the way of creating. If we know where to look to be inspired, then periods of creative block may be less frequent.

Below is a list of exercises for drawing and painting that will inspire you.

Some of these you may have tried. Others may be things you have not thought of. Go through these exercises, and try out a few. You will find that you will not feel uninspired for long.


Please refer to prior articles that deal with inspiration for creating before moving on.

Art Inspiration Ideas
Creative Block

This is part 2 of this ideas series.


Drawing and Painting Ideas Series
Part2: Drawing and Painting Inspiration Exercises From Daily Life!


Everyday Life Exercises for Painting and Drawing Inspiration


  1. Draw or Paint Things in Your Daily Life

    There are plenty of everyday things in daily life that artists can use as inspirations for artwork. Look around you. Maybe you have favorite objects that would make great drawings. Think about things where you work and where you like to go on time off work. Whether you watch TV, play video games, surf the internet, read books, etc, there should be inspiration there for artwork.

    Your art is about YOU, so if its something you spend time at, it’s a worthy subject to paint.

  2. Start a Challenging and Ambitious Project

    Sometimes a very large ambitious painting that we can complete over a period of time can inspire us to create smaller artworks on the way. While working on it, several other ideas may come to mind. Have a sketchbook handy to sketch these. If you are feeling really inspired, put that large painting aside and work on something totally new.

  3. Drawing or Painting Feelings, Moods, and Abstract Concepts

    feelings life moodsCreate art based on moods and feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, remorse, love, hate, good, evil, and the like. Use your medium, color, and form to translate that mood or concept on the canvas.

  4. The Places You Have Travelled

    Create drawings and paintings of travelled places from memory, or refer to photographs you have taken on trips and excursions. These make awesome ideas for drawings and  paintings. Let your mind wander back to memorable occasions on these trips. Use the canvas or paper to create a visual snap-shot of those events.

  5. Paint or Draw Places, Objects, or People Most Important to You

    The favorite places in your life, or the people you love the most should be something to stir that creative spirit. The places may be your backyard, cabin, your studio, or any other place you like to spend time. The people can be those in your family, and friends – spouse, kids, grand-parents, etc.

  6. Get Away from Creating for Awhile

    Sometimes, to get the creative juices flowing, and to come up with ideas, we have to do some other activity besides creating. In doing so, and having your mind occupied on something else, you may come up with inspirations for paintings and drawings.

  7. Landscapes and Seascapes

    Landscapes and seascapes have inspired artists for centuries. Look around you, where you live. Paint and draw the landscape and seascapes in your area.

  8. Paint or Draw Images in Music Lyrics or Poetry

    draw paint music notesRead poetry and music lyrics and paint the ideas that come to mind. If drawing from a music lyric idea, bring your stereo into your studio and play the song while painting. Also, try the same with different types of music to come up with varied paintings.

  9. Stories from Mythology, the Bible, and History

    Stories play a pivotal role for many artists. Some artists come up with their own stories or produce artworks based on mythology, fables, the Bible, and stories from history. Rembrandt is one example. Many of his best paintings were of scenes depicting events in the Bible. He used his own imagination to envision biblical characters, almost if acting on a stage.

    There are plenty of scenes in history that can inspire your imagination. If you do decide to paint something that is historical though, try to paint it in your own unique style. Also, refrain yourself from trying to search for other paintings of the same historical event, as this may probably affect how you achieve your own interpretation.

  10. Look at Patterns in Daily Life

    There are patterns all around us if we take the time to look at them. Plants have many distinct patterns that we can incorporate into our artworks. Look at patterns in furniture, floor tiles, city streets, buildings, and more. Look in biology books for patterns down to the cellular level, for plants and animals.

  11. Draw and Paint Dreams

    sketcbook drawing exerciseMany artists have been inspired by dreams while sleeping. Dreams link to the subconscious. Sometimes they do not make sense – other times they are quite bizarre. Trying to paint your dreams sometimes will help you realize why you dreamed it in the first place.

  12. Look to Your Sketchbooks for Inspiration

    Scan through your old sketchbooks and search for ideas you have not worked on. Pick one that attracts your attention and begin painting it. Sketchbooks for artists are meant to record ideas and inspirations, so it should be no problem becoming inspired by flipping through one.

  13. Cars and Other Vehicles

    Create your own Website!Cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, helicopters, jets, and more can be cool subjects to paint. If you have a favorite car model, why not paint it.

  14. Ask for Ideas Online

    If you have a Facebook page or artist blog, ask your readers and fans for their input. Write a blog post asking for painting and drawing ideas. Consider letting them choose the subject of your next painting by offering a poll of different themes.

  15. Painting or Drawing New Subjects you Have not Tried Before

    Search for themes you have not explored. Try to be open to new areas even if you do not relate to it.

  16. Copy the Work of a Painting Master

    Historically, this is how many of the best painters learned how to paint. They tried to copy the artworks of famous artists who came before them. Go into a museum or art gallery and bring your sketchbook with you. You can also copy from reproductions in books and on the internet. Try to incorporate your own style into the painting to make it your own.

What do you think of these drawing and painting exercises from daily life?

Do you have any ideas for inspiration to add?

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! I hadn't thought of asking my Facebook followers to help me choose an idea for a painting, I think I may try this. Thanks!


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