15 fun art challenges to try when you’re in an art block


1. Limit color choice challenge

Try limiting the amount of colors you have access to when making a new piece. That could be working with only one color or three. Try one color marker, or several markers in a similar color family. The same can be done with paints or pencils.


2. Time challenge

Try making a piece in a limited amount of time. This can be a bunch of quick 60 second gesture drawings, to trying to complete a piece in 30 minutes. Even if the end result doesn’t come out the way you want it, you can at least have a foundation for another piece when you’re finished.


3. Cheap art supplies challenge

It can be hard to start making art when you think about the materials you’re using are expensive and making something bad would be wasteful. Try using cheap materials so there’s no expectation to make something amazing that may end up making you too afraid to even start.


4. For digital artists: try drawing with only a mouse

Most digital artists use drawing tablets to make art. Try using a mouse to add a little difficulty to the mix. It may be a little outside of the box, but it’s something to get you started and may spark up some cool ideas.


5. Opposite hand challenge

Try drawing with your non-dominate hand. Don’t worry if the end result is not a masterpiece, most likely it won’t be. It’s an engaging challenge for the brain to do something out of the ordinary.


6. Draw blindfolded

Try drawing blind folded or looking away from the paper and see what you come up with. You can also try looking at an object and attempting to draw it. This is actually a common practice to do in most art classes. It helps become more aware of the small details in the objects you’re viewing.


7. Scribble challenge

Try drawing a quick scribble on a piece of paper. Then come up with the rest of the piece using the initial scribble as a foundation.


8. Shapes to characters challenge

Much like the scribble challenge you can draw geometric or organic shapes and fill them in to make the head of a character. Then you can continue to draw the rest of the character if you get inspired. This is a common practice in character design, in fact shapes can be a very important to the overall design of a character.


9. Multimedia challenge

Not so much of a challenge for some people, but some artists prefer to stick to one medium without stepping outside of their comfort zone. If you only drawing with paper and ink, try incorporating paints. If you primarily use digital media, try using traditional mediums like oil pastels and finishing the piece in your preferred digital art program.


10. Re-create old art challenge

Go back into your elementary school notebooks, look for doodles in your old diaries, anything work you made in the past few years and try re-creating it. Not only is this a great idea for when you don’t know what to draw, this is a fun way to see the progress you have made as an artist. It’s always nice to look back and see where you started and how much you have progressed.


11. Mash-up challenge

Try drawing popular characters, or your own original characters and combine them to make something new. You can do this in your own style or in the original style of the character.


12. Style challenge

Try drawing in the style of another artist. This can be a professional artist you look up to, the style of a cartoon character you enjoy, or a well-known historical artist. This challenge is a great way to get yourself outside of your style comfort zone.


13. No eraser/deletion challenge

Try make a new piece without erasing. If you’re a digital artist, try making something without deleting or going backwards. This challenge helps you commit with your choices and figure out how to fix mistakes and perhaps even make them “happy accidents”.


14. Eraser only challenge

Begin by filling a piece of paper with as much graphite as you can. You can also use charcoal, but it is much harder to erase. Then use only an eraser to make the image. Try using a kneadable eraser which will allow for finer lines and better control.


15. Non-traditional art supplies challenge

Try making art with non-traditional materials like nail polish, food, CDs, leaves, etc. You can glue the objects on to paper or use a non-traditional item like a skateboard. Look for things around the house you no longer need, or buy used items at a thrift store.

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