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Short Art Prompts and Projects

Page history last edited by Frank Curkovic 12 years, 2 months ago

Here's a list of short art prompts/projects that may be done in 1-3 sessions. (apologies: the list is not very descriptive. It's my personal brainstorm and I will elaborate on it when I find some time)



  • Rip out a page in a book and use a piece for a collage  (or draw something over the page)
  • Layer paint with collage
  • Paint lines, shapes or dots with a tiny brush
  • Paint only with white paint
  • Using only a pencil, scribble and draw shapes. Try different leads.
  • Paint with a big brush and try a wash of colour
  • Stencil with a doily or another "nonstencil" type of item
  • Draw something you bought today


  • Using images from magazines etc, create a new picture in collage form using values and tones from the torn images to create a new image


  • Create a 1 page graphic novel


  • Ink - draw fruits etc. with a pen and then repeat with using a twig (20 minutes each)-compare and contrast

(Image drawn with a twig. Note how it is more expressive)


  • Chalk drawing on black paper


  • Blotched image find with coloured pencils (info here)


  • Get some ink and draw on a newspaper




  • Newspaper transfers with tape


  • Contour drawings, gesture drawings


  • Paint sketches with 3 values


  • Cut paper collage


  • Create a drawing in pencil or marker, then watercolour or ink certain areas with only 1 or 2 colours to show highlights and shadows. The photo example below drew from a magazine collage.


  • Zoom in on details of a flower with watercolour (O'Keefe inspired - use small sheets)


  • Model life drawing


  • Charcoal still life


  • Charcoal drawings of negative spaces


  • Animation with still images


  • Expressive portraits


  • 2 point perspective using Skitch


  • Pink watercolour figures

  • Create a collage in 20 minutes. Then zone in on an area and recreate it with chalk pastels. Then recreate abstractly with oil pastels.


  • Frank Gehry architecture with cut/torn paper - design your perfect school



  • 'Destroy' photographs (info here)



  • Doodle Art (randomly draw out a loopy pattern and then look for images to fill in - video of artist Chris Piascik here. Blog entry and info here.)

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  • Use macro-photography in an interesting way with toy miniatures (artist: Slinkachu)



  • Create Bokeh Textures (examples here)


  • Notan Design (video here)




  • Team up a middle school or high school class with a kindergarten or grade 1 class. Ask the K students to draw a monster or superhero. Give these drawings to the MS/HS class to elaborate on. More examples here, but go directly to The Monster Engine site.



  • Symmetry (photo or video)

Symmetry from Everynone on Vimeo.



  • Animation (All Creative Work is Derivative)



  • Diana Trout demonstrates a warm up drawing game using pen and ink



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