There are times when I have this creative itch, and haul out my art supplies, straighten my page while I sit down to get started. But somehow, I draw a blank when staring at the clean page at times and feel a bit nervous about making the first mark. Warm up exercises or creative prompts are a great ice breaker to help you get your hands ready and focus your mind to create something good.

Here's a list of fun ways to overcome those unsure feelings and get your creative juices flowing when painting, illustrating or hand lettering! Use them when you want to fill your sketchbook, or when you have a few scraps of paper laying around.



1. Colour mix the paints you have (perhaps you'll discover something new to incorporate in a painting)

2. Create a colour palette of up to 5 colours (think seasonal / from an inspiring image / use the colour wheel for different ideas)

3. Paint a scene in one colour (preferably with your least used colour)

4. Paint a loose picture from your camera roll 

5. Practice brushstrokes by filling a page with various brushstrokes with various brushes you own

6. Paint a familiar subject (simple botanicals, a landscape, a portrait, still life scene)

7. Paint a pattern of repetitive lines (vertical or horizontal lines)

8. Set your time and paint a piece in a specified time period (either 5 or 10 minutes)

9. Paint a previous piece of yours and change one thing (a colour, a technique, a tool you used, etc)

10. Paint a simple object or shape a few times in different colours (such as a leaf, a circle, a line)


Illustrating / Doodling

11. Doodle a household object with your non-dominant hand 

12. Draw a page full of one basic shape (circles, triangles, squares, etc) 

13. Draw a row of uniform lines (horizontal, vertical or diagonal)

14. Draw a blind contour of an object close by

15. Draw loops, continuous circles or swirls

16. Draw an object from your camera roll in 2 minutes

17. Practice differing pressure while drawing wavy lines

18. Draw a 3x3 grid and pick a theme to fill each block with a doodle (clothing, leaves, stationery, etc)

19. Draw a continuous line drawing of one of your art supplies

20. Draw an object 3 times changing 1 thing each time (think shadows, shading, shape, size, pen / pencil used, etc)


Hand Lettering

21. Write out the alphabet (lowercase or uppercase)

22. Write out a practice word up to 10 times ("hello", your name, etc) 

23. Practice one hand lettering stroke / practice drills

24. Hand letter a quote (a Bible verse, a song lyric, a favourite quote, line from a series or a movie)

25. Practice hand lettering numbers 

26. Hand letter a list of three things you're grateful for 

27. Practice one letter of the alphabet in five different ways 

28. Try one of these prompts with one of your least used pens 

29. Practice composition of a quote / song lyric your heard today

30. Draw a basic shape (circle, square, triangle, etc) and hand letter a word inside


That's a simple list of 30 ideas for you to try! Pick one (or a few) and give them a go next time you're stuck when wanting to get creative.


READ 5 Easy Ways To Be More Mindful While Creating

SHOP Carlita Hearts watercolour art prints