5 Easy & Effective Ways to Challenge Yourself as a Painter


Painting often takes incredible skill as well as other-worldly patience that can sometimes lead an artist to delve too deeply into their work and become overly dependent on their preferred techniques, tools, and subject matter. Improve your creative output by challenging yourself from time to time.

Here are 5 easy and effective ways to challenge yourself as a painter:


1. Leave Your Likely Location

If you’re the kind of artist who normally paints in your studio or a usual (comfortable) place, then try taking your easel outside or ask a friend if you can paint in their studio for an afternoon. Perhaps even pick a different room in your own house and see if the change in location changes anything when it comes to your subject, technique, process, and results.


2. Try a New Brand of Brush

Do you have a favorite type of brush or a few options that you usually rely on? Head to the art store and pick out something completely new, a brush you’ve never used and perhaps haven’t even considered before. Create a few pieces with your new tool in different styles and see what you come up with.


3. Switch Up Your Preferred Paint

Are you an oil painter or do you prefer acrylic? Maybe watercolor is more your forté. While you’re at the art store picking up a new type of brush, try a new type of paint as well. Take a look at the wide variety available and pick up something new that interests and excites you, then allow the paint to dictate what sort of piece you create.


4. Create on Something Other Than Canvas

A piece of wood. A tote bag. A wall. A puzzle. A piece of furniture. Choose something other than the typical canvas or paper that artists use and allow the experience to stretch your painting skills.


5. Subdue Your Senses

It would be safe to assumption that most of us rely heavily on our eyes when making art, but what could you create if you couldn’t use your sight. And what if you couldn’t hear. Would that matter at all? Find out! First, grab a blindfold (or sleep-mask) and earplugs. Now, create a piece with your eyes blindfolded so that you’re working in complete darkness. Then, create another piece with your ears plugged so that you’re working in complete silence. Examine not only your results, but also your experience.

(photos via Pixabay)