100+ Painting Prompts for Creative Inspiration (With Printable)

Painting prompts are an excellent way for artists to find creative inspiration for their next work or practice painting.

I think many artists (including myself) go through periods of time where we’re faced with creative block.

It’s not a fun experience, but I like to believe that creative blocks happen so that we can try to actively discover something new about ourselves and our art.

That is why I created a list of 100+ painting prompts for anyone looking for something cool or different to try painting next.

I have also included jpeg images and printable versions (pdfs) of this list at the bottom of the blog post. Hope this helps!

painting prompts for creative inspiration

Paint the Ordinary

Even the most ordinary things in our life hold beauty and significance.

I think one of the best things about artists is that we are able remind each other of this notion when we make art of the ordinary things in our life.

  • A part of your room
  • Bottle
  • Bowl
  • Paint tube
  • Pencil/pen
  • Book
  • Bag
  • Chair
  • Door
  • Table
  • Bed
  • Book
  • Window
  • Plant pot
  • Vase
  • Clouds
  • Coffee or tea
  • Candle
  • Bicycle
  • Technology (Computer, phone, camera, etc)

Paint Something Whimsical

If you are a lover of dreamy, fantastical things, then this list can definitely help you bring some fun elements into the art you create!

  • Door to another world
  • Outer space
  • Bottle filled with something that makes you happy
  • A treasure chest filled with beautiful things (stars, flowers, ocean, etc)
  • Mythological creature (Mermaid, Dragon, Fairies, Pegasus, Griffin, Yeti, Bigfoot, Centaur, Vampire, etc)
  • A new species
  • Paint two different things combined (eyes + flowers, cat + moon, ocean + cloud)
  • An original vehicle design (car, train, boat, spaceship, etc)
  • Flowers growing in unexpected places
  • Rainbow animal
  • Someone or something flying
  • Light
  • Crystals
  • Make a painting inspired by song lyrics

Also visit my other blog post for a collection of 35 easy cool drawing ideas to try!

Paint People

  • Family member
  • Friend
  • Stranger
  • Someone you love
  • Celebrity, idol, or public figure
  • Favorite character in a movie
  • Favorite character in a book
  • Favorite character in a TV show
  • Original character
  • Hands (Learn how to draw hands in this blog post)
  • Feet
  • Hair
  • Eyes
  • Lips
  • Side profile
  • Crowd of people
  • Emotions
  • Poses

Paint Your Favorite Things

Paint your favorite…

  • Character (movie, book, TV show, game, etc)
  • Fictional setting
  • Place
  • Person or people
  • Shoes
  • Flower
  • Plant
  • Fruit
  • Vegetable
  • Technology product
  • Color(s)
  • Animal
  • Weather
  • Food
  • Pattern

Paint Animals

  • Pet (current, childhood, or favorite)
  • Mammal
  • Bird
  • Fish
  • Insect
  • Reptile
  • Amphibian
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Whale
  • Chimera animal (combine two or more animals together to form a new creature)

Paint Flowers

  • Daisy
  • Daffodil
  • Rose
  • Orchid
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Sunflower
  • Dandelion
  • Tulip
  • Poppy
  • Peony
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Lotus

Paint Places

  • View outside your window
  • Your street
  • A photo you took
  • Bridge
  • A view of the ocean
  • Somewhere you want to visit
  • Your dream house
  • Mountains
  • Autumn trees
  • Cityscape
  • Forest
  • Desert

Paint a New Way

  • Paint using a new medium (oil, gouache, watercolor, acrylic, ink, digital, etc)
  • Paint using new paint colors
  • Create paint swatches to explore new color combinations
  • Paint on a new or interesting surface (paper, stretched canvas, raw canvas, wood panel, fabric, plate, cup, doorknob, pot, etc)
  • Paint in a new art style (geometric, abstract, surreal, realistic, figurative, digital, etc)
  • Paint something you’ve never painted before every painting session
  • Paint one subject a different way every painting session
  • Paint small!: Create a new mini painting every day (or on a regular basis)
  • Create a painting using new tools: catalyst tools, new brushes, q-tip, string, stick, etc

Printable Painting Prompts

Here is a printable version (pdf) of this blog post. Below is also what you will find in the pdf. Hope this helps!

ordinary things to paint prompt
painting prompts whimsical
painting prompts for people
painting prompts favorite things
painting animals prompt
painting flowers prompt
painting places prompt
painting a different way prompt

Related Blog Posts:
30 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas
31 Easy Watercolor Art Ideas
40 Easy Things to Paint
How to Paint a Studio Ghibli Landscape

Thank you so much for stopping by this blog post!

I hope you found some different or interesting painting ideas to try out next in your sketchbook or canvas.

Have fun painting my fellow artists, and have a wonderful day or night! Until next time!

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