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Dozens of Art Starts from Jeanne Oliver
On any given day the slightest, smallest interaction or observation can change your whole perspective or outlook. It can be the same with trying something new in your painting, drawing or sketchbook. One small change or adjustment opens up brand new creative territory. Artist Jeanne Oliver encourages these kind of discoveries with 42 art prompts that can lead you to new ideas and ways of making art.
Authentic and intensely personal, Jeanne Oliver’s The Painted Art Journal gives you insights and pointers as well as techniques and creative projects to spur on your own visual narratives. The art prompts Jeanne shares here will help you find your own stories and how to tell them in a powerful, uniquely you, voice.
Mark Making and More Art Prompts
With your arm extended and your body away from your creating surface, begin your mark making.
Using charcoal, add darker values or mark making.
With your hand or a chamois, smudge your charcoal.
With whatever medium your are working, use your non-dominant hand.
Bring in highlights with a white medium.
For the next 2 minutes, spend time contour drawing with the medium of your choice.
Create a pattern in your mark making.
Turn your surface 180-degrees and continue working.
Place a few drops of ink or paint on your suface, squirt water and let drip.
Add values or mark making with a soft pastel.
Create symbolism within your work.
Put your favorite song on and create to the music.
Symbolism, Additives and Ink
Add at least one piece of vintage ephemera to your work.
Edit out a portion of your work and paint over it.
Scratch into wet or dry paint with a skewer or craft knife.
Turn to your symbol and mark-making library and add one element.
With a dropper, add ink.
Turn your surface 180-degrees and smudge out a section with your hand or chamois.
Using a pen or pencil, add words to your surface.
Step back and look at your work to gain perspective.
After stepping back from your work, edit out one element.
With a mechanical pencil, add mark making and scribble elements.
Add an image transfer or photocopy into your artwork.
Fill in a shape on your surface with patterned mark making.
Paint using charcoal, water and white gesso.
With a larger round brush, add ink to your surface.
With a mechanical pencil, draw 3-5 lines across your surface.
Add vintage ephemera to your surface and tear some of it away.
Paint one larger square within your work or paint an uneven number of smaller squares.
Using only charcoal and water, create different values.
Repeat a mark over the whole of a page.
Add a darker paint color and scratch mark making into the wet paint.
Add a complementary color.
With a flat brush, fill a surface with the same mark making.
Create your own poem image using gathered words and quotes.
Spill ink on your surface.
Stain your surface with coffee or tea.
Create an image using only charcoal and water.
Elongate an element in your work.
Create a horizontal line in your work with scratching, paint or vintage ephemera.
Create shapes with color within your work, and with a mechanical pencil, scribble around the shape.
Add texture with plaster, modeling paste, crumpled up paper bag or crumpled up tissue paper.
Prompts, creativity exercises and more — find the inspiration you need to go forward in your art journey with instructor Gigi Chen!
Art Prompts for All
This compilation of art prompts comes from Jeanne Oliver but that is just a thimbleful of the inspiration, instruction and creative support that Jeanne offers in her book The Painted Journal. Get your copy now!