Here are a selection of creative challenges, suitable for children and adults, to inspire your art making and have a bit of fun!
Creative Challenge #1: The Scribble
Grab a pen or pencil, a blank sheet of paper, close your eyes and scribble randomly on the paper. Then look at your scribbles, the shapes you have made, the positive/negative space and the patterns that may have formed. Then turn that scribble into something recognisable.
Creative Challenge #2: The Word
Grab some coloured pens or pencils and a blank sheet of paper, think of a word, now express it visually so the lettering in some way also conveys the meaning of the word, for example: if your word was 'Music' the s might be a treble clef and the i becomes a music note, it can be as simple or as decorative as you like, think laterally it could be the texture or pattern on the lettering that expresses or hints at the meaning – 'zebra' might have stripey lettering. Go wild, extend your creation to cover the whole page if you like!
Creative Challenge #3: The Working From Home (WFH) Award.
Your challenge is to create or design a 'Working From Home Award'. You can make it out of household objects, recycled materials, scrap timber, cardboard or anything you have available. Give it a name or a special category just like the Oscars if you want to! If you don't feel like making a 3D Award you can just create your Award designs on paper.
Creative Challenge #4: The Shadow
This challenge is to use shadows as your models. You can do this outside if it is sunny or inside with a lamp or torch. Position any object in front of the light source so it casts a shadow on your paper or canvas then trace around your object’s shadow. Use one item, many at once or overlay several one at a time to build up multiple images. Colour-in your outlines as you desire. Your picture could be of anything – a vase of flowers, a bottle or a plastic toy dinosaur. Experiment, do several, create a scene or abstract artwork, the possibilities are endless.
Creative Challenge #5: The Letterbox
Now that 'snail mail' has more significance in our communication with friends neighbours and loved ones it is time to revamp your letterbox! Paint it, carve on it, make it an unusual shape (geometric/animal/humanoid), create a new letterbox or simply repurpose something to make it unique. Make it fun, choose a style: space age, steam punk, mosaic, psychedelic or Australiana – whatever takes your fancy! Give your Postie and passers-by something to smile about!
Creative Challenge #6: Seeing v Looking!
This is an exercise in observation...to draw what you see but not look at what your draw. Grab some paper and a pen/pencil. Now pick something nearby to draw but nothing too small. Then only looking at the object not at the paper, start drawing, don't give in to the urge to look down at your paper to see how you are going! It doesn't have to be a continuous line, you can lift the pencil up off the paper but don't look at it until you are finished. Your drawing may not look much like the object, it probably won't but you may be surprised at what you captured just by drawing what you saw!
Creative Challenge #7 – Outlines:
Go to to your desk drawer or find a clutter-filled area. Select 3 random items. Take a piece of paper and place your items on the paper. The items can overlap if you wish. Trace around each item. Now you can fill in your outlines with colour, line work or patterns. You can make them more detailed or even turn them into other things. See if you can create an interesting and cohesive picture.
Creative Challenge #8: The Flip Book
To begin you will need a few sheets of paper/card (note: thicker paper flips better), a bulldog clip and a dark coloured pen/pencil. Cut up the sheets to your desired size. An easy alternative – you could use a sticky note pad, part of a paper note block or even the margins of an old paperback book. Start your drawings. Draw one page at a time (keep it simple for your first book). With each new page trace over the last one but slightly change, a few elements to create the animation effect (e.g. changing the position of a figure’s arms). TIP: To make tracing easier use a light box or put your paper against a window with sunlight or light source behind it. Also use the reverse side of your flip book to create a second one.
View video here or click on the image above.
Creative Challenge #9: Opposites
Create a pair of similar drawings side by side on two opposite pages of a sketch book. Capture the concept of opposites one on each page. E.g.: One could be a dark object on a light background the other a light one on dark, other ideas – up/down, day/night, good/evil, happy/sad, dogs/cats. inside/outside, city/country, geometric/curvy, mechanical/natural, left/right. You could do a combination or even draw an object with your left hand and then again with your right!
Creative Challenge #10: The Alphabet
Your challenge is to draw a landscape picture, adding items for each letter of the alphabet in sequential order. Make each addition fit logically or go for something more surreal!
Creative Challenge #11: Simon Says Draw
This Creative Challenge is a good one for a group of kids. It is like the traditional game of Simon Says but you draw instead of move. For example, Simon says "draw circles," then everyone draws circles. Simon may also say things like "draw dots," or "draw a face” whatever springs to “Simon’s” mind. Each instruction could be done as separate drawings or combined into one. Compare your results.
Creative Challenge #12: Mother Nature
Be inspired by the beauty of nature; go outside and draw a tree, a shrub or even just a leaf, flower or gum nut. If you prefer to stay inside you could draw an indoor plant, vase of flowers or a view from your window.
Creative Challenge #13: The Superhero
Draw yourself as a superhero. What will be your superpowers? Choose 2-3 colours for your costume, they should relate to your superpowers. Design a symbol for your superhero self to add to the costume. Then make a realistic pencil drawing of one half of yourself and make the other half your superhero.
Creative Challenge #14: Negative Space
Your challenge is to draw the space around an object, the negative space, rather than the object itself. If you keep it simple and flat looking you will create quite a graphic result, adding detail with give it depth, try it both ways. Focus on what you are drawing as well as your artwork.
Creative Challenge #15: The Mirror
Try your hand at drawing a self-portrait. You will need a mirror, a light source and drawing/painting materials. Start with just capturing your head and shoulders in one colour, for the more confidant, include your upper body and hands and draw/paint using any colours.
Creative Challenge #16: Crumpled Paper
This Challenge is a great way to practice using tone, drawing contours and edges. Just crumple up some paper, open it out again and start drawing.
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