Art Prompts for the Stuck Artist

Art Prompts for the Stuck Artist

A starting point for when you feel stuck or you?re just starting out as an artist. Learn how to come up with ideas for your art so that you never run out.

Before I jump right into art prompts, I want to take a minute to breakdown the process of coming up with ideas so that you?re overflowing with creativity and never go back to feeling stuck.

Image for postPhoto: Tim Arterbury


Always keep a notepad with you because you never know when inspiration will strike. Write down or sketch out every idea that comes to mind and keep them all in the same place. There isn?t one right way for your idea and most of the time ideas don?t last very long so it helps to get all of them down on paper when it comes to mind.

Expanding on ideas

Think about different areas of your life. When you?re thinking about a particular scene, think about the everyday details that you would expect to see there.

If you?re drawing a landscape scene one might expect to see a tree(s), grass, but they might also expect to see birds, deer, or a pond. Think about your scene and pull details from reality, no matter what style of art you are creating.

Make a word association list for each idea you have. The list should be around 25?30 words for each idea you have.


When you?re starting with a new idea, take the time to do 5?10 thumbnail sketches. Sketching out your ideas will help you get a better lay of the land, flesh out what doesn?t work before you make it too far into the design, and can be a reference point for future work.

It can help you form new ideas for other work you can create and is a good starting point for any project.

Take Notes

Take notes when reading the prompts below to expand on any ideas you have when thinking about them.

These art prompts are a great way for you to figure out what subjects you are drawn to and are a good starting point for other ideas you will have. You can use these prompts to create artwork with any medium, such as oil paint, acrylic paint, charcoal, color pencil, and pastels.

Your interpretation of the prompts doesn?t have to be literal. As Jerzy Kosinski said, ?The principles of true art are not to portray, but to evoke.?


  • A portrait of a couple in love
  • A self-portrait
  • A beloved family member
  • Someone you look up to
  • Strangers on a street
  • A secret meeting


  • Your favorite place to vacation
  • Your favorite place as a child
  • A place you wish you could visit
  • A place you feel safe
  • A magical place


  • A place near home, maybe your backyard
  • A pasture with a barn
  • Water view of a pond, lake, or river
  • A desert sunset
  • Crashing waves

Food and Drinks

  • Your go-to beverage
  • Your favorite snack
  • Something sweet
  • Coffee or tea


  • Your first pet
  • A farm animal
  • A safari animal
  • A rainforest animal
  • Your spirit animal


  • Your favorite book character
  • A scene from your favorite movie
  • Your horoscope
  • A mythical creature


  • Today in history
  • Someone you wish you could meet
  • A day that means a lot to you
  • An event you wish you were present for

Still Life

  • Your favorite floral arrangement
  • Flower bouquet
  • Fruit bowl
  • Deer skull(s)
  • Glasses on a table


  • Once lost, now found
  • The Heavens and the Earth
  • Saved by grace
  • Rich in mercy
  • Baptism

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