Blank days for artists can be a challenge. 

What to do on those days when your brain is like “dude I got nothing”. Some of those days just drive me nuts. Keeping it real here is my organized desk 😉 it is part of the creative process, right?

My secrets for trying to beat artist block


Pick a color that you are scared to even open up the tube on. Pour out the color and just smear it all over a small canvas you don’t mind goofing on. Maybe you’ll hate the color or maybe it will be a new favorite! Try different values and shades of that color.


I normally use only one paintbrush for my entire painting. I never even realized I did this till I looked at my brush pile one day and saw how unused they were. I promptly picked out four and tried them all out in quick little paintings. I made lines, squiggles, a weird bird, smears, and just made lots of small paintings. Nothing to hang in the museum but it helped getting me going again :).


Find magazines, photos you have around the house, and just let them help you paint. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece each time you create something. Trust me I learned the hard way on this one. Not every piece you make will be a winner. It is great to work hard and put your passion into a piece but sometimes you just need to relax. Copying a picture and just goofing with it can really help on those art block days.

Sketches Everywhere

I find when I’m waiting for kids at pickup in the car, waiting at a cafe for a friend, and or doctor offices I tend to doodle. Doesn’t need to be a fancy piece of paper to sketch. I have drawn on receipts, my planner (you’re supposed to plan your days in it I draw), napkins (sorry Starbucks), and back of bills.

Don’t Paint!

Yup, I said it don’t paint. Somedays it just can’t happen and won’t happen. I fight more with myself when I push myself to paint and I’m totally not into it. Get up and get out! Walk and see what nature has to inspire for the next painting session. Play music (country music is only allowed if the husband is out of ear range and the dog just will stare and judge quietly), doodle, and just take a break.

Categories: Tips