10 ways to get motivated and inspired to paint again


When I was first starting out as a painter, I had the same problem many other artists have: I didn’t know what to paint.

My teachers would tell us to “just paint what you like,” but that only left me with an infinite number of choices! So rather than working through that paralyzing indecision, I got inspired by trying something new at every session. I will present you with some tips for getting yourself back into the art groove (and onto your next masterpiece). The easy ways to get motivated and inspired to paint again are here as follows:

1. Start with a warm up

Before you start a new painting, it’s important to warm up. You can do this by creating a series of small studies of the same subject.

This will help you get comfortable with working in that particular medium and style before moving on to an actual project.

start with a simple sketch

Another way to warm up is by using a different color palette than what you’re used to.

For example, if your usual palette consists mostly of earth tones (i.e., browns, beiges and tans), try switching things up by using some bright pinks or blues instead.

Another option is trying out an unconventional painting surface like wood panels; this can help give your work more visual interest while also providing an added challenge (because canvases are generally easier). And finally there’s always the option of trying out some sort of new technique: maybe acrylics instead of oils? Or maybe watercolor instead?

start with a different style or medium

2. Try a new technique

Try a new medium: If you’re in the mood to branch out and try something different, try using a medium that’s not your go-to. You can use anything from oil pastels to acrylics or even pen and ink for your next painting.

Try a new technique: Some people say that no matter what subject or style of painting you do, there is always room for improvement in your technique.

Try adding some new techniques into your repertoire by taking classes at the local art supply store or online through sites like YouTube and Udemy!

Have a look at my ETSY shop for more inspiration!

try a new technique or medium

Try a new subject: If you’ve been doing landscapes all summer long, maybe it’s time to switch things up with something more abstract or conceptual. The possibilities are endless here (and if they aren’t already infinite)!

Try out a new style: Don’t feel limited by your current artistic style either! Explore different styles until one truly clicks with you—there are hundreds of genres within each category so don’t worry if one doesn`t work – just keep trying until one does!

3. Set goals and create deadlines

Set goals and create deadlines for art
  • Set a goal.
  • Create a deadline for that goal.
  • Break the project down into smaller steps, and set deadlines for each step. You’re more likely to take on the project if you have smaller goals and shorter deadlines, but make sure the overall deadline is realistic! If it would take you months to complete an entire project, then maybe break things up by painting one wall in your living room at a time instead of trying to tackle everything all at once.
  • Make sure that you have all of your supplies ready ahead of time (and check twice!). If any materials are missing or broken, then they need replacing—or else they may distract from your efforts later on down the road when they cause problems like smearing paint onto previously painted surfaces or clogging brushes with dried-up paint lumps inside them (yuck!).
  • Also remember that just because something worked last year doesn’t mean it will work again this year; consider taking some time away from painting before returning so that new techniques can be learned from scratch rather than relying upon old ones which might not work anymore due to fading skills over time!

4. Do a material or medium cleanse

Here are a few ways to get started on your material or medium cleanse:

  • Do a studio cleanout. When you’re feeling stuck, it’s helpful to go through your art supplies and see what you haven’t used in a year. Toss it out (don’t feel bad — we’ve all done this!) and start fresh with new materials.
  • Try something new. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, now is the time! Try taking some classes at the local art store or online; look into workshops; check out YouTube channels that teach painting techniques.
  • Take advantage of free trials at Joann Fabrics & Crafts or Michaels Arts & Crafts stores around town if you want to experiment with different paints and mediums before committing yourself financially or physically by purchasing them outright from an arts supply store.
  • You can also ask other artists for advice about their favorite brands of paint, brushes and other tools as well as what they like about each item on their list — this might help guide your search more effectively than simply browsing product labels alone will ever do!

Original paintings on artsfiesta.com

5. Pare down your supplies

Pare down your supplies. This can help you focus on what you need, instead of having excess materials taking up space and collecting dust in your art room.

Get rid of supplies you don’t use, don’t like, don’t need and/or don’t have space for. If it’s a type of paint that always dries out before you can use it all (like gouache), try giving the rest away to someone who might appreciate using it more than yourself!

gauche colors

Next time inspiration strikes again—and soon it will—you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off without having to

search through boxes or cabinets full of unused material just waiting for another chance at being used by someone else.

6. Follow an online course

One of the best ways to get motivated and inspired to paint is to follow an online course. An online course is a great way to learn new techniques, mediums, styles and subject matter.

It’s also a fantastic way to get motivated and inspired by other students in the class.

7. Find inspiration in the everyday

The next time you’re feeling stuck and uninspired, take a walk around your neighborhood, or even just around the block. Don’t just see the trees and buildings—really look at them and notice how they make you feel. Are they beautiful? Do they make you smile? Do they make you think of something else?

smile and paint

Once you’ve got a few ideas in mind, find some inspiration by checking out art museums that are nearby.

If there are any artists whose work inspires you and is within driving distance of where you live, schedule a trip to visit their studio or gallery space. You can learn more about their process and even talk to them about what inspires them! Check out 20 painting ideas that could help you start with ease.

8. Go out of your comfort zone

If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, try going out of your comfort zone! Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What new medium(s) can I play with?
  • What new subject matter would I like to paint?
  • What style could I experiment with?
  • Where else could I paint besides my studio or backyard fence?

The answers to these questions might lead you down paths that will inspire and motivate you to pick up a brush again.

9. Let go of what you think you “should” be doing, and do what you want to do

You may have noticed that the word “should” pops up a lot in your head. You should be painting more, but then you feel like a failure because you don’t paint enough.

when you do something original, but then you feel bad because your work isn’t original enough.

You will get better at your craft, but then it seems like all the other artists out there are so much better than you.

no pressure take

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? The best way to get motivated is to let go of all those expectations and just enjoy creating an art piece for its own sake. That way, when someone compliments your work and tells you how beautiful it is (because they will), it will feel even more amazing!

10. Create without purpose or reason — just because it feels good!

  • Create for the joy of it.
  • Create for the process.
  • Create for the love of the art.
  • Create for the love of the materials.
  • Create for the love of the process.
  • And lastly, create for yourself and your own enjoyment — don’t worry about whether or not your artwork is “good” or “bad,” focus on enjoying yourself!


Remember, if you’re not feeling inspired, there’s no reason to force yourself to paint just for the sake of it. Take a break and come back when you feel like it! But if you are feeling creative and looking for some new ideas on how to get started or keep going, we hope this list will help kickstart your creativity.

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