Most of us have busy lives, going to work, going to school, family duties etc can keep us on the move with little free time. However, when that free time comes, some of us are unsure of what to do with it, especially when you’re stuck at home. Given the current coronavirus situation, many of us are stuck at home, away from our usual busy activities. Tho some free time may be nice, one can get lost not knowing what to do with the sudden lack of things to do, this in term leads to boredom. Watching Netflix or youtube videos all day is nice and all, but some may start to feel like they’re wasting their lives away after a few days and want to do something more productive or meaningful, maybe learn a new skill or revisit their old hobbies. Many of us will turn to arts and crafts, trying to rekindle the long lost passion of wanting to become a good artist.
In this post, I will be giving out some art ideas and activities that you can do when stuck or bored at home. Drawing or painting can be therapeutic and very enjoyable, it also helps reduce stress, increase creativity and trains the right side of your brain. How can you say no to all those benefits?
You can use whatever mediums you can gather at home, a pencil, a pen, a piece of paper can be all you need to create your next masterpiece. Many of us don’t have oil paints or acrylics readily at home, and you may not want to spend money to get new art supplies. In this section, I’ll list some materials that are readily available in most homes that can be used to create artworks, and also some popular art mediums for those who are willing to spend some money to get art supplies. I will also give a short description of each of them so you can have a better idea of which ones you want to try out.
For a more detailed explanation on various art mediums, including pros and cons of using each medium, read my post on different types of painting medium.
Things you can find at home
Paper should be pretty easy to find in most households. Printer paper, pages in a notebook or even scrap paper with a blank side will do.
This should be easy to find too, especially if you’re studying or have a kid who’s going to school. By varying the pressure on the pencil, you can create different thickness of lines and different darkness. Whether you use mechanical or normal drawing pencils, you’ll be amazed at what just a simple pencil can achieve!
Same as pencils, if you’re working or a student, you should have various coloured pens around you, black, red, blue are the most common colours. Bonus if you have highlighters!
Popular art mediums
For this medium you’ll need:
You may also be quite familiar with this medium, you can dip your ink pens or brushes into bottled ink and draw or paint with them.
For this medium, you’ll need
Watercolour is very easy to clean up, all you need is water. It can be a bit hard to control at first but is it a very fun medium. Usually comes in a box with panels of different colours, but there’re also tubed versions as well.
Similar to watercolours, you just need water to dilute the paint, but you don’t need as much as watercolour. You can also paint the paint on thickly without any water. Cleaning up is simple too, just use soap and water! For the painting surface, you can use stretched canvas, canvas panel or canvas paper.
Instead of using water to dilute the paint and to clean up, you’ll need to use a special solvent like turpentine or other forms of brush thinner. It can be more difficult to clean up and there’re more chemicals involved. So if you don’t like cleaning up, can’t stand the smell or don’t want to spend too much money on art materials, this may not be the best option for you.
Can’t decide between oils or acrylics? Read my post on the similarities and difference between oils and acrylic paint to understand them better and choose one that suits you best.
The popular brands are Copic or Winser&Newton, however, they can be pretty expensive, especially if you need to get lots of colours, there are cheaper alternative brands to choose from with lower quality.
Since most of them are alcohol-based, you’ll need special marker paper to work on or else you will experience bleeding or waste marker ink on paper that’s not made for marker papers. Read my post on different types of paper for drawing to learn more.
- coloured pencils
I think everyone’s familiar with this medium so not much explanation is needed here. Coloured pencils can be bought cheaply, but there are also more expensive pencils like polychromos and Prismacolor which is oil or wax-based and allows you to use more techniques with them.
- a laptop or computer
- a mouse or preferably, a digital drawing tablet
There are many digital drawing software out there, the free ones include Krita, ms paint, paint tool sai. There are also software that you can pay for that gives you more powerful features like clip studio paint and photoshop. You can use your mouse to draw with these digital drawing softwares, but it can be limiting. Using a drawing tablet allows pressure sensitivity and more natural and intuitive drawing experience. A drawing tablet can range from very cheap to more expensive ones. I use the small Wacom Intuos table which is pretty cheap, around £50, it’s a good investment since I’ve been using it for more than 4 years and it’s still working perfectly fine. An even cheaper option is the Huion h420 which is only around £25, I have it as a back up incase my Intuos stops working. I’ve used it a few times and found it pretty decent to use for that price. There are also drawing tablets with screen display as well, but they are a lot more expensive.
If you have an iPad, there are a lot of drawing apps available there as well, you can use your fingers on the iPad, but I recommend getting an apple pencil for a better drawing experience.
The best thing about digital drawing is that there’s no setting up or cleaning up to do! Your artwork is saved on your device so you just need to remember to save your progress as you draw.
What to draw
So you’ve got your materials all ready and are eager to start, but what are you going to draw? Staring at a blank canvas can be daunting. In this section, I will list out some ideas and topic that you can start with.
Use your own face! Self-portraits can be very fun to work on. You can also draw other people living with you. You could have a drawing contest with friends online and laugh at each others’ drawings.
Landscape is another popular topic for people to draw. If you want photos of places you’ve visited before, you can get them out and draw the view! If not, you can also search for photos online to draw or paint from. You can also draw views outside your window.
If you have a pet, lucky you! You can try to draw your pets. It can be a challenge but fun when they’re moving around the place. You can also draw them when they’re still or sleeping if that’s what you prefer. Don’t have a pet? Don’t worry, there are tones of cute pet and animal photos online that you can draw from.
There are many art challenges you can find online that you can participate in, some are seasonal, some are all year round and some are only for a certain period. You can share your artwork on your social media accounts with the relevant hashtags and share with other people doing the challenges as well. Some I can think of is the Mermay challenge in may where you drawing something mermaid related every day, there’s the Drawtober challenge where you draw something every day in October. A lot of artists online also have draw this in your style challenge where you draw something another artist drew but in your own art style. These are all very interesting and fun to do, who knows, you may also get quite some following from doing the challenges and sharing them online.
Anything you want
Most important thing is to have fun! You can draw anything you want! Still life, portraits, landscape, animals, cartoons, anime etc! The above are just suggestions for when you can’t think of what to draw or paint.
I hope this post has given you a good list of things you can try out when bored or stuck at home. I hope you’ll enjoy these art activities, find some joy and lessen your boredom with them. Meanwhile, stay safe!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and has found it useful. If you purchase anything through the affiliate links that I’ve provided, I’ll get a small amount of commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps me continue writing art-related blog posts and tutorials like this one.
You may also be interested in:
- How to draw the head – realistic portrait proportions front view
- How to draw eyes – structure and tips
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