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Painting a Day: 28 Ideas for February

A month's worth of painting ideas, to help and inspire you paint every day.


11. A Root Vegetable

If you haven't got a root vegetable in your pantry, go get one! You're supposed to eat five veggies a day. Turnips and carrots have more interesting colors than potatoes, unless it's a spud that's started to grow.

12. A Leafy Vegetable

Before you make a salad today, paint the leaves! Or segment from a cabbage, with a pattern of lines in varying greens to white.

13. A Snail

The basic shape of a snail isn't hard to visualise: a soft, slimy body topped by a shell with a beautiful curve. Don't worry about anatomical correctness, focus on painting a snail with a glorious shell. For photos to use as reference (not copy!), see Terrestrial Snails Photo Gallery from About.com's Guide to Insects.

14. Your Bunch of Keys

How many keys have you got on the bunch you carry with you when you leave the house? Just a front door key, or a whole bunch? Any decorations or keychains? Either arrange the bunch or just toss it down on a surface, then paint it.

15. A Car

Your car, a neighbor's car, a relative's car, the car you wish you had ... it doesn't matter whose it is, or whether it's old or new. The challenge is to paint a car so it doesn't look like a cartoon, with (mostly) accurate perspective. You may think that visualizing it from the side is the easiest, but actually the back is probably the simplest view. An angled view will be the most interesting though.

16. The Landscape You Wish You Could Visit

What does the landscape you wish most to visit look like? Paint the scene you'd be looking at if you'd stopped for a picnic in the car you painted yesterday.

17. Abstracted Landscape With Directional Brushwork

Tree reflection painting
Painting © Wannabe1975 (Ady)
Paint an abstracted landscape with one direction of brushwork dominating. This can be at an angle from left or right, horizontal or vertical. A flat brush works well for this.

18. Foggy Scene

Fog painting
Photo © MaddyBu (Maddy)
Fog or mist reduces the number of tones in a scene and mutes colors, as well as reducing how much detail we can see in a scene. Take your favorite landscape or cityscape and paint it as if the weather were foggy.

19. An Imaginary Humanoid Creature

Sasquatch painting
Painting © Zoozo
Stretch your figure painting to paint an imaginary creature that walks on two legs like a human, whether you call it a Yeti, Sasquatch, or Big Foot. Alter the body proportions to make it look less like a person, such as elongating the arms and legs or making the head larger. And add lots of long hair or fur.

20. What Lives in the Sea

Paint an imaginary scene of the creatures, plants, and landforms you might find beneath the surface of the sea. Decide whether you're going to include the surface of the water and the sky above it or not. You could let blues and greens dominate with colorful tropical fish, or go murky brown-green for polluted waters with mutant fish.

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