Art @ Home

“Self Portrait on Found Paper” by Lisa Grand Murphy.

As we're all spending more time at home these days, we at BlueBird City thought these art ideas from The Artist Workshop 365 might help. We can't wait to see what our community creates! Please post your artwork and be sure to tag us @bluebirdcitydc or include #bluebirdcityart

What Should I Draw?

  1. Get inspired by nature. A tree outside your window? Flowers from the yard?

  2. Get inspired by something in your house. Draw a household object, create a still life, draw your shoe, draw a book cover, get inspired by art in your home.

  3. Get inspired by a photograph. Have a landscape that you love? A photo of friends or family? A photo in a magazine or newspaper? What about a calendar?

  4. Get inspired by art. Most museums have photos of their art online. Go to the museum’s website and click on “collection.” Some of my favorites are:

a. National Gallery of Art

b. Barnes Foundation

c. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

d. Van Gogh Museum

5. Get inspired by Instagram’s Art Challenges. A number of artists and art teachers have

daily art prompts on their Instagram accounts. You might check these out:

a. @artwithmrsfee

b. @nac_art_room

c. @oap_art

d. @artreachgw

e. @its_art_oclock

What Tool Should I Use?

Create your drawing with a pencil, pen, thin/thick sharpie, color marker, crayon, pastel, oil pastel, color pencil, or you can combine any or all of the above!

What Paper Should I Use?

Mixed media paper is best, but you can really use anything. Try graph paper, junk mail, newspaper, newsprint, watercolor paper, old maps, or old sheet music. You can even “upcycle” an old book to create an art journal, and draw right on the pages. 

Are There Drawing Exercises That Might Help?

Yes, here are a few suggestions…

  1. Continuous Line Drawing: Don’t lift your pen up from the paper until the drawing is completed.

  2. Blind Drawing: Don’t look at the paper while you are creating your drawing.

  3. Opposite Hand Drawing: Use your non-dominant hand to create your drawing.

  4. Paint Brush Drawing: Use a paint brush loaded with ink or paint to create your drawing. 

  5. Upside Down Drawing: Turn your inspiration (i.e. a portrait or photo or artwork) upside down, and draw exactly what you see. 

Clockwise from top left: “Continuous Line Frida”, “Blind Drawing of Margaret Atwood”, "Upside down Vincent"

Art @ Home ideas and artwork by Lisa Grand Murphy, owner of The Artist Workshop 365. Lisa is a local artist who specializes in hands-on artistic instruction -- offering small, highly creative classes in a home-based, studio art setting in Bethesda, MD. She also teaches at Westbrook ES, The Strathmore Museum, Photoworks Photography School and Fox Hill Senior Center.

Instagram: @theartistworkshop365. Email: