Four Good Ideas For Shorter Artistic Projects

2014 Artwork Short Projects article sketch

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t seem to have a particularly long creative attention span. I don’t know why, but I’ve only really been interested in creating short self-contained articles and paintings over the past few months at least.

So, for today, I thought that I’d give you a few ideas for shorter and/or more manageable art projects in case you ever find yourself in a situation like this.

1) Make a painting series: As the name suggests, a painting series is nothing more than a group of paintings (or drawings or whatever) which have something in common with each other. They can be paintings of the same location, they can share a common theme or they can just use a similar colour scheme. The only limit is your imagination.

The great thing about making a painting series is that you get to make lots of smaller self-contained pictures, which all form part of something much bigger. In other words, you only have to work on one part of it at a time – and each painting can be enjoyed on it’s own without looking at the rest of the series.

What this means is, if you’re posting it online, you don’t have update your series on a regular schedule if you don’t want to. Plus, you obviously don’t have to wait until you’ve finished the entire series before you start uploading your art either.

Another great thing about making a painting series is that there’s no real limit on how long it has to be. So, if you only feel like making 3-5 different paintings (or drawings), then you can still call this a painting series.

2) Use a recurring character: This is quite similar to the previous point on the list, but a good way of making a short and manageable art project is to paint or draw several pictures of the same character in a variety of interesting situations.

This has all of the advantages of making a comic (eg: you can come up with dramatic scenes, interesting locations etc…) but it also means that you don’t have to come up with a story or write any dialogue….

"Heather Greyfield And The Suit Of Swords" By C. A. Brown

“Heather Greyfield And The Suit Of Swords” By C. A. Brown

If you want an example of this, then check out some of my paintings of a random character I came up with earlier this year called “Heather Greyfield“.

Originally, I’d planned to make a comic about her, although she seemed more like a computer game character. But since I don’t really have much in the way of programming knowledge, she just ended up being a recurring character in a series of paintings.

3) Make non-sequential comics: Although I haven’t worked on it in ages, I started a webcomic a couple of years ago called “Damania” that has probably been my largest and longest-running comic for one simple reason…

Unlike many of my other attempts at making webcomics, “Damania” didn’t contain a continuous storyline – it was just a collection of short self-contained 3-5 panel comics, like this one:

"Damania - Outdoor Painting" By C. A. Brown

“Damania – Outdoor Painting” By C. A. Brown

What this meant was that I could spend an hour or two making one of these comics and then that was it. If I wanted to make another one, I could – but if I didn’t, then I could just move on to something else without worrying about leaving anything “unfinished”.

Because there’s no real “beginning” or “ending” to non-sequential comics, they’re absolutely ideal for shorter creative projects.

4) Redrawings: Yes, I know, I mention redrawings all the time. But, if you’ve been creating art for a while, then a great idea for a short and manageable project is to just go through some of your old drawings and/or paintings and re-make new versions of some of your favourite ones from scratch.

One of the great things about doing this is that, because you don’t have to come up with any new ideas, you can spend more time actually painting or drawing.

Plus, since your art skills will have probably improved since you made the original pictures, you’ll be able to quickly and easily see exactly how much you’ve improved.

Not only that, you’ll have a new and improved collection of your favourite pictures to show people if they’re interested in your work – kind of like a “greatest hits” collection, or something like that.


Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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