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Idea Starter 1 - A Room with a View

In this very extraordinary time it is important that we look after those around us and we also look after ourselves. A good way to offer self-care is through ‘creative flow’, when you take on an activity that focuses your mind and attention in an imaginative and absorbing way.

We understand you might not have access to lots of art materials, so we’ve designed these art idea starters with the most basic art kit, but please adapt our suggestions to suit your home supplies and environment.


Drawing pencils, sharpener, paper, coloured pens or pencils, paints, old magazines, scissors, glue stick.

Often an artist seeks to tell us about their real world – just outside their window.

Take some time to find a cosy comfortable place to set yourself up with your paper and drawing equipment. Spend some time observing the world outside: what can you see? Maybe a garden, your street, cars. Drawing is 80% about observing – really look closely. Then without worrying about the finished results, start to sketch your view.

Artists tell us their version of a story, a personal narrative. Is Matisse feeling trapped or contented in the enclosed space of this attic studio? Is he offering us a pictorial account of how it feels to be ‘stuck’ as an artist? Is the inspiration he seeks the colourful world slightly out of reach through the window?

Techniques and tips

You could try drawing with several different types of pens – felt, biro, gel – in lots of different colour

Experiment with a range of different pencils – try drawing just outlines or just using tone (shading).

How about using dots or just cross-hatching?

What about focusing on a couple of small details? A bird sitting on a roof top? A cat on a wall, tree branches making shadows on the pavement? Zoom right in to see the detail.

Why not get some pages from magazines and start adding to your view – adding strange and oversized people or objects into your view – a giant pair of lips, close-up of textures, fabric pattern?

Your drawing has lots of different ideas – expand your thinking and make a finished view from your room and see if you can include some of how you might be feeling or thinking about your day.

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