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1. Get inspiredEdit

Talk to a painter. Ask an art teacher or painter in your community where they get their inspiration. What do they like to paint? Why? Look at some of their paintings and explain what you like about them.


Go to an art show or museum. Find 5 paintings that you love and decide why you think they’re great. Who painted them? When? Look for what they have in common with each other.


Team up with an adult to find images of 5 paintings you love. Search in library books, magazines, or online. Why do you like them? Who painted them, and when? Look for what they have in common with each other.

2. Paint the real worldEdit

Painting what’s around you is the first step to becoming an artist. Pick one choice and try to paint something from the real world.

CHOOSE ONE: Paint a portrait of a friend, family member, pet, or yourself. If you are painting someone else, have the person sit in an interesting pose and try to capture what the person looks like. If it’s yourself, use a mirror to see all the lines and shapes in your face.


Paint an outdoor landscape with trees or flowers. Find a pretty spot with lots of colors and paint what you see.

FOR MORE FUN: Paint at a different time of day and see how the light makes the colors look different.


Paint a still life. A “still life” is an object, like a bowl of fruit or a vase. Set up what you want to paint first. Don’t forget to show how the light hits the object by using light and dark colors!

3. Paint a moodEdit

Some painters create “abstract” art. They don’t paint objects or people. They use shapes, lines, and colors to paint a feeling or mood. Pretend you are an artist who is trying to paint an emotion. Paint what you think one of these moods would look like. Remember, it’s your idea, so it’s okay if other people don’t see it like you do!

CHOOSE ONE: Calm. What colors would you use to create a calm feeling?


Happy. How would you show a happy feeling? What colors or shapes make you smile?


Angry. What colors or shapes look like anger to you?

4. Paint without brushesEdit

Who says you have to use brushes? Try painting with one of the things below.

CHOOSE ONE: Paint with something from nature. Use something with a design on it, like a leaf. Press it into paint and, then, onto your paper. Try different kinds of leaves.

FOR MORE FUN: Press the leaf onto one side of your paper, and, then, remove it. Before the paint dries, fold the paper in half. Open it. What does the shape look like?


Paint with indoor objects. Dip string or yarn into paint and drag it across your page. Paint an entire picture this way. Then, use a feather, a spoon, or a cotton swab as a paintbrush. Next, paint a picture and use a straw to gently blow water on it. What does it do to the picture?

FOR MORE FUN: Use food coloring and blow that through the straw.


Paint with a stamp. All kinds of things make super stamps. With an adult’s help, cut a potato in half and carve out a design. Dip the end in paint and stamp it on your paper. Try it with a sponge, too.

5. Paint a muralEdit

A mural is a really big painting that tells a story. Murals are sometimes painted on buildings (some take up whole city blocks!). Do you have any murals in your town? If not, team up with an adult to look at some online. Then, create a mural on butcher paper (or many pieces of paper taped together).

CHOOSE ONE: Paint a mural that tells a story you love. It could be the story of your favorite book or all about the best family vacation ever.


Paint a mural about your Girl Scout fun. What about the story of a favorite trip or activity?


Paint a mural that tells the story of an event or person. Choose a story about which you want your community to know!

more ideasEdit

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