Paint Your Numbers

7 Drawing Exercises to Pass the Time

If you are bored or are interested in picking up a new hobby, a great idea is to turn to art. There are endless options and ideas for what you can create and do. One of the best things about art is that everything is up for interpretation on what is considered “good” or “bad.” This means if you’re a beginner, don’t worry; your art can grow and develop as you get better. A great way to try your hand at being an artist is to get into drawing. 

Drawings can be created with a variety of tools, such as markers, pens, pencils, crayons, and anything else that can put color to paper. It’s fun to experiment with all sorts of writing utensils, so you can try drawing with each one to see which drawing tool you prefer. Another great thing about drawing is that you don’t need to buy the most expensive and best materials from an art store. To get started, plain computer paper or any other type of cardstock paper will do just fine.

You can also start out by using whatever writing utensils you have lying around, such as a pen or pencil. Invite your friends over and get them into drawing, too, so that you can have another fun group activity to do together! We love a good TV binge as much as the next person, but sometimes you need to do something a little more stimulating for your brain. 

Drawing is also a great thing to do if you have music playing or the tv on in the background. If you are feeling stressed, drawing can be an excellent distraction. If you don’t have the slightest clue of what you should start drawing, we are here to give you some ideas. Read on to see a list of seven drawing exercises from Paint Your Numbers that will help to pass the time. 

1. Doodling

You can’t go wrong with a good doodling session. Doodling can be done anywhere and any time, making it ideal for boredom. You can use scrap paper and a pen from your bag, your notebook when you need a quick break from homework/work, or you can even use nicer art supplies to do it as well.

The purpose of doodling is to just completely let everything go. Don’t focus, don’t think about what you are drawing. Just put your writing utensil on the paper and start drawing. You can draw lines, people, scribbles,  and literally anything else that comes to mind. Just go with it, and you will feel very relaxed after. 

2. Entopic Graphomania

No, this is not a science experiment. And trust us, it sounds way more complicated than it actually is. Here is what you will need for this drawing exercise: any paper that has words on it (page of a book, magazine, etc.), a small ruler, and a pen or marker. 

Take your pen and mark dots on several words or letters throughout the page. Try and make it completely random without any thought process behind which words and letters you are marking. After that, you will take your ruler and start connecting the dots with lines that can be curved, zig-zagged, or straight. 

The end result will be some very cool-looking patterns and shapes spread out across the page, and it will show you how negative space can appear on pages with words.   

3. Draw the Same Picture Using Both Your Dominant and Non-Dominant Hand

Pick an image, any image. Make it one that you can draw relatively well (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Draw that image as you normally would. When you are finished, switch over to using your non-dominant hand. Now, try to replicate the image as closely as possible to the original image. It is sure to be a fun challenge that will help you pass the time. See how well you can draw the same image twice if you can even do it at all! 

4. Five Minutes of All-You-Can-Draw

This is a similar activity to doodling. Instead of scrolling through social media endlessly when you need a quick break (we all know a five-minute social media scroll can turn into an hour of liking and searching things), try this exercise instead. 

Grab whatever paper and writing utensils you have around you, and set a timer on your phone for five minutes. When the timer starts, start drawing everything you see in front of you. If you are at your desk, draw your desk and office space. If you are in your room, draw clothes on the floor, your bed, your kitchen, anything within eyesight. When the timer goes off, see how much you were able to draw within that time frame. When you need another break later, try and complete the image if you weren’t able to before. 

5. Create a Shading Scale of Your Favorite Color(s)

This is a relaxing drawing exercise that can actually end up looking really cool. Take a thicker piece of paper and decide on a color. You will need multiple shades (at least five) of the color you decide on. You can use pens, markers, crayons, or whatever writing utensil you want. 

Mark off equal-sized squares or rectangles on the paper, and then fill each one in with a different shade starting from lightest to darkest. You can even make a row of shades for each color in the rainbow if you want something bright and cheery. 

6. Play a Game of Exquisite Corpse With Your Friends

This is a game that is over 100 years old. It’s perfect if you have a small group of friends hanging out, and all you need is a piece of paper and a pen. 

Here’s how it works: you take the paper and pass it to the first person, and they start drawing (without letting anyone see). When they are done, they fold over their part of the drawing and pass it to the next person, who will only be able to see a light outline of the image. They draw the next part, fold it over, and pass it on. After the last person draws, unfold the paper and see what image you came up with. It’s a lot of fun, and the end result is interesting to see. 

Keep the Pen to the Paper and Don’t Look Down

This is a quick exercise you can do to test your drawing abilities. Pick something that is near you to draw. Put it directly in front of you. Get a piece of paper and a writing utensil, and start drawing the object. The catch is, you can only keep your eyes on the object. Don’t look down at the paper at all. Once you think you’ve finished drawing the object, check your paper to see how close you were to correctly drawing the image!  


As you can see from this list, there are so many different drawing exercises you can try! If you feel a case of boredom coming on, reach for some paper and pens, and we can guarantee you will pass the time and have fun while doing so. We get it; reading a book or magazine or watching movies and tv are great distractions and can be really enjoyable. But before you know it, you’ve finished the entire season of Bridgerton on Netflix in one sitting (no judgment—we’ve all been there). 

Once you’ve mastered these basic drawing exercises, you can move on to other artistic activities, such as painting. A great painting activity for beginners (or any skill level, really) is painting your own custom canvas from Paint Your Numbers. This is a really unique painting activity where you upload your favorite images to our website, and we turn them into a custom canvas. 

The canvas comes with an outline of the image with numbers on different sections. These numbers then correspond to the paints we provide. Simply match up the numbers, and when you are done painting, you will have your own masterpiece.