29 Unique Art Project Ideas For Adults – Impress Your Friends

Are you an experienced artist with a lifetime of creative exploration behind you? Or perhaps you’re rediscovering your passion for art later in life?

Below I have presented 29 unique art project ideas tailored specifically for older adults. These are not your typical tacky craft ideas.

#1 Portraits of your children or grandchildren

One of the most special and unique art projects you can do is create a portrait of your children or grandchildren.

This is a great way to capture their personality and essence in a piece of art that you can treasure for years to come.

Who best knows these beautiful young souls better than a parent or grandparent?

To get started, all you need is a photo of your child or grandchild. You can then use any medium you like to create the portrait, whether it’s paints, pencils, pastels, or even digital art.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online tutorials and resources that can help you.

How Much Does It Cost To Commission a Portrait?
My goddaughter Dyana

#2 Landscapes of your hometown or favorite place

Another great idea for a unique art project is to create a landscape of your hometown or favorite place.

This can be done in a number of different ways, depending on your preferred medium and style.

You could go for a realistic approach and try to recreate the scene as accurately as possible, or you could go for a more abstract approach and use colors and shapes to represent the different elements of the landscape.

Whichever way you choose to do it, this is a great way to capture the beauty of a place that’s special to you.

I knew a man who had migrated from Italy in the 1950s and painted his entire hometown from memory.

Once it was finished his family saw that it was a vastly different interpretation from the real town.

In it, he painted where his friends lived, where he had his first kiss, where he went to school, where his grandmother lived, and all these special places as seen through the eyes of a young man leaving his home for good. It was quite an emotional piece.

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Painting places you have traveled to.

#3 Pet Portraits (Pet Pawtraits as I like to call them)

If you’re an animal lover, why not create a portrait of your beloved pet? This is another project where you can really let your creativity shine through.

Again, there are plenty of online tutorials and resources available if you need some help getting started.

And if you don’t have a pet, you could always ask a friend if you could borrow theirs for a few hours.

Be careful with this one, if you get really good at it you will have countless requests to paint other peoples’ pets!

beagle puppies pawtrait
I painted these baby beagles for a friend’s wife. Oil on wood.

#4 Tell your life story as a series of paintings

This is a really interesting project idea that would make for a great coffee table book of photos or sketches or even just a fun way to document your life as a series of small paintings.

You could choose key moments or events from your life and create a painting for each one.

This would be a great project to do with your kids or grandkids as you pass down the stories of your life to them.

a series of paintings to tell a life story

#5 Advice for the next generation through art

This is a really fun project idea that would be great for kids or adults. You could create a series of paintings, drawings, or even sculptures that offer advice for the next generation.

This could be things like “be yourself” or “work hard” or even just simple life advice that you think would be valuable for others to know.

Advice for the next generation through art

#6 Create a piece of art for each country you’ve visited

This is a great project idea for anyone who loves to travel. You could create a piece of art for each country you’ve visited.

This could be anything from a painting to a sketch to a sculpture. It would be a great way to remember your travels and it would also be a great conversation starter when people see your art.

I actually take lots of photos whenever I travel for the sole purpose of creating artworks out of them.

I save them in a special folder to then use as reference photos. Speaking of which, I have some wonderful scenes of my trip to Capri I need to paint.

This leads to the next art project idea for adults.

paintings of countries you have visited

#7 A visual diary of your travels

If you’re not much into painting or drawing, you could create a visual diary of your travels instead.

This could be a scrapbook, an album, or even a blog. You could include photos, ticket stubs, maps, postcards, and anything else that would help you remember your trip.

I actually started doing this when I went on my honeymoon.

My wife gave me a special travel journal that I would bring with me everywhere I went. Every night I would write about my experiences and glue in any mementos I collected along the way.

When she asked me to do it, I thought it was a chore but years later I can recount the emotions and the thoughts I had as a younger and happier version of me on a honeymoon with the woman I love.

It was a great way to document my travels and it’s something I still do today.

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One of my favorite places in the world – Sorrento (NA) Italy.

#8 An insight into your fears as an adult

What made you afraid as a child? Is that still something that affects you today? Why or why not? How have you faced your fears and come out stronger on the other side?

This is a great opportunity to get vulnerable and share some of the things you may be afraid to talk about with others.

Art can be a great outlet for fear, allowing you to express yourself in a safe and controlled environment.

This is also a way to teach the younger generations that as older people we are no different to them, we have fears but perhaps deal with them differently.

I also use art to express the new fears that I have now that I am a husband and father, the fear of losing my elderly parents, being away from extended family, dying, getting old, and the like.

#9 A memory from childhood

What is a memory from childhood that has been burned into your mind? What made it so special?

Was it a specific event or just a general feeling of happiness? How has that memory affected your life today?

This is another chance to get sentimental and really think about what shaped you into the person you are today.

Art can be a great outlet for this, allowing you to relive that memory and work through any feelings associated with it – good or bad.

#10 Recycled Sculptures

Create sculptures using recycled materials such as cardboard, plastic bottles, or old electronic components.

Use your imagination to transform these items into unique and meaningful artworks.

recycled material sculptures

#11 Shadow Art

Experiment with light and shadows to create intricate and captivating shadow art.

Use different objects, cutouts, or even your own body to cast interesting shadows on a surface.

shadow art

#12 Nature Mandalas

Gather natural materials like leaves, flowers, and rocks, and arrange them in intricate patterns to create beautiful mandalas.

This project allows you to connect with nature while expressing your creativity.

Nature Mandalas

#13 Interactive Street Art

Create interactive art installations in public spaces.

Use chalk, temporary paint, or other materials to engage with the viewers and encourage their participation in your artwork.

street art

#14 Storytelling through Collage

Cut out images from magazines or newspapers and create collages that tell a story.

You can explore various themes, emotions, or narratives by combining different visual elements.

Storytelling through Collage

#15 Tape Art

Use colorful adhesive tapes to create large-scale murals or geometric patterns on walls, floors, or any other suitable surface.

This form of art allows for experimentation and can be easily removed without leaving permanent marks.

tape art

#16 Digital Art Experiments

Explore digital art by experimenting with different software, apps, or tools.

Try creating digital paintings, animations, or interactive installations using tablets, graphic design software, or coding platforms.

digital art experiments

#17 Art Journaling

Start an art journal where you can combine various artistic techniques like drawing, painting, collage, and writing.

Use it as a personal space for self-expression, reflection, and exploration.

art journaling

#18 Artistic Photography

Use photography as a medium for artistic expression.

Experiment with different techniques, perspectives, or editing styles to create unique and visually striking photographs.

artistic photography

#19 Found Object Assemblage

Collect various found objects like discarded tools, machine parts, or household items, and assemble them into thought-provoking sculptures.

This type of art allows you to repurpose everyday objects and give them new meanings.

If you’re the kind of person who prefers group activities then I have some additional ideas for you and your partner or friends to try together.

Found Object Assemblage

#20 Group art project ideas for adults

Group art project ideas provide opportunities for collaboration, collective creativity, and the forging of meaningful connections with fellow artists.

Choose a project that resonates with your group’s interests and artistic aspirations, and enjoy the journey of creating together.

#21 Collaborative Mural

Create a large-scale mural as a group project. Assign different sections or themes to each participant, allowing everyone to contribute their artistic style and ideas.

Working together, you can bring a blank wall or canvas to life with a vibrant and cohesive artwork.

#22 Community Art Installation

Collaborate with fellow artists to create an art installation that engages and inspires the local community.

Choose a public space, such as a park or community center, and design an interactive or visually striking installation that encourages participation and reflection.

#23 Artistic Workshops

Organize art workshops where participants can learn and explore various art techniques together.

Each workshop can focus on a specific medium, such as painting, pottery, printmaking, or collage. This allows for skill-sharing and a collective learning experience.

#24 Artistic Exquisite Corpse

No, this is not drawing on a good-looking dead body (that would be one of the weirdest group art project ideas for adults!).

This is an adaptation of the Surrealist game of Exquisite Corpse to create a group art project.

Each participant starts a piece of artwork on a canvas or paper, conceals their contribution, and passes it on to the next person.

The final artwork is revealed at the end, showcasing the unique blend of styles and ideas.

#25 Group Sculpture

Collaborate on a three-dimensional sculpture using different materials such as clay, wire, or found objects.

Assign different aspects of the sculpture to different participants, ensuring a harmonious and cohesive final piece.

#26 Art Jamming Sessions

Organize art jamming sessions where participants gather in a relaxed and supportive environment to create artwork together.

Provide a variety of art supplies and encourage free expression, allowing individuals to experiment, collaborate, and inspire each other.

#27 Artistic Performance

Create a group performance art piece where participants use their bodies, movements, or spoken words to convey a message or tell a story.

Choreograph dance routines, rehearse spoken word performances or devise interactive theatrical experiences as a collaborative art project.

#28 Community Mosaic

Collaboratively create a mosaic artwork using small tiles or broken pieces of glass.

Assign sections of the mosaic to different participants and then assemble the pieces to form a visually stunning artwork that reflects the diversity and unity of the group.

#29 Group Photography Project

Organize a photography project where participants work together to capture a specific theme or concept.

Assign different roles, such as photographers, stylists, or models, and collaborate on the planning, execution, and exhibition of the final photographs.

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