Dr. Kelly Lambert (2010) and Dr. Carrie Barron (2017) suggest that creative activities, such as painting, may help to alleviate mild to moderate depression and anxiety by using our hands in a meaningful way to stimulate the brain.

The focused state we move into while painting can be likened to mindful practices, such as meditation and Yoga.

Painting can positively impact your wellbeing in the following ways:

Painting stimulates both the right and left side of the brain. The left side of the brain is used to overcome challenges in a logical manner e.g., the structure of a painting, while the right side of the brain is used to overcome creative challenges e.g., visualising the finished painting and creative direction. Painting is an all-encompassing, mind strengthening activity. It can trigger a dopamine release in the brain and this feel-good factor helps to improve our wellbeing.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our paintings may not turn out as we expected. This could be due to shifts in light, our art supplies, or our level of skill and expertise. Although you may find this disheartening, it is a great life lesson. Not everything turns out the way we planned and learning to be resilient in the face of disappointment can help you to acknowledge new opportunities and the benefit of trial and error. If we learn to adapt to new situations, our creative responses flourish. The lessons we learn through the creative process of painting are transferable to everyday situations, as we strengthen our ability to intuitively think outside of the box!

Painting is similar to an aerobics session for the brain! It boosts memory function, focuses the mind, and sharpens your reflexes and precision. It is a great way to work on your concentration and memory, and this means that painters are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia. So, being creative is not only good for the soul, but also for your physical health.

Painting is a form of communication. It can allow the painter to access and give voice to subconscious feelings, in turn allowing the audience to gauge their personal feelings raised by the painting. Essentially, painting is a way to connect people from all around the world through a shared love and appreciation of art, from artist to audience.

Painting allows you to escape into a creative world of your own making, which allows you to release the worries of the day. This can be an uplifting experience as you create things of beauty out of the emotions that may have initially made you feel downhearted or distressed. The simple repetitive motions of painting can relax the body and mind, relieving stress and improving concentration on a worthwhile, creative project.

Although painting may come as a challenge to you at times, you can positively impact your mental wellbeing through trying and working on your skills in this creative outlet. Painting can work as a form of meditation, allowing you step outside of your everyday life, and into an environment where you are free to express and release your emotions. As such, you are working mindfully and in the present, letting your thoughts gently come and go, as you focus on your work of art. Much like other forms of art, such as music or dance, painting can be a healing act as you use your current emotions as inspiration for the creative process.

The well-known phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” describes the expression of emotions released through painting. It can be a therapeutic process, enabling you to release feelings and emotions you have been holding onto. Painting gives life and shape to feelings you may not be able to find the right words to express. This is a form of psychology called. art therapy, which allows people emotional freedom of expression through different art mediums. Art therapy can also work for you on a less formal level and painting can be seen as an act of self-love and care for positive mental wellbeing.

The well-known phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” describes the expression of emotions released through painting. It can be a therapeutic process, enabling you to release feelings and emotions you have been holding onto.

For some, painting may be a new creative outlet, so why not try some of the YouTube tutorials below to help inspire your journey?

This video is a short guide to using watercolour. It covers art supplies and basic watercolour techniques to get you started!

This video shows you three simple painting exercises to get you started.

It's great for reinvigorating your creativity and breaking creative blocks!

Kirsty Partridge has some excellent advice to offer new painters! Her channel is packed full of tutorials and painting exercises, taking you from beginner to advanced level!

Paul Priestley's channel offers similar advice and exercises, and he also looks at drawing!

And we wouldn't be pointing you in the right direction if we didn't include a bit of classic Bob Ross!

Enjoy his soothing voice and fantastic painting advice!