Have you been considering learning to paint, or do you have a painting party in your future? Painting isn’t just fun, but it also provides a variety of health benefits. From sparking your own creative growth to unlocking better mental and emotional wellness, here are 10 benefits of painting you won’t want to miss.
1. Painting Promotes Creative Growth
Nobel Prize winner and psychobiologist Roger W. Sperry theorized that people think and perform tasks using either the right side or left side of their brain. He believed that right-brain thinkers were more visual and creative, while left-brain thinkers were more logical and analytical.
The reality is that both sides of the brain work in harmony for creative work, and painting helps you enhance both sets of skills. When painting, your creativity will expand as you draw inspiration from different sources, brainstorm ideas, plan your piece, test out techniques, and learn to work with colors and materials to make something unique.
2. Painting Enhances Problem-Solving Skills
How can you paint a joyful painting using a dark color palette? How do you make a flower look more realistic? When you drip a drop of paint on the wrong part of your canvas, how will you fix it?
Problem-solving is front and center in painting and it’s a natural part of the creative process. By painting, you hone those skills and improve your creative mind while also developing critical-thinking abilities.
3. Painting Improves Fine Motor Skills
Painting also helps develop fine motor skills, which is when you use the small muscles in your hands and wrists to make delicate or precise movements. These activities are especially important for young children, but adults benefit from strengthening these muscles too.
The University of St. Augustine theorizes that visual arts (like painting) helps older adults maintain and even improve their fine motor skills. Every time you pick up a paintbrush, you’re building muscle and neural connections that are crucial for daily activities like typing, cooking, tying shoelaces, and more.
4. Painting Encourages Positivity and Offers Stress Relief
Everyday life leads to quite a bit of mental strain and can generate negative emotions, but painting has been shown to reduce stress levels. This is especially true for group painting activities. Not only will you be socializing and receiving positive feedback from the other people painting with you, but you will be creating something beautiful that you can take pride in.
Painting allows for emotional release because it stimulates the creative side of your mind while focusing your attention in one place, which can lower anxiety. In this way, the creative outlet improves your mental health significantly.
5. Painting Bolsters Memory, Concentration, and Spatial Awareness
When you paint, your mind has to visualize a concept or idea and then recreate it as you paint, tapping into and building your memory skills. It also helps develop your sense of spatial awareness as you mentally evaluate the shape, size, texture, and color of the item you’re painting.
In 2015, Neurology Magazine released a study outlining factors that may increase or decrease an elderly person’s risk of developing memory loss illnesses like Alzheimer's disease. Among other benefits, the study found that people in middle or older age who painted or participated in other artistic activities were 73% less likely to develop memory and thinking problems. As you can see, it’s worth it to engage your mind in creative work as early as possible.
6. Painting Fosters Emotional Awareness and Growth
Not only has painting been proven to improve brain health, but it can also support your emotional intelligence and emotional growth. Images can communicate and express things that our words and thoughts don’t capture. Many artists use their work as a form of self-exploration and reflection. Some artists even look back on a painting and realize it expresses emotion they weren’t aware they were experiencing.
This is why art therapy is so helpful. People are able to activate different areas of their brain and access deeper emotions when they paint, partly because the artistic process is emotionally freeing. By building these creative skills, you can grow your understanding of your moods and feelings.
7. Painting Offers a Healthy Challenge
Most people don’t start out creating masterpieces, and that’s alright! Even if painting isn’t one of your natural talents, it can still be a wonderful — and challenging — new hobby.
We all need a healthy challenge that takes us outside our comfort zone. With painting, there are many paths you can take to push yourself, try new things, and discover what motivates you when it comes to art. Maybe it’s color theory, experimenting with lines and forms, or photorealism. As you gain new levels of skill with the paintbrush, you’ll find your confidence growing.
8. Painting Boosts Self-Confidence
Speaking of which, painting can also raise self-esteem in children, teens, and adults. Many people show up to a painting party or team-building activity thinking they can’t paint to save their lives, only to find that they, in fact, can! And that’s a huge confidence boost.
For example, Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups indicates that finishing a creative project, like a painting, generates a burst of dopamine that makes people feel accomplished, motivated, and focused.
Another benefit? Through the creative process, painters quickly realize that mistakes can easily turn into beautiful art, a lesson we can all apply to other areas of life.
9. Painting Builds Nonverbal Communication Skills
There are many ways to communicate, and verbal communication is just one of them. When you work with colors, shapes, and textures on a regular basis, you increase your nonverbal “vocabulary,” learning how to share ideas, create feelings, capture memories, or imagine different worlds, all without words. As you develop as an artist, you may find that powerful emotions and personal experiences are easier to communicate through your art.
10. Painting Brings People Together (From Date Nights to Corporate Team-Building Activities
Finally, painting can bring people together, and socializing is always a win for both mental and physical health.
Paint parties can serve as a great corporate team-building activity or a fun friends' night out. Couples can work together to create a visual masterpiece for a romantic date night, and families can paint as a group to bond and decorate their homes at the same time.
You can even host your own paint party from home and invite your closest friends or neighbors you want to get to know. Any time a group of people has a desire to get together, painting is a powerful choice.
Recommended Reading: 8 Creative Art and Painting Activities for Adults
Start Experiencing all the Benefits of Painting With Painting to Gogh!
If you’re ready to experience these health benefits of painting for yourself — and your friends, family, or coworkers too — look no further than Painting to Gogh. Our virtual painting tutorials and all-in-one kits allow you to paint from wherever you are, whether it’s a team-building activity at the office or a memorable party at home.To get started, shop our current collections of tutorials and painting kits now.