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Similar to drawing - painting is the act of spreading paints, oils, or other liquids onto solid surfaces in a creative and fun way. Be it portraits, landscapes, or comic strips, painting is an easy and effective way to express yourself and develop your creativity.

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How to Do It

Just take a pencil, a brush, or a digital drawing device and get creative! Almost any material can be painted on such as wood, discarded cardboard, canvas, paper towels, or even outdoor walls. You may want to practice on items that can be thrown away at first. Alternatively, sign up for your nearest painting class or follow YouTube tutorials to learn special techniques.

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  • May develop creativity
  • May Improve memory
  • May reduce stress 
  • May improve motor skills
  • May increase positive emotions
  • May help in dealing with illness
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Time Commitment

30 -60 minutes. Can be done in small fragments or in longer sessions

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Why it works

Painting can divert attention from a stressful agenda and allow you to get closer to your creative side. It helps strengthen motor skills. Painting also allows emotions to be processed in a non-verbal way and can be a great activity for those who suffer from mental illness.

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Suggested Frequency


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Supporting Studies and Articles

  1. Stuckey, H. L., & Nobel, J. (2010). The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 254–263. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497
  2. Leckey, J. (2011). The therapeutic effectiveness of creative activities on mental well-being: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 18(6), 501–509. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01693.x
  3. Clow, A., & Fredhoi, C. (2006). Normalisation of salivary cortisol levels and self-report stress by a brief lunchtime visit to an art gallery by London City workers. Journal of Holistic Healthcare, 3, 29–32.
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Side Effects

Eye strain or soreness in hands or arms may occur.

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Required Equipment

  • Paper, Canvas, or Wood
  • Paints, oils, or pigments
  • Brushes (or your hands!)
  • Pencils
  • Digital drawing devices
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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Winston Churchill 

George W. Bush Jr.

Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash

James Franco

Anthony Hopkins

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Suggested Time of Day

Any time

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  • Take part in a local painting contest for that extra motivation.
  • If you are into caricature drawing, make a political cartoon and send it to your local newspaper!
  • Make a portrait of a friend and gift it for their birthday.
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 Happiness  Stress  Productivity  Focus  Creativity
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