Paint for self-care: A guide to getting started

Photo of paints and paintbrushes
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Whether you’re creative or not, making art can help you cure boredom, wind down and potentially improve your health. Adopting an artistic self-care practice might be the perfect discipline for ensuring your inner peace. 

Set aside some time to express yourself through paint. Gather some paintbrushes and some paper or a canvas. Decide whether you want to use watercolor, acrylic or oil paint. Acrylic is a great starter paint that you can find at any store that sells paint. When you’re ready, choose one of these four types of paintings. 

Relax with landscape painting

Set up your space to overlook the scenery you want to paint. If you’re in Berkeley, consider finding a spot looking toward the Big C. Start with a simple sketch of the area, then paint in your preferred style. Make the image look realistic, or create your own interpretation.

Bond with portraiture

Connect with loved ones by gifting them with a homemade portrait you painted. Ask them for a picture to use, or make one for them. Then, spend some time painting a portrait of them. Be sure to capture elements of their personalities and beings in your final work!

Love yourself with self-portraiture

Self-indulgent portraiture is a great way to practice self-care. Use a picture of yourself or spend a few hours in front of the mirror. Try experimenting with preexisting styles of self-portraiture or create your own.

Paint what comes to mind with freestyle 

Bringing your thoughts to life on a canvas might be your preferred style if you’re not into following the rules. Use your own process and paint whatever you want in any style you want. Your creative self-care practice doesn’t need to be written out or taught to you — express yourself on your own terms. 

These aren’t the only types of paintings you can create, but they are great place to start. Grow your artistic abilities, relieve stress and create art with consistent paint sessions for self-care.

Contact Sera Smith at [email protected].