Finding the right creative outlet for you can be a vital part of maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle and can be beneficial to your mental wellbeing. If you haven’t yet discovered what your creative outlet is or are just looking to try out something new, painting can be a great option. Studies have shown that creating visual art can help reduce stress and symptoms of depression. There’s also evidence to suggest that it can help maintain mental acuity as you age. Although painting may seem like a daunting thing to try at first, it can be a surprisingly accessible hobby.

Painting as a Creative Outlet

Before Getting Started

Before you start, you need to get your supplies. Your local art store can help you find paintbrushes, a canvas or watercolor paper, paint, and a palette. You’ll also need a cup, soap, and water to keep your brushes clean, but you can probably find those materials at home. Acrylic paint is often recommended for beginners since it is easy to use and is available relatively cheaply in stores or beginner painting sets. You could also try watercolors or gouache if you’re looking for something different. It’s advisable to use a limited palette of three or four colors, which you can mix to create whatever else you need. 

Painting Classes

If you want, you can see if there are any painting classes for beginners in your area. They are often offered at libraries and community colleges. However, if you’d rather paint at home, there are only a few things you need to know to get started

Keep Your Paint Brushes & Paint Wet

When you’re painting, put any paint brushes not in use in a cup of water. Keep a squirt bottle handy if using acrylic paint so that you can keep the paint on your palette wet. When not using your brushes, be sure to keep them clean and store them somewhere they can air out.

Working with Acrylic

Acrylic paint dries quickly, so it’s a good idea to start with the larger shapes when painting and worry about the details later. Because of the drying speed, acrylic is easy to layer, which allows you to give your paintings depth. Keep in mind that acrylic will darken when it dries.

However you decide to start painting, remember that the most important part is to have fun, relax and be creative. Paint whatever you want and create something that makes you happy.