What Is Meditative Painting? ( Complete Guide To Art Therapy Meditation )

What Is Meditative Painting? ( Complete Guide To Art Therapy Meditation )

medatitive art

Meditation is a diverse activity and while you might think of this as an experience where you sit down and focus on the breath without moving much, there are other ways that you can engage in meditation using an alternative technique.  Meditative painting is a form of meditation through art and is often used by people who struggle to quieten the mind through the normal techniques. If you are someone who finds that the usual approach to getting into a meditative state is too restricting or you just cannot get on board with it, you might find that meditative painting will work for you. In this article, we are going to look at this alternative therapy and the benefits it can have where stress relief and expression are concerned.

What Is Meditative Art?

One of the most common problems in modern life is that there is an incredible amount of stress built up in a very short space of time. Many people are plagued with thoughts of fear and anxiety which are something that can drastically interfere in their day to day lives. However, art has been used as an effective form of therapy for many things; addiction recovery, mental health treatment and stress relief, for example. The good news is that in order to take part in meditative painting, you do not need to be an artist or have any serious paint skills, this is an exercise that can be practised by anyone in the world. The idea of this process is to put all of your pent up emotions, fears and thoughts in paintings and drawings. Not only is this an excellent form of meditation but it can also help to grow your self-awareness and gives you a way of expressing yourself. In short, meditative painting is a form of expression that allows you to let go and release any negative energy. Not many people realise that letting go of bad energy this way is an effective way to practice mindfulness; you are immersed in the moment and your attention is on creating paintings and art that reflects how you feel. It is an incredibly therapeutic process.

What Does Meditative State Mean?

Many people believe that to be in a meditative state, a person must be sitting with closed eyes and not moving. But this is not the case. In fact, being meditative means focusing your attention on something. This can be whatever you want; some people focus on certain objects, some concentrate on the breath and others will practice while placing their awareness on music. Mindfulness comes in all shapes and forms, therefore, it is not difficult to imagine that creating a sketch or images on canvas could be considered meditative. In truth, once you have tried this act or painting to let go, you will be surprised at how well it can work and how your negative energy melts away during the process. Once you realise this power, you might decide to meditate in this manner for the rest of your life.

How Do You Do Watercolor Meditative Painting?

One of the most common questions from those that are new to this way of meditation and mindfulness is how you can paint with purpose and meaning. The first thing to keep in mind is that you can approach this process in any way that you choose. You might like to paint on canvas, or create an image on paper using lots of bright colors. There is no right or wrong method for creating art and you certainly do not need a hefty amount of painting skill. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what you will need to do for your first meditative painting session. Before you get painting, or whichever medium you have chosen, it is a good idea to think about the things that are causing you stress or anxiety. Many people find that these things can help them to shape their final image. You might find that using the colors you associate with your worries will produce a helpful result. Some experts recommend taking these colors and rather than trying to make shapes, just place dots onto the canvas with your paint brush before using the brush to swirl these dots into one another, letting your intuition guide your drawing. Of course, this is merely an idea, you are free to do any painting or drawing that you feel will be beneficial and help you to release your emotions. You might do painting of portraits or landscapes, objects or mandalas or even just blocks of color; there is no limit other than what is inside your mind.

  • To get started with your drawing or painting, you will need an appropriate surface to paint on. You can use paper or canvas and some people like to use cardstock paper as this is less expensive than canvas but still good if you have decided to use thicker paint such as acrylic paint.
  • You will also need brushes. If you only intend on using one color, you might only have a single brush but most people will want to use more than just a single color so it can be useful to have extra brushes. Furthermore, each brush will have a different thickness and texture allowing you to better create the images in your mind.
  • Choosing the type of picture you will create will depend on how you feel. It can be helpful to know that there is a different between a painting and a sketch. Sketches are based around shapes whereas paintings are formed around colors.
  • When you are in the process of meditative painting, it can be very helpful to find a place that is quiet and where you will not be disturbed during your practice. Meditation and peace go hand in hand so it is important to give yourself a dedicated space to do your drawing.

Once you have everything to hand, you can begin releasing your negative energy onto the paper. Allow the paper and colors to soak up your emotions and with every stroke of the brush, you will feel that your mind is becoming lighter. Art is all about expression and it is so important to let your intuition take your drawing to where your subconscious feels it needs to be. You should allow yourself to feel your way through the painting session rather than trying to force anything. When you do this, you will likely find that art becomes something that causes you to feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders. What’s more, when we look back over time, we see that a selection of the most incredible art has been created when the artist allows themselves to let go and doesn’t think too much about what is going down onto paper.

Benefits Of Art Therapy Meditation

When we look at research, we can see that using art as a form of mental health treatment can cause the brain to release dopamine. This same chemical is seen to be released when a person is in a meditative state so this perfectly demonstrates how the two go together. Those who have taken part in drawing, color therapy and other forms of artistic therapies have noticed positive effects such as improved self esteem, heightened self discovery and significant stress relief.

How Else Can I Be Meditative?

Being meditative simply means being in the present moment. When you do this, you are mind is focused on how you are currently feeling and this does not have to be done just with traditional meditation techniques. On the contrary, there are many ways that you can be meditative and drawing, using color or painting is just one way to let go of stress and be in the now. Closing your eyes and listening to your favorite song is an excellent way to focus on your current feelings and an action that a lot of people take to relax. Others might find that gardening is very meditative or perhaps cooking. There is no right or wrong here and you do not have to have any skills, just a desire to become relaxed, calm and centred.


Q: What is Meditative Painting?

A: Meditative painting is a practice that combines the principles of meditation with the act of painting. It involves using painting as a form of mindfulness exercise to focus the mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation and self-expression.

Q: How does Meditative Painting work?

A: Meditative painting works by bringing your attention to the present moment through the process of painting. It helps you to let go of thoughts and worries, and instead, focus on the sensations, colors, and movements of the paintbrush on the paper or canvas.

Q: What are the benefits of Meditative Painting?

A: Meditative painting offers several benefits, including stress relief, improved focus and concentration, enhanced creativity, increased self-awareness, and a sense of inner peace and tranquility. It can also serve as a form of self-expression and a way to explore and connect with your emotions.

Q: Can anyone practice Meditative Painting?

A: Yes, anyone can practice meditative painting, regardless of their artistic skills or experience. It is a beginner-friendly practice that focuses more on the process and mindfulness than on the end result. The emphasis is on self-exploration and personal growth rather than on creating a perfect painting.

Q: What materials do I need for Meditative Painting?

A: You can practice meditative painting with various art mediums, such as watercolor, acrylic, or even simple sketching with a pencil. All you need are basic art supplies like paper or canvas, brushes, and paint colors of your choice.

Q: How long should a Meditative Painting session be?

A: The duration of a meditative painting session is flexible and depends on your personal preference and availability. You can start with shorter sessions of 10-15 minutes and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. The key is to find a length of time that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the process.

Q: Is Meditative Painting suitable for children?

A: Meditative painting can be a beneficial practice for children as it helps them cultivate mindfulness, creativity, and emotional well-being. However, it is important to adapt the practice to their age and abilities, provide child-friendly art supplies, and supervise them while painting.

Q: Can Meditative Painting be used as a form of therapy?

A: Yes, meditative painting can be used as a form of therapy known as art therapy. It has been shown to be effective in promoting self-expression, reducing stress, and improving overall mental well-being. However, it is recommended to work with a qualified art therapist for a more targeted therapeutic approach.

Q: How can I start practicing Meditative Painting?

A: To start practicing meditative painting, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can set up your art supplies. Take a few moments to ground yourself and settle into a relaxed state. Then, begin painting without any expectations or judgments, allowing your intuition to guide your brushstrokes.

Q: Are there any resources available for beginners interested in Meditative Painting?

A: Yes, there are several resources available for beginners interested in meditative painting. You can find online tutorials, books, and videos that provide step-by-step guidance and inspiration. Additionally, many art studios and community centers offer meditative painting workshops for beginners.


There are many ways that you can get into a meditative state without actually meditating. This seems odd but when you think that meditation is simply getting into the present moment and becoming centred, it is easier to link this to therapeutic activities like creating a sketch or full color painting. Meditative painting allow you to work with color and shape to develop pieces that express your innermost feelings and emotions.

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