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Art: The Advantages of Learning to Paint

Updated on May 15, 2011

Since the beginning of time man has been inclined to grind up the dirt and record what he sees. For generations it was used exclusively by the elite to record the many conquests of kings or the power of religious leaders. Painting endured difficult times since the introduction of the camera obscura in the early 1500's and faced near extinction at the hands of 20th century technology. In more recent years, however, there seems to be a growing trend back towards all things handcrafted.

In the wake of the Impressionists, who shattered our notions of what makes "good" art, there has been no single mainstream style of painting in the modern world. Passionate artists who can't paint a straight line are just as sought after as the artists who paint each blade of grass and every leaf on the tree...and they make an awful good living from doing it!

Have you ever thought that your child could see something that you couldn't?

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Seeing The Hidden Beauty

Have you ever wondered what your baby is looking at? You've parked the pram under a tree while you pack the car and there she is, hypnotised. You drive past that tree every day on your way to work or to run errands. It's just a tree; it's green,it's got a brown trunk. Right?

Wrong ,wrong, wrong.

The baby's not preoccupied with going to work, not concerned with the mortgage or money or all those things that consume our adult lives. The baby sees the tree as it truly is. See how the sunlight catches each leaf a little differently; like a many surfaced disco ball? See how the sunlight turns the brown trunk orange and then pink in the sunset? This is how a baby sees. This is how an artist sees too. And I promise you this: You can learn to see like the baby does or like the toddler who stops every few steps to examine a new wonder. And once you do, you will never take the smallest detail for granted again.

Learning to paint will allow you to find beauty everywhere...even in unexpected places.
Learning to paint will allow you to find beauty everywhere...even in unexpected places. | Source
Painting teaches you to search for the small details and pick up on subtle differences. This has a carry-on effect in other area's of your life & helps you to put things in perpective.  Doctors are re-discovering this & include painting in therapy.
Painting teaches you to search for the small details and pick up on subtle differences. This has a carry-on effect in other area's of your life & helps you to put things in perpective. Doctors are re-discovering this & include painting in therapy. | Source

The First Vital Step: Educate Yourself

The Many Benefits Of Learning To Paint

Seeing the world differently - learning to paint will fill you with a sense of awe and wonder as you see the world as a child does. You will both literally and figuratively see things differently. Life's obstacles become just that, not overwhelming obstructions, just obstacles to be worked around. You will find that you have a whole new appreciation for things that you simply overlooked before.

Perception - By learning to see the value of these little things, you begin to put your life in perspective.

An Emotional Outlet- this is a no brainer, art has always been influenced by the artists emotions which is why so many people with speech difficulties and those with intellectual or emotional difficulties are drawn to art - it crosses all religious, language, social and cultural barriers. It speaks on a deeper level. Shrinks know this...that's why children of trauma are so often encouraged to draw their experience.

Set a good example - Today's world places so much emphasis on instant, on buy now, pay later, on fast food not good food and mass produced over hand crafted. By watching you struggle to overcome painting problems our children a valuable lesson about the rewards of perseverance, patience and enduring to the end.

Unrivalled satisfaction - As a mother my work is never done...there are always nappies to change, dishes to clean, laundry to fold. Painting is the only thing in my life that actually has a final product, a finished result. The frustration of trying to overcome a challenging obstacle then finally finishing your painting can be likened to seeing your baby after after 14 hours of labour or finally getting past that impossible level on your computer game after a month of trying. The labour is forgotten and your heart is filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment. You would do it all over again in a heartbeat,

Mentally Challenging - It's a time tested adage - an idle mind is the devils playground. Whether you are a bored housewife or a hobby seeking retiree, you will find that painting is extremely stimulating. Research has shown that retiree's who continue learning new skills have a greater self worth and fair better into old age.

As a Visual Record - gone are the days where only the elite where aloud to cement their history of conquests into the books. Many artists will carry at least a sketch pad and pencil with them as they holiday or go about their daily lives because you never know when something amazing it going to present itself. Painting is also a great way to capture the people in your life, your growing family and pets.

Therapeutic Uses - Many psychologists today's realise that art has an incredible effect on those have been traumatised in some way or another. Children are encouraged to draw the tragedy they have been exposed to as well as the events leading up to it. You will also find an art & craft room in every psychiatric ward - it not only relaxes patients but provides an outlet for the overwhelming emotions that they experience. Occupational Therapists use art as a means of helping patients to recover fine motor skills and a sense of normality after an injury. In a hospital setting, studies have shown that painting and art in general contributes to the mental wellbeing of patients. This in turn leads to faster healing, earlier dischanges, fewer complications and happier patients (which means less stressed nurses).

Social Benefits - You will find painting clubs or classes positively litter the countryside with the frequency varying from daily classes to monthly meets. These "social clubs" are a brilliant get-away from the trials and pressures of the daily grunge. Many lifelong friendships are forged in these clubs, they are a great place where you can meet with like minded people and learn new skills.

Gift Making - What better gift is there than something that has been handcrafed with love especially for you? In my opinion there is nothing greater than a custom made gift in the form of painting. This does, however, have to be of a certain quality to be thoroughly appreciated by your giftee and if you don't meet that quality you would be wise to steer clear of painting for weddings and similar occasions. That said, there is certainly a place in all our home's for a little jewellery box or a theme appropriate plaque.

Financial Benefits- There are die-hard painters (including the part time hobbyists) out there who use painting to generate of little extra income on the side by selling their art through online avenues such as eBay and etsy. There is a lot of competition selling art this way however so other artists prefer to sell their work commercially as illustrators or to textile companies, to greeting card companies and to big businesses looking for something unique. Often times, large businesses like this are happy to pay big dollars to "beginners" trying to break into the industry especially when these artists offer their work at a fraction of the price their normal sources - we're still talking hundreds here though.

Ready to start?

Now, if I have you convinced, you're probably wondering where to get started. Below,  I have included some links that you may like to look into but, unfortunately, time is pressing today and they are limited. I will be sure to update these over the coming days. In the mean time, you may like to put your search engine to the test!

The first step to learning how to paint is to educate yourself about the terms and techniques of painting. I hope you will benefit from some of the products listed here. You will also find the full list at the bottom of this page.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      a great article indeed.....your perception of painting and its advantages is truly noteworthy....hats off...

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Great stuff! I'm starting to pick up painting especially with Acrylics and am having some great results. I'll have to do a hubpage on it as I'm having fun with painting now!

      Cheers now!

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      well done, this is teh prefect length, great info and all. Love it, keep it up!

    • Artist-For-Hire profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Western Australia

      That's really great news, agvulpes. Has anyone thought of auctioning the resulting artworks off? Would be a great fund & awareness raiser...everyone has room for art in their homes. I've ammended the therapeutic benefits just for you ;-)

      The first thing that springs to mind is painting contests on the wards - Dr's vs Patients trying to beat the clock and the like.. though I'm sure you're talking about a more therapeutic setting!! Paediatrics have the right idea but I fear some of the general hosp's forget about the Vital role our state of mind plays in healing...shame.

      Thank you sincerely for your response.

    • agvulpes profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      I could not agree with you more on all points!

      Over here in Victoria we are looking at using art especially painting as therapy for people with various types of disabilities and it is having such promising results that some authorities are funding some activities.

      Nice Hub :-)

    • medor profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan, USA

      very well put... painting has always been a challenge for me... though from time to time I give it a shot... thanks for the encouragement... great hub.


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