Painting to Help Reduce Stress During Difficult Times

Painting to Help Reduce Stress During Difficult Times

Painting is a great way to reduce stress. Don’t we all need that right now. I’ve been meaning to paint for months it seems. Now I’ve finally gotten around to it.

The main thing was lack of inspiration. I wasn’t feeling inspired to do anything creative. I bought the canvas from Target and it sat for months. Then the Coronavirus Pandemic hit and I was looking for a way to reduce all the stress and anxiety it was giving me. A painting I did in college became my inspiration.

I wasn’t looking to do a complete reproduction of he painting, just to use it as a guide. That made it less difficult to think of something to paint. If you’re looking for inspiration, look at anything from a magazine to a photo on Instagram.

The Painting Process

Sketch some of what you see, then change it until you’re happy with it. That’s why pencils have erasers. The irony is that true drawing pencils don’t have erasers, but you get the idea.


The first thing I did was put down a floor covering. I used to use old newspapers but haven’t gotten the newspaper delivered in forever. So I used a large scrap of tracing paper I found in an old artwork case. Another good item to have on hand is palette paper. It’s the perfect place to mix your paints. Try reusable paint palettes if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option.


From there, I started putting acrylic paint on the palette paper. Yellow, blue and grey became my colors of choice.

I used a small brush to draw the outline of my shapes. Then I used a larger brush to fill in the shapes, saving time.

Next, I kept working to fill in all the shapes that were going to have that color.


I could feel the stress melting away. All I thought about was which color I was going to use next. There is no right or wrong way. This is your own work of art. All art is subjective.


The colors in the original painting were meant to be chromatic greys, or greys that are made by mixing two complementary colors. In this new painting I wanted brighter colors, though I balanced it by adding a little grey as well.

It was coming along nicely and I was starting to feel even more relaxed. There’s something about making brushstrokes that makes you focus solely on the canvas in front of you and the paint on your paint brush.

The colors I bought were fine. Though I wanted to do a little mixing. Mixing the yellow and blue, I came up with a light green that I really liked. This became the last color in the piece.

In the end, it wasn’t exactly like the original. Nowhere near the original, actually. But that’s fine. I was able to destress and just focus on what was right in front of me.

For more details on painting with acrylic paints check out this post. I hope that painting can be an outlet for you as well. Doing anything creative, from painting to cooking new foods is a great way to reduce stress.


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