Art Therapy Exercise to Help You Feel Calm

Source: Calming Art Therapy

This art therapy exercise will help you feel more calm and relaxed by using a fluid medium that helps us let go of the need to control, quiet the brain, switch on our senses, and get into a state of flow.

I’m Youhjung and I do art therapy with people and make art for myself. I have been helping people through art therapy for years and I am sharing this with you and invite you to do some self art therapy.

Setting up the space/environment is important in letting ourselves to relax and feel calm. So make sure you’re in safe, quiet place.

If want to watch the step by step video where I share the exercise you can see it here:


Art Materials You Need

The materials you need are:

Mindfulness and Intention

Before the art, let’s invite mindfulness and become aware of our physical body/self. Gently place your attention on your breathing, in and out.

Check in with yourself and see how calm you are right now.

And remember, when we do this self art therapy exercise, we want to practice non-judgment and acceptance. There is no right or wrong way to make art. Simply focus on enjoying the process.

The Art Therapy Prompt

Now that you are ready, here are the steps:

  1. Wet the paper with plain water (using your brush)
  2. Drip, brush, and splatter watercolor paint onto the paper. No need to have a particular pattern or design – just do it randomly.

I recommend using only 2 to 3 colors max for this painting.

As you do this, watch the colors merge, notice your feelings. And if you want to, use your reusable straw to blow air onto the surface of the paint. This will help merge the colors together and spread them out.

What do you see happening when the paints begin to make contact?

In the video, I also used a marker to draw around and between the blotches, but this is totally optional.

We’re not working with particular forms or shapes here; we’re letting go of that and letting paint do the work. When we let go of the need to impose form, our minds can relax more.

Using this fluid medium, we stimulate our sensory experience, especially our visual sense, and as we watch the colors mix, we might see a reflection of our inner feelings at the same time we feel soothed.

 Post-art Check in

With this activity, it is great as it is to leave without doing any reflective writing, but if you do want to do it, I shared 5 ideas for reflection in a podcast episode on my Patreon.

Instead, simply check in with how you feel this moment:

  • Do you feel calm?
  • How was your experience with the painting?

That’s it for the calming art therapy exercise. Thanks for following along with this self art therapy practice. We all benefit when you feel calm and at peace.  See you next time!

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