Artistic expression for relaxation: What artistic techniques can I use to help calm down?

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What artistic techniques can I use to help calm down?

Question

What do you recommend for a senior who is not an artist but would like to try and relax by colouring or drawing in their spare time?

Our answer

Artistic expression can be a wonderful way to help alleviate anxiety or stress, whether a person thinks of him or herself as an artist. There are numerous options for adults, including: colouring books, painting, drawing, collage or sculpture. Here are just a few examples:

  • Crayola Coloured Pencils (at Walmart Canada) is a set of 100 different coloured pencils. Depending on the utensil you feel most comfortable using, markers and crayons are available from Crayola as well. These products range from about $5 to $12 (CDN), plus shipping fees if ordered online. Many large retailers and drug stores carry these items.
  • Modeling Clay by ALEX toys (at Amazon Canada) is a soft modeling clay set that contains 16 bright colours with which to mold shapes of all kinds. This particular modeling clay is designed to never dry out, harden or shrink, so it can be used repeatedly. It costs about $7 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees.
  • Hilroy Studio Pro Sketch Book (at Staples) is an 8.5-inch by 11-inch sketch book that contains 100 blank sheets of paper for sketching or drawing. This product costs about $9 (CDN), plus shipping fees if ordered online. If you’re new to sketching, you might also consider a beginner’s guide book, such as How to Sketch, from Amazon. Again, these types of products are also readily available at bookstores and art supply stores.
  • Mandala Colouring Books (at Indigo Canada) are mandala-themed colouring books designed for adults. A mandala has intricate lines and patterns and is designed to be a more meditative pattern for adults to colour. But there are many other themes available, such as gardens, animals and architecture. These products cost about $10 to $25 (CDN), plus shipping fees if ordered online.

If you are comfortable using a smartphone or table, you may also be interested in explore the apps listed below:

For Apple devices:

  • Let’s Create! Pottery is a free app that allows users to create pottery on their smartphone or tablet by spinning a virtual pottery wheel. This app is for anyone who enjoys creative tasks.
  • Happy Color – Color by Number is a free app that allows users to colour pictures by following numbered instructions. The app offers a large variety of simple and intricate pictures, mandalas, and other designs for the user to enjoy.

For Android devices:

  • Let's Create! Pottery is a free app that allows users to create pottery on their smartphone or tablet by spinning a virtual pottery wheel. This app is for anyone who enjoys creative tasks.
  • Happy Color – Color by Number is a free app that allows users to colour pictures by following numbered instructions. The app offers a large variety of simple and intricate pictures, mandalas, and other designs for the user to enjoy.

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