Painting activities your coworkers will love

If you’re looking to tap into your team’s artistic side while making connections and easing stress, you’re in luck. Painting activities are an excellent way to spice up your normal employee bonding and team building sessions. Plus, painting activities are easy to adapt virtually and are still tons of fun for remote or hybrid teams.

[Related: Guide to engaging employees at every phase of their work journey]

In this blog, we’ll tell you some of the benefits of painting with your coworkers and point you toward unique painting activities you can try out with your team.

Benefits of painting for team-building

Although painting might not be the first activity you think of when you brainstorm team-building exercises, it’s actually super beneficial for a variety of reasons.

Problem-solving skills

Painting can stimulate decision-making and problem-solving skills. Moving your ideas from visualization to the canvas, dealing with trial and error, and consistently adapting to improve or change your painting’s outcome—these are all actions that boost your team’s creative solution skills. Creating an image on canvas requires you to constantly look for answers, even if the question is just finding the right shade of red.

Communication and support

Team-building painting activities can also help develop your group’s communication and support skills. The act of painting, especially if you haven’t already mastered it (it’s okay, we haven’t either), can help you connect with others who are attempting the same thing. It’s a great icebreaker for employees who don’t usually get a chance to talk with one another outside of work—or even team members from different departments who don’t interact at all.

Painting together can also increase cross-company support as you encourage efforts and verbalize appreciation for your team’s artwork.

These skills are particularly important in virtual or hybrid workplaces where organic communication can pose a challenge. By improving communication through virtual team  building activities, employees will learn what styles work best with different coworkers. They can break down barriers by showing vulnerability and exhibiting different parts of their personalities.

[Related: Escape room team-building: Work together to escape the room]

Curiosity and creativity

Trying an activity (like painting) that might be outside of your team’s comfort zone can spark curiosity and unlock new ways of thinking creatively. Increased curiosity and encouragement of creativity can lead to greater job satisfaction for many employees.

According to a survey from Rackspace, 85% of respondents from workplaces that encourage and engage curiosity expressed satisfaction in their jobs. Only 45% of respondents who came from workplaces that discouraged curiosity expressed similar feelings of happiness.

Painting for stress relief

Painting team-building activities are not only fun pastimes but can also assist in relieving stress and help your teammates avoid workplace burnout.

Research has shown creating art helps alleviate stress and provides meditative value to the artist. The act of repetitive brushstrokes can calm overactive and anxious minds. Teams who paint can take a moment to separate themselves from the workday, allowing them to enjoy the present moment instead of focusing on the next deadline or the unread emails in their inbox.

Painting supports your emotional well-being, so you can express yourself and process your feelings in a healthy and productive way.

Now that you know some of the benefits of painting, it’s time to grab your brush and clear your canvas. Let’s dig into some team-building painting activities to help you better connect with your coworkers.

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10 team-building painting activities to choose from

These team-building painting activities are great for virtual and hybrid employees. Consider shipping painting materials, snacks, and even a beverage or two to your coworkers’ homes beforehand so everyone can be prepared and ready to paint.

Note: A host or professional artist can organize some activities, and they may organize the supplies ahead of time.

Sip and paint

This activity is exactly what it sounds like—sip a beverage and paint a picture! Ship painting supplies to your team along with a bottle of wine, or ask them to grab their own favorite drink from their home. Then, let your imagination and conversation soar as you each create your own masterpiece.

Group mural painting

Creating a mural together can be a wonderful way to bond with your teammates. If you’re working virtually, you can still come together to create something great to hang in the office or a shared space, or create a virtual mural to use as a fun video meeting background. Assign each person a small section of a large image. Once everyone is finished, you can pick up or mail all the pieces to someone to assemble, or combine them digitally.

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Group portrait creations

Log onto Zoom, turn your camera on, and pair up. Choose a coworker to paint a portrait of, and cross your fingers in hopes that the result is flattering—or they have a sense of humor!

Free painting with prompt

Set everyone up with their painting supplies and vote on a prompt.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Your favorite vacation spot
  • Your furry companion
  • A gorgeous sunset
  • Your favorite TV or movie character
  • A self-portrait

Learn and try

Hire a host or check whether anyone on your team is interested in researching a particular period of time in art history or a certain type of art. Start the activity by learning some key facts, and then try recreating that style on your own!

Sidewalk chalk

No one’s too old for sidewalk chalk! Zoom in from your driveway or favorite outdoor Wi-Fi spot, and then get to work on making some gorgeous sidewalk murals.

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Paint by numbers

With a paint-by-numbers print-out, there’s no such thing as a bad artist. Find unique outlines to send your employees with sites like Paintable Pictures, and relax into the meditative action of painting by numbers.

Marble painting

Instead of simply brushing paint onto a canvas, why not try a new painting trend? Marbling is a method of floating paint on top of water and manipulating the drops to create a beautiful “marbled” effect. Check out some techniques and figure out what supplies everyone will need beforehand.

Household item painting

From birdhouses to picture frames, customizing a household object with your painting skills can be a fantastic team-building activity.

Artist-led painting

Maybe you and your teammates aren’t real Van Goghs. You might be more comfortable with a laptop than a set of watercolors. An artist-led painting class might be just the thing you need. Connect and laugh with your coworkers while professional, engaging artists teach you the tricks of the trade and help you create your own special piece of art.

[Related: 5 reasons your team isn’t loving virtual happy hours]

Try artist-led painting with Mystery

Are you itching to connect with your coworkers and discover your inner artist?

Mystery can help! We have dozens of unique team-building activities to choose from, including artist-led painting events. Our engaging events increase workplace productivity and satisfaction—and did we mention they’re a ton of fun?

So next time you’re trying to think of a failproof team-building activity, don’t draw a blank. Learn more about how Mystery works, or book an event with us today!

Featured image via Unsplash.