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Drawing and Mental Health

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Drawing has allowed artists across generations to record history, ideas, and memories. There are abundant benefits from painting and sculpting to visiting an art museum for your well being, including decreased stress, stronger critical thinking skills, increased creativity, and enhanced memory.

Pencil art is one of the best and quickest ways to improve and enhance your mental health.

You don't have to be a great or famous artist to reap these benefits. Even casual sketching can be your sword to kill depression, fine-tune a range of critical thinking skills, and encourage a positive mindset.

How Sketching Improves Mental Health

Sketching provides benefits that can be applied to many aspects of life from work to relationships. For the hands, eyes, and mind, sketching is a multi-sensory workout.

Creativity Enhancement

Encouraging open-ended thought and creativity, drawing lets s us think and view the world with multiple perspectives and helps develop our problem-solving skills and produce new insights.

Strategic Thinking and Concentration

Sketching also extends to the cognitive and cerebral benefits. We use both sides of the brain while drawing, the right one for creativity and the left one for logical thinking. This helps in developing the ability to focus and think strategically and strengthens both.

Communication Skill Development

Comprising symbols, notations, lines, and figural representations, sketching is a visual language. An artist must find a way to communicate through pictorial representations without words and this affords us better decision-making skills.


Our hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills develop more as we draw. Artists are forced to rely on their instincts with continuous line drawing and contour drawing using both sight and touch.

Drawing Ideas for Better Mental Health

You can get inspiration from the drawing ideas below to help foster positive thinking and improving your mood.


Begin with simple, free-form drawing, a therapeutic way to get ideas onto paper for those who don't know where to start. Create loose lines without stopping.

3D Patterns

At the center of your paper draw a series of dots and connect them in a way that forms shapes. To apply three-dimensionality, shade the sides of the resulting shapes in medium and dark tones.


Made by sketching patterns at random, zentangles are abstract. Deliberate yet unexpected, this meditative form of drawing is both relaxing and fun. There is much joy in creating zentangles in the process itself allowing one to truly get lost in the act of sketching and not the act of finishing.

Final Advice

It is true that sketching improves mental health. You can also try your hands at cool colored pencil drawing.. If you are looking for inspiration, check out hand-drawn pencil portraits by Ino Chang.

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