Cultivate Mindfulness through Mindfully Drawing


(Tiger Lily, by Paula Kuitenbrouwer)

How to cultivate mindfulness through mindful drawing? This is what I do.

I select the right materials and choose an object for drawing that inspires me but not overly. Too much passion easily leads to frustration. Art-making as a vehicle for spirituality or mindfulness works best with a calm mind. Think about the Medieval monks, copying illustrated manuscripts day after day, week after week, year after year. Calmly processing, finding meditation in the working itself, instead of focussing on the end product. Paying attention to light is important. Although I like to sit in the garden on a sunny day, I don’t like to glare annoyed at an approaching overcast because that certainly isn’t meditative. I keep my concentration high, but my expectations low. Practice makes perfect and it takes time. After I have done some drawing, I put it away. I postpone judging my work. Later I see if my work falls in the category ‘exercise’ or ‘exhibition’.

How do you cultivate mindfulness, calm or happiness through drawing or painting?


Paula Kuitenbrouwer at Etsy

18 thoughts on “Cultivate Mindfulness through Mindfully Drawing

  1. I like how you described “exercise or exhibition”…I have trouble with that one. I know that I want to share my best but I also don’t want to intimidate anyone into thinking I don’t have less than perfect drawings that I don’t share.

    Love your spring blossom with its pretty colors.


    1. There are many ‘eyes’ you can use while looking at your drawing. The eye of a possible buyer. The eye of an art critic. The eye of yourself and the ‘inward’ eye which is the most compassionate one; where did I paint that picture and what did I feel? What effect had it on me and my beloved ones?
      The drawings dearest to me are painted with my eye and inward eye ‘working’ closely together.
      Thank you, Barb, for visiting my blog. I have learned so much from yours.


  2. A lovely drawing, and a thought-provoking post. As for me, I had always been sort of private about sharing my drawing until I discovered the welcoming bloggers out there, especially at Illustration Friday! It’s encouraging to receive such kind, constructive feedback.


  3. i brought the mom’s tired eyes. the blossom is beautiful, and a hope of spring is comming soon. spring, hey, come!!!

    if is a therapy for me. adult hobby between two nappy-changing. 😛 not too artistic perspetive. if is a play for me. a very good play. 🙂

    thanks for if. a great hurray and a great thanks. 😀


  4. because i didn’t learn to draw, practices, vectors, and so on, my vote on happyness, and emotions. (but also i see the professionals’s tricks and profism, and i love great techniques. but i am not an artist. i just draw with hands and heart.


  5. I need to keep in mind your post, I try to apply that in many aspects of my life and will be very worthwhile to be drawing in a mindful manner as well.
    Very nice drawing too..
    Thank you!


  6. A spring blossom. The beginning. A great subject for the concept of ‘Cultivate’.
    I agree. Paying attention to light, and to the shadows, gives depth to an image, and allows the viewer to look into, rather than just at, an image.
    I’m not sure that the perfect image exists. That may depend on the viewer. Sometimes an unfinished mistake can look amazing when viewed at a later date. And sometimes someone can set you on the right track and see redeeming qualities in an image you are about to send to the trash. A mistake might even emerge as the clue to the way forward.
    ‘Mindful drawing’ is a very thought provoking title for your blog. And, I like your banner pencils. I’m often doodling, just sketching my art equipment as my mind explores an idea:


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