Finger Painting: Not Just For Kids

I love to paint. I love to mix, blend and work with color. When people see my paintings, they are often surprised to learn that I do a good deal of my background painting with my fingers. This is not to say that I never use a paint brush. There are so many fantastic effects you can only get from a brush. One thing you can’t quite get from a paint brush, however, is direct connection with the art. When you use your fingers as a tool, you are connected to the paint and connected to the canvas. The work flows directly from you, with no barrier.

Recently, I demonstrated some of my finger painting techniques at a library art program. I really enjoyed showing off this method, and showing adults that they, too, can use their fingers to paint. They, too, can have fun, get messy, and act like a child again. As soon as we teach kids how to hold a pencil, we assume that they will hold a brush to paint. We assume that finger painting is only for those who lack the fine motor skills to use a more refined tool. Instead, we should look at our fingers as the ultimate tool, attached to us, free to use, and highly maneuverable.

Finger painting is a great way to reconnect with your inner child. Your inner child is holding your creative energy, keeping it safe for you. The only way to access that energy is to connect with your inner child, to let go of some of the blocks and resistance that adults hold on to, quite unintentionally, often leaving us separated from our creative selves.

Below, you’ll find a twelve-minute finger painting demonstration video that I’ve created for my Teachable course. The video shows you how I use finger painting to create some of my art. Hopefully, it will inspire you to get your hands dirty and create something uniquely you. My techniques are just examples. You can do anything with a little paint and your fingers to guide you. This is a fantastic creative exercise. Experiment with blending. Experiment with color. You don’t need canvas. You need a little paint, some paper, and your hands. That’s it. See what happens. See if you feel like a child again. See if you feel joy. See if it makes you smile.