When I first started finger painting a few years ago, I had two simultaneous thoughts:
- This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time!
- I hope no one will think this is childish.
For some reason, a lot of us tend to associate “fun” with being “childish,” which is unfortunate. I think things like fun and mess are key components of the creative process!
Think about the children you know and the art that they make. It’s often fearless, wild, and wonderful. They come up with the most fantastic creatures and use color willy-nilly. That sort of creative freedom is lost when we start shaming them for coloring outside the lines and start asking them to follow the rules.
Because the truth is that we access our greatest creative potential when we free ourselves of limitations. When we let go of expectations and shame and judgement and feel free to create in a way that feels organic and empowering.
Enter finger painting.
Not only is it a fun, messy, creative process but it’s a great way to get back in touch with the part of ourselves that feels free to create.
Finger Painting Ideas for Adults
There are so many different ways that you can add finger painted details to your work! I’ve used it on so many surfaces with so many different mediums that I’m certain the possibilities are endless.
Finger Painting on Furniture
This is my latest piece, Sunday Stroll! All the flowers you see in this piece were finger painted by me.
Finger Painting Florals
I think my favorite way to paint flowers is to use finger painting. I love that I can use my fingers for everything from big, bold blossoms to tiny dots of angel’s breath.
It can be a fun exercise to build a flower one petal at a time, allowing the paint to build upon each other so that it has the depth and texture of a true flower.
Fingers are just about the best tool you’ll ever have for blending. They’re smooth, soft, and non-absorbent that allows us to achieve a seamless blend when we’re creating backgrounds.
Tips for Finger Painting
The key to a truly beautiful finger painting is to go slowly. Apply the paint in layers, allowing it to dry and chip between layers.
All the best finger painters I’ve ever seen have used a LOT of paint! Adding all that paint builds up layers that create a completely unique texture that can’t be achieved by a brush.
We had fingers long before we had paint brushes, and the fact is that we’ll always have more control over our own body than we can have over tools. I feel like finger painting is just about the most control one can have over the outcome of their pieces
If you’re still not sold on the idea of finger painting as an elevated creative endeavor, allow me to soothe your worries!
Finger painting is all about feeling the paint. There’s an indescribable electricity that comes with creating something with just your bare hands; I’d go so far as to describe it as a spiritual experience. To me, finger painting is THE most creative thing you can do. It’s an innate instinct that dates back as far as humans do!
Finger painting isn’t about making a mess (though that’s absolutely encouraged) or about being childish (though I think we could all stand to be a little more carefree!), it’s about rediscovering our creativity and igniting a passion for creating things.
I’ve used finger painting in every part of my creative process, from exercises to break down a creative block to refined floral details, and it’s never let me down.