Use art therapy with these free apps and sites to manage your stress and find peace of mind.
Creating art or participating in an art practice can help combat feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed. Try some art therapy with these free apps and sites to find peace of mind.
While research has found that making art can help reduce stress levels, it is no substitute for medical advice from mental health professionals. However, art therapy can be calming and relaxing, when done in conjunction with other standard mental health practices. Think of it like meditation, a way to center yourself and find peace.
Dot to Dot – Connect the dots
One of the first types of art we learn about as children is through Connect-The-Dots. It looks like a series of numbers on a blank sheet of paper, but when you draw a line between them, an image will appear. Who would have thought this practice would become an art of therapy once we got older?
Dot to Dot is a great virtual recreation of a classic exercise. Choose from several puzzles in various free categories such as animals, fashion, florals, nature, places, sports, vehicles, etc. The dots range from about 200 to over 600, depending on the complexity of the image.
Actually connecting the dots is just about tapping the next point in the series. You can zoom in and out and scroll through images just like Google Maps. Point to Point saves your progress in case you want to cancel and return to a later section. The finished piece is turned into a full work of art, and saved for revisiting.
POLYGON : Coloring book Polygonal Art Game and UNICORN Color by Number | Pixel Art Coloring Games
After connecting the dots, one passes to paint by numbers. This is an old exercise where an image is filled with small parts of different colors, and you have to fill them. There are two apps to recreate this in a fun way.
Polygons uses a low poly art style for a paint by number game. Choose one of the many free designs in the library to open it, then tap any part of the image to fill it in. This is a calming and iterative process. Polygon also offers new free images every day, so you’ll never run out of artwork. You can also share ready-made pieces with friends.
Unicorn Color by Number adopts 8-bit pixel art style, making it attractive to retro gamers. Again, select an image, and tap the appropriate square in the grid to start coloring the image. Like Polygon, Unicorn will save any progress in the drawing so you can come back to it later. Unicorn uniquely lets you take a selfie and color it too.
Color Mandala (Web): Painting Mandalas Online With Unique Brush
Mandala books are the latest trend in art therapy. Mandalas are spiritual or ritual symbols of repetitive geometric shapes and patterns meant to mimic the sense of the universe. This is a meditation practice that many people swear by.
Color Mandala is a free web application for practicing mandala painting online. You can register to save your progress, but the site works fine without the need to register. It asks you to select a mandala and then starts filling in its color.
The “brush” is unique in Color Mandala, in that you can choose how many times the cursor will repeat in a repeating pattern. You can see the position live, and click to fill color in that space. It’s a fun experience and requires a mouse or trackpad; Color Mandala does not work properly on touch screens.
You can also create your own mandala on the website. It’s a complicated process and there are better apps for this, so you may want to look elsewhere.
Color Mandala gives you the option of printing any mandala if you prefer to do this exercise on physical paper in true color. Of course, you can also buy Mandala coloring books online or download Mandala print pages for free.
Staedtler’s giant stationery is often used for mandalas so the company develops the best web application to create your own custom mandala designs. It’s super easy to use, and somehow creating a mandala is as relaxing a process as filling it with color.
This app gives you six layers to create your mandala. In each layer, you must first select a pattern from the extensive library of shapes created by Staedtler or other users. Then, choose how many times the pattern will repeat, its size on blank paper, and how you want to rotate the items.
Once the pattern is set, go to the layer settings to choose where on the paper it will appear, adjusting the size and rotation of the different planes. Do this for up to six layers and finish your mandala. You can then download it as a PDF for printing or fill out the photo editor application of your choice.
Staedtler’s mandala creators aren’t the only ones out there. If you prefer to use the free format, check out Mandala Gaba. This free web app divides the canvas into multiple mirrors, so any design on one mirror will be replicated on another mirror. It’s going to take a steady hand when you’re not using the Line tool, but it’s cool enough to put your imagination into a mandala.
This Is Sand and Silk : Classic Interactive Art App for Relaxation
This Is Sand lets you drop colorful sand from your cursor on the desktop or by holding your finger on the touchscreen. Soothing sounds and motion are cool enough, but you can also turn them into art. Use different colors and the laws of physics to fill layers of color in the sand.
Silk (or Weave Silk) is a beautiful app for creating art with one click or one tap. It looks like strands of silk that shine, connect and overlap. You can choose to mirror what you do on one hand, leading to funky figures and imaginative art. The official version of Silk only supports web apps and iOS apps, but Android users can use Silk Art for the same experience.
Art Can Be Relaxing Even Without Doing Anything
Try all of the art therapy practices mentioned in this article. You never know which one will suit you best, and you can even switch between them depending on your mood. For example, making your own mandala may be better as a distraction, while randomly filling colors with numbers can help slow down an overworked mind.