Amazing Connection - Music and Painting

A lot of people find music “distracting” during activities like painting… but did you know that there are plenty of benefits that you can gain from it based on multiple studies? Moreover, research suggests that the music you play while painting can likely affect your finished artwork. Continue reading this article to know more about this information!

Young woman in brown apron sketching on white cardboard

Can music really inspire us to paint? Is there a special connection between music and painting? Can music help you to be more creative? All these questions were once unanswered but thanks to science and research, we finally know the answers behind these queries. A lot of people say that listening to music while doing art is very distracting… it can be true to some extent because it is a matter of preference. However, maybe you should reconsider your choices because perhaps you haven’t found the right musical genre yet.

There’s a special connection between music and painting because they’re both creative disciplines in the field of art. The creative process in the midst of a painting activity can be directly affected by the environment which includes the area’s lighting, smell, color and of course, sounds. These mentioned factors can trigger certain feelings and emotions within ourselves which inspires us to paint.

Paint your own photo with a paint by numbers custom kit

Painters get inspired by musicians and musicians get inspired by painters. Many artists agree on the link between music and making art, one of them was renowned Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky--the pioneer of the Abstract art movement. He was so fascinated by the idea that he even named a lot of his paintings using musical references.

Music and Painting: Why are they closely related?

A piano of many different colors

Almost, if not all, artistic disciplines are closely related to each other in a way that they share the same language and fundamentals. Both music and painting require rhythm, harmony, unity, emphasis, style and balance. 

Music can inspire us, help us release our feelings and increase/decrease energy. Understanding how music can help us during the creative process especially when it comes to the decision-making process as an artist-- the way we select colors, the way we stroke our brushes and our artistic intentions is key.

Different Types of Musical Genre and How They Can Affect the Overall Mood of your Painting

A lady painting with her headsets on

Many art theorists and researchers suggest that the overall outcome of the painting can be immensely affected by its environment during the time when it was being painted. This includes the surroundings, lighting and sounds (or music). In short, your environment is a reflection of your creation.

  1. Light and Relaxing Music
    Illustration of a female violinist playing
    This musical genre mainly includes classical symphonies and instrumentals. According to art theorists, this type of music is best used when you want to paint landscapes and nature sceneries. The finished artwork will come out beautiful, as long as you allow yourself to be uplifted by the mood of the music, and by using bright toned colors as a representation of that mood-- your painting would likely appear to be bright and serene.

  2. Fast and Upbeat Music
    Colorful piano ready to be played

    Plenty of research suggests that listening to fast and upbeat music (such as rock n’ roll, HipHop, rap and pop) during the creative process can result in colorful, meaningful abstract paintings due to the experience of fast-switching emotions and artistic flow while painting.

  3. Sad and Depressing Music
    Photo of woman in front of painting

    Some classical music can also be dark-themed, particularly orchestrals. Most of the time, sad music is characterized by deep lyrics and emotion-ridden beats. There’s nothing wrong with listening to such music when painting as long as you know your artistic intentions. With that being said, you should ask yourself: “what message do I want to deliver to the audience?” It will affect your color palette, the way you illustrate the painting, as well as the overall theme and mood of the painting.

The Benefits of Listening to Music While Painting
Lady painting her canvas with music

  1. Music, especially relaxing, positive music, can promote diverse thinking-- a vital element for creativity.
  2. Apart from being a source of creativity, music can also improve cognitive abilities like memorization, as well as visual and auditory processing.
  3. An experiment conducted in 2017 suggests that people who listen to happy music can come up with more creative and innovative ideas, as well as solutions (divergent thinking).
  4. Music can set up the mood of your environment. Hence, we are more open to explore creatively during the creative process.
  5. Listening to music can be a great source of inspiration for your color palette, choice of lines and shapes, textures and other effects and the overall theme of your painting.


Paint your own photo with a paint by numbers custom kitMusic is a matter of preference so there is no such thing as right and wrong when it comes to your choices. We must take notice that the type of music that we listen to can drastically affect the outcome of our painting because it taps into our unconscious mind and emotions. 

Choosing the type of music for our painting activity can be fun: it challenges our artistic intentions and it helps us find more source inspirations for our artwork. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the tunes and see how it affects you as an artist-- your strokes, marks, colors, textures, rhythm, harmony and style.

If you’re looking for a playlist that you can play non-stop, Best Paint by Numbers offers you a Record CD full of relaxing, meditative, and harmonic rhythms… all in one CD!

Each track is approximately 30 minutes long, enough time for you to take a break and paint!

So don’t let the volume go low, let the brushes flow and allow the creativity within you to glow!