Team Building Painting

A team celebrating behind a finished work of art comprising 16 canvasses.

Team Building Painting

Painting is an excellent activity for team building. The group is divided into teams of three to five people and each is given a canvas. Their objective is to create one large picture with each canvas being a section of a mosaic. Communication is essential if the canvasses are to fit together to make one matching big picture.

We run an event called DaVinci’s Designs which is a tribute to the great creative genius of Leonardo DaVinci. This starts with a selection of themed activities in which teams have to identify and recreate some of his famous inventions, for example a helicopter, a parachute and a self supporting bridge. We have a wooden kit with which teams can reconstruct a DaVinci bridge.

With lots of teams contributing towards one big picture the business metaphor is fairly clear and DaVinci’s Designs is an ideal team building event if facilitation is an objective to gain business insights and advantages from the event.


  1. Jason Flaugh · February 3, 2012 Reply

    How does the painting exercise tie in with your team building training. E.g. leadership, collaboration, etc.

    • lastbabyboomer · February 3, 2012 Reply

      The idea is to give one task one shared goal that takes many hands ie a team to complete.

    • James Coakes · February 4, 2012 Reply

      Great question, Jason, thanks. This is one activity where the links between business outcomes such as leadership and collaboration are fairly natural and don’t need to be contrived. The facilitator will be briefed by the client on one or two desired messages from the exercise and these will be focussed on, along with any lessons that come out of the session naturally.

  2. Gayle Garringer · February 3, 2012 Reply

    An innovative way of team building

  3. TaxCoach · February 3, 2012 Reply

    This one is hard to coordinate. I would like to see creative side of people, but I don’t want to see random pop. It’d be great if team have some kind discussion/brainstorm before drawing on canvas.

    • James Coakes · February 4, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Nicolas. The teams have time to brainstorm and plan before they put paint on canvas. Often those who spend the most time planning come up with the best end result, there’s a definite relationships between planning and success.

  4. swissbusinessclub · February 3, 2012 Reply

    Painting is a creative act that remains available in the future and shows the collective mood at the time of creation!

  5. Kratom East · February 3, 2012 Reply

    I like the idea of team building excersises…I do have to say I have no artistic talent and would probably not do well at this…lol

  6. Tom Laing · February 3, 2012 Reply

    Great fun, very revealing of team styles, leads to great discussion about working in a team

  7. Liz Pullen · February 3, 2012 Reply

    This exercise would be a real challenge. Not only coordinating within and between groups but most people do not think of themselves as artistic and are reluctant to do art projects. I’d love to see more examples.

  8. Mott · February 4, 2012 Reply

    Makes perfect sense to me. What we can not do alone we can do together. Just a matter of knowing what it is the ultimate outcome and being on the same page or canvass!

  9. pickykim · February 4, 2012 Reply

    How fun! I think the logic behind the activity is spot on! Kim

  10. Leon De Silva · February 4, 2012 Reply

    Would love to do one and have it symbolise the company … Involving everyone instills pride

  11. Modest Youth (@ModestYouth) · February 4, 2012 Reply

    Does it matter what industry your “team” is coming from?

    • James Coakes · February 4, 2012 Reply

      Good question. Some industries are more creative than others and definately find the challenge easier. It’s often those teams who start the task worried that they won’t produce anything worthwhile who have the best result and, as Leon says, feel instilled with pride. Provided the team makes an effort the result is always good and there are many of these paintings hanging on office walls today.

  12. johnsteambuilding · February 5, 2012 Reply

    Reblogged this on jbteambuilding and commented:
    Painting, another good teambuilding activity.

  13. johnsteambuilding · February 5, 2012 Reply

    Nice idea. Any activity where people can surprise themselves with the quality of the work they do as a team carries the teambuilding message effectively.

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