The Sims 4: Painting Skill Guide

Painting is a skill in The Sims 4 that has been around for decades in the sims franchise and is loved by most simmers. It’s a great way for your sims to earn money from home, and goes great along side with the painter extraordinaire aspiration or with the painter career.

Getting Started With The Painting Skill

In order to start painting, your sim needs to purchase an easel or a digitalistic sketchpad from build mode and then pay for the actual canvas with which they will create art, so this has a little bit of money that needs to be invested for your sims to really start gaining the skill.

There are 3 sizes of canvas that your sims can use to paint. Small, medium, and large and the different sizes have different costs to paint. A small canvas purchase will cost your sim §50, a medium canvas will cost you §75, and finally, the large canvas will cost you §100.

It’s up to you to choose what size painting you’d like to use. It really depends on how much time you have. Small paintings take way less time, but large paintings can be sold for more. Thankfully, you can stop painting in the middle and come back to a painting later.

Ideal Mood For The Painting Skill

Every skill in The Sims 4 has an ideal mood that will help them to gain the skill quicker. Be sure to try and do your paintings when you are feeling inspired, because your sims are going to create higher quality work when they feel inspired!

Traits That Help The Painting Skill

Art Lover

Of course the Art Lover trait would help your sim while being a painter! You can get your sim to become inspired by admiring art and an inspired sim creates better quality work.


The perfectionist trait is also great because it makes your sim produce higher quality items. However, they spend some extra time working on their paintings, but it’ll be worth it.


The creative trait helps your sims get random inspired moodlets that are strong and can be extremely helpful to your sim and will help them create higher quality paintings.

Muser (Aspiration Trait)

When your sim is in a creative aspiration they are going to be given the muser trait. This is given when your sim is in the painter extraordinaire aspiration, which works great! This trait helps your sims create higher quality work.

Painting Skill Levels

Painting Skill Level 1

When you first start gaining the charisma skill, you’ll be able to paint classic paintings and the quality will be low. Chances are you’ll spend more than you earn on paintings at this point.

Painting Skill Level 2

At level 2 of the painting skill your sim will unlock the ability to discuss colour theory with other sims. This interaction might make your sim feel inspired.

Painting Skill Level 3

When your sim reaches level 3 of the painting skill, they’ll unlock the ability to paint pop art on their easel or on the sketchpad. This pop art will be low quality and won’t be worth much money. They can also paint from reference, which lets you take a photo of your surroundings and paint from that.

Painting Skill Level 4

If your sim reaches level 4 of the painting skill they can now make medium quality classic paintings which will be worth more money than they were before. They also unlock the ability to create low quality abstract and realism paintings.

Painting Skill Level 5

At level 5 of the painting skill, your sim will unlock the ability to create surrealism and impressionist paintings, these will be low quality but are still beautiful! They also unlock the ability to make medium quality pop art paintings which will be worth more money than before.

Painting Skill Level 6

When your sim reaches level 6 of the painting skill they will finally start creating high quality classic paintings. These paintings will be worth more money and can even be a masterpiece. They are also now able to create medium quality realism and abstract paintings.

Painting Skill Level 7

At the 7th level of the painting skill, your sim will unlock the ability to create high quality pop art paintings that will be worth more money than before. They can also now create medium quality surrealism and impressionist paintings.

Painting Skill Level 8

When your sim reaches level 8 of the painting skill, they will unlock a new interaction where they can describe aesthetics when talking to other sims, this has a chance of making them feel inspired. They can also now paint high quality realism and abstract paintings which are worth more money than before.

Painting Skill Level 9

At level 9 of the painting skill your sim unlocks the ability to create high quality surrealism and impressionist paintings.

Painting Skill Level 10

When your sim reaches the max painting skill they unlock the ability to mentor other sims in the painting skill which can be done by clicking on another sim who is currently painting.

You can also choose to cheat your way to the top of the painting skill! All you need to do is hit ctrl + alt + C and then type testingcheats true into the dialogue box that pops up. Then you need to type in stats.set_skill_level major_painting X and fill the X with whatever skill level you want your sim to have.

Bonuses From The Painter Career

If you really want to succeed as a painter, you should definitely join the painter career. The easel that is available in the build mode will get your sim to create lower quality paintings.

In the painting career, your sim can unlock two other types of easels that will make it easier for your sim to create masterpieces and make more money from their paintings.

Another awesome thing from the painter career is that it unlocks the ability for you to sell your work to an art gallery. Originally, you could only sell to collector but you can unlock this ability and make a lot more money.

Reward Traits to Help With The Painting Skill

Morning Sim/Night Owl

These two reward traits aren’t just great for the painting skill, they’re great for all skills. They give a 25% boost to your sim’s ability to gain skills and the higher your skill, the better your paintings will be. You could even grab the savant reward trait that will give your sims another 25% boost.


The marketable trait is a really great one if your sim is making all of their money from painting because it will help boost the amount of money your sim can make from their paintings.

Creative Visionary

The creative visionary trait is awesome if you’re working on the painter extraordinaire aspiration because it will give your sim a higher chance at painting masterpieces which is the last step of the aspiration! It boost all your paintings to higher quality.

Emotional Paintings

One awesome thing about the painting skill is that when your sim is feeling certain emotions, they can create really cool paintings that correspond with that emotion. You can make paintings that are focused, sad, angry, flirty, confident, and playful. These paintings give off an emotional aura that can be used to put your sims in different moods which is super helpful.

Expressionistic (Reward Trait)

When you’re able to complete the painter extraordinaire aspiration you are rewarded with the expressionistic trait. This trait allows your sim to create emotional paintings regardless of their actually mood. This means that they could paint a sad painting when they’re feeling happy or a flirty painting when they’re feeling sad.

Creating a Masterpiece

Your sim’s ability to create a masterpiece is honestly pretty random, and will happen at different times. Getting the creative visionary reward store trait can help give you a 20% boost to your chances.

These paintings sell to the art gallery for way more money and you’ll even be asked if you’re sure you want to sell them. Painting masterpieces just takes a bit of dedication and patience.

Final Thoughts

The painting skill is one of the original sims skills and one of the best, since you can make money from it! Also, some of the paintings in The Sims 4 really make really great home decor! SO CUTE! Are you a fan of the painting skill? Tell me all of your thoughts in the comments!

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