Painting or drawing can get messy sometimes, especially for younger tots. Our walls at home would once in a while have markers on them, handprints and taped papers with scribbles. Messy as it may be, kids should not be stopped doing so.
Painting at an early age gives children the capability to recognize colors as they choose what colors to paint with. They see how combining the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) create other colors.
Painting also becomes an outlet for kids to express their emotions that they can not easily speak out. Stroking, or simlply having to hold the brush practices their motoring skills…they learn how to do darker tones or paint lightly in the process.
Its good to have coloring books but blank papers give them more space for creativity. Who knows, your kid will someday join the ranks of Van Gogh or Monet when honed early. =)