These places are actually terrible.
Usually serving as tourist attractions in places like Thailand, elephants are taught to “paint” (they aren’t consciously taking part in the activity in the actual sense of the word, they are only hold a stick to a paper and moving it however they were trained to do) by abuse. These poor creatures suffer from weeks of being abused with sharp bull hooks (which is the same sort of device depicted in the movie, Water for Elephants) or long nails if they do not hold the paintbrush up properly or move in the right direction. They spend weeks through this, being forced to “paint” the same picture over and over again- if they do something wrong, they are usually beaten with hooks or blows to the head. If you see these videos, try focusing on the head and trunk of the poor elephant- you will probably be able to spot thick scars. It’s really awful too, because elephants are of the most altruistic type of animal, and nothing on this earth deserves this type of treatment.