Want to create something with a blank canvas? Try one of these easy canvas painting ideas, perfect for beginning artists and a great way to start with acrylics.
No need to feel intimidated, painting with acrylic paint is not scary at all! The paint is inexpensive and mostly washable. It blends and mixes nicely, and is a lot of fun to play with!
I’ve written an extensive post on how to get started painting with acrylics on canvas. I share all my supplies and links, plus all the tips I’ve learned along the way.
Self Taught Artists
I am definitely a self-taught artist. Back in college, a friend let me paint with her oil paints and I was hooked. I loved watching the colors mix and blend and morph into awesome abstract paintings.
Later, I learned that acrylic paints are just as fun, and a tiny fraction of the hassle. They dry in a reasonable amount of time, the brushes wash clean with just water and they cost a lot less.
Painting with acrylics is perfect for beginners and self taught artists.
Step by Step Acrylic Painting Tutorials
Some people want a step by step tutorial, and other people just want ideas to get their juices flowing. I am definitely the latter, but sometimes it is nice to learn new techniques by watching someone.
Below, I have linked up over 20 EASY acrylic painting tutorials on YouTube. I picked beautiful projects, ones that I would (and plan to!) try to re-create to hang in my own home.
Video about how to paint colorful abstract flowers on canvas with acrylic paints.
Paint this beautiful ocean scene with palm tree using acrylic paints on canvas.
Learn how to paint tulips with this easy technique, perfect for an easy acrylic painting.
This video shows you exactly how to create a peaceful beach scene with acrylic paints on canvas.
Learn how to paint hydrangeas and a clear jar with this easy step by step video.
Dandelions are a fun easy canvas painting project, and this tutorial has a beautiful colorful background.
Practice painting sky, water and grass with this easy marsh painting lesson.
Another beautiful abstract flower painting tutorial.
Learn how to paint succulents with this step by step video.
Use cotton swabs to create this sweet little heart painting.
Experiment with colors, gradients and textures with these acrylic painting ideas.
Learn how to combine colors to create a cool galaxy painting.
Paint these colorful boats on the water with this step by step video tutorial.
Use a palette knife to create this abstract birch tree painting in vibrant colors.
This video shows you how to make this rainbow-y sky and clouds.
A beautiful tutorial for painting peonies and roses.
Use this tutorial to start painting gorgeous abstracts in any colors.
Play around with colors and a palette knife and make a super cool abstract painting.
This tutorial will show you how to paint your own abstract lavender field.
Another beautiful abstract painting demo.
This easy project would be fun to do with kids and teens, and could be done with other fruits as well!
Playing with dark and moody colors can be a lot of fun, and this tutorial will show you how to create the illusion of light and dark.
This cute umbrella painting would be great in a bathroom or kids bedroom. Super easy tutorial!
Gorgeous sky and beautiful fields make this easy painting project super appealing.
Perhaps a bit more complex than some of the other projects, this is a beautiful garden painting with a full demo.
More Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas
I thought I would also include examples of some of the easy canvas paintings I’ve created in the past. They’re all incredibly simple, and most of them were really quick (and satisfying!) projects.
Mark Rothko inspired
Mark Rothko was an influential American abstract painter in the 1950’s-70’s. His signature style is basically abstract rectangles of color. I fell in love with his art when I was in college, and only can dream about owning a real piece by him someday, as they run in the millions!
But his style is fun and relatively simple to replicate. Choose a few shades and paint some rectangles! The edges are never perfect, and the rectangles can butt right up to each other, or be spaced out, as I have done.
Sunrise/Sunset over ocean
Sunrise and sunset paintings are always fun, and painting them as an ocean scene makes for a lovely warm/cool color contrast. These are easy paintings to do, just do a gradient of warm colors for the sky, and then blues for the ocean.
I once heard in a painting tutorial that there is a barely visible red line at the edge of the horizon, so I made sure to add that in here, along with a dark, dark blue line directly below it.
Desert Sunset with black cactus
Silhouette paintings can be a lot of fun to create, and sunsets and the desert are perfect subjects for it! This painting is created by using yellow, red and blue acrylic paints, and blending them together to make a sunset. Once it has dried, using black paint, create a horizon with mountains, and a few cactus in the foreground and background. Easy!
To continue with the desert vibes, to create a painting similar to this, all you need to do is decide on a palette of colors. I chose red oxide for the mountains and yellow ochre for the sky. To create the layered mountain look, begin by painting the sky, then adding the mountain in the back with the lightest shade, and adding in layers of mountains in progressively darker shades.
This painting was so much fun to create. I wanted a heart shape to be somewhat visible, but with lots of laters of abstract strokes and splotches of color. I used mostly warm colors on one side and cool colors on the other, to symbolize me and my husband and our marriage. It hung for awhile above our bed.
This was my first real painting that I sold. Maybe someday I’ll recreate it again.
This type of painting is fun to do with kids, but also can be done in a cool, abstract way that can be hung in a living room, bedroom or bathroom as well. To create a tape resist painting, start with. a blank canvas, and using painters tape or washit tape, create a design, kind of like a crazy spiderweb. Then paint in the exposed areas, and remove the tape when partially dry.
I came up with the idea for this type of canvas painting as I was browsing a furniture store. I thought it would be awesome to paint coral in an abstract way, so I created the first one in a lovely reddish peachy coral. It was a little lonely on its own, so I added in more canvases with the other colors, and I love how it turned out. It is perfect for a bathroom!
To recreate these, begin at the bottom with the base stem and work your way up, with soft right angles and branches.
Match Decor Elements
Painting canvases for my kids nurseries was where it all started for me. I loved to paint matching prints to hand above their cribs. I have a whole tutorial about creating matching canvas decor here.
My favorite style of art for easy canvas painting is ABSTRACT! Anything goes, and mixing colors and textures is so fun. Just pick a few colors, swipe your brush around the canvas and see what happens!
Hopefully this has been helpful for you! All you need to do now is get some paint on that canvas and PLAY!
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Kylie is the original founder of The How To Mom website. She is a mother of three and enjoys crafting, especially making gorgeous wreaths.
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Usually beginners start with acrylics and then dabble with oils and watercolors once they've learned the painting basics. However, we suggest experimenting with all 3 to get familiar with how each of them differs. Find what medium you personally prefer and what one provides the results you love most.What to paint if you have no idea? ›
My favorites were always clocks, globes and telephones. These three subject matters felt simple because of how geometric they are. These objects come in so many different shapes and colors, the sky is the limit. Some other simple objects to paint are books, perfume, makeup, and glasses/sunglasses.
Canvases need to be “primed” before you start painting, which is when you apply a layer of material that creates a smooth barrier between the canvas and paint. Priming makes it easier for the canvas to grip paint, keep the pigments bright, and stay rigid and usable as it gets wet.Can 11 year olds paint? ›
In particular, an unopened can of latex or acrylic paint lasts up to 10 years. For unopened paints that are oil-based or alkyd-based, the shelf life could be up to 15 years. Additionally, chalk paint has a shorter lifespan from 1-3 years, and milk paint only lasts 1-2 weeks after its mixed.What should I paint on a canvas? ›
Acrylic. Acrylic paint is one of the most popular types of paint for painting on canvas, and with good reason. It's easy to work with, requires minimal supplies and dries quickly. A primed canvas provides an ideal surface for acrylic, which can be applied with a brush or palette knife.What should I paint first painting? ›
The ceiling should always be painted first. This allows you to effectively cover the surface with at least two coats while not having to worry about any over-spray (the effect of excess paint being sprayed onto the walls) by the roller.Should you always paint a canvas white first? ›
The answer actually depends on the canvas that you purchase. Most, if not all, canvases that you buy at your typical craft stores are already primed for acrylic painting. If the canvas is a bright white color, it's ready to go!What is the best thing to draw on a canvas with? ›
The primary types of materials used to draw on canvas are graphite pencils, pigment-based colored art pencils, watercolor pencils, soft and oil pastels, and charcoal. Graphite pencils can be used to draw on canvas, but must be sealed with a fixative before they are permanent.