145 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas for Beginners

145 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas for Beginners

Acrylic is ideal for artists who like to experiment. Practice and experimentation are some of the most important prerequisites for getting better and better in acrylic painting. To know how and what you can even start painting acrylic even as a beginner, we have written this article for you.

With acrylic paints, there are basically no limits. If you already have acrylic paints at home and don’t know how to get started, you’ve come to the right place.

There you will find easy acrylic painting ideas for beginners on canvas and paper and the step-by-step instructions and appropriate tutorials.

In addition to valuable acrylic painting ideas and tips, you will also learn some basic knowledge about materials and some painting techniques of acrylic painting in the article.

Have fun trying!

145 Acrylic Painting Simple Ideas for Beginners:

First, we will see some easy acrylic painting ideas for beginners on canvas step by step. Then we will see some nature paintings and then some cool acrylic canvas painting ideas.

Some contain short steps while YouTube tutorial links are dropped for others with detailed instructions.

Check them out.

Here are some acrylic painting ideas inspiration from Twitter:

1. Sunset

An ideal introduction to acrylic painting is a sunset picture. With just a few colors and harmonious color gradients, you can create a wide variety of sunsets.

Even advanced artists can also try out sunset paintings. The paintings can later be varied again and again with other colors or foreground motifs. It’s a nice picture idea for beginners.

Here is a Twitter simple thought about how to paint Sunset with acrylics:

Check out the step-by-step of making a sunset acrylic painting.

Here is a Youtube easy acrylic painting step by step tutorial of Sunset:

2. Waterfall

Painting a waterfall is fairly easy. You’ll need a few different colors; white, blue, green, and a little bit of black-colored paint. You will also need a flat tip brush.

There is a waterfall painting view on Twitter:

  • Start by mixing a little bit of blue, green, and white-colored paint together, to create a base color. 
  • And from here, you could add a little bit more white, or a little bit of blue, or green, depending on what you need.
  • Create a base by applying the paint from the top to the middle part of the painting, while changing up all the different shades of water. The important thing is not to use too much water. Many usually barely use water when painting with liquid paint.
  • Add a little bit more depth into the painting, by adding another layer of paint, slightly below the top area. This is the area where the waterfalls are a little bit closer to us. You can divide this part, by applying some white paint.
  • Explaining every single step is really difficult and can be too confusing. So, check out the video below to see all the remaining steps involved.

Here is a Youtube study guide about How to Paint a Waterfall with acrylic easily:

3. Moon

You can start by painting a rough circle in a shade lighter than your main sky color. The circle doesn’t have to be perfect.

Make a ring around the lighter circle with the primary darker sky. This color will make up the sky. Add small white space in between the two colors to give some room to mix.

Here is also an easy Moon Painting idea for kids:

Smudge the circle edges with the outer circle, with the paints still wet. Create a gradient blend in the lightest to dark color. This will represent the glare dissipated as the rest of the sky gets even more than the moon.

Fill in other details of the sky. Then add the little details like clouds and other effects to your liking. Let the layers dry to create final shapes.

Use a light pencil to draw a circle through the center of the area.

Paint the brightest illuminations of the moon inside the circle. Fill in the part of the moon that you need to come out visible. Make sure the undercoat is dry completely before you start on the highlights. Create a dramatic landmark white color.

Let portions of the background color remain lighter while creating reflections. These sections form the shadows of the moon, taking the shape of craters.

Here is a Youtube easy acrylic Full Moon Painting tutorial for beginners step by step:

Acrylic-Moon-Painting
Moon

4. Flower

Flower painting is also an easy acrylic painting idea for the living room that can be accomplished by a beginner.

Here is a simple ideology about acrylic flower painting on Twitter:

The steps involved are explained below:

  • Start by outlining the flower with white acrylic paint. The first bloom is sketched and laid out with white and ocher. It is important to proceed slowly and deliberately. Use a test sheet as a guide and mix the individual colors until they look right to you. 
  • It is worth painting from real flowers. If there are no natural beauties nearby, it also works fine according to a photo template. Sometimes it is clever to also look at a black and white printout of the template, as you can better estimate the light and shadow conditions here.
  • You can use the bristle brush for the large petals and the thinner hairbrush for the delicate lines. 
  • Paint the dark areas where the shadow is on the petals and the lighter areas where the light falls.
  • With a bristle brush, give the petals their first strokes of color in white, ocher, purple-red.

Here is a Youtube flower acrylic painting tutorial:

acrylic flower painting

Although we’ve seen some simple acrylic painting ideas in the earlier section, other types of nature painting ideas are:

5. Bird

To paint a bed with acrylics, you need a wooden or cardboard base to paint on, acrylic paint set with colors white, yellow, natural sienna, burnt sienna, blue, and red. You need round and flat or straight brushes, matte water-based varnish, watercolor pencil, water container, and cloths or paper towels to dry and clean the brushes.

Here is an acrylic bird painting on canvas from Twitter:

  • Whether you use wood or MDF, clean dust residues with a damp cloth. Then apply a primer and then a coat of white acrylic base.
  • Search the Internet for bird images. Use a watercolor or graphite pencil to sketch the bird.
  • Paint the base with the colors red, white, yellow. The background is always painted first and at the end, the bird or whatever is in the foreground.
  • To start painting the bed itself, begin with yellow-white as a base, painting especially the parts where you want yellow to take.
  • Add natural sienna or brown lightened with white and yellow, or sepia to the yellow background. This step should be done with a round brush no. 4.
  • You need to paint the drop-shaped marks of their plumage; for this, if you must use the round brush. It is easy to do it with this, but simply draw the drop with a liner.
  • The beak and the legs can be painted with the same previous color and also the same procedure, touches of spots from light to dark.

Here is also an acrylic bird painting on canvas from Youtube:

Acrylic Bird Painting

6. Owl

A realistic owl painting is reserved for professionals. However, beginners can try a silhouette owl standing on a tree branch.

Here is a fun easy opinion about “Owl” from Twitter:

The instructions to follow are as follows:

  • Get an angled brush. Load with black paint color. Start painting a branch.
  • When you’re done with the branches, you have to paint the silhouette owl from the edges of its body in solid black.
  • Fill in the hole of the owl’s body with solid black.
  • You may decide to paint some owl features on the head area of the silhouette.

Here is an acrylic painting tutorial about How To Paint “OWLBEWATCHING YOU”:

acrylic Owl painting

7. Horse

Painting horses is a tricky task. It’s not the easiest to draw, create, or paint. Many artists have troubles getting the size of the ears, eyes, muzzle, etc.

If you need to draw your horse on a canvas, joi can do a grid drawing method, a technique of dividing reference images into squares while drawing each square on the canvas.  This is one of the only ways to ensure proper proportion. You can also look for a traceable horse sketch, print it, and use it.

Below is a short tutorial on how to paint a horse with acrylic:

8. Tree

Another DIY simple painting idea that anyone can implement is the rainbow tree. Here you can use any color you like and create a simple but meaningful picture in a short time.

Below is a simple tutorial on how to paint a rainbow tree:

9. Butterfly

When painting butterflies, you can choose to render them realistic or fantastical, depending on your preference. While you can paint butterflies in a variety of different mediums, acrylic paint will allow you to layer the basic shades and textures of butterfly wings. For this painting process, you will create each butterfly using a series of layers.

Here is an easy painting to copy:

  • Select a reference image for your butterfly painting. Browse the pictures of butterflies until you find the one you would like to paint.
  • Sketch your butterfly painting. Outline the basic shape of the butterfly. This includes the sketch of the butterfly’s wings, body (thorax, abdomen, and head), and antenna.
  • Create a color scheme for the bottom of the wing. Select the colors in your reference image that match the shades of the overall wing color, which excludes wing ribs and any wing patterns. Squeeze these colors onto your palette. Paint the background color of your butterfly wing using a large acrylic paintbrush.
  • Paint the body. Choose the colors for the butterfly body using your reference image as a guide. Squeeze these colors onto your palette. Paint the body of the butterfly using a large acrylic paintbrush.
  • Allow the first coat of paint to dry completely.
  • Detail the wings. Select a color or mix of colors for the wing ribs and wing detail, using your reference image as a color guide. Squeeze acrylic paints onto your palette. Use a paintbrush to paint the details of the wing over the base color of the wing.
  • Detail the body. Use a detailing brush to add eyes, antenna, and legs to the butterfly’s body.

Here is easy learning about how to paint a butterfly step by step:

Acrylic-Butterfly-Painting

10. Cat

Today’s house cats are graceful and flexible subjects, but their likeness is difficult to capture; only precisely processed anatomy does its beauty justice.

Luckily, with patience and practice, almost anyone can paint a cat.

  • Consider similar characteristics to all cats. For example, cats’ eyes are below the horizontal line of the center of the face and more on the outer edges than the inner edges.
  • Take multiple pictures of cats to use for reference. Unless asleep, most cats are not going to stay around long enough for an artist to complete an entire painting.
  • Sketch the cat on the prepared canvas with a sepia pencil drawing. Performing this step correctly is essential for the result of the painting; Constantly check and recheck the proportions and spatial relationships against the reference photo. Erase mistakes with a kneaded eraser or paint over with gesso.
  • Identify the halftone of the cat. The medium tone is the value between the darkest and the lightest tones. Mix acrylic with a spatula to create a medium shade. Mix the mixture with matte medium. Paint a translucent, light glaze over the entire canvas.
  • Paint in the dark areas of the cat. Avoid using black paint, which flattens the paint and distracts the eye.
  • Mix the background colors; Then add a medium matte glaze or paint in translucent layers. Fill in the bottom loosely, using a large brush. Blend the brush strokes with a fan brush. Painting the shade of the cat and the background immediately helps the eye to see shades, colors, and value ratios more accurately later on.
  • Add details to the cat. Mix all the colors in shades from dark to light. Use small, round paintbrushes for skins and details. Paint the last dark and light details with black and white paint to draw the viewer’s eyes. Allow the paint to dry completely.
  • Seal the paint with glossy acrylic varnish. Apply the varnish in a thin layer.
  • Let it dry.
  • Add a final coat of varnish.
Acrylic-Cat-Painting
Cat

11. Dog

If you’re looking to realistically depict the fur of animal motifs such as dogs and cats, you have to paint very carefully and take your time. With a little practice, it’s also a lot of fun.

  • As for the brush, older round brushes are ideal Used, slightly worn brushes that are comfortable to hold are best. As a painting surface, you can use pre-primed stretched canvas, as it is easily available in the craft and art trade.
  • First, you have to look for a dog picture to use as a template. Then, crop the photo to focus on the face.
  • The first step to a good portrait is a sufficiently detailed sketch. It is also important not to get lost in too many little things. Sketch exactly only what is needed at the beginning.
  • After the drawing is satisfactory, create the first dark areas. Background, nose, eyes, etc. For this step, the burnt sienna and ultramarine blue colors were used.
  • Dilute the colors with water to create a liquid, watery paint. Apply the thinned paints in several layers. Each layer has to dry completely before applying the next one.
Acrylic-Dog-Painting
My Dog for Acrylic Painting Ieads
Dogs for Acrylic Painting Ideas on Canvas
Friend Of The Pirate
Dog of Acrylic Painting Ideas

12. Winter

If you already think you can do something more demanding, you can also try a darker winter landscape. Various aids are used for this picture and you will get to know the variety of acrylic paints better. Working with dark acrylics may be a challenge at first, but it will give you great results. Give it a try!

Here is the tutorial:

13. Sunflower

Vincent van Gogh loved sunflowers and kept painting them. If you want to try your hand at beautiful summer flowers, you will need to follow these instructions.

For kids and beginners, painting by templates with a sunflower motif is suitable to start with.

  • Paint the sky with blue and white and let it dry well. Then it is the turn of the petals: To do this, pick up yellow and white with the brush. Put the brush on and pull the paint outward so that the sheet is narrower at the top.
  • Paint several petals next to and on top of each other in this way, but preferably with small differences – just like in nature.
  • For the inflorescence, you will need brown and white. Tip: Paint the edge a little darker than the inside – this will give the flower some volume.
  • Then only the stems and leaves are missing. To do this, mix yellow and blue and the resulting green with a little white. Then place the brush on the underside of the flower and draw a strong line downwards.
Acrylic-Sunflower-Painting
Sunflower of Acrylic Painting Ideas

14. Portrait

Acrylic portrait painting can be frustrating. This is not helped much by the fact that your acrylics dry faster before blending. So, you should do 80 percent of the mixing before picking up the brush. Don’t paint the portrait by mixing the portrait straight from the tube.

In the tutorial below, you will find out how to sketch a portrait and paint it successfully step-by-step.

The tutorial shows how to paint the flesh tones, skin tones, and eyes:

15. Rose

The rose is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. Again and again, it is copied, sung about in songs, and, above all, painted. But what’s the best way to paint a rose?

  • First of all, you need a template. You can either get it as a living copy or you can get a picture, photo, or the like.
  • So now that you have your template on the canvas, fill in the contours with color.
  • Paint the petals with an acrylic color of your choice; red, white, or pink.
  • Take your fine brush and use it to paint petal by petal. Use either a lighter or a slightly darker color than the surface.
  • Finally, set the highlights: Think about the side from which you want your light to hit the rose. Then put corresponding white or yellow stripes on the petal, which symbolize the reflected light. Some painters also find it easier to set the shadows. Do what you like best

16. Clouds

It can be difficult to paint clouds if you don’t know the right technique. If done badly, clouds can appear heavy. We must proceed with subtlety.

  • Whether you’re making a gradient blue sky or a sunrise, paint the background before adding the clouds.
  • Do not wet the brush before using it. Put white paint on your palette. Take some white paint with your brush.
  • You can paint a landscape with clouds only at the top or the clouds can fill the whole composition.
  • Apply the white paint in light brushstrokes in slightly curved dabs on the canvas. Do not press hard.
  • Extend the edges of the clouds outward with your brush. Try painting the edges when you start to run out of paint.
  • Wait until the white is dry. This will make it easier to add shadows below.
  • Prepare some gray for the shadows. You can make a gray of a dark purple tone by mixing dark blue, pink, and reddish-brown.
  • Use another dry brush. Take a tiny bit of gray with the brush. Remove excess paint. Use light strokes on the lower part of the clouds to give them depth.

Distant objects appear smaller, making the clouds smaller and blurrier the closer you get to the horizon. To make them blurry, put less paint on the brush when painting them.

17. Water

Painting water can often scare and put off beginning artists. This is because the water is in constant movement, is transparent, and therefore reflects the color of the entire environment that surrounds it, namely: trees, sky, ground, rocks, houses, etc.

Below are some tips for painting water with acrylic paint.

  • Sketch the main elements such as houses, boats, backgrounds, and trees using a round-tipped brush and a dark color like burnt umber.
  • Next, lay down the darker elements with burnt umber mixed with ceruleum blue.
  • Gradually, apply the medium shades with for example sienna, ocher with a flat or round brush.
  • Paint the sky before the water. For the sky, first, paint the solid background by mixing cobalt blue and ceruleum blue. Paint the water starting from cool to warm colors.
  • Represent the water movement using light colors such as titanium white and ceruleum blue.

18. Forest

Forest painting involves painting tree branches, foliages, the landscape, and other elements. Regardless of whether you’ve chosen to do an abstract or hyperrealistic painting, the following tips should help you.

  • The more distant a subject is, the more its colors are desaturated. Keep the most vibrant colors for the foreground!
  • An old worn brush will be very useful for creating random foliage effects.
  • The intensity of the paint varies according to the pressure exerted on the brush, and according to the amount of paint it carries.
  • Working in successive layers allows you to improve and correct your painting at will.
  • In a forest, think that there are several types of trees and that even trees of the same variety always have different shapes from each other.
Forest
Forest of Acrylic Painting

19. Buddha

Buddha art is one of the most common abstract arts that can be drawn and painted with acrylic paint. As always, you can make use of a template. Buddha drawings are a lot easier to trace. Then you can begin with your painting. It is a straightforward type of painting. You can find the step-by-step moves in this video:

20. Wrong Place Wrong Time

Wrong Place Wrong Time of Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas

21. When I Touched the Sky

When I Touched the Sky of Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas

22. Whale

Whale of Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas

23. Wallflower

Wallflower of Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas

24. Two Kittens

Two Kittens of Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas

25. Tribal Ocptus

Tribal Ocptus

26. Transcend

Transcend

27. Totemic Nature

Totemic Nature

28. Too Stack

Too Stack

29. Toads

Toads
Toad with Cocktail
Toad on the mask
Blue Toad

30. Three Pumpkins

Three Pumpkins

31. The Door Came Off

The Door Came Off

32. The Bather

The Bather

33. Tape Art

Tape Art

34. Surfing Sunset

Surfing Sunset

35. Sunset Collage

Sunset Collage

36. Stealing light

Stealing light

37. Sparrow

Sparrow

38. Space

Space

39. Snow

Snow

40. Sneaking a Peak

Sneaking a Peak

41. Snake Plant

Snake Plant

42. Fox

Small Fox

43. Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride

44. Sky

Sky

45. Shrooms

Shrooms

46. Serenity

Serenity

47. Wolf

Self-Aware Wolf

48. Self Portrait

Self Portrait

49. Seascape

Seascape

50. Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle

51. Scorpio

Scorpio

52. Girl

Sad Girl

53. Ruins

Ruins

54. River Seine

River Seine

55. Venus

Rebirth of Venus

56. Psychedelic Sun

Psychedelic Sun

57. Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs

58. Potato in The Bakery

Potato in the bakery

59. Pomegranate

Pomegranate

60. Pet Rock

Pet Rock

61. Pet Portrait

Pet Portrait

62. Parody of an O’Keeffe

Parody of an O'Keeffe

63. Palawan Peacock Feather

Palawan Peacock Feather

64. Orchid

Orchid

65. Old Cowboy

Old Cowboy

66. Ocptus Love

Ocptus Love

67. Ocean Monster

Ocean Monster

68. Naruto

Naruto for Acrylic Painting on Canvas

69. Mystical Night

Mystical Night

70. Ideal Home

My Home

71. Musical Shrimp

Musical Shrimp

72. Mushroom Witch

Mushroom Witch

73. Mountain Road

Mountain Road

74. Mountain Majesty

Mountain Majesty

75. Mountain and Tree

Mountain and Tree

76. Morning Nature View

Morning Nature View

77. Moonlit Canyon

Moonlit Canyon on Canvas Acrylic Painting ideas

78. Mobile Mast

Mobile Mast

79. Mind Your Beeswax

Mind Your Beeswax

80. Meet Sundae

Meet Sundae

81. Man and Snake

Man and Snake

82. Magic

Magic

83. Luskentyre Beach

Luskentyre Beach

84. Living in Michigan

Living in Michigan

85. Little Red Schoolhouse

Little Red Schoolhouse

86. Little Chicken

Little Chicken

87. Lil Za

Lil Za

88. Let’s take a walk

Let’s take a walk

89. Leaf

Leaf

90. Key House West

Key House West

91. Dragon

Jade Dragon
Evil Dragon

92. In A Distant Galaxy

In A Distant Galaxy

93. Holy Calamaf ck

Holy Calamaf ck

94. Halloween Inspired

Halloween Inspired for Acrylic Painting on Canvas

95. Green Forest and Shadows

Green forest and its shadows

96. Grazing in The Grass

Grazing in The Grass

97. Goth Girl

Goth Girl

98. Gobbler

Gobbler

99. Girl with Red Hair

Girl with Red Hair

100. Girl with Cat

Girl with Cat

101. Forbidden Trix Yogurt

Forbidden Trix Yogurt

102. Veteran

For your veteran

103. Foggy River

Foggy River

104. Florida Landscape

Florida Landscape

105. Flight of the Pigeon

Flight of the Pigeon

106. Flight of Fancy

Flight of fancy

107. Flamingos Nesting

Flamingos Nesting

108. Falling

Falling

109. Fall colours

Fall colours

110. Eye

Eye
Eyes on Leaves

111. Elephant

Elephant

112. Dream

Dream

113. Dot Mandala

Dot Mandala

114. Dirigible Delivery

Dirigible Delivery

115. Devil Fruit

Devil Fruit

116. Dance

Dance

117. Cowbird

Cowbird

118. Cosmic Sailor

Cosmic Sailor

119. Cornfield

Cornfield

120. Conversation Between Two Mountains

Conversation between two mountains

121. Conch Shell

Conch Shell

122. Color Mixing and Textures

Color Mixing and Textures

123. Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

124. Childhood Memories

Childhood Memories

125. Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms on Canvas

126. Cactus

Cactus

127. Brown Skies

Brown Skies

128. Brave and Courageous

Brave and Courageous

129. Bluebird

Bluebird

130. Blue wash

Blue Wash

131. Black Hole

Black Hole

132. Birth of Stars

Birth of Stars

133. Bird Skull Scissors135

Bird Skull Scissors

134. Bike

Bike

135. Big Kahuna Burger

Big Kahuna Burger

136. Back at It

Back at It

137. Autumn Oak

Autumn Oak

138. Aurora

Aurora

139. Aristocracy

Aristocracy

140. Anor Londo

Anor Londo

141. Alberta Fall Valley

Alberta Fall Valley

142. Abstract Art

Abstract Art

143. Absinthe Drinker

Absinthe Drinker

144. A Haunting

A Haunting

145. 3D Butterfly

3D Butterfly

Acrylic Pouring Technique

Acrylic pouring is a fluid painting technique. The liquid consistency of the colors creates great and unique color gradients that can be created without much practice. Acrylic pouring is a very individual painting technique. The best results usually come when you try out different ideas and get a good feeling for them.

To bring acrylic paint to the right consistency, you need a paint thinner such as Liquitex 6304 Professional Fluid Medium. Other materials such as silicone spray, a flambé, and plastic cups are also important for this painting technique. The work behind such a picture is associated with a lot of mess and time, but it is really a lot of fun!

You can find detailed instructions for Acrylic Pouring below:

  • Put acrylic, 1/4 vinyl glue in each glass.
  • Mix, then add a little water until you get a fluid texture.
  • Once the colors are ready, put a few drops of silicone in them (the more you put, the more cells there will be)
  • Pour the colors into a glass in a random fashion, overlapping them.
  • Put the glass under the canvas and turn everything over.
  • Wait for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the glass then run the paint to fill the canvas.  Your canvas will change by itself within 15-20 mins which will follow. Thanks to the silicone, cells will appear by themselves.
  • You will have to wait up to 48 hours for perfect drying.

Impasto Technique

The Impasto technique originally comes from oil painting and is now being used more and more often with acrylic paints. For the Impasto technique, you should use acrylic paint that is as thick as possible.

A good model is the Liquitex Professional Heavy Body 12-Color Acrylic Paint Set. If your acrylic paint is not pasty enough for you, it is best to mix it with a structure paste.

The brush shouldn’t be too thin either. Ideally, you should use a brush with strong bristles for this painting technique. Alternatively, painting knives are also very suitable.

  • The paint is applied to the painting surface in thick layers.
  • Next, you will mix the paint on the surface.
  • When the paint has dried, a relief-like structure should be visible in the painting.

Conclusion

Practice is above studying. Especially since acrylic painting offers many opportunities to get creative, you will learn the most when you try something out. With acrylic paints, there are basically no limits to what you can try.

If you already have acrylic paints at home and don’t know how to get started, there you have it!

We hope that this guide was able to help you in terms of acrylic painting and that you can now start painting and improve yourself.

You can find more creative ideas in YouTube tutorials, on Pinterest, or in books. Of course, you can start right away with your ideas and let your creativity run free. And now get on with the colors and have fun painting!

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