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.
Easy Canvas Painting Ideas
Over 20 EASY canvas painting ideas with STEP BY STEP video instructions. Simple acrylic painting tutorials for beginners!
How to Paint Loose Abstract Flowers with Acrylic Paint on Canvas
Video about how to paint colorful abstract flowers on canvas with acrylic paints.
Palm Tree & Ocean | Acrylic Painting for Beginners
Paint this beautiful ocean scene with palm tree using acrylic paints on canvas.
Tulips: Easy acrylic painting
Learn how to paint tulips with this easy technique, perfect for an easy acrylic painting.
EASY BEACH ACRYLIC PAINTING TUTORIAL FOR BEGINNERS
This video shows you exactly how to create a peaceful beach scene with acrylic paints on canvas.
How To Paint Hydrangea Mason Jar With Window Background
Learn how to paint hydrangeas and a clear jar with this easy step by step video.
Dandelion Wildflowers Beginner Acrylic Painting Tutorial
Dandelions are a fun easy canvas painting project, and this tutorial has a beautiful colorful background.
Salt Marsh Canal Landscape Painting
Practice painting sky, water and grass with this easy marsh painting lesson.
Day 1 of 30 Flower Paintings on Canvas with Acrylic Paint. Learn How to Paint Flowers!
Another beautiful abstract flower painting tutorial.
Learn how to paint succulents with this step by step video.
Easy Heart Acrylic Painting
Use cotton swabs to create this sweet little heart painting.
Acrylic Painting Abstracts
Experiment with colors, gradients and textures with these acrylic painting ideas.
Easy Galaxy Painting Tutorial
Learn how to combine colors to create a cool galaxy painting.
How To Paint Colorful Boats in Water
Paint these colorful boats on the water with this step by step video tutorial.
Easy Acrylic Painting Birch Trees
Use a palette knife to create this abstract birch tree painting in vibrant colors.
Dreamy Day Painting
This video shows you how to make this rainbow-y sky and clouds.
How to Paint a Peony in Acrylics
A beautiful tutorial for painting peonies and roses.
Easy Abstract Painting for Beginners
Use this tutorial to start painting gorgeous abstracts in any colors.
Easy Abstract Painting
Play around with colors and a palette knife and make a super cool abstract painting.
Lavender Field Demo
This tutorial will show you how to paint your own abstract lavender field.
Abstract Acrylic Painting
Another beautiful abstract painting demo.
How To Paint a Watermelon
This easy project would be fun to do with kids and teens, and could be done with other fruits as well!
Northern Lights Forest For Beginners
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.
Umbrella - Easy First time Painter Series
This cute umbrella painting would be great in a bathroom or kids bedroom. Super easy tutorial!
Lavender Field Step by Step
Gorgeous sky and beautiful fields make this easy painting project super appealing.
Flower Garden Path Tutorial
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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