Looking for inspo so you can channel your inner Picasso? Here are some ideas for cute yet easy paintings you can do yourself with just a few supplies.
Pre-primed canvas, lightly sanded and wiped clean (if not primed, apply two coats of gesso primer)
Jar of clean water
Palette knives to help mix paints or can be used in place of a brush to apply paint to canvas
Liquitex Gloss Varnish to seal your painting
Spray bottle with water
Varnish to protect your work of art
Painter’s or washi tape
Check out The Art Sherpa, aka Cinnamon Cooney’s YouTube channel for step-by-step instructions on how to complete this Colorful Cow Painting. The cotton candy haired instructor has over half a million subscribers and 800 free and easy acrylic painting tutorial videos. The great thing about this channel is that you don’t have to be able to draw to paint. Just print out the free traceable provided and transfer to your canvas like so. She goes over everything, from which brush to use, to how to mix the colors, as well as techniques and methods. If you like this eccentric teacher, see her lessons for Easy Bubbles, Wine Glass and Pour, and her tutorials for painting with Q-tips.
Quote over Painting
If you don’t have a blank canvas, but you do have a painting you don’t really care for, try this cool Quote over Painting technique from A Beautiful Mess. This project also requires letter stickers and suggests spray paint instead of acrylic paints and a brush. Just pick the quote you want to use, cut out and lay out your letters, then stick them to the art piece and paint over. Let dry before carefully peeling off stickers.
Geometric Tape Painting
This is simple and cheap method has impressive results. Here’s how to make a geometric tape painting like blogger Maria Teorien’s. First, put a base layer on your canvas. Maria achieves this with two coats of metallic gold spray paint for her large canvas, but acrylic paint may work better. After the base coats have dried, place your painter’s, masking, or washi tape on the canvas in your desired design. Next, fill in the shapes with bold, contrasting colors. Finally, carefully pull off the tape once dry. Viola, your very own work of art! This is also fun to do outside with sidewalk chalk, or you can take it to another level and do an accent wall in your house!
Paint Pour Canvas
Watching paint being poured onto a canvas is oddly satisfying. To try this mesmerizing technique, you will need pouring medium. Follow the instructions on the bottle to thins out the paint for optimal pour-ability. Or, you can purchase pre-mixed paint which already contains the perfect amount of pouring medium. This project also requires a drop cloth of sorts since it can get messy, and some small plastic cups for pouring.
Artist Angela Anderson shares easy to follow step-by-step instructions on drawing and painting this beautiful red poppy on her YouTube channel. This is a great blending lesson for beginners. If you like Angela’s tutorial, try other videos of hers like this Jellyfish Acrylic Painting Tutorial, this Colorful Sunset Ocean Wave, or this Ocean Seascape.
There isn’t an online tutorial for Olivia Spellicy’s mermaid tail we found on her Etsy shop LivUniqueDesigns, but it’s pretty straightforward. You can see how others have tried it here. Basically, you need a multi-tonal background which can be achieved with a flat brush and a few different colors of paint. Then, you can sketch your tail with a pencil before outlining and filling in. Once that dries you can sketch and outline your scales, starting in the bottom left corner. Add multiple lines on the fins and whatever other final touches you see fit. You could even letter and paint on a quote, like “I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”
Save the Drama for Your Llama
Llama lovers, here’s a painting for you! This llama painting tutorial is by Tracie Kiernan of Step By Step Painting. It also comes with a printable traceable, so you don’t have to freehand this cute camel cousin. This one is so simple, even a kid can do it. It only takes about an hour and a half and only uses five colors. The instructions are written out, and in video form, but basically you want to print and transfer the llama, mix whatever color you want the background to be with white and go to town, trying to avoid the llama itself. Then you paint the llama white; his or her eyes and nose black; and the inside of its ears and snout gray. For the fur, combine white, raw sienna, and mars black and paint wavy lines up and down using a round brush. Tracie also gives the llama’s eyes and nose a little highlight using white paint after they dry. She also did some dots in gold and white to make the fun background pop.
Create this $65 original hand-painted Himalayan Sunrise by Art Boheme on your own for next to nothing. Choose three paint colors in the same color family make a few shades of one color by blending with different amounts of white. Coat the canvas in the lightest shade to act as your background. Then, use a circular can or a protractor if you have one lying around to outline the sun. Free-hand the mountains as best you can, then fill everything in, using the medium shade on the background mountain and darkest shade on the mountain in the front. Tada! You just saved some dough and created a beautiful piece of artwork.
Paint Your Pet
Lauren Elizabeth Fine Art has all kinds of in-depth animal art therapy painting tutorials on her YouTube channel. In this easy beginner-level course, she teaches how to paint your dog. First, find a photo of your pet, reverse the image, and and print it out. You don’t have to reverse the image, but it will be backwards if you don’t since you’re tracing/transferring onto the canvas. Start by painting the entire canvas with two coats of your background color. Then you can transfer/trace your image. She starts with the darkest shades, filling in the nose and eyes with black before mixing the colors for their furry coat.
For all you cat ladies out there, Lauren also offers a tutorial on Painting Your Cat in Acrylics.
Floral Cow Abstract
No pet to paint? No problem. Try Lauren’s lovely bovine with a divine floral crown instead.
Tips & Tricks
In addition to painting tutorials, artist Katie Jobling’s YouTube channel offers all kinds of tips and tricks. In her 10 Simple Acrylic Painting Tips, Katie says to make sure you wash everything, including your palette, water jar, and paintbrushes once you’re finished painting.