13 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas For Beginners (Start This Way!)

Last Updated on February 2, 2023

Whether you want to give art a try as an adult or have a gifted child and want to cultivate their talents, acrylic painting is one of the best choices for beginners. Acrylics come in tubes or sprays; you can apply the paint with a brush or knife and even thin it with water to achieve watercolor effects.

But what should you paint? If you don’t know where to start, let the easy acrylic painting ideas below inspire you.

Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas For Beginners On Canvas

A quick look at the most famous artists in the world reveals that canvas is one of the most popular mediums. If you’re an absolute beginner, try one of the easy ideas below.

1. Abstract Color Blocks

Abstract paintings are the easiest to tackle when your artistic talents aren’t exactly honed. There are various ways to go around this project, but using bright colors and painter’s tape is the easiest.

Start with a white or black canvas (based on what color you want the background to be). Stick a few strips of tape on the canvas to create smaller and larger blocs.

Paint each block in a different color. You can add other details or use different application techniques, such as brush, painter’s knife, roller, and even sponge, to achieve a beautiful finish.

Let the paint dry, then remove the tape carefully. That’s it!

2. Round Donuts

A fun idea for your kitchen or a minimalist room is painting donuts. You can paint one, two, or multiple donuts, depending on the canvas size. Draw the “frosting” with a pencil, then color each round shape in a different pastel shade.

3. Colorful Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns are as easy to achieve as painting colorful blocks with painter’s tape.

Your patterns don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to sketch an outline first. Use a thin paintbrush to draw a rectangle, circle, triangle, and even some irregular patterns. Color each shape in a different color or at least in different shades for a beautiful effect.

4. Geometric Galaxy

Painting galaxies or a starry sky on canvas is super-easy, but you can up your game with a geometric shape.

A triangle is one of your best choices, as it’s easy to create on the canvas with painter’s tape – you want to cover up the sides and paint in the middle of your canvas.

Use blue, black, and white to paint up the cosmos and stars. Then, pour some purple on a sponge, mix with some white, and dab on the canvas to paint the galaxy. Remove the painter’s tape after the paint has dried.

5. Easy Dot Painting

Dot painting is another easy method to try.

Fill up squeeze bottles with acrylic paint in your preferred colors. Work on a black canvas for the best effect.

Squeeze dots of paint onto the canvas. You can create any pattern, including colorful mandalas. Spray a coat of clear lacquer over the artwork when you’re finished.

Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas For Beginners On Paper

Painting on paper is often preferred, especially for making postcards and diaries. Here are a few creative ways to make gorgeous artwork.

6. Scraped Backgrounds

If you’re an avid lettering fan and want to prepare the paper for handwritten postcards, use a business card to spread acrylic paint over the substrate.

Make visible strokes and let the paint dry. You can then use black acrylic paint and a thin paintbrush to draw the letters.

7. Water Splatters

Acrylic is a water-soluble paint that can become similar to watercolor when sufficient water is added.

Paint the substrate in one or more colors. When you’re done, use a brush or sponge to apply plenty of water to some areas of your artwork.

As the paper absorbs the water, it will dilute the paint and create an ombré effect.

8. Stencil Painting

This idea allows you to create whatever your imagination desires. Whether you want to paint a landscape, a beach, geometric patterns, or silhouettes, you can use stencils to achieve the desired result.

For an original effect, combine this method with one of the methods described above.

9. Paint Smudging

Paint smudging is similar to water splatters and scraped backgrounds, but you have more flexibility.

Apply the paint with a thick brush, a sponge, a flower bloom, or any other object that allows you to create smudges.

Again, you can combine this technique with others for an original result.

10. Spring Flowers

Flowers are some of the most popular things people paint on paper. Spring flowers are an excellent choice regardless of the season – their ethereal beauty can evoke romantic feelings any time of the year.

Of all, sunflowers and peonies are the easiest to paint. Lavender bushes and hydrangeas are other popular choices.

Pair the flowers with geometric patterns for a modern take or with lots of pastels and curly lettering for a romantic effect.

Easy Landscape Painting Ideas

Characters are often hard to paint – especially if you have little experience. Landscapes, however, are a lot easier. Here are some ideas.

11. Shaded Lane

A paintbrush or sponge makes it easy to main trees or lush vegetation on the sides and top of your canvas. Let some free space for a bit of blue sky and draw a lane in the middle of it all.

12. Nighttime Forest

This idea combines some of the techniques mentioned above.

Start with a black canvas – it is a lot easier to work on a night landscape compared to a white canvas.

Apply some painter’s tape in the middle of the canvas, separating the top from the bottom half. Let the bottom half for now.

Mix some blue and white paint on your palette. Start painting from the tape up – the portion next to the tape should be a lighter blue, transitioning to dark and then black as you go up.

Splatter some white paint to create stars.

Remove the tape and paint black treetops over the blue area. You’re now the proud owner of a nighttime forest landscape.

13. Cosmic Landscape

Who said you have to limit yourself to earth landscapes? The universe is big, and you can paint an imaginary cosmic landscape, too.

Use the galaxy technique above to prepare the canvas. Then, paint some large planets in brighter colors, some comets, and maybe even a spacecraft.

No matter what you choose, we hope these easy acrylic painting ideas can get you started.