Acrylic is one of the most popular types of paint to work with — and while it can be difficult to use at times and rather unforgiving when you make a mistake (we know this from personal experience), it is still unmatched in terms of making beautiful artwork.
If you’re new to acrylic painting, it can be quite hard to get started. After all, all of the complicated art pieces can be rather intimidating! Here are 20 acrylic painting ideas that we are sure will encourage (and not scare you).
Remember, before you begin, to ensure that you have the right supplies, such as:
- A selection of acrylic paints (such as any standard set that you can find at an arts and crafts shop)
- A selection of paint brushes, in a variety of sizes
- A paint tray or other similar surface (for mixing)
- A cup of water and a washcloth to wash your brushes in between colors
- A painter’s smock or old t-shirt, because acrylic paint can be quite hard to get out of clothing!
Flowers are one of the most popular things to paint, but do not let this popularity scare you away. There are still many ways that you can make a flower painting your own! This video is sure to give you a lot of different ideas, and may be particularly helpful if you have ever painted watercolor flowers before (painting with acrylic paint involves a bit of a different technique).
If you’re more of a fauna person than a flora one, then why not paint this magnificent cardinal? This tutorial from Pamela Groppe can show you how to simply paint what is an otherwise complicated-looking painting. She is able to offer so many useful tricks that this painting can be tackled by even the most beginning of painters.
Why don’t we ever talk about just how beautiful a birch tree is? While other tree species like weeping willows and maples get all of the attention, the beautiful birch tree gets underappreciated. Pay homage to these beautiful and unique trees by painting them — the process is made quite easy thanks to this tutorial.
Hydrangeas may be some of the most beautiful flowers out there, but they are by no means the easiest to paint. However, this tutorial from Pamela Groppe will have you surprised by just how easy it is. This is also a wonderful painting idea for a bar “paint night”.
Acrylic Dreamy Clouds
Clouds are one of the most beautiful formations made by nature. They represent dreams and lightness. You can paint beautiful clouds by following this tutorial from Feeling Nifty. Have some fun by experimenting with a variety of colors and landscapes!
Do you know what a jacaranda tree is? While not a household name in North America or Europe, they are common in many places in Central and South America where they are renowned for their gorgeous purple flowers. You can bring a touch of the Southern hemisphere into your home by following this gorgeous acrylic paint tutorial from The Whoot.
Hot Air Balloons and Sunset
Could there be a scene more relaxing than the image of hot air balloons floating out onto the horizon? Not only is this an incredibly charming scene, but it is one that is actually quite easy to paint by acrylics, at least if you follow this simple tutorial. The end product of this one also makes a great gift idea!
Lavender in Acrylics
Lavender is another one of those flowers that translates beautifully to a canvas. Following this tutorial at Feeling Nifty to learn how you can get a touch of France’s champs de lavande in your very own home. Now if only we had the ability to smell a painting!
We have mentioned many different floral options in this list so far, but we would be remiss to gloss over the undeniable beauty of the sunflower. Sunflowers can be as easy or as hard to paint as you would like —but you can surely accomplish stunning results with very little experience if you follow this step-by-step tutorial from Stroke of Fred Studio.
Acrylic Blue Daisy
Blue daisies are a type of wildflower, although you wouldn’t guess that they can be found at random within the wild unless you have spent time on the coast of South Africa where they are most commonly found. Give yourself a touch of South African beauty by following this blue daisy acrylic painting tutorial from Step by Step Painting.
City Skyscraper for Beginners
If you are more into city scenes than rural landscapes, there is a place in acrylic painting for you as well. Consider this tutorial from Feeling Nifty that will show you how you can bring an entire urban landscape to life with your brush. You could paint an imaginary city, or take a crack at replicating the city that you live in.
Acrylic Spring Tree Path
Springtime is coming, and even if it isn’t it’s always nice to visualize a time that is filled with nice weather! There is something about mild temperatures and new plant growth that makes spring the most glorious time of the year. We love how this spring pathway tutorial from Step by Step Painting brings this magical time of year jump out of the page.
Easy Beach Painting
How could a day be better spent than relaxing at the beach? You can bring yourself some mental zen by producing a piece of acrylic art for your home that harkens to a carefree day spent at the beach. Get the tutorial over at Arts by Chicks Rule.
Bicycle With Flower Basket
Have you spent many a relaxing day riding around town with your bicycle? Whether or not this is a memory that resonates with you, there is something undeniably endearing about a bicycle on the city streets. And a bicycle with flowers in its basket? This just adds a whole other element of charm. Get the tutorial here.
Easy Country Landscape
And finally, here is one for all of the country lovers out there! You can follow this YouTube video to find out how you can create the pastoral landscape of your dreams. This is a wonderful option for anyone who is looking to brush up on their landscape painting, as well as their animal painting and building painting.
Step by Step Raccoon
Painting tutorials for cats and dogs and even bunnies are quite popular, but how about those other animals that never get their fair time in the spotlight? Say, for example, the raccoon? We love the way that this tutorial shows you how to paint an animal that is often under recognized for its adorable qualities.
If you are looking to create a floral painting that is a bit less obvious than the others, you may be interested in an abstract flower painting. This tutorial can show you how you can use common acrylic techniques and apply them to a painting that is more abstract than it is literal.
Sunset Over Ocean Dock
Sunsets are magical, and they are a natural phenomenon that translates well into the canvas! While you could challenge yourself by attempting to paint a sunset that you yourself have witnessed personally, you could also practice by following a sunset painting tutorial, as seen here.
Acrylic Leaf Painting
Flowers get all of the attention, but leaves are beautiful too! It is important to learn how to paint leaves in acrylics because they might show up in some of your paintings where leaves aren’t even the focus point. This tutorial is a great place to start.
We round off this list with a tutorial that shows you how to paint everyone’s favorite animal, the panda bear! Painting animals can be a challenge, but there are certain techniques that you can use (as demonstrated in this tutorial) that can make the job easier for yourself.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to go out and become the next Bob Ross! Even if you are not happy with the first one (or seven) paintings that you do, each piece of artwork is another step closer to being able to paint at your desired skillset!