Acrylic painting is a great way to express yourself in art. The paint is easy to use fast drying and wash out easily in water so it is perfect for beginners too. If you need some easy painting ideas and inspiration you’ve come to the right place, and its all FREE!
This free easy painting tutorial will give you some great art lessons on how to begin to paint with acrylic paint. Whether you want to paint Abstract art, landscapes or anything else, the only limit is your imagination.
Here are 15 easy acrylic painting ideas, hints and tips for beginners. You can have great fun experimenting with kids too.
Painting Is So Much Fun
Anyone can use acrylic paints. They are great fun, cheap and fast drying. They really do make painting easy.
The opaque nature of most of the paint colours means you can quickly paint over any areas you aren’t happy with. The ability to cover dark colours with light colour paint as soon as they have dried is fantastic. They are incredibly flexible and should help you get some new painting ideas and create fantastic art.
Keep Your Brushes Clean
You can simply clean brushes in water. This makes painting easy, but do wash them regularly. Keep them wet whenever they are in use. When you clean them, remember to work soap up into the shoulder of the bristles to get any paint out before it dries.
If you accidentally let the paint dry on the bristles, it can be hard to remove. Clean the brushes thoroughly, immediately after use. It will save you time and money. You don’t want to have to buy replacements because the bristles start to splay out.
Never Waste Old Brushes
You should never waste old brushes though. If you do end up with a brush that starts to splay because of paint drying on the bristles, don’t throw it away.
I have made some really useful art brushes by crushing the ferrule of the brush to splay the bristles into a fan shape. You can trim the splayed bristles into small spikes to help if painting large areas of grass and water too. Adding texture to stones and rock faces gets much easier with some good home made art tools.
You can create wonderful silhouettes with acrylic paints. You can see in the painting above the sharp defining lines of the silhouettes make for a striking image.
Load the brush with paint and use bold, confident brush strokes in your painting. Use your imagination and search the internet for new art ideas.
The whole background has been painted and then the dolphin silhouettes simply superimposed on the dried background to avoid any colour mix.
In the painting above, you can see the sky and sea in the background has been painted with bold confident brush strokes when it is still wet.
The paint colours blend into each other to give the gradual changes of tone required. The colours are run across each other without over-working them, so the variety of tones within each area of colour give texture and depth to the painting.
The silhouette of the trees and mountains have been painted after to achieve that crisp line. Think about how you can use these techniques to create new painting ideas. Use the characteristics of the paint to help you with your own art.
The Skill Of The Artist
The water in the painting below is painted beautifully. The edges of the waves are shown by breaking up the various colours and running the various paint colours into each other.
The piece of the picture that really shows the skill of the artist is the sun and its reflection. The sun is simply overlaid on the dry background and the subtle highlights added. You can do this using paint that has been watered down to achieve a level of transparency if needed.
Practice Makes Perfect
Because the Acrylic paint dries so quickly it is easy to apply a thin translucent layer, wait for it to dry, then add another layer of paint, each time covering slightly different areas and overlaying certain sections.
By doing this, areas of the paint that are used to paint the sky show through, but the definition of the moon remains intact. Brilliantly executed it shows real control over the paint. You can do it too, just practice.
You will undoubtedly have many failures, but each one should teach you a little more about your art and make the next painting easier. Step by step you will improve your technique until you paint with the same confident brush-strokes.
Using Different Techniques
You can see some other art techniques used in the picture below. It would have been easy to paint the sea as solid colours.
However, by dry-brushing lighter colours onto the water not only has the artist been able to capture the movement of the water, they have also created a more defined depth within the picture.
You can also see how the artist has captured the movement of the water in a great way here. The dark and lighter tones are broken up to show the way that the waves reflect on the surface of the water. Try it to see the effects you can achieve. It can help improve many painting ideas you have.
Shadows And Highlights In A Painting
Careful use of shadows and highlights really does bring a painting to life. You can see how they emphasise the depth of the image. Use this technique in your own paintings. It won’t take long before you can create that same depth with ease in your art.
As a general rule it will get darker the further away in the painting you are.
You can see here where the artist has used the dry-brushing technique in a different way. Look where the white has picked up a little of the darker grey in the stones. It seems to have been done when the background was still slightly wet.
Using Old Brushes
For dry-brushing often the perfect tool is one of your older brushes with splayed bristles. We all have brushes like that so dont be embarrassed. I often crush the ferrule a little to emphasise the splaying as I described above.
Creating Texture In Your Painting
You should load the brush with paint and then scrape off as much paint as you can. Use the edge of your pallet or a scrap piece of paper to get rid of excess paint. Just keep brushing until only a small amount of paint is left on the brush.
Then you can lightly dab the brush or make short light strokes to introduce the lighter colour of the waves crashing on the shore. It can make any painting idea more exciting.
Using The Paint To Best Effect
This spectacular image shows spectacularly confident brushwork. To achieve this sort of effect with acrylic paints you will need to work very fast.
Have all your colours ready and keep a dry cloth to wipe your brushes close by. Start with the darker colours and brush them in all over the painting. Then quickly wipe your brush and work in the lighter colours until you achieve the effect you want.
Dont Over-Work Your Painting
You should be careful not to overwork yoyr painting at this point. Concentrate on getting all the colours on as quickly as possible.
Gradually work from dark to light, wiping the brush thoroughly each time. When all the colours are roughly applied, take a clean dry brush and lightly work the edges together to create the gradients of colour and tone.
You should clean or wipe your brush regularly to make sure everything doesn’t just end up muddy brown.
Framing The Picture
I love the effect of the trees in the picture above. They frame the image beautifully creating a detail all of their own, while guiding the eyes of the viewer into the beautiful sky.
If you have a new painting idea try framing the focus of the picture in different ways.
Striking Colours With This Fantastic Paint
Painting with acrylics gives you wonderful striking colours. This sunset uses them wonderfully. You can do the same, Just keep practicing.
You can use any scrap paper, canvas or wood to paint on and because the paint dries so fast, you can simply paint over the ones you don’t like and start again.
The Power of Painting For Children
If painting is something your kids enjoy, then they will practice more often. The process of practicing will give them a sense of achievement and teach them that with practice, they can achieve anything.
Why not take a look at some of our other FREE Painting Tutorials. Or for something different click here to take a look at our new Drawing Tutorials.
Learning how to paint is a great way for kids to develop their imaginations and creativity. Encourage them to search for other people’s paintings, drawings and photos on social media. The images will give them new ideas of their own.
This is a wonderful painting I found when searching.
This will help them to develop self-confidence. They will soon begin to understand that there are no mistakes in art, just new things to discover.