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27 Easy (and Rewarding) Acrylic Painting Ideas for Beginners

Acrylic painting is a great place to start if you want to flex your creative muscles or try a new hobby that’s equal parts fun and relaxing. In this guide, we’ll give you tips on choosing paintings that are good for beginners. You’ll also find 27 easy, accessible paintings so you can jump in as soon as you’re ready. Let’s get started! 

What To Look For When Choosing an Acrylic Painting Idea as a Beginner

If you’re new to the world of acrylic painting, you may be wondering where to start. Before you grab your canvas, brushes, and paints, here’s a handy list of things to check for when picking your first few acrylic painting ideas. Look for: 

A Simple, Straightforward Color Palette With Minimal Mixing and Blending

Many of us are drawn to paintings with lots of unique shades and complex patterns. It’s natural to want to challenge yourself and go all-out on your first acrylic painting, but every beginner has to get the basics down first. You’ll need to build up your mixing and blending skills gradually. 

So, our first tip is to opt for paintings that have a relatively simple and straightforward color palette. Stick with primary colors and choose paintings that offer the opportunity to ace simple mixing, blending, and other acrylic painting techniques. 

Larger Subjects or Simple Geometric Patterns

Beginners who are eager to try acrylic painting for the first time can have heaps of fun with easy geometric patterns and gain confidence by focusing on large subjects. Intricate paintings can be very time-consuming and difficult to get right, while small, finely detailed subjects can also present a challenge to a new painter.

For a creative challenge that is suitable for novices, you could opt for a simple, cool geometric pattern using tape and lines, or go for a close-up of a large object in the foreground. From pieces of fruit to household items you see every day, you can use color and creative flair to bring “simple” objects to life. 

Subjects and Scenes That Are More Abstract and Less Photorealistic

Photorealism can be challenging even for the most experienced artists. With abstract painting, there’s more room to take creative license and add a personal touch. And there’s lots of opportunity to correct imperfections — or use those flaws as inspiration for the next stroke or splash! 

By opting for abstract paintings and simplified ideas, beginners can utilize their creativity and develop their skills without the pressure of trying to accurately recreate photographs and images. 

Paintings With Tutorial Videos 

Tutorial videos are incredibly helpful when you start out with acrylic painting. If it’s been years since you picked up a paintbrush, or you’ve never really painted before, watching a tutorial is a fantastic way to learn, build confidence, and develop skills, all while following along with an experienced artist. 

Painting a picture involves a lot more than applying a brush to a piece of paper or canvas. There’s a lot to learn, but watching an engaging, easy-to-digest tutorial keeps the early learning process exciting. 

27 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas Every Beginner Is Sure To Love

Looking for inspiration? Look no further! Below, we’ve rounded up 27 easy acrylic painting ideas to ease you in. Don’t forget to check out our beginner's guide to using acrylic paint for advice on paints, tools, and techniques, as well as painting FAQs.

Not sure where to get started with any of the painting ideas below? We sell painting kits which include high quality materials and easy to follow video tutorials for each of the painting ideas listed below. 

1. Starry Night

What makes Starry Night one of the world’s most famous paintings? With his signature expressionistic style, Vincent Van Gogh captured the cosmic movement of the luminous night sky in a way that still mesmerizes art lovers to this day. Follow along with Jess Hess as she shows you how to align brushstrokes with the flow of your composition to achieve Van Gogh’s groundbreaking style.

2. Fireflies 

Capture the magic of the evening light and the ethereal sight of fireflies dancing in the dark! Learn how to make your paintings look lit - literally! - by using the whole range of lights and darks. Learn how to blend values to achieve a glowing aura that makes the fireflies, moon, and stars in this painting look like they’re really glowing, and then follow along as artist Jess Hess shows how to leverage the contrast of bright white highlights to achieve the glossy, transparent look of glass.

3. Water Lilies

Impressionists like Monet loved the idea of painting the light bouncing off of things rather than objects themselves. This makes impressionist style paintings more about colors than precise lines and shapes - loose, brushy and even a little messy! This riff on Monet’s favorite subject turns out beautifully no matter your skill level. Follow along as artist Amy Brauer shows how to use the direction of brush strokes (whatever their shape) to paint water, reflections, and iconic water lilies.

4. Rise

If you find yourself saying “I can’t draw!” you might just be a painter. This painting is almost entirely constructed out of layered dabs and daubs of color - no linework or precision required! In this tutorial, artist Jess Hess shows how to use small, chunky brush strokes (almost like pixels!) to build three-dimensional looking forms without worrying about getting perfect edges.

5. Lovebirds at Dusk

Can you feel the love between our cute little Lovebirds in this painting? With the birds and branches rendered in simple silhouette, this painting keeps detail work to a minimum, making it a great painting for beginners to paint solo - or across two canvases with a partner! Artist Jess Hess shares a clever blotting technique to achieve the perfect background texture that will leave your friends guessing how you did it!

6. Pine Tree Galaxy

While most paintings are about the subject, this one’s all about the background! There’s no right or wrong to how you place your bold swashes of rainbow colors here - and with a color palette that spans the entire spectrum, you can easily customize your composition to showcase your favorite colors. Artist Wendy Anderson shows an easy method for rendering trees in simple silhouette that’ll have you feeling like Bob Ross, along with tricks for creating realistic reflections and the illusion of water with just a few well-placed brush strokes in black and white.

7. Cheers

In this tutorial, artist Claudia DeCasas breaks down how to build each glass shape using simple lines. Once you’ve painted the glasses, you can add splashes of color (literally!) for a free-flowing expressionist look. A solid black background makes this painting extremely forgiving - simply cover over stray brushstrokes with black paint, and no one will ever know!

8. Cherry Blossoms

This painting tutorial shows you how to create a surprising amount of depth in just three layers. Artist Amy Brauer shows you how to make the most of each brushstroke in this painting: you’ll learn to use criss cross brushstrokes to blend background colors with just enough texture to keep things interesting, a trick for turning flat brush on its side to get crisp lines for branches, and a special technique to get perfectly soft petal shapes every time using a Filbert brush.

9. Tropical Bliss

Sometimes what makes a painting look more dramatic or stylized can actually be a trick to make things easier - like the heightened color palette in this beachy landscape. Keeping the palette all in one color family makes blending colors in this painting easier than using a more realistic color palette, since all these warm, sunny colors play well together. And the result looks even more impressive!

10. Golden Birch Trees

In this tutorial, artist Lori Ehlke unlocks the mystery of how to paint realistic tree bark textures with a special technique. And if you can’t paint a straight line, well never fear! Slightly squiggly lines will make this painting all the more realistic.

11. Seaside Escape

seaside escape acrylic painting idea

Fancy escaping to the seaside and recharging your batteries? Transport yourself to the shoreline, complete with waves and sun-soaked umbrellas, and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin with this wonderful beach vacation painting.

12. Bright Succulents

bright succulents acrylic painting idea

Bold, bright, and fresh, this succulent painting kit is the perfect project for plant lovers. You’ll combine large, deep-green blocks of color with simple, light details like prickly thorns and flowers. There’s plenty of room to add a personal touch and create a unique picture along the way.

13. Seattle Skyline

seattle skyline acrylic painting idea

The unique Seattle skyline provides an enchanting subject for artists. Combining skyscrapers with snow-capped mountains, this painting kit will help you bring stunning views to any room in the house. With this tutorial, you’ll learn how to expertly paint the Space Needle and Mount Rainier, as well as the bustling downtown area.

14. Space Explorer

space explorer acrylic painting idea

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an astronaut? Why not channel that inquisitive nature and create your own painting of a space explorer? Get a taste of space and learn to create secret messages in the constellations.

15. Garden Fence

garden fence acrylic painting idea

Pretty and picturesque, the Garden Fence kit lets you create the garden of your dreams with a few flicks of the paintbrush. This unique painting comes from artist Claudia DeCasas, who will guide you through the process of creating your butterfly-filled backyard paradise.

16. Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat)

le chat noir acrylic painting idea

No bad luck here! Le Chat Noir is one of the most famous posters in the world, and our kit gives you the opportunity to recreate the iconic print and experience this art piece in a new way.

17. Majestic Peacock

majestic peacock acrylic painting idea

Majestic, proud, and hugely colorful, the strutting peacock in this painting is sure to start conversations. This piece features multiple colors and a the radiant pattern of peacock feathers, making it an exciting option for color-lovers and beginners.

18. Cheers (Beer and Wine)

cheers beer wine acrylic painting idea

Raise a toast or celebrate in style with the eye-catching Cheers painting kit. Boasting vibrant colors on a dark background with plenty of movement, this is a must for those who love to party.

19. Vibrant Vegetables

vibrant vegetables acrylic painting idea

Gardeners, growers, chefs, and veggie fans unite! The Vibrant Vegetables painting kit is a celebration of all things natural, organic, and healthy. Add some color to your kitchen with this tasty collection of vegetables.

20. Funky Flowers

funky flowers acrylic painting ideas

This whimsical floral-patterned painting will bring a smile to your face. Featuring a beautiful palette of pinks, blues, purples, and yellows, this kit is a great teaching tool for creating a mood with colors, brushstrokes, and textures.

21. Simple Snowman

simple snowman acrylic painting idea

Do you want to build a snowman? Fans of Frozen or wintertime fun will love this cute painting kit. You’ll learn super “cool” shading and blending tricks to add depth and realism to your snow.

22. Holiday Ornaments

holiday ornament acrylic painting idea

Who doesn’t love decorating the tree and dusting off their holiday ornaments? Recreate the magic of Christmas with this festive, themed painting kit. Hang it up during the holidays or leave it up year-round for an extra dose of cheer.

23. Lucky Leprechaun

lucky leprechaun acrylic painting idea

Top o’ the mornin’ to you! Bring the luck of the Irish into your home or office with this cute leprechaun holding a shamrock. This painting kit is guaranteed to put a spring in your step.

24. Celtic Knot

celtic knot acrylic painting idea

Instantly recognizable, the Celtic Knot is characterized by its intricate detailing and unique shape. With a mesmerizing, labyrinth-like design, this piece is an interesting challenge for new painters. Learn how to paint knots, use contrasting colors, and create fine details.

25. Staying Dry

staying dry acrylic painting idea

Don’t let the rain thwart your plans! Make the most of a stormy day with this sweet and simple piece, featuring an oversized umbrella and a glamorous lady avoiding the showers.

26. Ice Cream Oops

ice cream oops acrylic painting idea

Did you know you spilling your ice cream isn't always a bad thing - especially when you can create artwork from it! Ice Cream Oops is a great option for children’s painting projects and makes a cute addition to kids’ bedrooms and playrooms.

27. My Little Unicorn

Do you have family members that believe in magic and fairy tales? My Little Unicorn kit is ideal for beginners of all ages who love fantasy, folklore, and mythical unicorns!

Painting to Gogh Makes Learning To Paint Fun and Informative

Painting to Gogh makes learning to paint fun, accessible, and engaging. Every kit comes with an artist-led tutorial and all the art supplies you need. Pause, rewind, and paint at your own pace. It couldn't be easier to get started and we’ve got an amazing array of acrylic painting ideas and kits for beginners. 

Whether you’re trying acrylic painting for the first time, hosting a painting event, or looking for activities for the whole family to enjoy, our kits make setting up a breeze. Ready to get creative? Shop our paintings now.