Ideas for Acrylic Canvas Painting

Acrylic paints are water-based, fast-drying materials that are easy to work with. They are suitable for painting on canvas, paper, wood, stone or plaster. Beginners and professional painters alike use these paints, which are an extremely versatile medium.

Get your acrylic paints and painting supplies.

Abstract Painting

Abstract painting is an easy project for the beginner painter. You only need to obtain an interesting composition and match the colors to obtain an aesthetically pleasing effect. Make a sketch on a piece of paper and decide on how to construct your painting. Use elements such as dots, lines, spots or geometrical shapes. Use complementary colors such as red and green or select more subtle colors and use several shades of blue, adding a small spot of orange to balance the colors.

Still Life

Still life is suitable for painters with advanced skills and beginners alike. Gather a few items from your home such as ceramic pots, vases, cups, pieces of fruit or flowers and arrange these on a table. Choose objects of various heights so the composition of the painting is balanced. Divide the canvas in two areas, the table and the air, and color these. Trace your objects on the canvas and measure each item so that you maintain the proportions on your painting. Color each object in a solid color and then add details.

Landscape Painting

Take your canvas and easel with you on your next outing and enjoy painting in nature. Choose scenery to work after and photograph it in case you want to finish the piece at home. Work with a moisture retaining palette, which is a watercolor paper covered by wax paper that keeps your colors moist longer. Divide your canvas into two or several main areas (e.g., one part for the sky, one for the trees, another for the grass). Apply a thin layer of color for each of these main areas. Sketch the components of the landscape and start adding details to your painting.

Portrait or Human Figure

If you feel up to a challenge, try painting a portrait. Paint after a live model or a photograph. Observe the main shape of the face and trace it on your canvas. Measure the distance between the top of the head and the hairline, the hairline and the eyes, and between the other components of the portrait and sketch them on the canvas. Add more details to your painting in each area. Add some color in the background to finish your painting. Paint an entire human figure as your next project.