Are you in the market for easy paintings for beginners? Maybe you just moved into your new place, or maybe you’re looking for ways to spruce up your new space, maybe you just need a new, relaxing hobby. Well, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, you are in the right place for easy paintings for beginners!
And you don’t even have to be “creative” or “artistic” to create beautiful works of art with acrylic pouring! Acrylic paint pouring is an extremely accessible art form that everyone can use to make amazing art!
Here are some questions I’ve heard over the years from people wanting to start painting, and my answers based on my love of acrylic pouring:
What should a beginner paint?
Pick a simple technique (I’ll cover below how to get started with acrylic pouring and some easy paintings for beginners to try.), and go at it! The beauty of abstract art is that you don’t have to paint a certain thing. You don’t have to have any idea of what you’re going to create before you do it. And yet still you can achieve a beautiful piece of art.
What are the easiest things to paint?
I think going abstract is a great way to start, but you can also paint lots of things easily with acrylic pouring, like flowers, animals, landscapes.
Really, once you get the hang of the basic techniques of acrylic pouring, you can use your imagination to transform those techniques into whatever you fancy. And you won’t have to spend hours to get beautiful results or years mastering traditional art techniques.
How do you start painting on canvas for beginners?
I know that starting is the hardest part sometimes. It can feel overwhelming. What materials do I need? How do I prepare? What do I do first? Well, I’m here for you, and, as I mentioned before, I’ve got you covered below with easy paintings for beginners.
How easy is acrylic painting for beginners?
Acrylic pouring is a very forgiving medium. Even if something happens that you’re not a fan of, it is fixable. And at the absolute worst case scenario, you can literally wash this off of your canvas and start again. So the risk for starting is seriously low, nothing to be afraid of. Just jump right in!!
Your First Acrylic Pour Made Easy
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There are some basic materials that you need to get to start acrylic pouring. There are tons of different products and additives and all kinds of things that you can use. BUT for your first pour, keep it simple!! Seriously, once you get the hang of how the paint moves and works, you can start experimenting, but keep it simple at first.
Below are my recommendations for your first pour.
Choose two colors and also get white. As far as what brand of paint, any acrylic craft paint will work just fine. The only caveat I will give you is that Apple Bottom white paint is known to crack, so avoid that one if possible.
My favorite brands of affordable acrylic paint are: Artist’s Loft, Liquitex Basics, and Master’s Touch.
A medium in acrylic paint pouring is the thing that makes the paint flow. Common mediums include Floetrol, Liquitex Pouring Medium, Elmer’s Glue-All, and PVA glue.
My favorite medium is Floetrol, and it’s the one that I recommend you start with. It’s easy to use and easy to find as well as inexpensive. The best place to buy Floetrol is at the hardware store in the paint section.
If you’re looking to expand your medium horizons, check out my How to Thin Acrylic Paint for Acrylic Pouring post, which also lists every pouring medium that I could possibly find to help you see what your options are all in one place!
I use water to help thin the paint. There are some schools of thought that you should use distilled water because of minerals and such in tap water. But I will be real with you, I use tap water, and I’ve never had a problem. So if you’re just starting, don’t worry too much about distilled water.
When you’re starting out, I would recommend starting out small.
You can find canvases at the dollar store, or Michael’s and Hobby Lobby will often have great sales on canvases as well as coupons. If you use a canvas, be sure to tighten the canvas up by spraying a small amount of water with a spray bottle on the front and back of the canvas.
Another great canvas that is super inexpensive is tiles. I get them at my local HabiStore for a few cents each. If you use tiles, be sure to clean them with isopropyl alcohol before you get started to make sure they’re very clean so that the paint adheres. Avoid touching them without gloves after you clean them.
And then, once you paint them, it will give you a chance to experiment with resin if you choose to make them into coasters. (I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds difficult.” It’s not. Check out my step-by-step guide for these coasters. It’s a great first time resin project.)
You can also use wood if you’ve got that handy. I would just do a primer coat of acrylic paint before pouring on it to prevent your pour paint from soaking right in.
You need to have something to mix your paints in, and they’re handy for elevating your paintings so they don’t stick to whatever they’re drying on. Dixie cups are a great size for smaller paintings, but any plastic cups will do. I found these cool snack cups at the grocery store recently, and I really like them because they have lids, so if I mix too much paint, I can save it for later.
You need to have something to mix your paint with your medium, and popsicle sticks work well for that. Plus you can use them to apply paint as well.
This can be a messy art form, so you’ll want to protect your table. Some things that you can use are plastic tablecloths, trash bags, butch paper, or if you’re planning on doing a few paintings, you can repurpose a tupperware bin to pour in.
It takes a while for acrylic pour paintings to dry, so you’ll need a place for your painting to dry for at least a few days, at least until the paint is dry to the touch. I like to use the tray-like boxes from Costco to dry my works. I just elevate the paintings on cups and put them in these boxes.
Not only will you certainly need something for cleanup, but paper towels are also good for doing the swipe technique.
Mixing Your Paints
This is probably the part that seems the most daunting and has beginners asking the most questions. But it really isn’t as difficult as it might seem.
I use a basic “recipe” for my pours, and it’s always worked great for me.
- 1 part paint
- 2 parts Floetrol (that’s my medium of choice currently)
- Splash of water
The amount of floetrol and water is going to vary depending on the type of paint you’re using. Different brands have different consistencies. Some of the craft brands (versus artist brands), like Craftsmart or Americana, are almost ready to pour and just need a little bit of medium and water, whereas the thicker artist brands like Master’s Touch or Golden will be much more concentrated and the ratio of paint to medium will be much smaller.
What I do is mix the paint and the Floetrol in the ratios above and then add just a slight bit of water until I reach the consistency I like. I prefer my consistency to be something like pancake batter for most acrylic pour techniques.
The next question I usually see is how much paint should I use.
This is something that you will learn to eyeball and also depends on your painting style, the technique you are using, and the thickness of your paint. In the meantime, here are some calculators that you can use to help determine how much paint you need to make up.
- Smart Art Materials Acrylic Pouring Calculator
- Acrylgiessen Acrylic Pouring Calculator
- Leftbrained Artist: How Much Paint to Use
- Choelscher Art: How Much Paint
For reference, you can watch the video below where I demonstrate all of these easy paintings for beginners, and I painted five 4×4-inch tiles and two 6×6-inch tiles and I used around 2 cups of paint.
Easy Paintings for Beginners to Start With
There are five acrylic pour techniques that are easy paintings for beginners to start with that will give you really beautiful results right away. Follow along below for step-by-step instructions.
For a swipe, pour two of your three colors onto the canvas anywhere you’d like, and then lay down a line of the third color. This line could be anywhere within the canvas, along one of the sides, through the middle, wherever you choose. You’ll then use something to swipe a thin layer your third color of paint over the rest of your canvas. To finish it off, tilt as you’d like until you like what you’ve got.
You can use lots of different things to swipe, like paper towels, wet or dry, baby wipes (my favorite), spackle knives, old credit/gift cards (another one of my favorites), etc.
For a dip, you’ll want to have something on your table that you can get a decent amount of paint on. Lay all three colors of paint down on your painting surface as you’d like. Flip the canvas over and dip it into the paint. Move the canvas around as much or as little as you would like, and then pull the canvas up out of the paint. Repeat as you’d like to get your desired results. I will note that the more you do it with the same paint, the more mixed your colors will be, so you will have less definition.
Pour your three paint colors into a cup a little at a time, alternating colors. You can vary the amount of each as well as the height at which you pour it from into the cup, to get different results.
Place the canvas face down on top of the mixed paint cup. Hold them together as a unit and flip them over together. Release the paint when you’re happy with the amount that it’s settled down onto the canvas. You can then tilt it as you please to create your masterpiece!
One thing you may want to do with a flip-cup pour is choose one of your colors to do a thin base coat of paint with first, to help the paint from your flip-cup move across the canvas more easily.
A puddle pour is super easy. All you have to do is pour puddles of color onto your canvas as you’d like, layering the colors as you prefer. Then tilt the canvas to meld the colors into one another and create patterns.
For a dirty-cup pour, prepare your paint cup as above for the flip-cup. Then, just pour the paint onto the canvas and tilt.
Paints Used in Video
Letting your Painting Dry and Cure
Due to the amount of paint used in acrylic pouring, even these easy paintings for beginners will take some time to dry. You’ll want to leave the painting flat and level in a place away from small hands, animals, curious spouses, you know, anything that’s going to ruin your beautiful work, for a couple days at least. A week would be ideal. Now, just because it is dry to the touch does not mean that it is fully cured. It’s generally thought that it takes about 3 to 4 weeks to fully cure.
Go Forth and Pour!!
Once you’ve mastered these basic techniques, I encourage you to check out my Comprehensive Acrylic Pouring Techniques Guide to see what else you can do with pouring! I hope that this beginner’s guide has inspired you to take some simple steps toward being creative and bringing colorful abstract art into your home!
If you’re more into nature, the ocean, landscapes, flowers, sunsets, etc, be sure to check out the Nature-Inspired section of Homebody Hall for inspiration and projects in that realm!
As always, check out my updates on Facebook and Instagram and feel free to peruse Homebody Hall for more fluid art tips, tricks, and tutorials! Also head over to Youtube and subscribe to get my videos sent to you as soon as they come out!!
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Want to remember this tutorial for later? Be sure to pin it to your favorite board on Pinterest!