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DIY Canvas Painting for Beginners | Step-by-Step Guide

Deciding what to paint is the biggest hurdle in the life of an artist. You have your blank canvas right in front of you, your brand new acrylic paint set and brushes waiting for you to dip in and make that first stroke. But then you realize that your mind has somehow gone blank, and you have no idea what to paint. This can be a downer for all artists, but if you are new to the art world altogether, not knowing what to paint can end your DIY canvas painting journey before it even starts. Luckily, you aren’t alone!

To help you out, we have put together a step-by-step DIY canvas painting for beginners guide, teaching you some of the basic DIY craft techniques. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Two Easy DIY Canvas Painting Ideas for Beginners

The hardest part of DIY canvas painting for most artists isn’t learning the technique but getting their actual idea on the canvas. Thus, when it comes to creating a DIY canvas painting for beginners guide, painting simple ideas is the best way to learn the tools and techniques. Here are two easy yet creative DIY canvas painting ideas for you to try at home:

1. Abstract Canvas Painting

Who doesn’t love playing with colors? Hence there was no better way to begin this guide than to teach you how to use the vibrant acrylic colors strategically. And that too without sticking to a template. An Abstract Canvas Painting will allow you to experiment and give you a grasp of the concept and techniques involved in DIY canvas painting. To make the DIY craft, you will need:

  • Canvas (16 x20 size)
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Modeling Paste or Acrylic Gesso
  • Large Paint Brush
  • Cardboard or Chip Board
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Elmer’s Glue (or any other Adhesive)
  • Gold Foil Flakes

Follow the below-mentioned steps to create an Abstract Canvas Painting:

  • Step 01: Use a thicker paintbrush to paint the acrylic gesso all over the canvas’s surface. This will cover the woven canvas texture, creating a smooth base for you to paint on.
  • Step 02: Now, add globs of modeling paste onto the canvas and use a chip board to level it out. While doing so, make sure that the modeling paste covers the entire canvas.
  • Step 03: Once the base is dry, decide where you would want to have the gold leaf. Use Elmer’s glue (or any other DIY craft adhesive) to paste it onto the canvas. If you want to have more than one gold leaf on the canvas, make sure that it’s properly glued and dried before moving on to the next step.
  • Step 04: With the main prop glued to the canvas, it’s time to create color samples for your abstract DIY canvas painting. An easy way to figure out which colors you would like to use is by doing a sample test. Mix or paint some colors together on scrap paper or sketchbook paper to see what the combination looks like.
  • Step 05: Once you know your colors, it’s time to start painting! Directly squeeze globs of acrylic paint on the canvas and use the chipboard to spread them out or create a light stroke. Remember that there’s no template when it comes to abstract painting. Therefore, use your creativity to blend the thick textures without leaving any blank space behind.
  • Step 06: Once the perfectly unbalanced DIY canvas painting abstract is ready, keep it in a windy space and let it air dry.

Abstract Canvas Painting is all about free-hand drawing. Therefore, don’t restrict yourself to the aforementioned steps, and feel free to paint whatever way you like!

2.  Sunset Scenery

The scenery was one of the first-ever things that most of us learned to draw. Brown mountains, a blue sky, yellow sun, v-shaped birds, and a geometrical house will always be the perfect masterpiece of every child’s art gallery. So, the next painting on our DIY canvas painting for beginners list is a vibrant sunset. This includes a tulip garden, a breathtaking sea view, and some pretty amazing hot air balloons. To get started, ensure that you have the following supplies:

  • Canvas (11 x 14 size)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water Cup
  • Ruler
  • Drawing Pencil
  • Palette
  • Acrylic Paint Colors: Mars Black, Titanium White, Primary Red, Cadmium Yellow Light, Dioxazine Purple, Light Pink, Hooker’s Green Hue Permanent, and Light Blue Violet

Follow the following guide to painting a breathtaking scenery:

  • Step 01: Start by positioning your canvas vertically. Now use a ruler to locate the center of the canvas and draw a horizontal line across it. Creating a line will make the process easy as it divides the water and the sky.
  • Step 02: Pour globs of light pink, cadmium yellow light, titanium white, and primary red into the color palette. Now damp your paintbrush in the cup of water to soften it up and pat it dry.
  • Step 03: Mix equal portions of titanium white and primary red to make dark pink. Start painting the sky (top part of your canvas) by creating strokes from left to right. Make sure that you paint 2 to 3 rows (inches) using the same color.
  • Step 04: Now, to create an even lighter shade of pink, mix primary red with a small portion of primary red and paint another 2 to 3 inches.
  • Step 05: To create the scenic sunset, mix equal parts of cadmium yellow light and titanium white paint the created shade down to the horizontal line. Don’t worry if the yellow overlaps pink as it will create a beautiful orange color, making the sky look more real-like.
  • Step 06: Add an extra layer of titanium white right above the horizontal light to give the sky a brighter look.
  • Step 07: With the sky of your DIY canvas painting ready, it’s time to paint the water. For the base layer, use the same colors (pink, white, and yellow).
  • Step 08: Now gently add some primary red to the bottom of the canvas and blend it within the yellow area. Remember to leave around 3/4 inches of space at the bottom of the canvas to create the tulip garden.
  • Step 09: Take a glop of titanium white and apply a layer over the upper-left side of the water body.
  • Step 10: Mix primary red and hooker’s green hue on the color palette. Paint the remaining white space using the dark green shade you just created.
  • Step 11: Once the base of your scenery is dry, use a pencil to draw mountains. Sketch triangular mountains that go upwards 4 inches from the horizontal line. Decrease the hill’s height as you move from left to right until the last peak merges into the horizontal line. To create a 3D effect, draw a shortened mountain hill ahead of the bigger one.
  • Step 12: To paint the mountain mix one-part dioxazine purple, one part light blue-violet, and two-part titanium white. Use a round brush to paint the mountains, first outline the peaks, and then fill them in the dark purple shade. Outline the base of each mountain using titanium white to give a reflective effect.
  • Step 13: Now paint a dark shadowy hill in front of the mountain. To do this, mix equal parts of mars black and purple. Water down dioxazine purple and mars black to the consistency of watercolors and paint the mountain’s reflection in the sea. (Leave a bit of the original sky color as it will give a more realistic effect)
  • Step 14: On the shadowy hill, paint pine trees or any other type of tree using the black/purple color.
  • Step 15: Sketch a hot air balloon over the mountains, paint it in titanium white, and then re-paint using the colors of your choice. To make the reflection of the hot air balloon, use different types of brushes to make left- to-right strokes on the water body.
  • Step 16: Use a hooker’s green hue permanent paint to make the grass. Layer it with some black-color strokes as well.
  • Step 17: Lastly, use the mix of titanium white and primary red to paint the tulips. Make an oval shape, and paint it using the mix. Repeat the step until the garden is full of tulips.

Once your DIY canvas painting is ready, use titanium white to create highlights, enhancing the overall look of your scenery.

Wrapping It Up!

Looking for DIY canvas painting ideas for beginners? Well, this blog has got you covered! Try out the ideas mentioned above and let us know what you think.

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