25 easy acrylic painting ideas
Looking for painting inspiration? Check out these fun and easy acrylic painting ideas to try at home
We all have days when we feel uninspired and don't know what to paint. You flick through endless pictures and articles looking for ideas, but can't find anything you love and give up in frustration.
If you're having one of those days then look no further: we have lots of easy acrylic painting ideas to help you beat your creative block. There are lots of brilliant painting projects for you to try, from painted plant pots to abstract art canvases.
Acrylic painting is hugely popular with painters of all levels and abilities. It's an incredibly versatile medium that can be applied thickly like oil paints or thinned with water until it becomes translucent like watercolour paint. Unlike oil paints, acrylic paints dry very quickly so they're perfect for a short painting session. Acrylic paints are also very forgiving – if you make a mistake you can easily paint over the top and correct it.
The ideas featured in this article are all easy enough for beginners to try, but they're also suitable for more experienced artists in need of some motivation!
For some seasonal inspiration, take a look at our favourite fall painting ideas for lots of autumnal projects. We've also put together some beautiful watercolor painting ideas and gouache painting ideas if you're not in the mood for acrylic painting.
Read on to discover our easy acrylic painting ideas…
Featured image by Unsplash/Steve Johnson
25 easy acrylic painting ideas
1. DIY painted plant pots
Did you know that you can also use acrylic paints for your home decor projects? These colourful DIY painted plant pots by Jemma Bursnell bring a fun look to any room – and it's a great way to upcycle some old tin cans at the same time.
2. Abstract painting
Abstract painting is a brilliant creative project for beginners – it allows a lot of creative freedom and you can experiment to see what works. There's no wrong way to do abstract painting and there are no rules to follow. Simply play around with textured and colours and see what you can create! If you need some guidance to get started, try this abstract painting tutorial created by Esther Curtis.
3. Pumpkin painting
Pumpkin painting is one of our favourite Halloween crafts to make. You can use acrylic paints to cover your pumpkin with stunning designs. If you want to create a painted pumpkin that you can reuse every year, you can buy ceramic pumpkins in many craft shops. Find out how to make your own painted pumpkin with Becki Clark's step-by-step how to paint pumpkins guide.
If you're looking for easy acrylic painting ideas, they don't come much easier than this! If you've never used a fan brush before, this tree painting tutorial by Tracie Kiernan is a great introduction to fan brush painting techniques. Looking for more nature art projects? Take a look at our how to draw a tree step by step tutorial.
5. Acrylic paint pouring
Acrylics aren't just for painting! Acrylic paint pouring is an art form that's growing in popularity and with good reason – it can be used to create unique works of art. The results will be different every time. Learn how to do a paint pour with this tutorial from FeltMagnet.
6. DIY modern floral painting
This DIY modern floral painting by Persia Lou is bright and beautiful – it would look amazing if you displayed it in your bedroom, kitchen or lounge. It's an easy acrylic painting idea that's suitable for beginners to try.
7. Water bottle painting
Give your water bottle a personal touch by adding your own paintings using this water bottle painting tutorial from FeelingNifty. Acrylic paint is water soluble, so you'll need to seal your finished design with a layer of varnish such as ModPodge (Amazon, £9.49). This version of ModPodge is dishwasher safe, so it's non-toxic safe to use on your water bottle.
8. Geometric wall art
This stunning geometric wall art can be created using masking tape and acrylic paint. Add metallic paint to your cancas for a more elegant finish. Learn how to make your own geometric wall art with Fox + Hazel.
9. How to paint a mountain scene
If you want to learn how to paint landscapes, this is a great project to try. Artist Katelyn Morse explains how to paint a mountain scene step by step in her tutorial from Inkstruck Studio. You'll learn how to build up the layers gradually and how to paint a reflection of the mountain on a lake – something that could come in handy for other projects.
10. Retro painted flowers
Painting retro flowers is a great exercise to try when you're looking for something bright and bold to paint. This would look brilliant displayed in your bedroom – or anywhere in your home that needs a splash of colour. Learn how to paint retro flowers with thepostmansknock.com.
11. Pumpkin on canvas
Learn how to paint a pumpkin with artist Elle Byers! In her Skillshare class, she'll guide you how to make your own lovely pumpkin painting using acrylic paints. If you don't have Skillshare membership, there's a month's free trial so you can explore the classes and try it out. Find the class on Skillshare.
If you're looking for easy acrylic painting ideas and inspiration this is the perfect project for you. In this how to paint bubbles tutorial, Tracie Kiernan explains how to paint your own beautiful bubbles step by step. This would be a great painting project to try with children, because the technique is simple and the results are very impressive.
A painting of the sea can give your home a really calm vibe – and it's easy to make your own seascape canvases using acrylic paints. This DIY waves painting guide from Dans Le Lakehouse is simple to follow and suitable for beginners. The finished paintings look very professional!
Learn how to paint your own fluffy clouds with this easy cloud painting tutorial from DecoArt. It's a simple acrylic painting technique that you can use again for future projects. We love how the rough canvas makes the clouds look soft and light!
15. Abstract floral wall art
Bring a pop of colour to any space by adding abstract floral wall art. Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love will show you how to make your own bright and brilliant abstract art for your home.
16. DIY brushstroke monograms
These homemade DIY brushstroke monograms project by Persia Lou would be a great way to accessorise a craft or art room. The cardboard letters for this project can be found in craft stores.
17. Paint smudging
Sometimes blending acrylic paint together can create really interesting results on an abstract painting – simply apply the paints onto the canvas and blend them together using a paper towel or a baby wipe. Learn how to smudge acrylic paints (plus some other acrylic painting techniques) with artjournalist.com.
18. Paper monstera plant
Acrylic paints can be used to create amazing textures on paper – you can use painted paper for papercraft projects or collages. This lovely paper monstera plant project from Damask Love uses painted paper to create beautiful textured leaves. Play around with this technique and see what you can make!
19. DIY notebook covers
Freshen up your journal with this cheerful DIY notebook covers tutorial from Fox + Hazel. These vibrant designs are made using some stencils – you could make your own or find some you like online to use for this project.
20. Glow in the dark moon painting
This luminous glow in the dark moon painting project by Persia Lou would be perfect for a child's bedroom. This painting will look lovely in the daytime and only reveal its secret glow when it starts getting dark.
21. Bubble paint flower hydrangeas
This is a fantastic project to make with kids! Just make sure the paint you're using is non-toxic. The finished look of the bubble flowers is very effective and could easily be used on other projects. Learn how to make bubble paint flower hydrangeas with this tutorial from A Piece of Rainbow.
22. Paint two paintings at once
If you've mixed up a lot of fabulous colours, it seems a shame to only use them on one painting – and could result in wasted paint. In this brilliant tutorial, Persia Lou explains how to paint two paintings at once. This is a great technique to use if you're producing paintings to hang in the same room, so you can make sure the colours match exactly.
23. Christmas wreath
This contemporary Christmas wreath painting by Elle Byers would add a modern feel to your festive decorations this winter. Subscribe to Skillshare to learn how to make this painting with Elle's online class.
24. Lavender flowers
Enjoy some floral inspiration with this lavender painting tutorial from FeelingNifty. This project uses ear buds (Q-tips for US readers) to create the flowers – and it's really effective! We hope you enjoy trying this technique on your paintings.
25. Rock painting
Sometimes the best way to rediscover your creativity is to step away from your canvas or sketchbook and try a new surface. Rock painting is a great way to get out of a creative rut and play around with patterns and colours – we love these vibrant patterns by Alisa Burke. Acrylic paint is perfect for rock painting, but you'll need to seal your designs with varnish if you want to leave your finished rocks outside. Check out our easy rock painting ideas for lots of inspiration.
We hope you enjoyed our acrylic painting ideas and inspiration!
If you'd like to stock up on art supplies, check out our best watercolour paints and best drawing tablets for beginners guides. We also have a round-up of the best Bob Ross painting kits if you want to start painting like a pro!
Sarah Orme is a UK-based linocut printmaker, digital editor, feature writer and award-winning podcaster. She's been editing the sewing and art sections of Gathered.how – and before that our sister website calmmoment.com – for over 3 years. She’s the host of Gathered’s We’ve Made It podcast and A Calmer Life podcast. She’s a keen crafter and artist and loves creating DIY tutorials for Gathered. Sarah has previously written features for The Guardian, In The Moment Magazine, Project Calm Magazine, countryfile.com, radiotimes.com and yourhomestyle.uk. She enjoys designing her own unique lino prints and dreams of opening her own online shop. She shares her work @sarahormeprints