20 Acrylic Painting Tutorials for Beginners
It’s both a blessing and a curse that there are so many free acrylic painting tutorials online. It can be hard to find that perfect combination of a good painter who can also teach well and shoot an entertaining video. That’s why we’ve curated this list of 20 acrylic painting lessons for beginners we found online – and they’re all completely free. Enjoy these step-by-step, full-length videos!
How Do You Start Off Acrylic Painting?
Acrylics are a versatile, affordable, water-based painting medium that are perfect for the beginning painter. Ideally, you’ll want to start with high-quality, high-pigment paints, but all you need to get started painting in acrylics (other than the paint) is some decent paper or canvas, a little bit of water, some brushes, and inspiration!
Again, these acrylic painting lessons are aimed at the beginner. You can find our intermediate acrylic painting lessons here. Each video listed here is full-length, meaning you see the paintings progress from beginning to end without distracting interruptions.
Table of Contents
Getting Started with Acrylic Painting
If you’ve never painted in this medium before, you might not know what paints or brushes to choose or even how to blend colors, let alone paint an entire scene. So, if that’s the case, these next few videos are for you.
Learn to Paint Acrylics – All You Need to Know to Get Started
Ashley Krieger teaches you step-by-step how to get started with acrylic painting in this educational video. She touches on most of the basics you’ll need to know, including what painting surfaces are effective, what paints and brushes she prefers, how to properly store your paints, and more. Moreover, she demonstrates some of the different types of brushes that she uses, and for what subjects (clouds, trees, etc.) they naturally work with. All around a great place to start!
Step-by-Step Acrylic Color Mixing Tutorial
In this helpful video, artist Feliks paints a rainbow of hues using only the primary colors – red, yellow, and blue. Black is also used for value (i.e. lightening/darkening) and dulling effects. It’s a simple introduction to the subject of color theory and blending techniques, delivered in an unrushed and easy-to-digest manner.
How to Blend Acrylic Paints Easily
Kevin Hill is an accomplished acrylic painter in his own right, and here he reviews the basic techniques for blending acrylic paint. If you’ve worked with acrylic at all, you know it’s a different beast than oils, which can flow and blend for much longer periods of time. After you’ve learned (and practiced) these blending techniques, though, you’ll be able to work with acrylic like a pro.
Acrylic Painting Tutorials for Beginners
Alright, let’s get into the full painting lessons. These tutorials will cover a variety of subjects, but they’re all paintings a beginner artist can try and succeed at!
How to Paint a Sunset in Acrylics
When fairly broad brush strokes and an attention for color (see above) combine, you can get a surprisingly realistic effect, as artist Chuck Black shows us in this acrylic painting tutorial. This type of scene can stand alone as a kind of abstract piece, or act as an eye-catching background in your painting.
How to Draw a Forest on a Black Canvas
This un-narrated (but informatively titled throughout) acrylic painting demonstration by Joony is a good intro into painting trees, playing with cool and warm colors to add realism and interest, and using highlights and shadows to add drama and interest. The end result looks impressive, but the steps to get there are simple enough for a beginner acrylic artist to follow and reproduce.
How to Paint Flowers with Acrylics
Again we’re with artist Ashley Krieger as she reveals how quickly and effectively you can paint a flower in acrylics with just a little bit of practice and some well-placed brush strokes. Any one of these flowers would be a great starting-off point for a more detailed still life or nature scene.
Mountain Landscape Painting Lesson
Enjoy this mountain landscape painting tutorial in acrylic by artist Jason Bowen. This video lesson clocks in at just shy of two hours, so the artist has plenty of time to talk through what he’s doing and why. Plus, the focus stays on the main subject – the mountain – so it’s a good one for beginners.
How to Paint Cherry Blossoms in Acrylic
Returning to flowers, these pink cherry blossoms, with their bright and glowing colors, will add a burst of energy to your painting. This painting tutorial is excellent for the beginner to try, and the final results can stand on their own or be used as part of a larger scene.
5 Paintings for Beginners
In this video, Charvi Ashtekar creates five bite-sized paintings that any beginner can tackle. Unlike the other videos in this list so far, there is no narration. The painting process is also sped up, but you can always slow it down through the settings on the YouTube video player. So, pick up your brushes and paints and give one of these little landscapes a try!
How to Paint Bubbles
Now, for something completely not the same. In this tutorial video, Chloe teaches you the relatively straightforward and simple techniques you’ll need to make your own delightful, dancing, delicate bubbles. You’ll want to add them to everything you paint after this. Landscapes, seascapes, spacescapes. All will be well with bubbles.
Poured Acrylic Painting for Beginners
Poured acrylic is an easy technique that anyone can try. It’s a popular style at the moment for both hobbyist and advanced artists, who can create a pleasing abstract painting in no time at all. Watch this video to learn how to create your own art in this style.
How to Paint a Tree in Acrylics
If your trees (or bushes for that matter) lack dimension, and you want a more realistic look to them, try these tips from artist John Magne Lisondra. He teaches you step by step how to add depth to your flat foliage. Best of all, it’s a super easy guide to try yourself at home.
How to Paint an Easy Snowman
Easily learn how to paint a quick and cheerful snowman in acrylics with this step-by-step video tutorial. The red scarf and orange carrot nose really jump off the blue background, and the flicked-on snow adds interest and detail. This painting would be a great greeting card on its own, or you could always borrow the techniques you learn here to create a snowman in a more complicated winter scene.
Starry Night Painting with Trees
Feliks is back with an easy-to-follow painting tutorial. He creates a starry night background with some dark evergreen trees in the foreground. The end result looks more complicated than it really is, which is one of the reasons the video made this list!
How to Paint a Waterfall with your Palette Knife in Acrylics
Yes, palette knife paintings aren’t just reserved for oil painters. Here, Angela Anderson demonstrates how you can swipe and dab your way to a perfectly scenic landscape painting.
Abstract Paintings in Acrylic
Interested in a quick way to start your very own modern abstract painting? Rinske Douna demonstrates five different methods in this painting tutorial. The finished pieces feel like they’re in the same stylistic family, but nonetheless are distinctly their own. In the video she doesn’t delve into her specific techniques, but the paintings are simple enough that any beginning painter should be able to give them a try.
Sunset Acrylic Painting Tutorial for Beginners
In this simple landscape painting, Ahmad sneaks in a few important techniques in right under our noses: atmospheric perspective (things get bluer and lighter far off); complementary colors (light and dark blue hills against the red and orange sky); and the rule of thirds. So, glean what you will, but follow along and at the very least you’ll be able to create an attractive painting, even as a beginner.
Autumn Forest Landscape
In this tutorial Katie Jobling shows you how to paint an autumnal forest scene that’s wanting only for a squirrel. This painting project is definitely one a beginner can tackle.
How to Paint Clouds
Because acrylics dry so quickly, some beginner artists might run into trouble recreating that soft, fluffy look of a cloud. Fear not! In this tutorial, artist Joni Young teaches you step by step how to paint a billowing cloud in only a handful of minutes.
Simple Waterfall Painting for Beginners
Finally, we have a simple landscape painting complete with an enormous waterfall and river. Ryan paints the scene quickly, but of course, you can take as long as you need. This tutorial is useful as it shows how to paint a simple sky, basic water, and rudimentary grassland, which combined together make for an effective little landscape.
Thanks for viewing!
Hope you enjoyed these acrylic painting tutorials for beginners! If you have a suggestion for a future list, or an artist you think we should feature, leave it in the comments below.