30 Easy Things to Paint on a Canvas

A common mistake beginner painters make is following an advanced painting tutorial. Not only will it take the average beginner a long time to finish the painting, but it’ll also probably come out looking a bit rough. Therefore, many get discouraged early on and quit painting.

Instead, it’s better to start slow for your first few attempts and choose some simple yet fun ideas to paint. So keep reading for some beginner-friendly ideas.

1. Bowl of Fruit

Bowl of Fruit

This is a classic when it comes to beginner paintings, and for a good reason. By painting different fruits, you learn about painting different proportions and mixing colors to get that perfect shade for each fruit.

2. Beach Scene

Beach Scene

A beach scene might sound intimidating for a beginner. However, it’s a relatively easy way to learn about blending different shades of colors to get a realistic texture for the sand and water.

3. Tulips in a Vase

Tulips in a Vase

Instead of painting a few white tulips in a plain glass vase, switch it up by experimenting with the shape and design of the vase.

You can also add different colored tulips to give your painting more life.

4. A Dog and a Puppy

A Dog and a Puppy

This is a great stepping stone for beginners to move from painting inanimate objects to painting proportionate faces. It’s also better to start with animals because their facial features can be more forgiving than a human’s when painting.

5. The Moon

The Moon

Painting the moon is typically done by tracing a circular object onto the canvas, then coloring it using white and gray paint. Some fun background options include a starry sky or nighttime clouds.

6. A Lake

A Lake

You can either paint a lake on a sunny day, with blue water reflecting the landscape, or a lake at sunset, with the water reflecting the rich sunlight.

7. Palm Trees

Palm Trees

It can never get old to paint the classic small island in the middle of the water with palm trees. You can even throw some coconuts on there to spice it up.

8. Galaxy Sky

Galaxy Sky

As long as you have a basic understanding of blending paint on a canvas, a galaxy sky painting should only take you around 20 minutes to complete. Sprinkle some white paint as stars, and voila!

9. The Sunset

The Sunset

This is one of the most versatile paintings. You can paint a sunset over some mountains, the beach, a city skyline, a lake, etc.

10. A Butterfly

A Butterfly

The great thing about butterfly paintings is the freedom you have with the color choice. Sure, you can go with the regular orange and black. However, you can also go crazy with different color combinations.

11. Desert Landscape

Desert Landscape

Desert paintings require relatively heavy shadowing for realistic-looking dunes. However, you can also get creative painting the sky and different shapes and sizes of cacti.

12. A Christmas Tree

If you’re getting into painting around Christmas time, why not carry the holiday spirit onto your new hobby?

See also: 30 Cool Things to Draw

13. Geometric Shapes and Patterns

If you’re looking to start creating abstract paintings, this is a common way to start. Geometric shape paintings are not challenging, so they’re perfect for beginner painters.

14. Mountain Landscape

If you’re a fan of Bob Ross, you’re probably looking to paint some mountain landscape. This is a relatively simple painting. And remember, there are no mistakes, just happy accidents!

15. Lavender Flowers

This is a simple yet elegant painting. It’s an excellent first project for beginners, and it’s usually hard to mess up, so you won’t be setting yourself up for failure.

You can also hang it around the house since it’s a nice piece of minimalistic decor.

16. Halloween Pumpkins

Make your Halloween decorations more interesting this year by hanging up a pumpkin painting that you can show off to your friends. You get extra cool points if you paint a spooky pumpkin.

17. City Skyline

Something about a simple, minimalist painting of a city skyline at sunset will always be breathtaking. Add a body of water to the painting and throw in a bridge over it, and your masterpiece is complete.

18. A Mermaid

This is the first idea on this list where you’ll have to paint facial features. The most difficult thing by far is to have the face look symmetrical. Other than that, it’s just a lady with a fishtail.

19. Sunflower Painting

If you’re just learning the ropes of painting, you can paint a single sunflower on your canvas. However, if you’re at a more advanced stage, you can attempt to paint a field of sunflowers facing the sun.

20. A Cloudy Sky

Clouds are great if you want to start experimenting with 3D paintings. And although getting the clouds to look fluffy and textured will need some practice, you can do 2d clouds if you’re doing this as a one-time thing.

21. Birch Trees

This is a very straightforward painting. It’s pretty much a field, a simple sky, and a few white tree trunks with black spots. So if you’re looking for something as easy as possible, this is the one for you.

22. Quote Art

For this particular idea, it’s better to paint an aesthetically pleasing background that’s not too flashy to take too much of the observer’s attention. The main focus should be the quote and text font.

23. Splatter Painting

If you’re not the type of person to pick up a brush and trace lines for 20 minutes, but you still want to start painting, splatter painting is for you.

To start, you dip your brush in paint and flick it over the canvas to make cool and chaotic designs.

24. The Sun

You can either paint the sun over a landscape painting or go outside the box and paint a closeup of the sun in outer space. Either image is very aesthetic and relatively easy.

25. Acrylic Pour Painting

This is done by adding two or more colors of acrylic paint into a cup, stirring them slightly, and then placing the canvas on top and flipping it. The paint then falls and creates a unique design.

26. Hot Air Balloons at Sunset

This is also one of the more straightforward ideas to execute on a canvas. You’ll have to paint the sky as a background. And you have plenty of design flexibility when drawing the balloons.

27. Cartoon Characters

Let your inner child go wild and paint some of your favorite cartoon characters. You can easily find tutorials for pretty much all popular cartoon characters.

28. Airplane in the Sky

You can paint the classic plane flying over the observer or have the observer in the sky watching the plane fly towards them.

29. The Golden Gate Bridge

You can make your Golden Gate Bridge painting unique by choosing to paint different weather conditions. For example, a heavy fog, snowy San Francisco, or heavy rain.

30. A Rainbow

You can have your rainbow glowing over the landscape of a lake or a mountain, or you can have some fun with your painting and paint the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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