40+ Easy Things To Paint On Canvas

A blank canvas can be quite intimidating, especially if you have no idea what to paint, and it is even scarier for a beginner. It would be best to start by painting something easy.

The wonderful thing about art is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, there is no right or wrong way to paint. There is simply a blank canvas with endless possibilities.

We have comprised a list of cool and easy things you can paint on canvas for inspiration.

If you want to paint your canvas but have no idea where to start; we’ve got some ideas you can try. Let’s get creative with some beautiful yet easy things that you can paint on your canvas.

Which Things Are Easy To Paint On Canvas?

The ability to express yourself through art is a quintessential trait of an artist. An artist uses different mediums and painting techniques to create captivating and expressive artworks that show the world who they are.

There are so many easy things to paint on canvas, and we will explore them in detail below.

Quote Art

easy things to paint on a canvas - Quote Art

The great thing about painting a quote on canvas is that you can create emotion with a background painted in colors that emphasize the quote’s meaning.

For example, if you are writing love quotes, you could paint a background with colors representing love, such as red, pink, purple, gold, white, or any other colors that you associate with love.

After you have painted the background, plan where you want to paint the quote and try to choose a color that stands out.

Scrape Art

easy things to paint on a canvas - Scrape Art

Scrape art is a form of abstract art, and instead of using regular brush strokes to apply paint, you are using a scraping tool or palette knife to scrape the colors onto your canvas.

Colorful Umbrellas

easy things to paint - Colorful Umbrellas

Umbrellas have a shape that is easy to recreate. The fun thing about painting them is that you can make them each a solid color or color every umbrella with multiple colors.

You can also draw an umbrella on the beach on a sunny day or people walking with umbrellas on the street on a rainy day with water dripping from it.

Abstract Sunflower

easy things to paint
 - Abstract Sunflower

Abstract sunflowers are easy to paint on canvas because you don’t have to paint them picture-perfect. Instead, you can apply your paint thicker using a palette knife to give your sunflower more definition. Sunflowers look pretty with contrasting blue backgrounds.

Abstract Forms

Abstract Forms

Abstract forms can be anything from a square, triangle, and circle to a rectangle or parallelogram. Painting abstract forms mean using these primary forms as the platform of your artwork, but they can overlap or be asymmetric, and you don’t need to create a picture that makes sense; you are playing around with shapes and colors.

A Fall Day

A Fall Day

Painting a fall day can be expressed in various scenarios. You can paint pumpkins or create an entire scene with trees and falling leaves.

Acrylic & Watercolor Mix

Acrylic & Watercolor Mix

Mixing these two mediums on canvas has a beautiful effect. The acrylic provides some texture, and the watercolor is flat, emphasizing the acrylic texture.

Starry Night

easy things to paint on a canvas - Starry Night

You can recreate your version of the “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh, or you could create your starry night painting by looking up at the sky for inspiration.

Abstract Flower

ool things to paint on canvas - Abstract Flower

Don’t try to paint intricate and elaborate details yet if you are new at this. Instead, try to paint an object such as a flower with different shades of color and overlapping lines.

Use a contrasting color to paint the background so that the flower can stand out and become the main focus of the painting.

Pour Paint

Pour Paint

Pour paint art is an expressionist’s dream! It requires no planning, and all you do is pour your chosen colors onto the canvas and tilt the canvas in any direction(s) to cover the entire canvas.

Still Life

Still Life
Closeup male artist painting red shallot, acrylic color on canvas

Painting a still life on canvas might seem tricky, but it is one of the easiest things you can paint on canvas. It also allows you to practice painting in dimensions and scale.

You can also choose your difficulty level by painting basic or intricate objects.

You can also apply the abstract approach by painting the still life with overlapping lines and different colors to the actual items.

When you get more confident with judging scale and proportion, start defining the details of the objects to look a bit more life-like.

Color Shift Drip Art

Color Shift Drip Art

Color shift drip art is similar to pour art, but when you create this artwork, you pour one or more colors of paint on one edge, and when you lift the same side, allowing the paint to drip down, so it looks like your painting is melting.

Geometric Tiger

Geometric Tiger

Like pixel art, a geometric tiger has the same concept, but you use geometric shapes to create your picture.

Abstract Art

Abstract Art

Abstract art allows you to express yourself without structure. It is an art style that lets you channel your deepest inner feelings through creativity and sets you free.

One of the most delightful things about an abstract artwork is that each person who views it interprets its meaning differently.

Therefore, there are no boundaries on the number of colors you use, no rules on which technique you use to apply the paint to your canvas, and no right or wrong.

Abstract art is one of the easiest things you could choose to paint on your canvas.

Mountain Landscapes

Mountain Landscapes

Mountains have so many dimensions and colors that make them easy to paint. You can paint from memory, in an abstract style, or look at a real mountain and paint what you see.

There are many tutorials on painting mountain landscapes, and they are relatively easy to follow.

Metallic Abstract Art

Metallic Abstract Art

This type of art is breathtaking because it involves any colors you choose applied in any way, and when you are done, you accentuate parts of your painting with hints of metallic paint.

Blue Sky With Clouds

Blue Sky With Clouds

The visual inspiration for painting clouds is right above your head. The sky is the limit, and you need to look up and find a cloud scene that resonates with you.

If you’ve got a photographic memory, you can take a visual snapshot and paint what you remember from the image you’ve captured in your mind. 

Otherwise, you could take a picture of the clouds with your phone or another camera before the clouds change and move away.

Once you know which scene you will paint, start with a background color which you can add more details and definition later, and start painting your clouds the way you feel comfortable.

Bird’s Nest

beginner things to paint - Bird's Nest
Bird’s nest with eggs. oil painting.

A bird’s nest painting is also considered a still life. It involves setting up a scene and painting what you see. You can use a real bird’s nest or even construct one to paint.

Butterfly

Butterfly

Painting butterflies on a canvas is easy because they have a basic outline, and you can paint them in many patterns, colors, and effects you would like.

Even if you don’t use colors of real butterflies, you will still be able to identify them. An enlarged butterfly stretching across the entire canvas makes stunning artworks.

Galaxy Night Sky

Galaxy Night Sky

Paint the galaxy with all the planets and stars you would see if you looked up at the night sky.

Rainbow

Rainbow
Abstract Rainbow Painting, acrylic color on paper

This one is obvious and genuinely an effortless thing to paint on canvas, but you don’t necessarily have to paint a rainbow; you can also use the colors of the rainbow to paint other images or scenes.

Silhouettes

Silhouettes

If intricate detail scares you, why not try a silhouette painting? You need to create a gradient background and a silhouette of any picture you choose. Use background colors that associate with the image to give your artwork more meaning and depth.

When you have completed and are happy with your background, you can decide whether you want to paint the silhouette onto the canvas or use a printout that you can transfer onto the background. You can choose to leave it as it is or add words and other details to complete your painting.

Pixel Painting

Pixel Painting

Pixel painting is very easy, and it involves different colored blocks that are painted or arranged to form a familiar object or picture.

Dot Painting

Dot Painting

This method is one of the easiest yet memorizing entries on our list. Painting in dots is when any application to your canvas is made with different dot sizes and colors. A lot of mandala art is created using dot painting.

Geometric Patterns

easy things to paint - Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns are fantastic to paint! Firstly, there are many geometric shapes, such as rhombus, hexagon, scalene triangle, parallelogram, octagon, triangular-based pyramid, triangle, square, etc.

After selecting your shapes, decide whether you want to cover your entire canvas or if you would prefer to create a picture out of shapes.

You can even create two-dimensional origami-like the crane, bullfrog, flower, heart, etc. Once you have completed your design, start adding color.

A beautiful way to paint geometric patterns is by using an ombre effect on each shape (any color(s) and directions). Paintings like this allow you to practice your use of color and teaches you how to create something breathtaking with something as simple as a shape.

Texture Art

Texture Art

Texture art is fun and requires applying thick paint to your canvas using a palette knife or scraping tools. You will continue building on the dimensions and layers to create an artwork with lots of texture and color.

Mandala Art

Mandala Art

Mandala art is mesmerizing! There are so many patterns, shapes, and definitions in mandala artworks, and they are easy to paint. The thing about mandala art is you don’t need to overthink.

You are building onto your design, each paint dot or stroke at a time, and it is all about repetition.

Before you start, select your colors. Remember that you need to have a contrasting background so the mandala can stand out.

If you want to keep it simple, opt for two contrasting colors, black and white or dark gray and white. You can copy a design from a picture or begin in the center of the canvas and work your way toward the edges.

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

Cherry blossoms are beautiful and very easy to paint. They look especially impressive when painted with a black and white or neutral background.

Duct Tape Art

Duct Tape Art

Another fool-proof way to paint your canvas is by creating a pattern using washi tape or duct tape. Apply as many colors as you like, but the color you want the lines should be the first color you paint on your entire canvas.

Apply two layers to the background and let it dry completely before applying the tape. Once dry, use the tape to create a pattern (you can plan your design or make it at random.

When you are satisfied with your taping, paint the open spaces between the lines using different colors.

Remove the duct tape while the paint is still wet, and place your canvas somewhere safe to dry. Apply a layer of varnish over your completed painting for a professional finish.

A Winter Scene

A Winter Scene

Painting a winter scene on canvas involves a lot of white, blues, and greys to create the snow, plenty of snow-covered trees, and icy bodies of water.

There are various ways to paint a snow scene, and you can paint the scene the way you’ve experienced and remembered a snowy winter.

Birch Tree Art

Birch Tree Art

Painting birch trees is easy because they don’t have as much detail as trees with many leaves and branches. You can choose to paint a whole series of trees or a single birch tree.

Birch tree paintings look gorgeous when painted in abstract colors.

Sailboats

Sailboats

Sailboats are easy to paint on canvas because they consist of basic shapes such as triangles and straight lines. The only tricky thing is painting the water underneath, but again, using the abstract technique will also have an impressive look.

The best way to start painting a sailboat is by planning where you want the sailboat to be on the canvas. Do you want it to appear far away in the distance, close up, centered, or sail more to the right or left? Whichever position you decide, draw or trace the outlines of the sailboat.

Don’t paint the boat’s details yet; first, complete the surrounding areas, such as the water and the sky.

Once you have completed the background, you can judge the mood from the darkness or lightness of the water and the sky, which will help you choose the correct shades and shadows for the sailboat.

Flower Jar

Flower Jar

Yet another still-life option is where you can either set up a jar filled with flowers to paint or paint it by looking at a picture.

Stencil Art On Canvas

Stencil Art On Canvas

This art requires virtually no skills at all. Create a picture using stencils and add any colors you desire to paint. Stencil art is usually created with spray paint.

You can make some genuinely unique artworks using stencils, and there are thousands of different designs.

Pinwheel Painting

Pinwheel Painting

A pinwheel painting has a central point where all the points of the shapes stem. It creates an optical illusion, especially if you use plenty of different colors.

Spring Flower Field

Spring Flower Field

Painting spring flowers in a field on canvas gives you the perfect opportunity to play with different colors and shading and look beautiful in an abstract or realistic painting style.

Lavender In Acrylics

Lavender In Acrylics

A painting of lavender is always gorgeous with all the different shades of blues and purples. They are also easy to paint using acrylics and Q-tips to apply the paint in a dotted manner.

A picture of an up-close lavender or a field full of lavenders is equally impressive.

Herringbone Art

Herringbone Art

Herringbone art is created by painting long rectangles in a zigzag pattern. This type of art looks beautiful if all the rectangles are painted in different shades.

Abstract Heart

Abstract Heart

One of the easiest things to paint; however, you can make it look stunning and professional so that nobody would guess that you are a beginner.

When painting an abstract heart, the first outline is the heart you want to paint.

Hearts do not need to be symmetrical, and they can be large or small. If you choose a smaller heart, you can emphasize it by painting along the outside lines of the heart with any color and continue adding more layers until you reach the edges of the canvas.

You will have multiple layers of color surrounding a solid heart. If you choose to paint a larger heart covering most of the canvas’s surface, you can paint the heart ombre or create a mosaic heart by dividing the heart into blocks and painting each block a different color.

Trees

Trees

Even though trees have many details, it is relatively easy to paint them. It all comes down to how you angle your paintbrush and which colors you choose.

You can paint a solitary tree in the sunlight or a whole forest of trees at sunset. The best visual inspiration you can get when painting trees is by observing real trees at different times of the day.

Pay attention to shadows and how light or dark the leaves appear in the shade and bright light and take pictures if you want to use them when you start painting.

The shadows are what make a tree seem realistic. To begin, plan where you want your tree and draw a rough outline to get an idea of how much background you will have to paint.

Paint the tree without the leaves first, followed by the background; this will allow you to establish the background behind the branches and the leaves without adding it in between them afterward.

String Art

String Art

You can use a string in various ways to create art. You can stitch a picture to a canvas and use the string as a paint tool by dragging paint across the canvas to create various images or patterns.

Pointillism

Pointillism

Pointillism is like dot art because you use your paintbrush to “paint” a picture or object with paint points or dots. This technique looks exceptionally breathtaking when used to create a landscape.

Watercolor Abstract Forms

Watercolor Abstract Forms

Using watercolors, painting abstract forms on canvas creates a soft, pastel painting that evokes calmness and serenity.

The Moon

The Moon

Last on our list is the moon. The moon that we see and wish we could reach up and touch is one of the easiest things to paint on canvas.

It is so easy because you don’t have too much detail in the background, except for some stars or clouds here and there.

The moon does have a lot of detail with its craters but paying attention to shading will make your moon come to life.

You could also try painting an abstract moon in the background of something you want to paint in front of it, like birds, a dragon, lots of clouds, trees, or the moon and its reflection on the dark ocean.

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easy things to paint on a canvas

Conclusion

Painting doesn’t have to be complicated and intricate to be beautiful. Sometimes in art, less really is more. When painting your canvas, the most important thing is that you have fun with it.

Art is all about expressing yourself, and there is no correct or incorrect way to do so. We hope this list has sparked the artist in you. Time to get creative!

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My name is Outmane, I am a designer and artist.

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