Blue and green abstract painting

Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas

Two Acrylic Painting Demos to Get You Started

If you are looking for easy acrylic painting ideas for beginners, then you are in the right place! I am going to break down and provide videos for several abstract painting techniques that will be sure to inspire even the most novice artist. Acrylic abstract painting is fun, and with a few step-by-step instructions, you will be on your way to making beautiful abstracts for your home, office, or to give as gifts. Here are two ideas for how to paint your own abstract art.

Easy Abstract Painting Technique #1: Monotypes

A monotype is a print that is made by putting blank art paper onto an inked plate or palette loaded with paints, and pressing on the back of the paper so that the paint or ink transfers onto it. It is called “mono” type because the process is supposed to only happen one time. With other prints, the artwork can be printed onto over and over again.

The monotype process gives beautiful results that are relatively unpredictable and exciting. This process is a great way to use leftover paint that you don’t want to save or throw away. I always keep heavy duty mixed media, acrylic or watercolor paper in the studio so that I can make monotypes of my palette after a painting session. These small paintings then get turned into hand-made greeting cards.

Here is a video showing you how to do this easy abstract paint technique:

Easy Abstract Painting Technique #2: Use Putty Spreader

The putty spreader technique is one of my favorites! You can also use an old credit card, putty spreader or a Princeton catalyst wedge for this one. All you do is load up a lot of paint right on top of your canvas. In the example video I loaded the paint on the edge, but you could also squeeze out large dabs of paint in various places around the canvas.

Make sure you have a light, medium and dark color so that you get variety of values. I always like to add white into the mix, too. Be careful with using white and black or else your colors will become grey and be too dull.

Next, take your spreading tool, and drag the paint across the surface. Push hard enough so that the paint spreads out somewhat thickly, but not too hard or else it will just scrape off and will only stain the surface. You can scrape several times and in different directions, however, if you keep scraping over and over again the colors will mix too much and they might get muddy.

Here is a video demonstrating this awesome technique:


As you can see from these videos and instructions, creating an abstract painting can be easy. However, there are a few important things to remember to be sure your painting has enough contrast and doesn’t get muddy.

  1. Be sure you use a light, medium and dark color so that you have value contrast.
  2. Don’t overwork your piece. Do a few key marks, and then stop so that the colors don’t get too muddy. You can always add more details to the painting later.
  3. Try to void putting big marks or shapes in the dead center. Instead, work from the corner in and try to achieve asymmetrical balance.


I am an artist out of Santa Fe, New Mexico who has been painting for almost 30 years. I love to teach first-timers as well as experienced painters who need a creative reboot. My work has been displayed in several galleries around the country, and I have a Bachelor’s in Art History, a Master’s in Art Education, and had my work in a show juried by Judy Chicago. The idea of getting more people painting makes me light up as I want to inspire more people to express their creative selves and tap into a place of joy and calm.


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