As a beginner artist, it can be difficult to find painting inspiration. That is why I have put together some easy painting ideas which are perfect for beginners.
There is often the misconception that as you become more advanced, you will find subjects to paint easily. But honestly, it is always a challenge of painting.
So let's get into these easy painting ideas for beginners.
If you are looking for simple painting ideas then the first place to look is nature.
Inspiration is all around you. You just need to open your eyes!
If your local area is not particularly scenic, then you may need to go for a bit of an adventure to find scenes to paint. Great places to start are:
- Mountain ranges
- Vast open plains
- Sunsets / sunrises (the light at these times can make even the most bland landscape appear interesting)
May best advice for finding great landscape scenes to paint is to get active. You will not find great scenes from the comfort of your home.
Every holiday or trip is an opportunity to get painting inspiration. Make sure you have your camera handy at all times and takes heaps of photos.
I find most of my painting inspiration from looking back over my photo reel.
Many of the landscape photos you take will not be any good. But some will just hit home with you and give you the inspiration you need to get painting.
(If you want to learn more about landscape painting, make sure to grab my free Landscape Painting Starter Kit).
I would say seascapes are slightly more difficult than landscapes, merely due to the troubles of rendering water.
The trick with seascapes is to simplify the detail in the water. Use paint brushes which are larger than you are comfortable with.
You are trying to give the illusion of form, nothing more. To do this you could use long strokes of varied color, with some definition to outline contours in the water.
The sea is fantastic for inspiration. Every few months I will make a trip to the beach to get more painting inspiration.
Typical seascape scenes to look out for are:
- Fishing boats / yachts
- Local fisherman
- A jetty
- A crowded surf beach
- Sunsets / sunrises, with the light reflecting on the water
- Stormy sea scenes (for a very evocative painting)
The flower vase is a classic painting subject. Almost all the old master painters seem to have painted at least some flower vase subjects.
Why is it a popular subject to paint?
Simply because it portrays light well, can have great color and has variance in shape which is appealing in a composition.
Other still life scenes
You are not limited to painting flower vases for still life scenes.
You can paint pretty much anything in your still life as long as you have great lighting and a well set out composition. Other still life scenes include:
- A fruit bowl
- Worn boots
- Wine bottle
- Glasses and cutlery
Have a pet dog or cat? They can be great subjects for your next painting.
Pet portraits are considerably easier to paint than human portraits, once you have learnt how to render fur (which can be difficult as a beginner painter).
My advice for painting fur is not to try and paint every single hair strand. You should be using bold strokes and very little blending to give the illusion of fur. Utilize the texture created by your paint brush. Some subtle highlights should be all the additional detail needed.
Easy Painting Ideas Summary
I hope these easy painting ideas give you some inspiration for your next painting.
Some of the more difficult subjects to paint are portraits, cityscapes and complex still lifes. You can tackle these once you are more advanced.
If you have any easy painting ideas feel free to share them in the comment section below.
(You might be interested in my Painting Academy course. I go into more detail on how to design interesting compositions for painting.)