February 17, 2021

Painting Ideas for Beginners: 7 Things Beginners Should Paint

Looking for easy things to paint? Want to practice your painting in a stress-free way? Here are some of the easiest things for beginner artists to paint.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Maybe you’re the next Leonardo Da Vinci. Until you start painting, you never know.

Your painting journey needs to start somewhere. Today, we’re highlighting painting ideas for beginners, including the best things beginners should paint if they’re just starting out.

Looking for easy things to paint? Want to practice your painting in a stress-free way? Here are some of the easiest things for beginner artists to paint.

Simple Plants & Trees

There’s a reason you see so many plant paintings: plants are easy to paint.

Plants don’t have the same skeletal structure as animals. They’re generally straight and long and they fill a canvas well.

Plants have different colors, making it easy to test your skills. They also have unique details – like spots, stripes, or leaves – that you can add as you go.

Start with a simple plant or tree and see how you like painting it. Start with something like a daisy, then work your way up to a cactus or an evergreen tree. As you get more advanced, you can paint complex trees like a weeping willow – or even an entire forest.

Abstract Shapes & Designs

You don’t have to paint anything as a beginner. Just start drawing shapes and designs and see what happens.

Sometimes, you paint better when you let your imagination run free. Paint abstract shapes in whatever colors you like, then see what you make.

Consider some of the following shapes to get accustomed to your canvas, your acrylic paints, and your colors:

• Hearts

• Cubes or other three-dimensional shapes

• Stars

• Cityscapes or city skylines

• Clouds

If you’re looking for stress-free painting, then abstract shapes and designs are an ideal place for beginners to start.

Your Favorite Landscape

Maybe it’s a lake surrounded by mountains. Maybe it’s your cabin in the woods. Whatever it is, you have a favorite landscape in your head – so paint it.

If you’re new to painting, you can still create a meaningful painting of your favorite landscape. You’re painting what your landscape means to you – even if it’s not a photo-realistic interpretation of that landscape.

Find your favorite photo of the landscape. Maybe it’s a famous view – like the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower.

Maybe it’s a personal spot for you – like the place you got engaged or the house where you grew up.  

Re-create that photo as best as you can. As you get more advanced, you can trace the outline of the design. For now, focus on bringing meaning out of the shapes and colors on your material.

Cascading Mountains

If you want to paint something cool without any painting skills, then try painting cascading mountaintops.

You know when you’re in the mountains and the mountains line up in front of your eyes? You see the flat land in front of you, then the foothills, then another range of hills, and then the biggest mountains behind? That’s easier to paint than you think.

Look up photos of Scotland’s Highlands for easy inspiration. Or, find a nice photo of the Rocky Mountains – or any other famous mountain range.

The best part about painting cascading mountains is that you don’t need to be an expert: as long as you can vaguely outline the shapes of mountaintops in slightly different shades or colors, you can make your painting look like cascading mountains.


Insects are popular painting subjects. They’re not as difficult as humans or animals, but you’re still painting a living creature.

Insects have clearly-defined shapes and a lot of straight edges, making them easier to paint than, say, a lion with a complex mane of fur.

Yes, your first few paintings of insects may look childish. You’re a beginner – not an expert.

As you get more advanced, however, you can add more detail to your insects. Try painting insects with unique colors – like a venomous spider.

The Beach

Beginner painters have painted millions of beach photos over the years.

Like cascading mountains, beaches are easy for beginners to paint – while still being difficult for experts to master.

If you paint a splash of yellow in front of a splash of blue, your painting will look like the beach. Add more details as you become more advanced. Experiment until you find the perfect shade of yellow or blue associated with your favorite beach. Work from a photo – or create the perfect beach in your head.

Re-create Famous Paintings

There’s never a better time to re-create the world’s most famous paintings than when you’re a beginner.

Why not paint the Mona Lisa or Starry Night? You’re a beginner. Even if it looks nothing like the subject, you have a great excuse: you’re a beginner and had no idea what you were doing.

No, your painting won’t look like the famous painting on which it’s based. However, you may be surprised how close you can make it look – even as a complete beginner painter.