Learn how to paint these very easy and fun set of elves! Two versions of elves are in this tutorial. This can also be used as a “couple” painting by connecting the Christmas lights together!
Canvas any size (I used two 11″ x 14″ canvases. Any size or surface would work! I love all my users that are painting these designs on rocks!!!)
Paint brushes various sizes
Acrylic Paint (Any brand is fine. I used craft paint for this, which is fine for beginners and it adheres to canvas well! I also recommend the brand Liquitex if you want a higher quality paint for this project.)
- Red Flag (Cad Red or Crimson Red)
- Jack O’ Lantern (Cad Orange)
- Bright Yellow (Primary Yellow)
- New Shamrock (Light Green)
- Bright Blue (Primary Blue)
- White (Titanium White)
- Black (Mars Black)
- Nutmeg Brown (Burnt Sienna)
- Navy Blue
Chalk for drawing the elf
First I mixed a tiny amount of blue with a lot of white to make a white-blue tint. I mixed this together on my palette but not all the way! I painted the entire canvas in up and down strokes. This paint was also a bit watered down so it looked more like a translucent “wash” than an opaque layer.
Then I painted the border black. I let the black dry before I added in the polka dots.
Then I drew the entire elf with chalk first. After that, I used Navy Blue paint to outline my elf. Outlining is totally optional! You can paint your elf in without having to outline it. Follow the step below for drawing your elf with chalk:
Next I painted the green tunic. I dipped my brush in both yellow and green. This allowed to color to have more “dimension”.
Make sure your strokes go with the shape of the tunic (up and down) and try not to change directions. Your yellow and green will mix together on the canvas and create it’s own “dimension” of color.
I painted the belt red and yellow.
Then to add a little more dimension in the belt buckle, I added some brown.
For the tights, I painted the legs white first and then added the red. You can do the opposite or just paint each stripe individually. The stripes kind of curved a bit!
For the shoes, I painted them yellow first and then, before it dried, I dipped my brush in brown and added some “dimension” in the shoes. I also used watered down gray for the shadow and painted some yellow circles on the bottom of his tunic.
Then I painted little “x”s on all the circles.
For the string of the lights, I mixed green and black together (equal amounts). I used a small brush to draw out the string. Remember you can connect the two strings together if you’re making the girl version of the elf too.
I painted the lights white first. Then I painted over the white (this allows the color of the lights to be more opaque).
Connect the lights to the string with black. Then add a white highlight on the left side of each light.
How To Paint the Girl Elf Version:
I drew the outline of the elf with pencil, however, I HIGHLY recommend you use chalk. Erasing pencil will take off layers of paint. Outlining it with navy blue paint is optional. Mine shows up outlined in Navy blue here fore demo purposes.
I used the exact same colors for the girl elf that I did with the boy elf. The only thing I did differently was not outline the girl with navy blue paint.
Dip brush in green and yellow for the skirt. Paint up and down strokes. Some areas are pure green and some areas have more yellow-green to make the skirt look like it has more dimension.
I painted all the rest of the skirt and then all the red stripes.
Then I painted the shoes yellow and added some brown dimension before allowing the yellow to dry.
Then I painted the string for the lights. And finished the lights the same way I did for the boy elf.
I added some final touches: the white applique on the skirt and the shadow under the shoes!
Finally I made it so the lights of each painting connect!
Finished! Like my tutorials? Subscribe to my Facebook Page to be updated when new ones are posted!
See more Winter/ Holiday Theme Paintings.