How To Paint A Unicorn

How To Paint A Unicorn

how to paint a unicorn



Are you ready to channel your inner Lisa Frank with this Rainbow Haired Unicorn!?

In this tutorial you will learn how to draw and paint a unicorn head! This was done on an 11″ x 14″ sheet of canvas paper.

You can do this on any size canvas, canvas paper, water color paper, etc.

I decided to bring out my craft paints for this! I wanted to use all the colors in the rainbow and didn’t feel like mixing all my colors.

Craft paints work fine on canvas. Of course you can use whatever paint you have on hand already! Just match the colors the best you can.

If you’re doing this with kids, tempera paint/cakes would work well too.

As always, don’t forget to share your painting on Pinterst or Facebook!  

Enjoy and happy painting artists!


Tips if you’re doing this his with kids:

Wouldn’t this be a darling birthday party activity!?

Kids LOVE unicorns! I have a great visual below that will help you do a guided drawing activity with your child or group of kids. You’d be surprised how well they do with step by step drawing instructions!

Or…if you need to simplify things, I have provided a traceable! Just print the unicorn and use graphite paper to transfer it to the canvas or canvases.

If you don’t want to use paint as a medium, this could be an all marker or all crayon drawing. You are welcome to customize this design or simplify it any way you want! 


This post contains affiliate links to I am an Amazon affiliate! Read my full disclosure here. 

  • Canvas (I used a 11″ x 14″ canvas paper. This is the pad that I love using!)
  • Acrylic Paint (I used this 18 piece set of Apple Barrel brand of craft paint! Any regular soft body paint like Liquitex Basics will be fine.)
    • Jack O Lantern (Orange)
    • Flame Yellow (Yellow mixed with white)
    • Shamrock (Light Green)
    • Bimini Blue (Turquoise)
    • Parrot Blue (Light Blue)
    • White
    • Black
    • Gold (I used Liquitex Gold Paint for the horn. You can paint the horn any color if you don’t have gold.)
    • Fuchsia
    • Purple Iris (Deep Purple)
  • Paint Brushes (3/4″ flat & small round)
  • Pencil
  • Extra sheet of paper to practice drawing unicorn
  • Circle To Trace (I used a Solo Cup 6″ Diameter)
  • Optional Gold Sharpie for the horn & Black Sharpie for Outlining 
Gold Sharpies


Clicking on this image will enlarge it! You are welcome to copy and paste this into image editing platform to adjust it to what size you need, print it and transfer it to your canvas or paper you are painting on.



Step By Step Overview: 

Detailed Step By Step Pictures


1. Draw Or Transfer Your Unicorn Head

Draw/ sketch out the unicorn lightly with pencil (see steps above). I used a solo 6″ diameter cup to trace the first circle! It is only optional to outline it with sharpie. I did it for demo purposes only. Also, you might want to practice drawing on a separate sheet of paper if you’re struggling with the drawing.

screenshot of video sketch

*Note the sketch in the video looks slightly different (and better) than the ones in the picture instructions below! The unicorn’s snout looks better in the video sketch I think!

2. Paint The Background First

Paint the background with a small flat brush. I used parrot blue and white. I dipped my brush in both colors to get an inconsistent color.


Paint spirals in the background with a small round brush and bimini blue.

3. Paint The Unicorn’s Head White

Paint the unicorn white.


Add some shadow areas with white mixed with parrot blue.


Paint the eye and nostril black with a small round brush.


4. Paint The Hair One Color Strand At A Time

With a small round brush, paint each stroke of hair separately, following the lines of the curves you drew. I went in this order: fuchsia, orange, yellow, green, bimini blue, purple iris. Slightly overlap colors to allow them to blend together.

Bimini (Turquoise)
Purple Iris


5. Outline Some Areas With Black

Use a small round brush and black to outline some areas of the unicorn to make them stand out.

6. Paint The Horn

Paint the horn gold. Or if you want to get extra crafty here, add some gold glitter!


Outline ovals on the horn black (optional). Add some white splatter paint over areas of the hair and horn. Also notice that I added more hair! Just over lap some of the strands to achieve this effect.


7. Some Final Touches

As you can see, I fixed the unicorn’s snout by painting over some blue in that area! Ahh! It bothers me that I didn’t catch that in the process pictures but oh well!




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2 Replies to “How To Paint A Unicorn”

  1. Thanks so much I had fun trying my hand at this painting. My stepdaughter had to twerk the mane on mine but all in all I am happy with my work. It’s for my daughter who is 11 and Loves Inicorns

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