This step by step acrylic painting tutorial includes a free traceable that you can download and transfer onto an 11 x 14 canvas.
- Acrylic Paints
- 11 x 14 Canvas
- Traceable (this one is an updated traceable)
- Graphite Or Carbon Paper
- Bright Aqua Green
- Titanium White
- Cadmium Red Medium
- Brilliant Yellow Green
- Deep Green Permanent
- Primary Yellow
- Dioxazine Purple (Used only for a few ornaments)
- Phthalo Blue (Used only for a few ornaments)
- 12 Bright
- 8 Round
- 0 Round
- 4 Round
- Transfer the traceable design directly to your canvas. You will need to tape both traceable sheets together to keep them steady for the tracing.
- Paint the background around the drawing with bright aqua green and titanium white. Use a 12 bright brush to paint short irregular strokes.
- On your palette, slightly mix brilliant yellow green with deep green permanent. Then use the 12 bright to paint the Grinch’s face.
- Then use an 8 round brush to paint the tree with the same green combo.
- Rinse brush completely and use the 12 bright to paint the hat, suit and ornament cad red medium.
- Paint the Grinch’s eyes yellow.
- Use a 4 round brush to paint white circles on the trees for the base of the ornaments.
- Use the same brush and the white to paint highlights on the ornaments and on the Grinch’s hat and suit.
- Paint the Grinch’s pupils red.
- Use a 0 round brush to outline the Grinch’s eyes black.
- Loosely outline all of the Grinch.
- Loosely outline the Christmas tree.
- Paint little white snow dots in the background.
Note that phthalo blue and dioxazine purple only show up in the ornaments. You can simplify this palette by omitting those.
Directions At A Glance
You will need to print this on two papers (PDF is in that format). Tape the two together. If your printer has a “print bleed” a tiny bit of it may be cut off but it can easily be finished with a sharpie.
Step By Step Directions
1. Transfer the traceable design directly to your canvas.
You will need to tape both traceable sheets together to keep them steady for the tracing.
Then place a sheet of graphite transfer paper below the traceable and use a pencil or ball point pen to FIRMLY trace the design.
The drawing should be dark enough to be seen. This is important because some areas will be painted over and it makes it easier to see the drawing through the paint.
You can also finish the top of the Santa hat.
2. Paint the background around the drawing.
Use bright aqua green and titanium white on your palette. Use a 12 bright brush to load both the colors on the brush. The palette should have both colors but don’t mix them completely together.
Paint the entire background around the tree and the grinch. Paint in short irregular strokes going in different directions.
The background should be a blending mix of the aqua and white but leave it unmixed for interest. Some areas will be light, some dark but don’t over blend it.
Do your best to go around the Grinch an the tree but if you go over the lines a little (especially around the tree), that is fine.
3 Paint The Grinch Face and Hands
On your palette, slightly mix brilliant yellow green with deep green permanent.
Then use the 12 bright to paint the Grinch’s face. Your 12 bright should be double loaded in both the light and dark green and when you paint the Grinch’s face, the colors will blend on the canvas to make a varied green.
Also you may paint the green of his hands that are showing at the very bottom. For the sides of the Grinch’s hair, use the tip of the brush on its side to make thinner strokes.
4. Paint The Tree
Then use an 8 round brush to paint the tree with the same green combo.
Start at the bottom of the tree and stroke each row of branches down. Alternate between light and dark green.
For more information about how to paint a Christmas tree with a round brush, see my post here.
5. Paint The Hat and Suit
Rinse 12 bright brush completely and use the 12 bright to paint the hat, suit and ornament cad red medium.
Don’t worry about shading at this point, just fill the areas in with red.
6. Paint The Grinch Eyes
Paint the Grinch’s eyes yellow with a 0 or 4 round brush.
7. Paint The Ornaments White
Use a 4 round brush to paint white circles on the trees for the base of the ornaments. Then you can use that same brush to paint a highlight on the red ornament.
8. Paint Highlights
Use the same brush and the white to paint highlights on the Grinch’s hat and suit. Make a white line on the left side of his hat and arm.
Also make a white line on the top part of the folded part of the hat as well as the other arm. Then dull the highlight down bit by loading your brush in cad red medium and blending it back so it is more of a light red rather than bright white.
9. Paint Grinch Pupils & Nose
Paint the Grinch’s pupils red. Then paint his nose with deep green permanent. Do this with a 0 round brush because it is a small area.
Use a 0 round brush to outline the Grinch’s eyes black. Also add some outline lines on the tree.
Loosely outline all of the Grinch. When you “loosely outline” something, you are holding this brush lightly. Don’t press too hard because you don’t want too bold of a line.
Outline the grinch but don’t outline everything.
There are some gaps in the outline. Not all outer edges are outlined.
The image below shows all the areas I outlined on the grinch. I also started painting the ornaments in and painted a little white dot in the Grinch’s eyes.
11. Paint Ornaments
Paint the ornaments in with different colors. I used dioxazine purple, primary yellow, bright aqua green & phthalo blue.
12. Add Gray Shadow To The White (optional)
You can leave the fluffy white part of the Santa suit white! If you want to add a little shadow you can mix a light gray on your palette. Mix a TINY bit of black with white.
Then use a 4 round to paint texture/ swirly strokes on the white part.
12. Paint Snow Dots In Background
Paint little white snow dots in the background. I did this with one of the round brushes. You can also use the back of your paint brush handle to stamp the dots.