Learn how to paint a whimsical jolly Santa on a 10″ x 20″ canvas with acrylics paints.
On this painting I also added some fun glitter to the hat for an extra sparkle! Adding glitter to acrylic painting is very easy! I use a gloss gel medium as an adhesive, however, you can use anything that dries clear such as a clear glue.
You can also customize the background on this! I almost did the background with a pretty light green but opted for the pretty turquoise.
When selecting a background color, I recommend a color that will “contrast” or stand out from the bright red of Santa’s Hat. Choose any color plus titanium white (the white gives it that “two toned look”).
Enjoy and happy painting!
- 10 x 20 Canvas
- Acrylic Paints
- Pencil For Drawing
- Optional Traceable
- Optional Glitter (I used clear glitter)
- Optional Gel Medium For Glitter
- Optional Graphite Paper For Tracing
- Cadmium Red Medium Hue
- Alizarin Crimson Hue
- Hookers Green Hue Permanent
- Turquoise Blue
- Mars Black
- Titanium White
- Unbleached Titanium
- 3/4" Flat
- #4 Round
- #8 Round
- See tutorial on www.stepbysteppainting.net for full step by step directions!
You can do this on any size canvas! Just change the design so the hat isn't so tall.
This tutorial is also in my PDF Shop!
Directions At A Glance
I will also show you how to draw the Santa! The traceable is not required.
Step By Step Directions
1. Draw the Santa
On the 10 x 20 canvas, mark the 5″ mark from the bottom. This is about where the top of Santa’s mustache will be and will help you get the placement of the drawing.
Draw the mustache under that 5″ line mark.
Next draw the nose above the mustache.
Then draw his mouth by drawing two curved lines under the mustache.
Next draw his cheeks. Draw two curved upside down semi-circle lines to the left and right of his nose.
Then draw his eyes and bottom part of his hat.
Then draw the curved lines on the side of his head under his hat.
Continue those curved lines down to form his beard. Some of the lines can go spiral if you want Santa to have a curly beard.
This picture below came out kind of blurry. Then draw his hat so that it goes kind of wavy and bends down. Draw the white puffy ball at the tip of his hat.
2. Paint the background
For the background, I used a 3/4″ flat wash brush and two colors: turquoise blue and titanium white. This is where you can customize your background! If you don’t want to do turquoise, choose a color that will stand out against Santa’s bright red hat.
Double load your brush in both turquoise blue and titanium white. Use your 3/4 wash brush to paint the background all around your Santa drawing. Let the blue and white blend together to create a two toned “color variation” blend in the background.
I had my strokes go in all different directions and sort of contour and angle around Santa’s hat and head.
You can blend the white and turquoise as much as you want. Or you can have “pops” of bright white in some places. It’s up to you! Just make sure you fill up as much as that negative space as possible around Santa. Also, paint the sides of your canvas if you are working on a stretched canvas.
3. Paint Santa’s Face
For this color, I used “unbleached titanium” and mixed a tiny bit of “alizarin crimson hue” into it to make the color more “rosy”.
*If you want to see a GREAT tutorial for mixing skin colors, check out Jasmine’s Tutorial “How To Make Skin Color Paint in Acrylic”. Absolutely LOVE this tutorial!
I used a #8 round brush to paint his face. I did have to paint over the eyes, cheeks and nose but still kind of saw the drawing through the paint.
For the nose, I mixed some more “alizarin crimson hue” into that tan color so that it would stand out.
Then I painted the nose in with that color.
For the cheeks, I used my fingers! Dip your index finger in a little bit of alizarin crimson hue (just a little bit, wipe if off if you have too much). And paint his cheek. Press and kind of form a circle.
It’s okay if your circle overlaps that mustache. We will be painting over it later.
If your cheeks are a little “too rosy” you can always add some more of his flesh color over it to “tone it down a bit”.
Then paint his eyes! Use mars black and a #4 round brush (or any small round brush).
4. Paint Santa’s Beard
Next paint his beard! His beard is a combination of titanium white and tiny bits of mars black so the texture will show up.
Use a #8 round brush and paint a coat of titanium white on his beard first. Make sure your strokes are “contouring” and going in a curved direction going with the flow of his mustache and beard.
Then add a tiny bit of mars black onto your brush. Alternatively, you can mix black with white on your brush to make a gray. Paint strokes on the bottom of the mustache and sort of blend it with the white.
Then add some more of that gray in his beard. I had my Santa’s beard be curly so I did several spiral strokes.
Then I painted his eyebrows. First a coat of white and then add some gray streaks in those as well.
Also paint two dots inside his eyes.
Then paint the fluffy part of the hat. Use a #8 round brush and paint it a coat of white. Then add a touch of black into it (so it becomes gray). Paint circular strokes so that it looks “fluffy”.
5. Paint Santa’s Hat
For the hat, I did a solid coat of cadmium red medium hue. This is a really bright red color. I also used a 3/4″ flat wash brush.
To add some different “color variation” to the hat, I blended in some areas of the red with “alizarin crimson hue” (that darker red).
Then paint his mouth. Use alizarin crimson hue and a little bit of the unbleached titanium color. Use your #4 round brush to paint his mouth shape.
If you want him to look like his mouth is open, paint the upper part of it mars black.
Then add some highlights. Paint a thin white line on the top of his cheeks and nose.
Then paint the fluffy part of the tip of this hat with titanium white and a #8 round brush.
Use a #4 round brush and titanium white to add some highlight on his hat in some areas.
6. Paint Snowflakes
To paint the snowflakes, use a #4 round brush and titanium white. Use the very tip of your brush to paint the lines of the snowflakes so they go in an asterisk. Then add different designs onto the snowflake.
You can also do spirals in the back and add little dots for the snow.
Note: I did this painting twice so some of the pictures look a little different.
7. Paint the Holly
Use a #4 round brush and hookers green hue permanent. Note: if the green doesn’t show up, add a bit of white to it to lighten the green. Paint the holly leaves first and then the berries.
After the green dries, paint the berries. Paint them small circles with alizarin crimson hue with a little bit of titanium white. Add white on one side of the berries for the highlight.
8. Add Glitter
To do the “glitter”, I added a “gloss gel medium” as an adhesive. This works well for getting the glitter to stick. You can also use glue that dries clear.
Apply the gloss medium where you want your glitter to stick. I did mine on the puffy ball of his hat and on the fluffy part of the base of his hat. Use any brush to apply the medium.
Then apply the glitter to the gel quickly before it dries and gently brush off the excess.
You can also add some glitter to the background on some of the snowflakes. I found that the big glitter I used wasn’t as effective for the small snowflake areas. A fine glitter would have worked better for that area.
This was such a fun painting! I ended up painting two of them (both slightly different). Sign your name and show it off!