Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most common questions. To find your question, try doing “control F” on your keyboard. If your question is unanswered here, email me at tracieannekiernan (at) gmail (dot) com and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

The Most Common Questions:

Do you take requests?

Not at this time. Requests are abundant and I love that you send me ideas but I cannot take requests due to my own artistic directions. Thank you for your understanding. 

I have a question related to a download I purchased from your Etsy shop?

Please send me a conversation on the Etsy website ASAP. If you are having trouble receiving the file, please check your Etsy dashboard, your receipt, your email and your SPAM filter. 

Can I use your painting lesson for my paint party business? 

These paintings are all copyright protected (including ones you may have purchased from my Etsy shop). If you own a “paint party” business (whether mobile or studio) you will need to license the painting you are going to use.  For licensing questions and inquiries please email me at: tracieannekiernan@gmail.com 

Can I use your painting lesson for a “free” paint party?

Yes. If no funds are generated from the painting party then this is okay. If you are “community based” (i.e. public library, school, church, etc.) and you plan on using my EXACT image please tag me in your social media post or let me know prior so I know of this image use. IF you are doing this a a private party with family/ friends you don’t need to tag me but I still love seeing your paintings (so tag me anyway)! 

Can I used your painting for a fundraiser? 

Please contact me prior to this use: tracieannekiernan@gmail.com 

Can I sell my painting?

Yes! When you create a painting from using one of my tutorials, that is your painting! You can sign it, sell it, gift it, etc. My policy is that if you sell in an online listing that you use your own photo of your painting and not mine, that you put in the listing where you got the tutorial from and that (if possible) you write a little message on the back of the painting where you got the tutorial from. If you are planning on doing this as a business by teaching the lessons and profiting from the tutorials, please reach out to me about how to license the art because the tutorial and “design of the painting” is copyrighted and not for commercial use. 


Do you host paint parties/ can I book a party?

No I do not. You may utilize this website to have your own personal paint party at home 🙂 If you would like to learn how to DIY a paint party, you can see my post here about that! 


Common Questions about beginning with acrylic painting

Does acrylic paint stain?

Acrylic paint will stain clothing but will come off if you get it on your hands or hair. If you get it on your clothes, you might be able to use a stain remover like Zout. But after the paint has dried, it most likely will not come out of clothing. Also, acrylic paint may stain unfinished surfaces so make sure you protect your work space. 

Do I have to use an easel? 

Using an easel gives you good perspective on your work, however, you don’t have to use an easel. You can lay your canvas flat. Just make sure you take a step back and look at your painting every once in awhile. 

Is acrylic paint water based?

Yes! You can add water to acrylics to thin them out. You also use water to rinse your brush off. 

How long does it take for the paint to dry?

Drying times vary depending on the humidity level in the room, how much water has been added to the paint, how thick the paint is applied to the canvas, etc. Therefore, it is hard to say how long a painting will take to dry. Since these tutorials are more along the lines of a “paint party” painting, they typically will dry within a few hours.  

Is there a way to speed up drying time?

Yes! You can use a blow dryer to speed up drying. However, I must disclose that you must use it with caution and never leave it out unattended with children around.

You can also use a fan or just wave the canvas around to let the air dry it.

My favorite way is to just take a 30 minute break, come back and proceed to the next step! 

Do you add any mediums to your paint?

I don’t usually work with mediums for this type of painting. There are products out there that you can add to the paint to decrease drying times, increase thickness, decrease thickness or basically anything you can think of! 

Do I have to prime my canvas?

Most likely the canvas you bought already has “gesso” on it. In fact, if it is a bright white color, it is pre-gessoed! That means the acrylic paint won’t soak into the canvas at all and you are good to go. No prep needed, just paint right on the canvas!

Common Questions about this Website

I’m brand new! How does all this work?

Welcome! I always say, pick a painting that you like and then go for it! You’ll be surprise at what you can do, especially if you’ve never painted before. If it looks like something that you may need to draw, chances are there will be a “printable” to go with it so you can trace it onto the canvas. In my tutorials, I list materials needed, step by step process pictures with detailed directions and a video. You take as much time as needed to learn how to do the painting! Then if you fall in love with painting too, you can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Email to stay up to date with all my blog posts and new tutorials! You can also read up on supplies to start with and basic acrylic painting techniques. 

Are these for kids?

This website is intended for adults. However, you can most certainly use these tutorials for your kids with adult supervision!

I know quite a few homeschooling families that utilize this website for art class. Most are easy enough that kids can do with guidance. I do have a few paintings that are especially intended to be kid friendly but with adult guidance.

I always recommend 100% that you supervise your child when utilizing this website and when using art materials. While most art materials recommended on this website are non-toxic and conform to ASTM D-4236, you must still use caution and complete supervision when using art materials. Always read the labels of your art materials and never leave them out for young children to grasp. 

Can I print your tutorial?

Yes you may. You can print the entire tutorial like you print a recipe or any website. Just right click your mouse and click “print”. If you do decide to print, please only use my tutorial privately and never use them for profit (see copyright questions above and below). If you are a public school teacher and distributing the tutorial, please make sure to give credit to this website. 

Do you sell DVDs?

No but that is a cool idea! As of now I’m only in an online format.

Am I able to play your videos on the TV so I can watch from there?

Yes, maybe – depending on the technology you have. A lot of people express this interest. I have a video library here on this website where you can utilize those to “cast” onto the TV. Basically you need some type of device (like a chrome cast, Wii, Xbox, etc.) that can “cast” what is on your phone, tablet or laptop to the TV. 

How long will the paintings take me to do?

Depending on the complexity, the paintings should take anywhere from 2-3 hours to complete or multiple sessions. 

How often do you make new painting tutorials?

One painting per week is always the goal but sometimes it’s every other week depending on life! 🙂 I’m a super busy mama with three very young kids so it’s not always easy to upload a new tutorial each week. 

What is the easiest painting on this website?

You can look at the list that I recommend for kids (but they are actually for all ages). Also, these tutorials are easy and could be great “first paintings”: American Flag, Cat and Moon, Owl and Moon, and Bear Silhouette Moon.

Do you take requests?

No. Requests have been abundant and I love all your ideas! However, as of now I am no longer able to take new requests. 


Questions about Supplies

Do you sell supplies for paint parties?

No I do not. I provide recommendations of where you can get supplies and list all those with links to Amazon, Michael’s and other retailers. See my supply page here.

What brushes do you use?

I use Royal & Langnickel Zen Brushes. You can get these at Michael’s, Blick, Amazon and a few other Art Retailers. A good starter set is this one on Amazon. However, if you’re just starting out and want an economical option, you can get any variety pack of brushes! Look for a pack that says synthetic and something that has a variety of flat brushes & round brushes (especially tiny rounds). 

What size brushes do you use most often?

  • 3/4″ Flat Wash Brush
  • #12 Bright (AKA flat)
  • #4 Round
  • #10/0 Liner (AKA Spotter)

What paint do you use? 

I use Student Grade acrylic paint for the tutorials on this website. Most of the paintings were done with Liquitex BASICS because its a readily available brand of paint that uses common color names. 

There’s a few other brands I use throughout this website and they are also economical student grade paints as well: Decoart Americana Premium, Artist’s Loft but almost all these have the same color terms.

Some 2017 and early 2018 tutorials were done with Apple Barrel Craft paints. You can use craft paints too!

Can I convert colors across brands?

Yes, kind of, sort of 😉 I created a page for this here but it is not exclusive and there is no way to create such a chart to convert all colors. Sometimes color conversion will differ by painting.

Note that colors won’t convert 100% across brands but you can get a close “impression” of the color. This may be helpful if you’re doing a DIY party and want to get the Apple Barrel Craft paints.

If you ever need help with a color, you can message me directly on the Facebook page or leave a comment on a post and I can give you my advice about what color to use. 

Can I use craft paint?

Yes. Craft paint is acrylic paint (unless it says otherwise on the bottle). I like it because it flows nicely and dries fast. I think craft paint is friendly for the absolute beginner or families and kids. It does fine as a paint party paint because you can get it at a great price!

There are a few cons of using craft paint. You may have to apply multiple coats, it is full of “fillers” and I find it hard to blend together (like if you’re trying to shade something). I also find that the shelf life of craft paint does not last long (for me it lasts only a year) and it starts smelling. 

My favorite craft paint to use is the Apple Barrel Craft Paints. 


What canvases do you use?

I like to get 11″ x 14″ or 12” x 16” stretched canvases.

You may see a few tutorials done on the 16″ x 20″ or 8″ x 10″ thrown into the mix.

I like getting the Artist Loft Bulk Packs at Michaels (BEST deal out there)! I also get this 11″x14″ bulk pack at Amazon when needing to shop on Amazon.com.

Note that any of my paintings can be done on any size canvas. You are not restricted to the size!


Can I paint on a different size canvas or object?

Yes! You can paint on any size, material, object, etc.! You can paint on rocks, walls, wood, paper…


How do I clean my brushes?

Check your brush manufacturer for special instructions. I cannot speak for all brush brands and how to clean them. However, I personally use and love this brush cleaner: this one.


Can I paint over a painting that I messed up on ?

Yes! I do it a lot. Use white acrylic paint or black paint. You can also use gesso (the preferred way). Or you can use a matte acrylic paint color so the surface won’t be shiny. For black canvas paintings, I actually like painting over with the Apple Barrel because it gives a matte finish. 


What Other Supplies do you use?

I have an Amazon storefront where I list all the supplies that I use and recommend for this type of painting. 


Do I have to get the supplies you use?

Nope! While many prefer to get the exact supplies I use as a means to understand the tutorial better, it is certainly not required. You can get your favorite brand of paint and brushes. You can even use different size brushes.


Can I finish my paintings with a varnish sealer?

Yes! I usually only varnish if I’m selling, gifting or plan on displaying the painting because I love it dearly and want it to last quite awhile! I use this brand of acrylic sealer in the satin finish. The semi gloss and satin finish will make colors look more richer and deeper!


Can I contact you?

Feel free to contact me on the Facebook Messenger or through Email. (I recommend FB Messenger because you’ll get a quicker response). Email response times vary 3-4 business days. You can also leave a comment on any post and I reply to those fast!  


What happened to my comment?

This website utilizes heavy filters that won’t approve spam, foul language, inappropriate or rude comments or anything that goes against the professional standards of www.stepbysteppainting.net. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t have anything nice to say, move on to something else that is of interest to you. 


How will I know when there’s a new one?

Subscribe to my emailing list! Or check back often 🙂 Also you can follow me on Pinterest and Facebook. At the bottom of this page there is also a “subscribe to this blog” area where you can enter your email. 


Copyright common questions 


Can I use your tutorial in my school classroom?

Yes! If you are a public school art teacher, volunteer, non-profit teacher, etc. then use of these tutorials is okay and encouraged! 


Can I give my painting as a gift or donation?

Yes! Gifting and donating is fine.


Can I sell my painting?

Yes! You can “privately” sell individual paintings you’ve created from utilizing this website! I ask that if you are selling, that you provide an attribution on the back of the painting and/or on your online listing to give credit to this website or myself (Inspired from https://stepbysteppainting.net, Original Design by Tracie Kiernan). Please do not use my original photographs of my paintings on your online listing unless you are in a license agreement with me to use my photos. 


Can I use your tutorial for my DIY paint night?

Yes! DIY Paint Nights are encouraged. However, if you are in the business of doing paint parties, you will need to get a license agreement.


Do you license to Paint Party Businesses and Mobile Paint Nights?

Yes I do offer licensing if you’re planning on profiting from the tutorial. You can contact me using this form.


Can I put your design on a mug or t-shirt?

This is considered “commercial” use and is not allowed. 


I’m a non-profit, can I use your tutorials for a class?

Non-profit use is typically okay as long as any funds generated go back to the organization. You MUST provide attribution back to this website. Please contact me for specific permission. 


What about a fundraiser?

If this is a MAJOR fundraiser, then you definitely need to contact me! I’m typically okay with this if it’s for a church, a school, a fire department, charity, etc.


Do you have a policy for bloggers wanting to do a round up post?

I’m a blogger too and am generously open to round ups, links, etc. You’re welcome to use my images as long as you provide a link back. Use of my image without a link is prohibited. Please do not copy and paste my entire post without permission. 


Technical Related Questions

There’s a glitch or a link is broken!

Contact me here and if it’s something more urgent (like the site is down), contact me on my Facebook Page for a more immediate response. You can also leave a comment on the post where you see a glitch. 

I have feedback or something else to ask but it’s not listed here.

Contact me here. You can also comment on a post and I will get a notification right away 🙂 

There is a video that is not working

Let me know! You can post a comment on the post where the video isn’t working and I will try to fix the glitch or direct you to a different area where you can see the video.