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 contact@stepbysteppainting.net or tracieannekiernan@gmail.com and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

The Most Common Questions:


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. Although rare, sometimes there is a slight delay in the transaction to where you receive the download. If you still are having trouble receiving the download, email me: tracieannekiernan@gmail.com or send me an Etsy conversation and I will manually send the file to your email.

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 

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 items. You might be able to use a stain remover right away but most likely the color will not come out of clothing. If acrylic paint gets on your hands/ hair it will come off with soap and water. 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! Use a hair dryer if you would like your painting to completely dry between layers. You can also use a fan or just wave the canvas around to let the air dry it. 

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! 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. 

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. If you need immediate assistance with this, message me on the Facebook Page. 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. If you’re painting on a smaller 8 x 10 canvas, then I’d say about an hour. Most (and I say most because I’m not always consistent with this) tutorials will state somewhere how long the painting should take you. 

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. I tend to be the most active with new paintings during the summer and around Christmas time.   

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?

Requests have been abundant and I love all your ideas! However, as of now I am no longer able to take new requests due to my own creative directions 🙂  


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
  • #4 Bright (AKA flat)
  • #12 Bright (AKA flat)
  • #4 Round
  • #10/0 Liner 
  • Fan Brush 

What paint do you use? 

I use Student Grade acrylic paint for the tutorials on this website. If you want a good starter set, I highly recommend this one! It’s the 48 piece Liquitex BASICS set and it includes almost all the colors you may need. 

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

Some 2017 and early 2018 tutorials were done with Apple Barrel Craft paints. You can use craft paints too, see below about craft paints.

As of 2019, I have officially settled with using Liquitex BASICS exclusively (and a few colors that DecoArt Americana Premium has that Liquitex BASICS does not have). 

Can I convert colors across brands?

Yes, kind of, sort of 😉 I created a page for this here. 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).

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

What canvases do you use?

I like to get 11″ x 14″ stretched canvases. You may see a few older 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… If you’re using a traceable, you may need to adjust the scale of the print-out using Adobe PDF print settings. I give instructions for this here. Keep in mind that proportions change when you use a different size canvas. A 16 x 20 and an 8 x 10 is equal proportions. However, 11 x 14 is not equal proportion to 16 x 20. You can still paint on any size you’d like but you may need to stretch the design, shrink the design or fill in some blank areas.

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 this brush cleaner: this one. Thoroughly clean your brushes with mild soap and water after each cleaning session. Try not to use hot water because that tends to melt some of the glue that attaches the brush parts (ahem I know this from experience haha). Also make sure your bristles are pointing up when they are being stored but don’t leave them pointing up unless they are mostly dry. 

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. I recently bought this Artist Loft Gesso from Michaels and I love it and use it specifically for painting over. If you have texture on your painting, you can use sand paper to sand it down. 

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. You can find that here. To name a few other supplies: foam pouncers, medium, paint pens, etc. However, those extras aren’t used very often. 

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 don’t varnish paintings unless I’m planning on selling something or gifting a painting to someone. 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!

Questions about Social Media

Are you on Instagram?

Yes! My IG account is: @tracie_kiernan_art


Are you on YouTube?

Yes but I’m not active on there so you may not be able to see all my stuff. My channel is here


Do you have a Facebook Group?

At this time I only have a Facebook Page. 


I uploaded my “tried it” on Pinterest but you haven’t seen it yet.

Pinterest does not notify me when someone uploads a photo or leaves a comment. I will occasionally click on my pins to see if there are any photos and try to leave a comment for you 🙂 If you really want me to see it, please upload on our Facebook Page and tag me so that I will definitely see it. You can also tag me on Instagram @tracie_kiernan_art OR you can leave me a private message.


How do I show you my painting?

You can go to the SBSP Facebook Page, Upload a “tried it” on Pinterest (on the bottom of pins, there should be a button for “upload”), Message Me Directly on Facebook or Email Me.  You can also tag me on Instagram @tracie_kiernan_art 


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 spam filters. If your comment did not get approved by the filter, it is possible that it was labeled as “spammy” by the algorithm for whatever reason.  


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. See below.

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 directly here or send me a quick message on Facebook

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

This is considered “commercial” use and is not allowed. If you need to do this, please contact me prior to use for permission. 

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. I understand a lot of events like this may need to cover the costs of the materials so therefore you charge. You MUST tag me if you are using my image so I know about the use. 

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. If you are planning on posting my images online or in a public format, please contact me to let me know! I love to hear about how you’re using my art for charity! You also need to TAG me if you are using my image so I know about the use. 

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

You’re welcome to use my images as long as you provide a link back.  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.